Idioms - the top 5 is complete

Look I know it has taken me a while to get the final installment in but I've been doing a bit of writing/commenting on other sites, and I think that has been dicking with my natural daily word limit.

Well... that.. and my wonderful spouse insisting that we go to Cyprus for a break AND then insisting that I organise the accommodation for our forthcoming Europe extravaganza has meant that for the first time in a long while I was forced into doing something that approximated work.

I picked up the phone to my buddy Line who, although having demonstrated her propensity to LIE (there.. I said it again) by misleading me into thinking she knew the location of Zyara (see posts Listed in "The Coffee Project") I had decided to give the opportunity to clear her good name.
"Are you SURE you know where Idioms is" I enquired

"Of course I know where Idioms is"
replied Line - a little huffily.

"Yes.. but you said that about Zyara and..."

"Yes - but we got there didn't we?" This wasn't going well.

"Yeeees" I said, torn between the concepts of throwing water or fuel at a smouldering fire; "But that was because I found it" (fuel concept won)

"You did NOT!" - a not entirely unfair assertion

"Well, I did - my blog says so - so it must be true" I offered, utilising the weak, but often utilised 'Popular belief' card.

"Look, do you want a coffee partner or not?" I suspect that this was asked through clenched teeth.

"Are you SURE you know where Idioms is?" (couldn't help myself).


"Okay, Okay.. I'll pick you up in 20 minutes...sheesh"

I hung up, grinning, and jumped into the Volksy and piloted it to the bus stop where Line was waiting.

She got in and gave me the 'One word about Zyara and I'll poke you in the eye' look, so I immediately enquired as to whether or not we would make it there by closing time - given that she was directing.

Some more banter followed that indicated that this time Line did indeed know the way, as it was around the corner from a nail boutique that she had been to.

My interest in nail technology was met with a sigh and an explanation that the nails in question were those on the ends of her fingers and that it wasn't some emporium of steel spikes.

To be truthful I was relieved - although I had briefly hoped that there was indeed a place. A place that stocked all manner of hammers and tacks and white gold door jam tacks and Louis Vuitton tool belts and...and - oooh the possibilities.

Then it occurred to me that if there was such a shop there would be a high probability that just around the corner would be a guy offering to take you to his friend's shop where you could buy exactly the same stuff for a 10th of the price. The guy would grab me by the elbow as he lead me into an apartment building while announcing - "Comes from same factory - best price".

I'd have to go and look - only to walk out 15 minutes later with gold painted roofing nails in one hand, a Rulex hammer in the other and a Lois Vutton nail bag velcro-ed to my waist.


The coffee review...? Yes, I was getting to that.

We found the the place in relatively short order - partly because of Line's vague directions but mostly because of my expert driving, nonetheless we parked and wandered toward what I hoped to be the saving grace of the Abu Dhabi Week top 5.

AD Week describes this place as "Quite hip - especially for light bites and early evening eats" and I tend to agree. We arrived in the early afternoon, and the place is fine BUT it's colour scheme and decor do lend itself to a more night time venue.
Let's face it though: I'd drink coffee in a tin shed painted in yellow and turquoise stripes if there was a guarantee that the brew was going to be good.

Again we ordered food (this seems to only happen when I drag coffee conspirators along on my quests).
I had a chicken ceasar, which was fine - Line had a club sandwich, also fine.
I know.. I know...the coffee.
I ordered a latte. It arrived. I drank it.

While I don't remember being too enthusiastic about it - it was good enough by AD standards, but angels didn't sing when I pressed the cup to my lips... nor did cherubs whisk away my sugar wrapper. The conversation on the other hand WAS good.

So I ordered another - this time my absolute coffee preference - a macchiato.

For those who are unaware (this includes whoever made the beverage that ultimately arrived) a macchiato is simply a shot of espresso with a stain of milk in it (often served in a clear glass, but overall this is unimportant). SOMETIMES a half teaspoon of milk foam might be added.

What a macchiato is NOT is a mini latte/cappuccino hybrid with butterscotch sauce drizzled on it.


"NOT" I say again.

It was my own fault.. I had let progressive and engaging discussion get in the way of the project, I had added another variable that was never considered in the planning stage.

