We can’t decide if it’s more Byron Bay, Australia, or the depths of the Sri Lankan rainforest – but, either way, we definitely don’t feel like we’re in Dubai as we leave the roar of the E111 and find ourselves meandering through a dense, quiet, tropical landscape on a narrow single-lane road, heading to The Farm for dinner.
After a big build up of off-the-beaten-track excitement, we’re relieved to find the surprises don’t stop there, as we walk into the light-filled, stripped-wooden-floored-interior of a sprawling building nestled in the heart of this urban jungle. Stunning decks overlook beautifully serene ponds, complete with lily pads, butterflies and darting dragon flies. “Wow!” declares our eldest. And we have to agree – it’s impressive.
The scenery may be other-worldly, but this operation is ultra-modern, with a super-chic interior to match, so it only seems natural that the menu can be scrolled through on individual iPads. “Double wow!” yells the youngest. Of course. After the longest deliberation over a menu in history, one plumps for the turkey meatballs with tagliatelle, a generous portion just the right side of creamy, and the other chooses fish and chips, which she practically inhales – the fish is cooked in gorgeously tender goujons and served with a homemade tartare sauce. There’s now only room for a sorbet pudding, eaten in seconds, before a last dash off to the grassy lawn nearby for one more game of tag while we linger over our mains.
We’d heard this place does some of the best Thai food in town, and the Thai green curry and stir-fried chicken chilli cashew nut dishes come with a bit of a kick and so much flavour. The Thai-influenced crème brûlée with kaffir lime rounds off a very pleasant al fresco dinner among the trees.
Open daily 7.30am-11pm. Unlicensed. Al Barari, Nad Al Sheba, opposite Global Village (04 392 5660).
The Bill (for four)
1x kids' fish and chips Dhs38
1x kids' turkey meatballs Dhs36
1x stir-fried chicken cashew Dhs90
1x green chicken curry Dhs90
2x lemon mint sorbet Dhs90
1x kaffir lime creme brulee Dhs36
The bottom line
Lush on every level. Recommended.