Review: White and the Bear

The world’s first children’s restaurant in partnership with Annabel Karmel

Review: White and the Bear
Review: White and the Bear Image #2

She is the world-famous child nutritionist with 37 books focusing on how to cook for tiny tots to her name. Now Annabel Karmel has landed in Dubai, or rather her well thought out healthy recipes have – at White and the Bear to be precise.

With a ten-, six- and four-year-old who, given the choice would rather be tucking into anything unhealthy, we (parents) couldn’t wait to give UAE’s first child-focused restaurant a go.

First thoughts are it’s white. Very white! We assume everything is easy to clean as white is not usually a hue most parents steer towards. The space itself is also a lot smaller than we envisaged (we are told that there is an upstairs studio for events and workshops) and, while the tiny tables and chairs are cute, at six feet three inches Dad refuses to even attempt to sit at them.

Opting for one of the four adult-friendly tables alongside the children at their mini-sized version seems the best plan.

Menus are brought eventually – service seems a little off generally. The waiters are slow to take our order, and we are told it’s down to staffing issues when we query why the chef is out helping to deliver the dishes to hungry diners. The kids’ menus are cute – more like picture books than a list of meals.

The younger two go for the bunny scrambled eggs, which true to the description arrive as little rabbit faces complete with toast ears, black olive eyes, a cherry tomato nose and chive whiskers. Not just pretty it would seem, as the cute food art is demolished before we can say “what’s up doc?”.

The older one opts for the granola, which comes devoid of any animal influences, but does look appetising and is apparently “so tasty, I can’t actually believe it’s really good for me”.

Colouring books and pencils are provided and the kids get stuck into those, but not before begging to buy some of the child-enticing paraphernalia adorning the room at their eye level. Sigh.

When the coffees arrive they could be a little hotter, perhaps that’s down to the delay in getting the orders out from the kitchen.

The smashed avo and poached eggs is lovingly presented and the swirl of creamy beetroot labneh and feta cheese crumbles are a nice touch visually, but also enhance the flavour of the citrus-infused avocado.

The younger kids are already asking to go back before we’ve even paid the slightly-higher-than expected bill, but the ten-year-old is embarrassed his friends might spot him crammed into the diddy chair saying: “this place is a bit baby’ish for me.” Younger kids (under seven) will get the most out of the experience.
Open daily 8am-9pm. Unlicensed. Villa 11, Al Athar Street, Dubai (04 339 5911).

The world’s first children’s restaurant in partnership with Annabel Karmel

The adorable food art, cool mini tables and child-friendly vibe

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