I drank it though, and restrained myself from boring poor Line (who at this stage was laughing at the face I was pulling) with the vagaries of coffee making.

It was quite tasty in a dessert kinda way - but it wasn't a macchiato.
Not even close.
Not even in the macchiato ballpark.
Not even in the town that the macchiato ballpark might be situated in.
Not even sitting in the boarding lounge of an airline that might be flying over an ocean to a town NEAR the macchiato ballpark.

To wrap this long and winding coffee journey up:
The latte was okay. The top end of okay, bit with a side order of "Meh."
Macchiato? Fail.
Thus concluding the critique of Abu Dhabi Week's Five best coffee shops.

But it's not over for the search.

My involvement with an online forum here AND as a result of a stack of suggestions sent in by readers of this rambling beast that is has meant I have a heap of coffee shops to sneak in to, and I will... after I get some other more pressing additions added to the blog.

One of these pressing additions includes the reveal of the worst coffee I have EVER put in my mouth - not sure I can name it outright for fear of retribution - but I can describe the coffee... or coffee named substance.

Stay tuned.

Final result of the top 5 coffee shops as listed by Abu Dhabi Week:
  • ADNOC - ('big cups crisis' over)
  • Zyara,
    Cafe De La Paix "Marina Mall",
  • The One
  • Le Brioche "Marina Mall"
  • Starbucks
  • Anything else, including but not limited to, licking tarmac
  • CDR - Worst coffee ever - will post at a later date.


  1. James15:21

    Just to inform you our HORRIBLE MOMENT in IDIOMS CORNICHE ABU DHABI. When me and my Friends ate at this Restaurant Dated 03 July 2010.

    At 9 pm we ordered our foods. In the middle of our Conversation with my Friends at 10 pm when one Staff "A" interrupt us and brought the BILL without asking her and she say's in a RUDE way " You're not going to watch (FIFA) anyway - this table is reserved".

    Reserved? In this time just 4 tables included our Table Occupied and there's plenty of vacancies and she say's reserved?

    Her main reason She meant that "WE NEED TO GO AWAY". Me and my friends was SHOCKED and feel humiliated. Is that the way she treated Customers? Is she's choosing Customers as we are Asian? If that so - she discriminate us. Is that the way she used Customer Service or they (Company)don't teach that Customer Service Skills to the Staff? We were there to BUY the SERVICE and FOODS NOT to treat us like a ANIMALS. We would spent 1,000 dhs in just 1 coffee just to serves us a Good Service.

    We've been here in UAE in 7 years and we always dine-in in Restaurants from Cheap to CLass and WE NEVER NEVER NEVER EXPERIENCED like this. Thats the MOST important in terms of BUSINESS. I'm just wondering HOW MUCH you lose customers and income when she always doing that way.

    Let us say 3 Customers and they spent 150 dhs in one day = 450 dhs. In one Month you lose 30 Customers and 4,500 dhs for her. PLUS let us say WE will going to inform to our friends, colleagues, customers, clients and in their Friends NOT to go to this PLACE as they HAVE BAD BAD BAD BAD SERVICE. I will guarantee you that.

    TO THE MANAGEMENT of this Restaurant: you must take an Action. THIS IS NOT MY LOSS IS YOURS. Sincerely Yours, First and Last Customer.

    07/04/2010 - comment stream from old blog.

  2. Right.

    Sounds like a pretty rough time there James.

    'A' could have been having a bad day, not that is much of an excuse.

    Anyone from Idioms who wants to contact James to discuss the problem you can do through this site.

    In the mean time - James: You should probably formulate a letter of complaint and post it to Idioms.

    For the record - The Abudhabilist crew found the service to be okay at Idioms... we weren't there around soccer time though.



Andrew Webber is a writer, living in Abu Dhabi with his wife, two cats and two dogs.

His first book "Erasure" was published in June 2012 and was followed in 2013 by the Prequel to Erasure, "Broken".

In 2016 Erasure was a prize winner in the Montegrappa Writing Prize - part of the Emirates Airlines Festival of Literature.

For more information click the "Erasure" book cover on the left side of this site, or simply go to

Thanks for visiting.