Feel like trying something new this weekend? There’s a juicy new cafe on the Palm to check out, as well as a protein-packed restaurant in JLT…
Is there more to this cafe than its range of healthy juices?
The latest addition to the Palm’s social scene is casual cafe @Blend. Located in Shoreline Building 10 (just next to gourmet grocers Milk & Honey), it’s a sunny, faux-surf spot with fake palm trees, sky blue walls and lifeboat rings saying “Welcome Aboard” for décor.
The name reflects the extensive range of smoothies and juices on offer (18 at last count) and while just about every health food café can churn you up a green juice these days, @Blend whips up a smoothie selection that a gym buff would be proud of.
There are protein-powered smoothies for a fast post-workout fix; the aptly-named Guiltfree (Dhs29) was sweet and creamy with a blend of fruit and healthy fats that include mango, avocado and coconut butter. You can also ask the juicers to throw in supplements such as vegan proteins or probiotics for Dhs4 to Dhs8 per add-on.
Food options range from healthy breakfasts to nutritional wraps, but the star of the show is the Make Your Own Salad option, where you choose your base, dressing, proteins and toppings. There are plenty of meat-free options, too, including hard-boiled eggs and halloumi.
The menu has nutritional information for each dish in the form of protein measurements and calorie count. Along with the usual bottled water, you can order a Camelbak bottle (Dhs86) filled with H20 that you then get to keep. Camelbaks are the gold standard of bottles because they’re spill-free, last a lifetime and don’t leech harmful plastic chemicals into your water. We’ll raise a green juice to that.
Shoreline Apartments Building 10, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, daily 11am to 10pm. Tel: (04) 5148966. Taxi: Palm Jumeirah, Shoreline Building 10 (next to Milk & Honey). atblend.com
The Fit Food Kitchen
Is this hole in the wall in Jumeirah Lakes Towers as good as the personal trainers say?
The Fit Food Kitchen is the quiet achiever of the health food scene. They don’t say much, but they’ve got a healthy fan base — pardon the pun — that does the talking for them. Ask any personal trainer in town and they will have heard of this little diner hiding beneath The Bonnington Hotel in JLT.
You can go down the superfood salad path here with an organic quinoa salad (Dhs34), where you can add extra dressings (if your MyFitness Pal app allows it) as well as extra seeds and nuts for a couple more dirhams.
If you like your food cooked you can go for the lean chicken burger (Dhs30) with a serving of baked sweet potato fries(an additional Dhs5) . The chicken breast is grilled and seasoned to perfection, and it’s served with a healthy dollop of zesty homemade guacamole, and a spoonful of mustard, wedged in between a whole-wheat bun. It satiates that burger craving without resorting to a lunchtime Big Mac and it’s mighty tasty, too. The handful of baked fries hit the spot, each with a fluffy centre and mildly crunchy coating.
Finish with a juice or a fit food shake for the perfect takeaway treat. We highly recommend the chocolate and banana protein shake (Dhs22)
While the clientele look like they could sprint 100m in ten seconds, don’t expect the food to be served anywhere near as fast. The sheer volume of delivery orders makes the in-house service slow. All that’s about to change though – word on the fitness foodie scene is that this little kitchen is expanding and a little more manpower should help speed things up.
Shop 22 to 23, Cluster J, J2 Building, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Dubai, daily 10am to 10.30pm. Tel: (04) 5531031. Taxi: The Bonnington Hotel. thefitfoodkitchen.co