Happy New Year you lovely lot!! I hope that everyone had a great Christmas (if you celebrate) and that you are already enjoying your 2018.
Firstly I must apologise for my hiatus. The last couple of months have been beyond crazy, with multiple visitors, a trip to Thailand and then a hectic couple of weeks back in the UK doing our usual whistle-stop tour for Christmas. But the good news is that I’m back in Dubai and ready to get stuck into some new exciting blogs and reviews.
Like many of you I’m sure, I’ve started the New Year with a bit of a health kick. After 2 months of “YOLO” I’ve shockingly come back to Dubai to discover most of my clothes are more than just a little snug. So I’ve been trying to keep my weeknights clean and healthy with lots of home cooking and then planning some “moderately” healthy reviews to look forward to on the weekends.
I decided to start the year with a lovely Friday lunch at one of my fave winter venues in Dubai, The Farm. Nestled about 30 minutes outside the centre of the city in the luscious green Al Barari, The Farm feels just like a tropical oasis. I’ve visited it a couple of times previously but this was my husband’s first time so I was super excited. Upon arrival, he couldn’t believe we were still in Dubai and was massively impressed by the huge surrounding trees, flowers and stunning lake.
As we entered the restaurant we were greeted by the friendly staff and shown to a table right on the water. The restaurant was packed already so I was really glad I’d made a reservation. The Farm interestingly offers 3 different menus, Pizza, Continental Gourmet and Thai. You may think that this means they are offering too many dishes and therefore fail to execute them all properly but I’ve never found this to be an issue. My only complaint is that it takes me too long to decide what to order as it all sounds and looks so good.
Given the post-holiday bulge I quickly disregarded the pizza menu and focussed on the other two. To start I opted for the Tuna Tartare (48 AED) while my husband chose the Chicken Tandoori Tikka Kebab (38 AED). The tuna came out well portioned and beautifully presented. Served with an avocado salsa, citrus saffron mayonnaise and crispy ciabatta toast it was packed full of lovely fresh flavours. The chicken tikka similarly was really well cooked and flavoured and accompanied perfectly by the mint chutney.
For main course, I went for the Sour Mango Salad with Grilled Prawns (55 AED) and was left extremely happy. The prawns were huge, clearly very fresh and well cooked. It was subtly dressed and had a lovely kick to it. Just how I like my Thai salads. The husband decided to abandon all New Years diet resolutions as soon as he saw the Thai menu and chose the Beef Panang Curry for mains (110 AED). When the waiter asked how spicy he would like it, he bravely said “very spicy”. This was a fatal error because what we didn’t realise was that the chef was actually Thai and took his spice levels very seriously. The curry was absolutely divine, with high quality beef, but holy macaroni was it hot. So hot the husband had to make several trips to the bathroom to blow his nose in between mouthfuls. Note to self: do not EVER ask for this curry extra spicy. It was a majorly rookie mistake but a highly amusing one for me.
We finished our fantastic, leisurely lunch with a nice coffee while we relaxed and soaked up the atmosphere. For me the venue and food were totally spot on. I think the menu is pretty well priced as you really feel like you are paying for fresh, good quality ingredients. The only thing that needed some improvement was the service. While the staff were very helpful and friendly, there simply didn’t seem to be enough of them to keep up with the number of covers which meant service was a little on the slow side. Luckily we were there to relax so we weren’t too bothered but if you were in a rush you may find this a little frustrating.
The final word: definitely one to check out for a chilled weekend lunch (note it isn’t licensed) but please be sure to book. I’d also highly recommend going in a good outfit too as the place is seriously ‘grammable.