Menagerie Dubai: A wholesome plant-based eatery tucked away inside Mirdif 35

This Emirati-owned, homegrown eatery specialises in organic, nutritious food and plant-based eats. Tucked away inside the super cool Mirdif 35 community mall, Menagerie offers a much-needed addition to the UAE healthy food restaurant scene – adventurous vegan dishes like the plant-based kunafa and dosa, alongside classic favourites like wholesome salads, wraps and breakfast options including buckwheat pancakes, cashew yoghurt and various ‘on toast’ dishes.

Non-vegans will also be pleased to hear that there are delicious egg concoctions for breakfast, alongside other occasional fish, meat and poultry dishes.

The speciality coffee is superb and the interiors are incredibly chic. Think glossy green tiles, a lovely open kitchen and bar area, tempting vegan and healthy desserts and bakes on display and friendly service. What’s not to love?

On one visit we ordered the Portobello Toast (54AED) – a delicious combination of cucumber hummus, smashed peas, vegan feta cheese, zucchini and lime with an optional addition of two poached eggs. The Acai Bowl (45AED), which comes topped with the juiciest, tastiest selection of fruits and a sprinkle of bee pollen. Divine. And the Matcha and Vanilla Pancakes (54AED), which have just the right amount of sweetness. Of course, breakfast isn’t complete with a cracking cup of coffee and we can confirm that Menagerie’s is up there with the best on offer in Dubai. There are also a selection of cold-pressed juices to choose from, plus an apothecary shot bar (vitamin-packed juice shots), organic teas and Dolomia waters.

On another visit, The Huntr swung by to check out Menagerie’s new dishes for 2020, which have been specially crafted with the expertise and talent of an Ayurvedic health coach and vegan chef. We started our nourishing breakfast with the Rainbow Chia Parfait (42AED) – pretty-as-picture and just as delicious, featuring layers of beet-infused homemade almond milk chia pudding, spirulina-infused probiotic-rich homemade cashew yoghurt, tahini mango turmeric custard, seasonal berry mousse and topped with gluten and sugar-free gingerbread granola. Next, two delightful porridges from the ‘Warm Bowls’ section of the new menu – our favourite, the Ojas Golden Moon Mylk Quinoa Porridge (45.15AED) a gently simmered quinoa and chia mix in a base of saffron-infused homemade almond milk with cardamom and ashwaganda topped with tahini drizzle, pure maple, sukkary dates and activated almond slivers. Plus the slightly savoury Golden Ayurvedic Mung Bean Daal Porridge (38AED), which is comprised of gently simmered mung beans, dosha spices, fresh ginger roots and homemade coconut cream and topped with toasted cashews and puffed sultanas. The Plant-Powered Mexican Scramble (38AED) blew us away with its delicious flavour and shocking similarities to scrambled eggs – it’s made with an organic, non-GMO tofu scramble, bell peppers, thinly-sliced tomatoes and spices and served with a side of cashew sour cream, guacamole and warm sourdough. Divine. Plus, our favourite dish of the experience – the Zucchini Lemon Mung Bean Socca (45.15AED), which is beautifully-present and features socca (savoury pancakes made out of protein-rich, cholesterol-free mung beans) slathered in herbed, lemony avocado puree and layered with a second crispy socca, sweet chilli chutney, cashew sour cream and topped with seasonal delicate greens. We washed this down with Flat Whites and the soothing Golden Chai (25AED), a surprisingly tasty concoction, which reduces inflammation and provides a boost of antioxidants thanks to its ground turmeric, black pepper, ground cinnamon, ground cardamom, maple and house-made sprouted almond milk.

Insider tips: Menagerie is open daily from 8am until 11pm. Breakfast is served all day. Lunch/dinner (including the salad bar and hot plate menu) is available from 12noon and the last order on weekdays and weekends is 10pm. Ask for the Menagerie loyalty cards for coffee and juices to collect stamps and avail complimentary beverages* (*terms and conditions apply).

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