Stumbling across hidden cafes and restaurant gems in Dubai is always a pleasure and treasure to find. However, ones that keep a consistent, strong reputation when it comes to food quality, innovation, service and healthy based dishes, is a BIG plus. Berts Cafe in The Greens is one of them. This cosy contemporary French “neighbourhood” cafe is a favorite spot of mine where I regularly break-fast over perfectly poached eggs benedict or fluffy scrambled egg whites with vegetables – without the unnecessary added oil or butter. Today, I booked myself for a me-time-out dinner to try out their brand new healthy ‘evening’ menu with a side dish of crispy decadence, and I’m excited to share with you my culinary ‘healthy’ adventure!
Thankfully I was craving seafood. After spotting the new and deliciously sounding Grilled Tuna Steak with Beetroot, Wasabi and Chives Sauce, served with a side of Green Mixed Salad, I was sold. And after a long run, I decided to go a bit – ehm – wild and order a side dish of their new Sweet Potato Fries with Honey Mustard dip.
Beautifully presented in 20 minutes with a GENEROUS side of mixed salad, I had to pause and soak in the visually stunning Grilled Tuna Steak with Beetroot, Wasabi and Chives Sauce along with surprise additions on the plate like crunchy asparagus spear heads and bean sprouts. One thing I’ve noticed in most cafes and restaurants is that they tend to use a lot of oil or butter to “enrich” the dish. Bert’s took it a whole new level with less grease, if not, barely any added oil. The play with flavors from the vegetables and drizzled sauce made for an excellent contrast with meaty tuna texture.
The tuna was grilled to perfection [comes out seared, but I asked for well-done]. It tasted fresh and not fishy – no pun intended. I would have loved more of a wasabi punch in the chive sauce but then again, that’s just my heightened tastebuds talking.
The sweet potato fries smelt absolutely heavenly and I couldn’t resist diving straight into them while they were still warm. The texture is perfectly balanced being chewy in the center and crispy, crunchy at the ends. And no, it did NOT drip in oil. Rather, they felt more oven baked than fried. The sweet and tangy honey mustard sauce was an excellent complement to the fries.
Now I have to admit that the side of mixed green salad leaves took me by surprise the most. The portion was generous enough to have been a main meal on its own and I enjoyed the different types of salad “leaves” in there with cherry tomatoes, radishes and cucumbers. This wasn’t your typical sad iceberg lettuce “side salad” on a small plate with one cherry tomato nestled on top, drowned in oil as you see in several cafes and restaurants. Bert’s have certainly set the bar up high and it complemented the main dish perfectly with a dash of balsamic vinegar, which I have personally added. Love how simple it is to feel full by eating light, clean and more in volume without the unnecessary heavy calories. A generous portion of crisp salad is a great example.
Despite the generous portions, all the dishes were extremely light. Hence, I didn’t feel weighed down by hidden surprises like extra sodium and oil. Bert’s Cafe is an all over winner from Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner. They’ve nailed it as an excellent cosy dining eatery when you’re starving, looking for innovative salads that go beyond iceberg lettuce, healthy warm main meals that are carefully labeled with allergy / intolerance / low calorie signs and when you simply want to fuel up without that dreaded coma induced effect. The secret is officially out. Bert’s is a GEM in Dubai.
Check out their limited time offer on their evening menu [buy one get one free] by joining Bert’s Cafe facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/berts.dubai/
Noura El-Imam of Yogalates Bliss in Dubai