Your guide to the organic, eco-friendly eateries popping up all over the UAE, this issue, we go vegetarian to answer this Facebook page message…
“Help! My sister is coming to visit – she’s a strict vegetarian – where should I take her to eat?” Donna, Meadows 2
If there’s one thing the UAE, particularly Dubai, is not short of, it’s places to eat out. For vegetarians,
the options are huge but of course there’s more to great vegetarian cuisine than just taking out the meat.
Innovative recipes and the freshest, quality ingredients – local organic
where possible – cooked to perfection is what you’re after. Here are some of our favourites that cover these bases as well as cater for both veggies and carnivores.
BAKER & SPICE
The food here never fails to impress me; super tasty salads, handmade wild bread, cakes, great breakfasts and mains, all made from locally sourced ingredients where possible. Two locations at Downtown, our favourite being Souk Al Bahar for the views of the fountains and the Burj Khalifa, plus their newest addition on the Marina, opposite the Yacht Club.
Menu example: Out of the oven Focaccia Bianca with warm oven roasted tomatoes and k
alamata olives in thyme and olive oil, AED 48 Location: Souk al Bahar and Dukkan
al Manzil, Downtown Dubai. Marina Promenade. Maps on website.
Tel: 04 425 2240, 04 427 9856 and 04 362 4686 www.bakerandspiceme.com
Healthy menu inspired by Ayurvedic traditions, don’t be put off by its uninspiring location in the top of the Oasis Centre, the food is wonderful. Offering vegan and vegetarian dishes as well as non-vege, the cuisine blends Ayurvedic and Greek concepts, Yogic Art and macrobiotic foods together with nutritional values – the menu shows the calories, fat, carb, fibre, cholesterol and sodium content of each dish! Balance Café is connected to the Balance 360 Spa offering great value yoga and spa therapies set in a beautiful wellness centre. Cooking classes also on offer, plus take-away. Menu example: Asparagus risotto with truffle oil, gluten-free (313 cals), AED 26 Location: Third floor of the Oasis Centre on Sheikh Zayed Rd
Tel: 04 384 7010 www.balance-wellness-centre.com
Located out on Emirates Road, this newbie to the Dubai food scene promises local and organic ingredients, where possible. Food to suit vegetarian and carnivores alike. Set in a beautiful green landscape, well worth a visit just to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
Menu example: Quinoa & Camarouge Red Rice salad, AED 35
Location: Al Barari, off Emirates Road – driving directions on website
Tel: 04 392 5660 www.thefarmdubai.com
The motto is Eat well. Live well. Be well. Sophie’s ‘gastro-café’ offers homemade healthy food, with plenty of vegetarian options. They serve RAW coffee – 100 per cent organic and roasted in Dubai. Located in the bottom of the Shoreline Apartments on the Palm, with no natural light unfortunately.
Menu example: Tofu scramble with toasted sunflower bread, AED 35
Location: Lower Ground Floor, Building 8, The Shoreline, Palm Jumeirah
Tel: 04 451 5982 www.sophiesme.com
A great little chain with a restaurant in Jumeirah and deli-cum-café at the top end of the Walk, JBR. Plenty of options for your vegetarian guest with a home-cooked feel to the main menu and more salads than you can shake a stick at! Service in the past has left a little to be desired, but still definitely worth a visit. They deliver as well.
Menu example: Pumpkin Ravioli of homemade pasta stuffed with brie cheese,
caramelized walnuts and pine seeds in a creamy pumpkin sauce with fresh basil, AED 50 Location: On Jumeirah Beach Road going towards Jumeirah Mosque, take a right turn at The One. There’s also a deli on JBR Walk. Tel: Jumeirah 04 345 5822 or
JBR Walk 04 423 0855
Karama’s very popular Jainist vegetarian Indian. You’ll probably have to wait for a table but it’ll be worth it; they have a completely vegetarian menu and are committed to innovative vegetarian cuisine. Make sure you leave room for dessert, as the 100 per cent natural ice cream is divine and it’s the only brand made here in the UAE, flavours include fig, lychee mango custard apple, rose water as well as the choco chip favourite.
Menu example: Paneer Tikka Masala, AED 30 Location: Bur Dubai, behind Regent Palace Hotel next to Khalid bin Waleed metro. Tel. 04 396 0088 www.govindasdubai.com
Zest is a healthy food concept serving natural, fresh, nutritious and delicious food and drinks. They offer a menu with healthy options for breakfast, lunch, dinner and any snacks in between.
The products are freshly made in-house daily and they pride themselves on using only the highest quality ingredients. Whenever possible, they use organic produce. Zest’s commitment to all things natural means they don’t mess around with mother nature so they don’t use sugar, additives, preservatives or colourings.
Menu example: Goat’s cheese and pumpkin salad, large, AED 44
Location: Zest Restaurant, Tunisia Food Court, Ibn Battuta Mall.
Call 800 ZEST (800 9378) to place your order for delivery.
HELEN HORNE writes Dubai restaurant blog, Honestly Foodie. Her mission? To eat her way through Dubai and give an honest, frank account of the whole experience from food to service to price. Check it out at www.honestlyfoodie.com