A pretty little restaurant with DIFC quality…

Terra is one of those restaurants that makes you sigh with delight as you walk in. Its earthy hand-finished clay walls, reclaimed wood, linen fabrics and lush green foliage potted in enormous Majorelle blue vessels recreate a glorious southern European courtyard. Stroll through the five-metre-high pivoting glass doors and you’ll completely forget that you’re only a few steps away from the fruit and veg aisle at Waitrose.

There’s an acoustic soundtrack, waiters are nattily linen-clad, while a minimalist smoked metal bar offers diners Nightjar coffee on tap. The garden outside is pretty, but get a table inside – it’s the most gorgeous bistro we’ve seen in Dubai for a long time.   

The food is light and simple Mediterranean in a good way. The menu is intentionally small so that the team can focus on seasonality and there are no gimmicks here. A watermelon salad with heirloom tomatoes and feta (Dhs75) worked beautifully, with hunks of sweet melon, thick slices of locally-sourced tomatoes, made nicely tart to the crumbling feta.

The aubergine croquettes (Dhs42) were a fantastic surprise: four lightly-fried balls nestling under a sprinkle of cheese and served with homemade tomato relish.

Even the French bean salad (Dhs52) let its three ingredients do the talking – complimented with just artichokes and petal tomatoes. We rounded off our ‘light’ lunch with a side of Terra fries (Dhs25), which reminded us of those crispy hand-cut homemade chips that you’d get in a Greacen seaside restaurant.

Impressed by lunch, we’re planning our dinner visit next week to get a taste of the already-popular short ribs barley risotto (Dhs175). And perhaps the rib eye with marrow jus and caramelised onion (Dhs245). Top dining by way of Al Thanya Street. DIFC better watch out.

Next to Waitrose, Al Thanya Street, Jumeirah, Umm Al Sheif, daily 11am to 11pm. Tel:(0)4 3888582. @terra.eatery