Salads and more at Brisk UAE.

View my food journey on Zomato!

Those of you who have been following this blog for a while will know that I talk about fashion models quite a bit. No, I am not obsessed with them, not in the way you would think I am. I don’t want to be a model, I think that ship sailed a long time ago. I don’t want to be with a model either, as I am very happy being a husband and a father. I am just fascinated by how they are able to maintain such amazing bodies. Some of them may have great metabolisms. Some may be eating the right foods. Some of them may follow a strict workout regime but all of them, are super fit.

About 7 years ago, I was pretty fit myself and then it all just wen t downhill from there. I stopped going to the gym. I stopped following the strict diet that I had managed to stick to for a couple of years. I’m not sure what came first but once I was in my comfort zone, it all just seemed to have happened. I found myself in a downward spiral. I tried going to the gym but my diet was so bad that I just got demotivated after a while.

The problem with healthy eating is that it is just not fun… or it was not, up till now. It used to mean that I could not go out to meet my friends. I could no longer have a social circle. When you are younger, you go out and party but when you are 39, a party means food. This is what we older people do. This is how we have fun. Minus the food and our lives would be miserable. So I couldn’t be super fit without working out. There was no point in working out without eating healthy. There was no eating healthy if I was to be a social person. This my friends was the conundrum I was in.

Thankfully though, things are going to be a little different now. That is because I have discovered a gem right in the heart of Dubai Media City. Ladies and gentlemen, say hello to Brisk UAE. This is a new age healthy food concept where not only can you build your own salads but get loads of healthy eating options like granola bowls, avocado pasta and grilled fish. I am finally going to be able to eat healthy and meet my friends at the same time. Sacrificing my social life will no longer be a consequence of eating the right foods. Salads will no longer have to be boring and socializing over food will not lead to an unhealthy lifestyle.

If you are too lazy to build your own salad just choose one from any of the seven Brisk Salads. Two salads which caught my eye were the Bombay coronation salad and the quinoa tabouleh. I decided to make my own anyway because of all the awesome ingredients that were calling out my name. I had a base of rocket leaves and added some kale, quinoa, poached raisins, chicken curry mix, sun dried tomatoes and cottage cheese. As if all that wasn’t enough, I added a finishing touch with some mint yoghurt dressing. The result was absolutely phenomenal. It was so good that I immediately decided to give it a name. So when you guys are down at Brisk, feel free to use my ingredient list to enjoy the Eat Sleep Dubai Repeat salad. You are welcome.

Build your own salad at Brisk UAE

As I said earlier, they don’t just stop at salads. Brisk serves a variety of sandwiches and there is an awesome breakfast menu as well. I particularly loved the avocado on toast. The secret ingredient in that was the layer of tomato marmalade between the creamy avocado and the crisp toast. I was told that it can be requested with a poached egg on top for a complete, healthy breakfast meal.

Avocado on toast at Brisk Uae

Some of you may not be into salads that much but please do think about it. Your health is the most important thing you have. If you can have a nice time enjoying food that is not going to clog your arteries or cause hypertension, than why go any other way. I hope you give healthy eating a chance. I also hope you encourage restaurants like Brisk who are trying to change the way we look at food.

Brisk Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

L’eto Cafe. The modest giant.

I remember being pulled into L’eto Café by the captivating display of tarts and cakes, not once but two times as I walked past the store at Mall of the Emirates. Not to eat anything, no. I am supposed to be on a perpetual diet you see. No tarts, cakes or any other sinful indulgence for me, thank you. I am a man of abstinence.
Like all other mortals however, I have my weak moments. Moments when the dormant wild beast within overpowers the voice of reason. There are times when middle aged logic and self-control lose out to reckless curiosity and desire. Usually those moments kick in before dinnertime every day. It just so happened, that the two times I was enticed into L’eto Café was on days that I had already had dinner. So, the reason I had not defied all reasoning to dive head first into a L’eto fig and cardamom tart yet, was all down to timing. I was just at the right place at the wrong time.
This time was different though. I casually slipped in the name while discussing a venue for Iftar that was not a buffet. ‘They do have lots of salads and healthy options’ I said, while forgetting to mention that they also had the most alluring cake display, this side of the Champs-Élysées. Like always, my powerful power of persuasion worked and L’eto Café was the destination of choice that evening.
We chose the City Walk location. It had a patio that looked out into the walking street that had all the performers and little food carts. We decided to sit inside though. The well-lit dining area and luxurious white furnishings were dotted with colorful flowers. This was such an instagrammable place and we didn’t even make it to the cake display yet.
The hostesses were super sweet. Besides being quick and efficient in seating us, they did one thing that will ensure a repeat visit to this place. They offered to take baby D off of our hands. “Do you need a baby sitter?” asked one of them. Before we could process that question, D almost jumped out of her pram and into her arms as we watched in amazement. That didn’t last very long but the fact that it happened, even for a minute, was just so surreal.
Due to my extrasensory perception, we were delighted to see that they did actually have a vast selection of salads. Now, we could eat healthy right before annihilating our vows. Who needs restraint when you can have cake instead? Thanks to the salads, there would be zero percent guilt and hundred percent satisfaction.
We ordered a salad trio which allowed us to pick 3 salads from the display. We went for the Harissa Aubergines & Black Beluga Lentil salad, Honey Roasted Pumpkin & Crispy Kale salad and the Caramelized Beetroot, Dates & Goat Cheese salad. I think the names are self-explanatory but let me just add that the Aubergine & Lentil salad was dotted with cherry tomatoes and seasoned with fresh mint, parsley and coriander. The Pumpkin and Kale salad had bulgar wheat, dried cranberries and feta cheese while the beetroot, dates and goat cheese salad was completed by adding baby spinach, green beans, radicchio and almonds. Need I say more?

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We ordered one of the best looking open faced burgers I had seen in a long time. The ‘California Burger’ was basically some avocado slices over a thick beef patty placed on a bed of greens resting on a toasted bun. The other half of the bun was layered with tomato salsa which had pomegranate seeds mixed into it. It was like a Sicilian love affair in Tehran, or LA – depending on what side went into your mouth first. We were not in any of those cities though. We were in the only city that could be all of those places and more; a city that is a melting pot of cultures with a distinct identity of its own. We were in Dubai and this was the definitive Dubai Burger. I suggest they rename this burger as such but while the folks at L’eto think about that, I am going to go ahead and add this to my ‘Best 11 Burgers in Dubai’ list.

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California Burger at L’eto Cafe

The next dish we ordered was the Chicken Teriyaki. Clearly, the description in the menu was unable to do justice to this dish. It said that the dish included roasted sweet potatoes and oyster mushrooms as sides. What it did not mention was that Oyster mushrooms grow in larger flat caps similar to shiitake. As they grow larger, the flavor intensifies and they become tougher and meatier. The caps of these particular mushrooms must have been quiet large because I could have sworn I was chewing on Thai beef. The roasted sweet potatoes were roasted to the point where they had become slightly less sweet and a little crispy. The crispy sweet potatoes complimented the meaty texture of the mushrooms. Together, with the fragrant teriyaki chicken they created a mélange of flavours that I can still savour, as I write this review.

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Teriyaki Chicken at L’eto Cafe

L’eto is famous for its cakes and pastries but we were so stuffed that we decided to leave the coffee and cake for another day. My priority at that point was to wiggle out of my chair. I was positive I had grown a little bigger than before. I wasn’t entirely sure if I could walk by myself and I think I almost requested for a wheel barrow. My perpetual diet was still on though…once again, I had managed to stay away from the sugar!

L'ETO Caffe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato