Hello guys, I’m back with another exciting review of a cafe that took Abuja by storm: Mar’s Cafe.
Mar’s Cafe has become one of the hottest breakfast spots in Abuja for many reasons, and at the top of that list is the aesthetically pleasing ambience. Let’s get into the review.
Mars Cafe’s ambiance was undeniably charming. Minimalist yet chic, the clean lines, soft lighting, and a touch of Scandinavian simplicity set the stage for a relaxed and stylish dining experience. We loved the colour palette and the sleek mix of marble and wool textures throughout the cafe. The ambiance is light, airy, and inviting. One notable feature is the large glass walls and windows, which lets in natural light and creates a sense of freshness and a tranquil atmosphere.
The vibe here is intimate because the cafe is not very spacious, so it can only host small amounts of people at a time, not large groups. It’s spacious enough for conversation, but it’s possible to feel crowded here, depending on how much personal space you like. Also, the mood can shift easily depending on how full the cafe is; it can get quite noisy when the space is full. Nonetheless, it’s a great space with a great atmosphere.
The food at Mar’s cafe
English Breakfast – N11,500
I love how pretty and vibrant this dish was; it was so on theme with the atmosphere. However, the dish was quite underwhelming. The hash, while boasting a delightful texture, sadly lacked in the flavour department. It needed a burst of seasoning to truly sing. The sausage, though decent, was rather dry, and the mushrooms also echoed the blandness of the hash. Thankfully, the fluffy eggs and flavorful bread offered some redemption, but overall, the dish felt like a missed opportunity.
Vanilla Coffee Crumble Cake – N 4,000
This cake had such a lovely coffee aroma, so I was excited to try it out. Sadly, the texture fell short of expectations. Not quite dense, but lacking some much-needed fluffiness (in my opinion). While the flavours themselves were pleasant, with the nutty-bitter crumble harmonizing well with the cake and coffee icing, I’ve encountered fluffier renditions that stole my heart. That being said, I feel like this cake would have paired really well with some vanilla ice cream.
It’s important to note that Mar’s Cafe rotates its dessert options. So you might not get this cake when you visit.
Rigatoni Pasta and grilled chicken – (Pasta – 9s,000; chicken – 2,000)
The sauce, oh the sauce! A symphony of sweet and spicy goodness! This had me wanting to scrape the plate. The grilled chicken, perfectly enhanced by the char, played its part beautifully, and the well-done pasta provided a satisfying base. This was the best dish we tasted during our visit, and once again, I was pleased with the vibrant plating. However, the portion size felt stingy for the price, leaving me slightly disappointed. Also, I didn’t like that we had to pay separately for the chicken. Why not make it a package deal of 11k and call it a day? The fact that they are priced separately makes the dish seem overpriced. Just saying.
Beef Shawarma Hash – N 11,000
The crispy potatoes were a textural delight, and the sauce sang with its unique character. However, the beef, while well-seasoned, erred on the salty side. The pickled onions, the heroes of the dish, brought much-needed acidity, but ultimately, the hefty price tag left me questioning its value. But overall it was a decent dish.
The Drinks at Mar’s cafe
Strawberry Iced Tea – N4,000
A refreshing sip in the sun! The sweet and tart notes danced in perfect harmony, with a moderate strawberry flavour that tickled the taste buds without going overboard.
Peach Iced Tea – N 4000
This one stole the show! Bursting with juicy peach goodness, the subtle herbal accents added a delightful complexity. It’s a true standout for the Naija weather.
The menu at Mar’s Cafe
Mars Cafe’s menu impressed me with its clarity and breadth. The menu offers diverse options without being overwhelming, with concise descriptions that make choosing a little easier. While I appreciated the inclusivity, I couldn’t help but notice a few price points that seemed a tad bit excessive. Beyond the sleek aesthetics, the price points and menu selection at Mars Cafe suggest an inclination towards a high-end market (those with adventurous palates and wallets to match).
ALL PRICES ON THE MENU ARE EXCLUSIVE OF VAT AND SERVICE CHARGE (that will be added in the bill separately)
The service was also a mixed bag for me because my food took over an hour. Some of the dishes came out before the others, and I was already done with my drink before the food got to me. The wait time was too long, though they apologized and said they had some operational issues in the kitchen, but first impressions last. The staff were dressed to compliment the ambiance and they were polite and eager to assist.
Overall, Mars Cafe is a mixed bag. While the ambiance and some dishes shine, others disappoint. With a bit more attention to seasoning and portion sizes, it has the potential to be a true culinary gem. Would I visit again? Yes.