Healthy eating in Dubai - best dishes

Time Out Dubai knows all about healthy eating in Dubai. Here we profile some of the best dishes at Dubai's best restaurants for healthy food

Do you know what fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols are? No? Don't worry, neither do we, but the Fodmap, as it might be better known to you, is tipped to be one of the diet trends of 2016.

The Fodmap diet basically suggests that certain sugar types may not be well digestible by all stomachs and there could be many people with an intolerance to specific sugars. Reducing the intake of them could make you healthier and be part of an effective weight-loss regime.

These are claims we’ve heard before. Gluten-free, paleo, vegan, no carbs, no sugar, no fat, probiotic. Whatever the name and no matter the suitability for each individual, there has been much, seemingly contradictory, reporting of what is considered healthy in recent years.

The problem for health-conscious diners can be knowing what to eat. Butter, for so long a condemned dairy product, we are now informed by scientists, is okay. Carbohydrates, on the other hand, should be pushed away like gone-off meat at a barbecue. Unless you have a nutritionist friend to take around with you and advise you on what to order, it can be tough to choose without going crackers.

04 346 6292 Umm Suqeim

First things first, you don’t need to actually be a surfer to visit this ca-fé, which is fortunate, as otherwise you’d be massively missing out. The Surf Café is a chilled-out haven near the beach that’s worthy of a weekend visit. Floors and walls are covered in a washed, smooth concrete, and to one side of the dining room, there’s a little bar counter where juices and coffees are made.

As well as the top breakfasts – we’ve waxed lyrical about the avocado toast many a time – the lunches and dinners are also great, with seafood, perfectly cooked grills and a huge choice of fresh, colourful salads, all perfect for a casual family meal.

There’s also a large selection of dim sum, and the very on-trend poke bowls ranging from salmon to crab or tuna. Bento boxes, grills and a massive selection of sushi – you’ll pretty much find everything you could hope for here.

While a little pricey for the average café experience, The Surf Café is pleasant enough to justify the extra dirhams.

The bottom line:
Excellent for breakfast, but a great choice all day.

+971 56 474 6812 Al Quoz

A noisy, happy and casual café, Tom& Serg hasn’t seen any drop off in popularity over the past few years.

Founded by Tom Arnel, a chef and foodie from Melbourne, and Sergio Lopez, a savvy F&B operations director from Madrid, the café – a former Time Out Dubai Best Café winner – prides itself on nutritious, gourmet food and laid-back vibes to go with it.

Upon walking in, the place is heaving, with the crowd laughing and chatting easily. We make our way upstairs, to a table overlooking a bustling ground floor with seating adjacent to the kitchen and bakery.

Tom & Serg is known for its love for avocado, so we can’t miss the marinated green tomato avo on toast – and wait for a good dose of the fatty, single-seeded berry. We’re not disappointed. The tangy green tomatoes are the perfect match for the creamy avocado, with a red dukka and parsley salsa giv-ing it a bitter, satisfying twist.

After the zesty boost, we need something neutral, and so opt for the Caesar baguette – the famous salad in sandwich form – with juicy roasted chicken, crispy veal bacon and leaves. It’s tasty and a hit.

We round it off with a generous serving of salted caramel French toast, complemented with fresh macerated rhubarbs and glazed black cherries. It’s the perfect sweet treat.

Perfect for families, the café has just launched a new kids’ menu, too, showing its dedication to good nutrition for all ages, with dishes including Egg Soldiers (Dhs32), apple pancakes (Dhs30) and chicken quesadillas (Dhs36) among others.

Overall Tom&Serg feels like home, but with food that we’d be too lazy to make.

The bottom line
Cosy venue that pays attention to detail

+971 4 439 0505 DIFC

Perennially popular and consistently good, you can’t go wrong with a table booking at La Petite Maison. Whether you want to impress a business client, visiting family or a loved one, it will come up trumps.

As our current Best French restaurant, LPM wows every time. Inside, the décor is understated, all neutral shades of creams, whites and beiges. But the fine-dining white tablecloths and flecks of gold give it an elegance and class that shines through.

We visit on a weeknight, and it is, as expected, packed. The chatter rings out giving a buzzy, friendly atmosphere.

The food is simply outstanding. From the sweet, caramelised onions atop a wonderfully crisp pastry that forms the delightful pissaladière (onion tart), to exquisite lamb cutlets, perfectly pink inside their expertly charred exteriors, everything here will blow you away. Order a side of the intensely rich and creamy Dauphinoise potatoes and it will enhance your meal ten-fold.

For veg-lovers a pumpkin risotto is packed full of flavour, while our starter of crab and lobster salad is fresh and zesty with an ample helping of the meaty crustacean.

We love LPM, and if you’ve been, you’ll know exactly why. If you haven’t, what are you waiting for?

The bottom line
A multiple award-winner for a reason.

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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