H.E.A.T. Cafe & Grill

New Jumeirah café promises healthy eating meals
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Time Out Says

Heat Café & Grill (short for Healthy Eats And Treats) recently opened on Jumeirah Beach Road promising the sort of healthy American diner menu, commonly seen in California. Rightly or wrongly, it’s not what you’d expect, given the description.

I found a small café, with a handfull of chairs outside, and inside what most certainly felt like a fast-food, greasy spoon-style venue, with little adornment. The interior was basic, and it seemed little energy had been wasted on it. Aside from the nut brown walls, exposed vents, ducts and pipes running along the ceiling, there were a few flashes of red here and there. The central focus was a large counter, where guests could sit to eat, and a small open kitchen, where everything looked like it was being prepared on a grill plate.

It was lunchtime, and the venue was reasonably busy. Aside from myself, and two girls at a table, the café was populated entirely by stocky, gym-gear clad men. One group chatted about their gym targets and challenges, while a lone diner sitting at the bar, towered over his (comparatively) tiny looking bowl.

The menu itself was a fast food-style, wipe-clean two-page list that looked fairly uninspiring. There was a selection of breakfast items, such as eggs and pancakes, a list of appetisers that apparently doubled up as a children’s menu and included a PBJ sandwich. The main courses included Asian-style stir fries and rice bowls, wraps and chicken skewers. Side dishes were listed under descriptions for the type of carb content – slow release and so on. The recipes seemed fairly protein and carb-focussed and for a healthy eating concept, I wondered about the omission of freshly made fruit juices (as opposed to protein shakes) and salads on the menu. And why was everything made on a grill plate? How about steaming or baking vegetables?

I ordered the plain quesadillas (without chicken) from the appetiser menu, followed by the burger as a main course, with a lean beef patty. It came with a choice of sides (no fries, clearly), so I instead opted for the buttersquash. I could see everyone’s food being prepared swiftly and à la minute on the grill in front.

My starter arrived without much of a wait, but unfortunately the main course arrived fairly soon afterwards too, and so the waitress just left it on the table for me. The quesadillas were okay, but stuffed only with melted cheese. How about a little bell pepper, or onion? All the condiments used, the menu explained, were healthy alternatives. Even so, the quesadillas were teamed with a tomato salsa that did taste healthy and clean.

Onto the burger. This was not a bad bet, considering that each dish at Heat is apparently no more than 400 calories. It was uncomplicated and felt much like a home-made option. The patty did indeed taste lean, meaty rather than juicy, but was a little burnt on the surface.

Finally, I tried the only ‘dessert’ on offer, in the form of a gluten-free Skinny Genie miniature muffin.

As I ate the tiny apple, cinnamon and chia seed dessert, I found myself thinking that this was the sort of healthy yet still really delicious menu I had expected to find at Heat. But then, I certainly do not make up the demographic for this venue. The concept at Heat is far more niche than simply being healthy; these are post-gym meals, food for people who want protein without compromising their workout regime with calories.

The bill (for one)

1x quesadillas Dhs25
1x burger Dhs30
1x small water Dhs5
1x coffee Dhs13
1x muffin Dhs12
Total (excluding service) Dhs85

By Penelope Walsh  | 05 Nov 2013

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Payment OptionsCash, Credit Card
Show number +971 4 338 8831
Dubai, Umm Suqeim, Emarat Petrol Station, Jumeirah Beach Road

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