Homegrown dining concept Saddle Cafe is proving to be the gift that keeps giving. After transforming their flagship Al Wasl road outlet into the sunny Italian seaside town of Capri in 2021, they’re whisking away Dubai residents to Turkey’s otherworldly holiday destination– Cappadocia. Yes, the destination that’s the backdrop of that #travelgoals photo we’ve all lusted after on Instagram; the fairytale snapshot of hundreds of colorful hot air balloons gently floating above a rocky landscape of valleys and plateaus.
The popular café chain which started as a humble food truck in Al Qudra has gone the whole nine yards to recreate the stunning Turkish vista. A dozen hot air balloons have been set up across the outdoor dining area that you can sit inside and eat in. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Or the tip of the fairy chimneys in this case – the venue has also set up replicas of the magical, spindly rock formations called fairy chimneys that are Cappadocia’s claim to fame.
This major cosmetic overhaul extends indoors as well to Saddle Cafes’ staff uniforms, packaging, interiors and service – all of it has received a Cappadocia-themed makeover so customers feel like they’ve travelled to Turkey. Phew, talk about committing to the bit!
It’s all part of Saddle’s yearly summer extravaganza where they pick a flavour inspired by an exotic location and then channel its vibes into their décor and menu.
Baklava is the chosen muse of 2022 and it shows up as a limited-time only Baklava ice cream (AED 37) and Pistachio Baklava Ice cream (AED 39). You’ll be biting into freshly-made filo pastry cup loaded with creamy ice cream, baklava and crumbly pistachio filo stick.
While this Turkey-inspired dessert is available at all of their outlets across the UAE, the surreal hot air balloon-strewn atmosphere of Cappadocia is exclusive to the Al Wasl branch and will stay put until October.
Besides ice cream, Saddle Cafe also whips up specialty coffee, crepes and is somewhat of a tastemaker – they claim to be the first eatery in the Middle East to introduce the pistachio milkshake.
Ditching the FOMO from watching other people’s Instagram travel stories for your very own faux vacation photos is a genius idea. Where you and I would otherwise have only had a summer full of hot air, sans the balloons, we can now stock up on some cheesy postcard-perfect pictures.
Keep an eye on out on Saddle Cafe’s social media pages for competitions that will put you in the running for an actual tickets to Cappadocia. They had us at ‘hot air balloons-filled photo-ops’.