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Creative Feast and a Healthy Appetite: Craft Café, Dubai Design District (DD3)

Craft Café is a ‘one of a kind’ place with healthy treats that satisfies a food lover’s weight loss dream with a low carbohydrate diet and incredible taste to boot.

When we first stepped into Craft Café, we thought we had entered an art gallery – it did not in any way look like your standard eatery joint. The ceiling was covered with wild cages containing colourful taxidermic birds hanging in a circular pattern. One section of the ceiling near the café entrance was occupied with pottery vases seemingly defying gravity, while the wall near it was decorated with 3D tropical grass wallpaper. It all looked very surreal, just like a creative art gallery. The serving station/cooking counter was made of bright gleaming steel and the seating arrangements were crisply geometric giving the vibe of the Cubism art period popularized by Pablo Picasso in the early 20th century. We were swooning at the interiors until Rory, the café manager, brought us back to the real world and greeted us to the lively culinary hotspot with an ambience abuzz with life and chatter from what looked like an ‘arty’ crowd of poets, journalists, artists and curators.

He arranged a seating area for us near the steel counter to show us how live cooking in their kitchen is executed and later we were warmly greeted by Roberto Segura, the head chef and co-owner of Craft. At first glance, Roberto looked like a Harley Davidson motorcyclist with a chic half shaved head and French beard until he introduced himself. Indeed, the place was full of surprises, so we couldn’t wait to try the food! We left the selection of dishes we were going to sample to Roberto’s preference and we weren’t disappointed.

Lucky for us, we were able to try the best of the spring menu. One quality that stands out about this place is that the menu changes every 3 months and Roberto spends much of his time designing new culinary experiences for his equally creative guests keeping health and taste in mind.

While chatting with Roberto, he emphasized how important good health and good taste were for him. “If there’s anything that helps us stand out besides the outlook, it is our hard work to achieve health and taste simultaneously. Everyone knows that it is hard to amuse the taste buds while preparing a healthy meal, hence, we decided to create a fusion that is rare in a place like UAE considering most health food joints are unable to provide the latter.”, he said.

Talking to Roberto was a humbling and an inspiring experience, yet it made us all the more impatient to try what he had in store for us.

When the food arrived, we were treated to Truffled scrambled eggs with lashings of parmesan served with brown bread and cold brew vanilla latte. It was delicious! The parmesan and black truffles added depth to the plain salted scrambled eggs and the vanilla latte quenched our thirsts whilst providing flavour.

Next on the roundup was what one would call a ‘Quinoa Heaven.’

Let’s start with the salad. The quinoa salad was every bit as ripe and delicious as it was enriching health wise. It was made up of pomegranate, mixed nuts, beetroot, green olives and quinoa of course. For a bit more perk, we added salt.

Once we were done with the appetizers, we were served with the first main course; Quinoa burger.

The juicy burger consisted of an Angus beef patty; the pressed quinoa was the alternative to the traditional burger bun stuffed with tomatoes, pickles and yoghurt. It was a thoroughly sensational experience to have tasted such immense flavour in a refreshingly healthy option for fast food lovers.

The third item on the menu was the Quinoa truffle risotto. Instead of rice, it was made of cheddar and quinoa with traditional Italian flavors. We were blown away yet again.

We had by now understood how Roberto was able to juxtapose flavour and health while pursuing a low calorie alternative to our favorite food options. He chose to cut out wholewheat carbs and added quinoa or gluten free ingredients whilst maintaining the root flavor of classic high carb menus. We knew just how successful he was in his endeavours when we didn’t feel stuffed or overwhelmed even after eating the risotto.

And how could we resist dessert? We tasted matcha ice cream with spicy dark chocolate fondant. It was an exquisite moment and the mix of matcha with dark chocolate was quite extraordinary, something we have never tried before. As if that wasn’t enough, we were treated generously by Roberto giving us a second share of dessert in the name of hot apple crumble served with light vanilla ice cream. Smooth perfection!

By the end of our experience, we felt wonderfully satisfied without feeling overhwlemed or over full, which for a healthy menu, is a super hit.

Our verdict: We highly recommend this place for all creative and non creative enthusiasts looking for a unique culinary journey.

More Information
Every item on the limited menu costs between 16 – 55 AED with prices varying depending on the seasonal menu changes. Craft café is located in Dubai Design District (DD3), a few kilometers away from Dubai Mall and Business Bay.