The Farm? We weren’t sure what to expect when we turned off the Emirates Road, away from the city’s hustle and bustle. Brightly coloured, neatly trimmed bougainvillea highlight the way to Al Barari, a luxury development comprising of the latest high end luxury villas and apartments to grace Dubai. They are still, in part, under construction but you would hardly know as the tall trees lining the driveway shelter you from all that as you arrive at the entrance to the Farm – the destination’s signature restaurant. And it has something very special, special indeed.
The Farm’s philosophy is simple – to serve high-quality, wholesome food the way nature intended, in a relaxed and tranquil setting. And they are not wrong. The setting is something you would not normally associate with Dubai. With only natural vegetation as your surroundings. You feel as though you have stepped into a beautiful Thai garden. Take a deep breath and soak up the tall trees blowing in the breezy winter air, the sound of water cascading down rocks into beautiful lily ponds and a wave of relaxation comes over you.
You’ll be greeted by friendly staff who will guide you to your rustic table where you are guaranteed a lovely view, no matter where you’re seated. We were particularly impressed with Abdel Rahman, our waiter, who, it turned out was the newest member of The Farm team having only joined just over a month ago. He was polite, charming and attentive yet allowed you to relax in your own company.
The Farm is open all day, starting with the breakfast menu from 7.30am where they serve bread from their very own on site bakery, followed by lunch, afternoon tea and then dinner, taking last orders shortly before 11pm. Wanting to make the most of the venue and the gardens we opted for a lunchtime feast. If you’re after a restaurant welcoming to children, you’ve hit the jackpot with The Farm. They have an exciting menu for the little ones, whilst keeping the options healthy to ensure there’s no parental guilt in tow!
Fitting with the effortlessly chic surroundings, the extensive menu is presented on iPads, packed full of options ready for your perusal. There are two main culinary choices available to diners, the Continental Gourmet and Authentic Thai menus. However, in addition there is a wood fired pizza oven in a kitchen set at the side of the garden that seemed to be serving some fantastic looking pizzas to happy guests and lighter options such as soups and snacks for those wanting a quicker bite to eat.
I decided to keep the starter light, opting for a small but perfectly seared tuna salad, with green beans soft quails’ eggs and crisp leaves. Dressed in a delicious herb raspberry vinaigrette it was a fresh and tasty way to kick off the meal.
In keeping with the surroundings, we chose from the Authentic Thai menu for the main course. I can highly recommend the Kaeng Paneng Nuea (beef paneng curry). The dish was full of fresh ingredients and bursting with rich moreish nutty flavours. For vegetarians and those with food intolerance, they’ve not forgotten you, they offer a broad range of options throughout the day.
After a welcome breather, and although full to the brim, I couldn’t resist the dessert menu. From fresh homemade tarts, red velvet cupcakes and tempting ice creams, your sweet tooth will definitely be satisfied.
The garden makes The Farm so different to anything else in Dubai and with a wonderful atmosphere morning, noon or night, we strongly recommend that you make a reservation ahead of your arrival. You don’t want to be disappointed and it is most definitely worth the trip!