There's a whole lot of pointless PR blah about the new Cafe Baroque in the Murjan plaza of JBR. "Step back in time," says the promo bumf, "and relive the opulence of the 17th century." No, this is just a few nice old wooden tables and a slightly bewildered-looking bunch of staff. But the selection of soups that this place serves up is excellent, nonetheless. Everything is homemade and tastes it. A big jar of soup is very cheap and you get a couple of doughy, warm rolls bagged up to go as well.
With the vegetarian option at Dh15 and the organic pot at Dh22, you get a hefty serving and everything has that healthy, freshly made feel. Recent highlights have included a wonderfully lively pumpkin soup with just the right consistency, a wholesome garden soup and one or two more spicy options, such as a Thai chicken ensemble that isn't pocked with oil.
We've also been quite impressed with the "juice-a-licious" menu on offer. All ingredients are fresh and don't come doused in sugars or hidden flavourings. The Morning Sunshine, a mix of apple, carrot, lemon, celery and cucumber (with a dash of ginger) is surprisingly palatable, and a number of mixes include beetroot here, which is also a pleasant addition. These are fairly cheap, at Dh18 each, and make for a perfect lunchtime option. Also, speedy takeaway means you don't necessarily have to straddle centuries to enjoy what this strange little place has to offer.