Say hello to Abu Dhabi's version of healthy eating 5 Reviews
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On the surface, at least, Eat Smart holds true to the organic café template that’s exploded across Europe in the past 10 years. There’s an earthy-hued dining room, recycled paper napkins on the table and a constant background din of whizzing blenders. Ironically enough, though, the only thing that’s missing is a menu of fresh, healthy, veggie-orientated food.
In fact, the only things on offer at Eat Smart that’ll vaguely fit into your six-week beach body plan are the smoothies, which come with creative names such as ‘love tonic’ and ‘dreamy detox’, and are really rather excellent. The soups are also fairly restrained, although the two more interesting options – a thyme-scented mushroom broth and Thai tom yam goong – were sadly unavailable when we visited. Still, both the tomato and lentil varieties that we tried were very good, and, factoring in the warm bread rolls they arrive with, could easily serve as lunch.
By the time you reach the sandwiches, however, things start to get really naughty. The roasted beef offering wouldn’t look out of place in a New York deli, packing in inch-thick slabs of roasted meat, fresh salad and gooey melted cheese. It’s utterly delicious from start to finish, but overwhelmingly colossal in size (we had half packaged up and brought it back for the boss) and about as calorific as a deep-fried Big Mac.
The dessert selection, meanwhile, not only abandons the pretence of healthy living but also takes the opportunity to laugh loudly in its bony face. Where you might expect to find bran muffins and miniature carrot cakes instead sits a list of ice cream-topped crêpes, on top of which you’re welcome to drizzle all sorts of sticky, sugary treats. We’re sorry, but just as Robert Mugabe has no right to call himself a humanitarian, nowhere with a Nutella pancake on the menu has the right to call itself an organic café.
So, while Eat Smart makes an excellent (if pricey) lunchtime pit-stop, be warned that Abu Dhabi’s idea of healthy eating could see you heading back to the office with a slight waddle in your step.
The bill (for two)
Love tonic smoothie Dhs25
Heavenly beauty smoothie Dhs29
Red lentil soup (small) Dhs25
Tomato soup (small) Dhs25
Original beef sandwich Dhs48
Tuna sandwich Dhs45
Total (excluding service) Dhs197
Time Out Abu Dhabi,
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