Fed-up of going to the same vegan spots? Unsure where to go for delicious plant-based goodness? Here are 10 very tasty recommendations across Dubai, from the chefs who painstakingly crafted them.
Power Food Acai, DRIFT Beach Club
Chef Sylvian Noel: “The Power Food Acai is our delicious, homemade acai puree dish, complimented with almond milk and banana, served with blueberries, granola, and chia pudding. It is also considered a superfood as it boasts an amazing combination of healthy ingredients that offer a series of health benefits.It doesn’t just taste delicious, it has many antioxidants and supports digestive health, improves metabolism rates, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. In addition, the ingredients in the dish support in lowering the risk of heart disease, promote healthy skin and eyesight, and improve anxiety, depression, and sleep.”
Tres Leches, TABU
Chef Roberto Segura: “During lock-down whilst the restaurant was closed, I spent a lot of in my kitchen experimenting with vegan dishes; I actually went plant-based for one month. I perfected a few and felt that we needed to have these on the menu. To answer your question, Tres leches is one of our most popular vegan dishes. It’s a dessert, and honestly the guests — vegan or not — they can’t get enough of it. It’s a mix of plant-based milk and rose petals.”
Vegan Scallops, Atelier M
Chef Naima Issac: “The thinking behind it was to come up with something exciting for the rising vegan trend, while giving it an identity of real scallop (ours is made with king oyster mushroom); the accompanied puree combines sweet and tangy flavors — sweet potato, tahini and green pea puree — to really bring the dish to life. The scallops are the best and most popular dish on our vegan menu and we have people coming back for this dish time and time again.
The demand for clean, plant-based dishes has seen an increase over recent years. We have more customers coming to Atelier M asking for vegan dishes. At first we thought it was a trend, but it’s definitely here to stay, so we knew we had to expand the options to accommodate the demands of the customers. The expectations have also increased massively. Guests are expecting more flavors and textures, so it’s important our menu reflects that.”
• Atelier M, Pier 7 Dubai Marina
The ‘Room, Jones’s the Grocer
Chef Thierry Gallas: “It’s simple but delicious ingredients. Multigrain bread spread with cannellini hummus, topped with Portobello and oyster mushrooms,drizzled with basil pesto and thinly sliced parsley – honestly, what’s not to love? Basil pesto made from basil leaves, pine nuts, garlic lemon juice and olive oil for a side dressing.
Gochujang Cauliflower Popcorn, Aura Skypool Lounge
Chef Craig Best: “When creating a dish with sustainably sourced ingredients, I believe simplicity and fun are the most important factors. Our Gochujang Cauliflower Popcorn represents this ethos with its locally grown cauliflower, in a light tempura batter then rolled in a homemade sweet Gochujang chili glaze.”
Potato and Shimeji Mushroom, Bar Du Port
Chef Hadi Saroufim: “The Potato and Shimeji Mushroom is always a winner, and enjoyed by so many. The potato is enhanced by ingredients that are rich in taste and that showcase both Mediterranean and Asian flavours. Although it sounds like a simple dish, it’s complex in flavor. Baked potatoes are typically viewed as sides, but with this recipe, the potato has been elevated to main dish status. I’ve enhanced it by creating a baked Hasselback potato, which is a baked potato cut into very thin slices almost down to the bottom — concertina-like. As the potato bakes, the slices fan out which creates an impressive presentation. I love using shimeji mushrooms; when cooked they have a wonderfully crunchy texture and a buttery nutty taste which complements the texture of the potato. The shimeji mushrooms and sauce is generously poured onto the baked potato. The beauty of a Hasselback potato is that the flavouful sauce gets into every bite. It really is an all-around great dish — tasty, high in protein, dietary fiber, potassium, and it’s aesthetically pleasing.”
• Bar Du Port is at Dubai Harbour Pier Club Dubai Marina
Falafel on Toast, YAVA
Chef Olcay Hansi: “Basil Yassin, the owner, has Meditteranean and Palestinian roots and together we tried to incorporate dishes that cater to all types of diets that stay true to the tradition. This popular breakfast and lunch option contains hand-picked chickpeas, a row of juicy falafels doused in olive oil straight from Palestine, and a generous drizzle of tahini and homemade hummus. The marriage of flavours and textures in this offering is a great one that can only be accomplished by using quality ingredients.
Insalata di Finocchi Freschi, Venus Ristorante
Chef Fabio Tramontano: “It is popular because it is very refreshing and has a wonderful taste with a combination of fennel four ways. This gives the dish an amazing texture with fresh, confit, pickle and pureed fennel, it’s not the usual boring salad. What else, it’s a very pretty dish! We started to have many regular vegan guests, and we want to make sure they have enough choices each time they come. This fennel salad is certainly the favorite and not only for our vegan guests.”
Arroz con Vegetal, Hotel Cartegena
Chef Juan Pablo Rey Nores: “Arroz con vegetables is one of my favorite dishes because it is a full expression of fresh natural ingredients prepared with high-quality products. High-quality Spanish arborio rice, broccolini, rainbow baby carrots, cauliflower, Peruvian aji amarillo paste, pak choi, toasted chulpi corn , coriander and organic cherry tomatoes. My mother is a natural vegan and I grew up with amazing vegan combinations in my weekly diet, every time I curate a menu the vegan factor is very important for me to ensure all customers’ dietary requirements are catered for and the dish is specialized.”
Vegan Burger, Miss Lily’s
Chef Richie Richard: “All ingredients are made in-house, even the buns. It’s an insane plant-based burger; it’s moist and held together through its plant-based produce like pumpkin, chickpeas etc. I grew up in Jamaica, where I was surrounded by incredible fresh ingredients and plant-based dishes, so cooking vegan dishes is not a challenge for me — in fact I find it exciting. There’s so many ways to experiment with vegan foods if you have the right ingredients.”
Hayley Alexander is a freelance writer based in Dubai who is passionate about reporting on all things arts & culture, wellness and travel across the wonderful emirates.