Amna Al Hashemi, director and founder of Mitts & Trays reveals how she evolved her home-based baking business into an elegant and homely restaurant on Dubai’s City Walk 2.
Please describe the concept of Mitts & Trays?
Mitts & Trays is an elegant café and restaurant with a menu based on gourmet quality fresh and natural dishes with a homely approach, blending traditional and modern styles. Guests can enjoy our classic main courses along with our selection of delicious signature cakes and patisserie. The ambience at Mitts & Trays feels like an extension of one’s living room, with a contemporary design featuring comfy armchairs, communal tables and a view of the kitchen that allows customers to catch a glimpse of the baking and cooking.
Please explain the menu?
The menu features fresh, wholesome dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We offer classic main courses, like braised short rib, but with a new twist. Guests can expect creative starters, like sizzling Wagyu beef lollipops, or our own version of southern style chicken sliders. We also offer a wide selection of wholesome salads, soups and sandwiches. Regarding the desserts, our menu features Mitts & Trays signature cakes, pastries, cookies and a range of classics like tiramisu and tres leches cake.
What has been your best-seller so far?
For our main courses, the paella de Valencia is our best-seller. With regards to the starters, we received amazing reviews of our stuffed portobello mushroom, while for the desserts, the baked yogurt and saffron cheesecake is our customers’ favourite. Our signature cakes are also very popular.
What challenges have you faced in opening and operating this venue?
We are still in the learning process as we just launched in September. It has been an interesting journey so far going from finding the right staff to fine-tuning the menu and finalising the interior design. We have also been working with F&B management consultants from Restaurant Secrets Inc.
How does Mitts & Trays fit into the Dubai restaurant scene?
We are bringing a unique concept to the market, which was born from a desire to create a comfortable and homely yet elegant place for guests to enjoy wholesome meals from fresh, quality ingredients. I started the business from home, as a bakery, so my aim is to make the venue feel like a second home to the customers.
Do you plan to expand Mitts & Trays to other locations?
At the moment, we have no plans for expansion but we are keen to explore this option in the future.
Can you reveal a surprising fact about Mitts & Trays?
For two years, when M&T was a home business, I was the only employee. I would prep, bake, wash, handle social media, take orders, and sometimes even deliver.
And one fun fact about yourself?
I am obsessed with wearing high heels, I wear them everywhere, even during kitchen duty hours!