The cozy armchairs adorned in cute prints
Kuttab means "book" in Arabic, so it comes as no surprise that Kuttab Cafe seems to know exactly what the loyal book reader wants: a comfy armchair, a quiet atmosphere, and the occasional sweet snack or coffee. Be warned, this little Uptown Mirdif spot is no Starbucks: the cafe's cozy main room is not for the boisterous set, and chances are the only voice you'll hear in there is Frank Sinatra's soft tunes. But if you're looking to curl up with a good book or finish a little work, the quirky chairs and knit footrests were definitely made with that in mind.
For more lively visitors, there's some booths and outdoor seating that suit pretty well for a small meet up or Skype chat on the quick wifi connection, but that seating is limited and the atmosphere is still pretty subdued. Kuttab tailors to the plugged-in yet peaceful crowd, so the most relaxing thing about the place just might be the sheer amount of power outlets on the walls and floors. No more petty glares at that tea drinker in the only outlet corner whose been checking Facebook for the past few hours while your battery life drains—you can check your own Facebook in peace now.
As far as the menu goes, the cafe's range of frappuccinos and specialty coffees will definitely give a sweet sugar kick, with or without the generous dollop of whipped cream on top. But the real treat on the menu is the selection of freshly squeezed juices, which really do come straight from the press. The sandwich selection is pretty standard and not all that likely to earn your acclaim, but Kuttab can be relied upon for a sweet indulgence, whether it's a little blueberry cheesecake or a lovely tiramisu.
The adjacent bookstore mainly stocks Arabic literature and a good chunk of children's books, though the English section also features a range of bestsellers, with special attention to the chick lit and fantasy lovers out there. Though small, Kuttab promises a cute book community and sweet escape from the daily grind. Be sure to have some cash on hand though—Kuttab does not accept credit cards.