Healthy Dishes under 500 calories in Dubai

Detoxing in the New Year? Who isn’t? Shitika Anand finds 29 tasty restaurant dishes that promise to satisfy your cravings without derailing your diet

04 336 4444 Sheikh Zayed Road

This swanky Asian, set high on the 36th floor of The H Dubai, is the ideal place for a fun, swish night out. As soon as you enter you’ll be wowed by the sparkling vistas out from the floor-to-ceiling windows and the classy, low-key vibe.

The signature dishes here should not be missed. The cuisine is “Mediterrasian”, a blend of light, fresh Mediterranean flavours with the bold, powerful tastes of Asia, and the kitchen does this tremendously.

PLAY’s Pita Surprise – baked crispy pita bread filled with wagyu beef and truffle paste, a Time Out Dubai favourite – is a simply stunning dish. Unique, fun and wonderfully indulgent, the crisp crunch of the casing houses a marvellously creamy, smooth filling. The sushi and sashimi are also delightful, fresh and tasty, too.

Main dishes range from entrecôte with café de PLAY butter – a tender cut of meat enhanced by that unique, tasty spread – grilled sea bass and black cod to oven-baked marinated saffron chicken. However, the spaghetti carbonara with veal pancetta made tableside in a giant Parmesan wheel is a showstopper. Not strictly Asian, it’s a dish served with flair and fun, and encapsulates what’s PLAY is all about.

Sit back and take in the ambiance, and don’t arrive too early – this place ramps up later in the evening. Book later to enjoy the top atmosphere alongside those views and that food.

The bottom line:
Creative dishes and striking views

DIFC

This design-conscious café-shop-intellectual space from Lexus is one of the coolest conceptual spots in Dubai.

Designed by interior designer Masamichi Katayama, the man behind the Tokyo outpost, there are clear Japanese elements in this project – just visit the toilets for the most obvious. But these are blended with features that characterise the UAE perfectly – the ceiling reflect the country’s ubiquitous sand dunes. There are also artistic, futuristic, automotive elements in the design, to remind you that you’re in a creative space delivered by a luxury car brand, after all. It’s a truly unique spot in Dubai.

Intersect is the kind of place you’d come to for a light bite to eat over a bit of creative confab at breakfast or lunch, and this, the café does well. With the Intersect eggs Benedict, you get one with salmon and one with smoked brisket, meaning you don’t have to choose. And it’s a true reward – eggs perfectly runny, brisket tender and smoky.

The business lunch offers great value, too, at Dhs98 for two courses and Dhs110 for three. The steak sandwhich is decent, though it won’t blow your mind, but the Chilean sea bass is a standout, with it’s zesty, yuzu-dressed turnips and smoked onion purée.
For something a bit different, this is one for the must list.

The bottom line
Creative, inventive café serving good grub.

04 448 1001 Dubai Land

Being so close to a FitRepublik gym, the international cricket stadium and football and rugby pitches, Kickers is usually filled with sporty types debriefing after a game over a few drinks or refuelling on the pub’s rather decent grub.

It’s also the main go-to for residents who live in the area, and so its three distinct spaces – inside the main bar, the huge seating area just outside the bar and the smaller terrace overlooking the pitches tend to be packed most nights.

Sports fans are catered for first and foremost here. Those who haven’t been playing a game are often here to watch one on the many big screens dotted about the space.

Local residents also come to take advantage of the good happy hour deal that offers a 33 percent discount on selected food and beverages.

And the grub is pretty good, too. With everything from spring rolls, prawn tempura, buffalo wings and sweet potato fries to a decent selection of sandwiches, burgers and wraps, plus larger plates such as massaman curry, shepherd’s pie and fish and chips, there’s bound to be something that takes your fancy.

It’s well worth a visit, we’d say.

The bottom line
Worth checking out, sports fan or not.

050 345 6067 Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR)

The name comes from the New York district, and the final product delivers on that promise. Service is as slick as it comes and the whole place has an industrial vibe to the structure and plenty of cool art to give it some real personality. This is hip but not hipster, which is a fine combination in our book. And the level of detail in the décor continues to the food. Case in point – the edamame flavoured with pink Himalayan salt. In fact, there is a big emphasis on healthy here, with organic ingredients popping up everywhere on a menu that does something genuinely different from its peers. At Tr!beca it’s organic salmon, baked organic greek feta with honey, zucchini noodles, organic ravioli stuffed with beetroot and mascarpone and more. There are burgers too, if that’s your thing. But go leftfield and you’ll be rewarded.

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