The Farm: worth the drive?
We talk to the people behind new concept restaurant 3 Comments
- Picture 1 of 2
As more and more top-notch restaurants open in Dubai, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for one eatery to differentiate itself from another. However, open up an establishment outside of the city and immediately you’re offering guests something a little different. One advantage these out-of-town venues have over their inner-city counterparts is that the restaurant design can be tailored to the surroundings, rather than having the design dictated by whatever tower block or hotel they are based in. Restaurants at resorts such as Bab Al Shams and The Desert Palm have utilised innovative design features (think floor-to-ceiling windows and unique al-fresco terraces) to take advantage of the desolate beauty of Dubai’s surrounding desert.
The Farm, which opens in the 14.2-million-square-foot Al Barari Estate, has the added benefit of being surrounded by the lush greenery of the botanical gardens with lake views. The restaurant itself has been designed by Leslie Zaal, a member of the family that runs the estate, and features an al-fresco seating area on a deck suspended over a lake. In the hot summer months, the outdoor deck will be tented and temperature-controlled.
According to food and beverage manager, Maheesha Ratnayake, The Farm is more than just a restaurant – it’s a culinary, leisure and social hub.
‘The Farm intends to offer a number of activities for local residents and visitors to Al Barari, which will include activities for children as well as adults,’ explains Maheesha.
More interesting, however, is the attention that will be paid to the produce utilised by The Farm’s menu.
‘The Farm sources some of its fresh produce from local farms in the UAE, but only produce that is fresh, flavorsome and as pure as possible,’ says Maheesha.
While the word ‘some’ might raise a few sceptical eyebrows, Maheesha insists that: ‘The Farm serves the flavours of our planet the way nature intended. Ingredients are ethically sourced and prepared, with emphasis on fine produce and a taste for nothing but the purest combinations.’
It’s also reassuring to know that The Farm will feature its very own herb garden, and the restaurant will be working closely with Al Barari’s onsite plant nursery, Greenworks, which, according to Maheesha, will be seeding an array of fruits and vegetables in the next planting season with the ultimate goal of becoming self sufficient in the production of its fresh produce.
The menu itself has been crafted by Yves de Lafontaine, The Farm’s head chef, who has previously plied his trade in his native Seychelles, Australia and here in the UAE. In keeping with the restaurant’s leaning towards natural produce, Yves spent five years creating and cultivating a successful organic farm in the Seychelles. But will all this be enough to lure Dubaians up the Emirates Road and to Al Barari? Maheesha seems to think so, and points out that, other than food, The Farm intends to offer a number of activities for local residents and visitors to Al Barari in the near future, such as yoga, grape tastings and a not-so-healthy shisha lounge.
While Time Out intends to find out if the drive is worth the while by means of an anonymous review (keep an eye on future issues), it would seem that an increasing number of restaurants are setting themselves apart by, quite literally, standing out from the crowd. See our five picks on the next page.
The Farm is located 15 minutes from Downtown Dubai in the Al Barari Estate in the royal enclave of Nad Al Sheba, opposite The Villa development on Emirates Road (exit 44). Open daily 7.30am-11pm. (04 392 5660). (Opening date: April 27)
Time Out Dubai,
- Academic City(4)
- Al Quoz(26)
- Arabian Ranches(11)
- Bur Dubai(196)
- Business Bay(23)
- Discovery Gardens(16)
- Downtown Dubai(197)
- Dubai Internet City(13)
- Dubai Investments Park(5)
- Dubai Marina(274)
- Dubai Media City(52)
- Emirates Hills(25)
- Festival City(53)
- Green Community(13)
- International City(25)
- Jebel Ali(23)
- Jumeirah Lakes Towers(70)
- Knowledge Village(5)
- Motor City(10)
- Nad Al Sheba(9)
- Oud Metha(110)
- Palm Jumeirah(67)
- Sheikh Zayed Road(185)
- Silicon Oasis(8)
- The Gardens(35)
- Umm Suqeim(70)
- Afternoon tea(47)
- Alcohol available(600)
- All you can eat deal(91)
- Brunch served(75)
- Business lunch(75)
- Family friendly(310)
- Floating restaurant(10)
- Formal dress code(20)
- Great view(33)
- Live music(145)
- Outdoor seating(523)
- Pork served(91)
- Private dining area(69)
- Smoking permitted(335)
- Take away(359)
Most viewed articles
- Where to eat classic French food in Dubai
- Best Cafés for bookworms
- Dinner party disasters
- 30 meals deals in Dubai
- Dubai cafés with entertainment
Our favourite features
Dubai's best burgers From diner-style bites to gourmet towers of meat
Best karaoke bars in Dubai Don’t save your singing for the shower and hit these Dubai spots
17 new Friday brunches to try in Dubai We review the city’s newest Friday feasts
Best new clubs in Dubai 2014 New openings which have outlived the hype
Where to eat in Dubai Marina Try a new place to eat in Dubai's exclusive waterside neighbourhood
45 budget meals in Dubai Where to dine with a friend and still get change from a Dhs100 note
Best live music venues in Dubai Listen to all sorts of live music at these great Dubai venues
Must-see Dubai sights Nine iconic attractions no tourist or resident should miss
The SMALLEST things in Dubai In a city known for size, we look at the more miniscule things in life
The most stylish restaurants in Dubai Eight fashionable finds in the city
12 best steakhouses in Dubai A veritable carnivore's delight awaits
101 celebrities in the UAE The most famous faces spotted in the emirates throughout 2013
Best selling albums of 2013 The top 20 sellers in the UAE: Who comes out on top?
Around the world at Global Village Dubai Stop and shop across the globe at the UAE's cultural park
Iconic Dubai buildings explained We celebrate some of the city's less well-known architectural triumphs