Nolu's Cafe

Brain food with transformative power at Al Bandar in Abu Dhabi Reviews

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It’s early doors this weekend, but we’re up and hungry, looking for breakfast. We make the trip to Al Bandar, and take a quick stroll to soak up some early morning sunshine before diving into Nolu’s for breakfast.

We kick things off with a wheatgrass shot, a thimble of nutrient-rich vivid green grass that’s not just for goats, and it works its energising magic immediately. You might have to pinch your nose though.

Every pore of the menu buzzes with life-boosting goodness. We move on to the Smoothie Alchemist section of the menu where it’s possible to pick and mix favoured ingredients.

Build your Dhs26 smoothie with a choice of four fruits and vegetables, such as spinach, kale, parsley and carrot, add coconut water or almond milk and an additional power boost for a mere Dhs5, such as acai or maca powder, quinoa, protein powder, flax or chia seeds.

The smoothie list is extensive and it’s hard to choose from. We recommend the simple energy boost of celery, parsley, green apples and beetroot, but the super food smoothies are just as scrumptious. We opt for the Dhs26 Amazonian hero of acai berries, bananas, almond milk, blueberries, pineapple, chia seeds and vanilla.

If you don’t know what the ingredients mean, there is a helpful snippet with the health benefits underneath each item.

The lists of three-egg ‘organic scrambles’ and poached eggs are out of this world when it comes to taste and the unique recipes. Although all are served with roasted potatoes or fruit salad and a choice of wheat, white or rye toast, we would like to see gluten-free bread options on the modernising menu too. You can also substitute the dishes with egg whites for Dhs10.

We home in on the egg specialities and opt for the Spanish eggs which are served with diced potatoes, sautéed onions and cilantro. The phrase ‘sunny-side up’ was made for this offering.

The neat round of bright yellow omelette is light, fluffy and flavoursome, and scattered with green herb confetti. The presentation is stylish and includes a small bowl of cubed melon, strawberry and kiwi.

The North Beach, two organic eggs with Portobello mushroom, roasted bell pepper, basil and sundried tomato chutney is a work of art.

In the ‘Healthy Somethings’ section, we devour Nolu’s housemade granola, a shining mound of brown rice, flax seeds, dried coconut and almonds with a decorative blackberry and raspberry perched on top.

Granola is tough to get right because it burns easily and the honey lacquer can be overdone, but this golden crunch is nothing short of a taste sensation.

We are impressed by the size and weight of the bowl for Dhs50, but we feel a little peeved that we are charged an extra Dhs7 for requesting almond milk, which arrives in a miniature jug and is not enough to cover one sixth of the granola.

Nolu’s is ideal for the health conscious among us, but it also has lots of options for the sweet-toothed visitor. We earmark the buttermilk pancakes with Canadian maple syrup and blueberries, pure chocolate chips or toffee dates for our next visit. The caramelised banana French toast catches our greedy eye too.

We could go on and on about Nolu’s but that would delay you further from visiting Al Bandar immediately. Leaping out of Nolu’s with new found vitality, we decide this packed Al Bandar café is the UAE’s reset button.

The bill (for two):
North Beach Dhs70
Spanish eggs Dhs62
Granola Dhs50
Oatmeal Dhs27
Wheatgrass shot Dhs10
Amazonian hero smoothie Dhs26
Total (excl. service) Dhs245

By Time Out Abu Dhabi staff
Time Out Abu Dhabi,

Time Out reviews restaurants anonymously and pays for meals. Of course, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or independence of user reviews.

Details

  • Location: Al Raha Beach, Abu Dhabi
  • Tel: 02 557 9500
  • Travel: Al Bandar
  • Website | Send mail

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User reviews

ValueAmbienceService
DecorFoodOverall
  • Users voted this restaurant most suitable for: Family friendly

User reviews:

Posted by: Khulood on 17 Mar ' 13 at 20:56
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Edited by TimeOutAbuDhabi.com

In this restaurant I had to taste the BEST kebab ever! which's Afghani kebab served with rice. The rice's taste was decent, but I recommend everyone to taste it. I also tried the "pink" sauce pennie pasta and it was really delicious! my friend ordered a beef burger and said it was also tasty. The atmosphere at the day time is really relaxing and comfortable, but really crowded at night. One of my favorite restaurants so far.

Posted by: Sara Kazim on 05 Dec ' 12 at 17:04
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

The atmosphere is very laid-back and relaxed which is nice, suitable for lunch or a casual dinner.

My favorite items on the menu were the dumplings, both the vegetarian and meat. We ordered seconds.

I had high expectations about the kebabs and they arrived very late and cold so I was very letdown. The salads weren't special either - the dressings can be more interesting.

The main waitress serving our table was pleasant but overall the food took way too long to arrive at our table which was frustrating.

The desserts are quite good too - the sticky toffee cake was a good choice for comfort food.

Posted by: Shamma on 15 Jul ' 12 at 07:18
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

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