As the UAE government encourages people to stay home and self-isolate, restaurants have had to get creative. The result? A whole load of health-focused boxes and menu options. Some arrive already assembled, while others require a bit of good old fashioned home cooking.
Cafe Isan’s cook-at-home kit
Thai food is served with a side of interactive, at-home cooking fun, thanks to this JLT venue. The box is packed with any combination of spring rolls, papaya salads, dim sum, grilled satays or soups. Each item is priced between Dh28 to 30 and recipe instructions are backed up by an in-house chef’s YouTube videos. Order direct.
Myocum Dubai Anti-Inflammation box
This cheerful Aussie restaurant has whipped together an anti-inflammation box just full of all the good healthy delivery items you need. Expect foods rich in antioxidants, like a kale salad, pumpkin and lemongrass soup, garlic rye bread, protein bar bites, a dark chocolate nut snack, lemon and turmeric energy balls, marmalade, dehydrated fruits and mixed berries. There’s even hand sanitizer, too. Dh130. Order direct.
Ultra Brasserie lunch
With some of the most affordable and colorful salads around, Ultra Brasserie is a great spot to get in that daily dose of vitamin green. Try the orange chicken salad for grilled chicken breast served with soba noodles and sesame seeds, or check out the Buddha Bowl to enjoy crumbled halloumi, honey roasted pumpkin and blanched kale. Items cost about Dh40. Order direct, delivery and pick-up.
A cheeky menu packed full of healthy delivery options makes Bystro’s “home cooked meals for home-bound people” a fast favorite. Orders come mostly done with the finishing touches added by you. Try the Steak Taco Pack for cooked steak that you layer at home with smashed avo and chipotle mayo and then wrap in heated tortillas (Dh35); or Shakshouka for an Arabic blend of tomatoes and spices that just requires you to crack a few eggs on top (Dh25). There’s even a build-your-own acai bowl (Dh30). Recipe cards are provided. Order direct.
Cafe Odeon box
Available as three separate, three-day boxes, this charming offer means you’ll get plenty of healthy, cosy French food. Box one includes tabbouleh, chicken Caesar salad, fruit and a baguette. Box two has lentil soup, quiche and a baguette. Box three includes beetroot salad, minestrone soup, omelette and, yet again, a baguette. What’s not to love? Dh225. Order direct.
Reform Social and Grill Reform to Your Door
For anyone craving the comforting tastes of England without the faff of actually cooking, Reform has you sorted. This popular English pub is serving food via delivery and drive through. Dishes range from a fish finger butty through to pie and chips but for a healthier option, check out the grilled salmon or the Shropshire Blue and Caramelized Walnuts salad. There’s also a chicken for four for just Dh130. Order direct, delivery and pick-up.
1762’s Live Well smoothies
Brand new and focused on health, these organic juices and smoothies are divided into three groups with different themes. Try the ‘Live Well Protein Punch’ pack for bevvies such as Choc ’n Nut, Berry Blast and Zesty Vera. Everything comes in biodegradable, eco-friendly packaging. Order direct.
99 Sushi Bar and Restaurant pickup and home delivery
If you’re feeling like a splurge (or you just don’t trust supermarket sushi), check out this fancy Abu Dhabi venue’s new delivery service. Edamame (around Dh30) will get you off to a healthy start, while the sea salads and tartars pack plenty of fatty fish oils. As for the sashimi, it’s excellent, but with a price tag to match: Dh180 for 12 cuts. It’s worth it, though: insiders know this is the best sushi restaurant in the city. Order direct, pickup and delivery.
Soulfull pickup and delivery
Uncomplicated, nutritious food is what Soulfull is known for and now this Abu Dhabi branch is currently offering free delivery. Menu items come with calorie counts for those tracking macros. Try the acai buckwheat granola bowl for acai topped with coconut and fresh fruit (Dh45), or the grilled veg and halloumi salad with zucchini, pears, walnuts and more (Dh36). Order direct or via chatfood.
Dubai and Abu Dhabi
Kibson’s Anti-Inflammation juice boxes
This homegrown online grocery store has been incredibly busy lately – just check out their extended delivery times. And now they’ve got four more reasons why we’ll be coming back: their brand new anti-inflammation juice boxes. Ingredients are delivered to your home, where you’ll blend or juice them all together. Try the impeccable berries for a light combo of watermelon and strawberries, or go for the mighty green to drink down kale, ginger, kiwis, apples and spinach (all around Dh50). Order direct.
Hello Chef delivery
These guys have been at the ‘we deliver you cook’ game for a while now, meaning they know what they’re doing and how to do it right. Order a classic to receive four recipes, each serving two to four people (between Dh348 to Dh495). Dishes range from halloumi over slow roasted tomatoes with buckwheat and pesto to light Indian chicken pasanda with cauliflower rice. All the ingredients arrive at your door and then you whip it all together. Meat is grass-fed and antiobiotic-free and the focus is on local produce. Order direct.
No.Fifty Seven Boutique Cafe Children’s lunch box
Let your children make the rainbow with this box, which contains all the ingredients to make a simple, three course meal – all under parental supervision, of course. The box contains guac and chips, the makings of Chicken Milanese with roasted potatoes and carrots and a baby Banoffee pie for dessert. They also have a salad box and a French Toast Box. Dh100
COYA 2 U
Fancy Peruvian food comes straight to your door with COYA’s new delivery menu. Plates of Arroz (a chicken rice dish) and sushi rolls arrive in biodegradable, recyclable boxes. All meals are served up beside a complimentary Peruvian vitamin booster made from purple corn, ginger and spices. There’s also guacamole and chips for a treat. Prices vary per item. Order direct.
Danae Mercer is a freelance health and travel journalist. In addition to working as editor-in-chief of Women's Health Middle East and Men's Health Middle East, Danae has written for The Sunday Times, CNN Travel, Dubai Tourism, The Guardian, Afar, Bloomberg and many more. She's based in Dubai and is a trainer at Crank. instagram.com/danaemercer