In a neighbourhood that boasts no shortage of fast food joints and pizzerias, a new café by healthy meal delivery service Right Bite tends to the needs of JLT’s calorie counters.
Each of the dishes on the lengthy menu lists the number of calories, plus fat, protein and carbohydrate content in grams, allowing diners to make a nutritonally informed decision. And in keeping with the casual dining theme that sprawls across the community, orders are placed at the counter, and then (depending, it seems, on the whim of the staff) are either collected from the serving hatch or ferried to your table.
Earnestly launching itself onto the interior decor bandwagon du jour, the venue is sparse and uncomfortable. After a lengthy wait for food, spent languishing on a posterior-punishing bench, when the first part of our meal finally arrived we were almost tempted to repurpose the burger bun as a cushion. As the meal drew on, it became clear that Right Bite Now is more in the business of takeaways and deliveries than dine-in, and while we were the only customers to brave the café’s inhospitable seating, the phone rang off the hook the entire time we were there.
Returning to the food, when our lunch finally put in an appearance, it did so back-to-front. First came the Mexican beef burger, foil-wrapped and presented in a plastic takeaway box (farewell, O-zone layer!) alongside a scattering of homemade, baked tortilla chips. Though a little squished, freshly cooked heat radiated through the soft wholewheat bun, within which the low-fat patty had the texture and scandalously underseasoned flavour of being homemade (there’s a compliment in there somewhere). Fortunately, an anarchic mush of melted low-fat cheese, avocado, lettuce, tomato and jalapeños provided a lively riot of flavour, and the day – and sandwich – was saved.
Our quinoa tabbouleh starter, second to arrive, took us on another roller coaster of culinary highs and lows. While the extra chicken topping we’d ordered was well seasoned, impressively moist and deeply moreish, the fridge-cold tabbouleh itself tasted of little other than the overwhelming harvest’s-worth of onion within – thick, chunky, raw and utterly inescapable, having not been given a chance to marinade in the lemon dressing served separately (though on tasting said dressing, this may not have been such a bad thing).
Having been around delivering low-calorie cuisine in Dubai for ten years, Right Bite must be doing something right. Unfortunately, that something doesn’t seem to be running cafés. All hope is not lost, though. The food is okay, but the experience needs to be worked on if it’s going to keep up with its more calorific neighbours.
The bill (for one) 1x quinoa tabbouleh Dhs32 1x extra grilled chicken Dhs8 1x Mexican beef burger Dhs30 1x small water Dhs5 Total (excluding service) Dhs75
Right Bite Now