When Deliveroo got in touch asking us to find a range of healthy meals for 2020, we rose to the challenge. And while there were a few meals we’d never recommend, you’ll find seven places in Dubai and Abu Dhabi where our livehealthy.ae tasters found that, on the whole, you really can order decent, healthy food from an app in 2020. All you have to do is look for it.
Here are our recommendations:
Deliveroo in Abu Dhabi
Leen’s Casual to Gourmet: The former Surf Cafe in World Trade Center is a great place to find really good veggie and vegan options. We went for the soba noodles and tofu salad (Dh54), and loved the mix of baked tofu, soft noodles, edamame and cucumber. We finished off with the dark, creamy goodness of the vegan avocado chocolate mousse, topped with mint and strawberries (Dh37).
Nectar: As a change one day, we ordered breakfast from our favorite healthy eatery in the city, Nectar, the juice bar at Bodytree Studios. The warm apple oatmeal breakfast pot (Dh24) was everything we needed on a chilly morning: a generous portion of baked apple, organic oats cooked in cashew milk, a hint of sweet from maple syrup topped with a dash of cinnamon. And a drink start the day with: veggie-filled Heart Beet juice (Dh32; beet, apple, carrot, ginger and celery).
SushiArt: The name makes it easy to default to sushi here, but SushiArt has some great poke bowl options and offer quinoa as a base. (They are also the only outlet we could find on Abu Dhabi Deliveroo that offers poke bowls during our experiment). Our Salmon Aburi Poke Bowl (Dhs69) was very filling (we didn’t make it all the way through the base) and offered lots of veggie-crunch, with edamame, cabbage, pickled ginger, radish, rocket and sesame. The slightly seared salmon and avocado added a creamy touch.
The Good Bowl: Not surprisingly there are a lot of takeaways battling for best of the bowl these days on Deliveroo, but we put our money on The Good Bowl. And although you can’t go wrong with any of their bowls, we ordered the cauliflower rice and tofu (Dh39) version, which is filled with lots of good veggies and has a tasty, lemony dressing.
Zerofat: There is a lot to love about Zerofat, including their new ready-to-grill boxes. All the calories, trans and healthy fats, protein and carbs are displayed right beside whatever you are ordering, and they have a variety of options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And while there are a number of attractive vegan options – hello vegan noodles with homemade veggie oyster sauce – when we went for a traditional main of herbal crispy salmon (Dh79), we were not disappointed. They also have a series of zero sugar desserts we are looking forward to trying, including a healthy kunafa (Dh41).
Hanoi: This Vietnamese restaurant has been a solid choice for years in Abu Dhabi. Our Bun Bo with sauteed beef slice (Dh36) was light, crunchy, zesty and filled with crunchy carrots and cucumber. Tempting as they are, resist adding the spring rolls. Instead go for fresh summer rolls (Dh21) for a fresh and filling meal.
Mosaic: This wonderful little restaurant has blessed us with baked kibbeh (Dh25), allowing us to satisfy our cravings with no guilt. Add in their fresh-as-can-be fattoush salad (Dh27; skipping the fried bread) and a side of pickles (Dh15) and you have a very satisfying meal.
Deliveroo in Dubai
Salad Station: True to its name, Salad Station serves up a range of salads with large portion sizes, plenty of optional toppings and a range of bases. We went with the build-your-own salad for Dh52, with kale and spinach, buffalo chicken, roasted vegetables and artichoke hearts. The resulting massive bowl took a good 20 minutes to eat. Other options include healthy wraps and pre-made salads.
Pinza: With not just one, not just two, but a whopping five different vegan pizzas, Pinza knows how to do healthy. The truffled vegan Pinza (with mushrooms, caramelized onions and lashings of truffle sauce) is a delight, while the faux meat lover Pinza will impress even pepperoni-loving fans. Prices are around Dh40 a pie.
Dietgest: Meals from different restaurants are available under themes like keto, vegan, balanced, low carb and low fat, all in an attempt to cater to various healthy diets. We went with a classic lentil soup that was full of hearty flavor (Dh17), roasted sweet potatoes seasoned with garlic (Dhs15), and a cold press vegetable juice from Organic Press (Dh46).
Freshii: Forget ‘build your own salads’ — this Dubai venue lets you build your own soups. Bases include lemongrass, chicken and vegetable with a selection of vegetables and proteins to add on. We tried a chicken soup to snag all the benefits of bone broth and the result did not disappoint (Dh49). There are burrito and breakfast options as well.
Pascal Tepper: This French bakery has one of our favorite healthy breakfast packages. For under Dh90, the Energie Combo gives you an egg-white omelette, a hot drink, juice and granola with yogurt, all in a hefty portion size. The omelette is fluffy and everything always arrives hot. The rather more indulgent croissants are also pretty incredible.
Little Earth by Nabz&G: An intimate, charming cafe in JLT, this vegan-friendly venue serves up raw burger sliders (made from walnuts and flax seed) beside quinoa date salad bowls. Try the lentil soup with zaatar crunchy bread for wholesome lunch goodness (Dh27), plus add in a side order of vegan spring rolls for lick-the-spoon-clean peanut sauce (Dh30).
Richy’s – Signature Salads, Bowls and Wraps: At just Dh52, Richy’s salad and soup combo serves up a tempting duo with an affordable price. Try the Cajun Tycoon for spicy shrimp on a bed of sweet corn and romaine lettuce, or the Mighty Wasabi for noodles with wasabi peas. The lentil soup is incredible, while the bagel offerings (peanut butter and jelly, avo mozzarella) suit heartier lunch appetites.
*Deliveroo offered credits so livehealthy.ae could try 20 meals for the purposes of this review