A homegrown brand that’s more healthy than it sounds…

The first thing you need to know about Tub of Butter is that the name is a bit of misleading. It conjures up images of greasy, calorific dishes, when actually this casual restaurant in Al Manara makes a great pit stop for a healthy lunch.

Located next to the Metropolitan Hotel just off Sheikh Zayed Road, it’s a surprisingly big space. As well as the restaurant, there’s a shopping section for picking up the fancier sort of groceries (think luxury cookies and imported pastas and sauces) and there’s even a cute children’s play area fully stocked with toys, games and a chalkboard.

If you’re dining solo, there are plenty of books and magazines to keep you entertained. It’s on the same road as Lime Tree Cafe, and has a similarly relaxed, family-friendly vibe.

Tub of Butter

Food-wise, the menu is Mediterranean-influenced, with plenty of pizzas, pastas and risottos, as well as salads and tartines. Well, ‘salads’ is a bit of a misnomer: they’re more like main dishes.

We recommend the lemon-grilled salmon (Dhs68) with pickled shallots, green beans, sesame seeds and feta. The fish was well cooked, the beans added a nice bit of crunch and the creaminess of the feta sets off the citrus of the lemon.

Another winner was the chargrilled Angus sirloin (Dhs76), served with roasted portobello mushrooms, grated parmesan, baby spinach and a balsamic reduction. Err on the side of caution when choosing how to have your steak, as they seem to cook it slightly pinker than requested.

One area where Tub of Butter really seems to live up to its name is the desserts selection. Along with a tempting menu that includes a chocolate parfait and a saffron panacotta (both Dhs42), there’s also a separate bakery with plenty of drool-worthy treats on display. Our advice? We loved the Valrhona chocolate fondant for two (Dhs64), which is the perfect combo of rich, gooey sauce and fudgy goodness. In our opinion, it could just as easily be a fondant for one.

Al Manara neighbourhood, Sheikh Zayed Road, just off Al Thanya Street, Dubai, daily 7am to 11pm (not during Ramadan). Tel: (04) 3438884. Metro: First Gulf Bank. tubofbutter.com

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