Coffee fans are celebrating the official opening of a new spacious outlet of one of the most popular café operations in the kingdom.
Crust & Crema’s stylish Seef outlet was unveiled with much fanfare on Saturday evening with VIP guests, including Hyunmo Koo, the ambassador of the Republic of Korea, who helped perform the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
He was welcomed by owner Jongtae Woo, a qualified coffee roaster, as well as CEO / managing director of Woo Business Consultants, and his son, Chorok Cyrus Woo, director of Crust & Crema Roaster, Café and Bakery.
Chorok, who is also a member of the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) and an authorised barista trainer, said: “This is a new place, with a completely fresh design and we have, hopefully, improved all aspects of the coffee-drinking and social dining experience.”
This tasty addition gives a twist to the ‘crust’ element of the Crust & Crema name as a new Neapolitan oven has been installed to bake a range of light, yeast-free pizzas.
All the Italian-style favourites, such as Margarita and Pepperoni are included in the choices, but the talking point has been the creation of two toppings only available at this venue.
The Kimchi features a spicy homemade sauce, fresh mozzarella and Kimchi, a staple in Korean cuisine made from salted and fermented vegetables, most commonly napa cabbage and Korean radishes. And, the Crust & Crema Special, served either spicy or non-spicy, includes marinated beef.
Confident Chorok said: “This will refine our name, the crust used to be solely relate to the popular bakery products but now the prime crust is the pizza, a couple of special pizzas that nobody-else has. We’re a pizza haven alongside a special place for specialty coffee!”
Famed for its in-house roasted coffee, breakfasts, cakes and gourmet desserts, Crust and Crema became a welcome addition to the culinary scene at Galleria Mall in Zinj in 2016.
Its original outlet in Saar closed as a result of parking, maintenance and operational issues and the fact that it was surrounded by shisha cafés.
The Woos went in search of new premises and were delighted to find the answer to the dreams at the recently-built Sanyan Residence in Seef. “The opportunity came and we have found it such a wonderful location.
“It’s so spacious, more than 350sqm, and we’ve added a mezzanine floor. It’s minimalistic in design but still homely and comfortable. That’s a hard combination to get right but the feedback we have already received has been so positive.
“Customers have been sharing pictures on social media and commenting ‘this is really different, this is really cool’. The response couldn’t have been better since the soft opening.
“We’ve tried to come up with a more upscale, classier vibe than other establishments but still inviting, so people can come here and relax. This was the idea.
“Our original concept was to concentrate on speciality coffee, that’s how we started out – you had other café restaurants focussed mostly on the food and the coffee appeared to be just a secondary thing. We wanted to treat both with dedication and ensure the taste of coffee would always bring people back for more.”
Another unique offering are bowls of Acai, a Brazilian super-food. Grown wild on the banks of the Amazon in abundance, farmers now sustainably harvest and sell it Fairtrade with no negative impacts on the environment.
Sold as a sorbet, it’s bursting with antioxidants, and is also blended with fruit if preferred. One tropical bowl even comes with peanut butter, fruit and a hint of chocolate.
The Seef café has been welcomed by the many bank and telecom office workers in the area who drop by each morning for their coffee fix. “It’s very easy to get to, this was the sort of thing we looked at before relocating. Instead of turning right into the extremely busy mall turning, you swing left and we’re straight ahead, with ample outside parking,” explained Chorok. “We looked at the area and as it’s not as crowded here, movement is so easy.”
Inside there’s a coffee lab where coffee is roasted each day – lessons are planned for wannabe baristas – and outside pavement seating offers an al fresco experience during milder weather spells.
Enjoy a free medium coffee from the Espresso or Brew Bar range today from 2pm until midnight at the new Seef branch (T&Cs: Frappes, Special Beans, and other beverages not included).
Stanley Louis Szecowka
Editor/Journalist & Blogger, Restaurant & Motors Reviewer, FinTech Writer, Manager, Trainer.
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