6 of the Best Dubai Dinners under 500 Calories
EAT: Grilled sea bass fillet served with a side of steamed vegetables, 398 calories (approx).
AVOID: The bread basket. And go easy on the grape.
Oh, happy days. An Italian restaurant with half a dozen calorie controlled options. And with the figures being on the menu, you don’t even have to get your calculator out. Casa Mia, we could kiss you. We won’t though. Honest. If your dinner partner is more the fettuccine type, this Dubai gem still serves up some of the most glorious grub in town – the pizzas and pastas are to-die-for – so they’ll be able to eat what they like while you slim down.
INFO: Le Méridien Dubai, Airport Road, 04 217 0000, www.casamia-dubai.com.
Indego by Vineet
EAT: Tandoori Salmon, 420 calories (approx).
AVOID: Everything in a sauce.
Forget Italian, Indian is by far the trickiest dinner date to accept if you’re on a diet. In fact it’s almost impossible to be good. But there is hope. Go straight for the dry tandoori options (ask for no sauce) and opt for fish or vegetables, not paneer. You can have a small roti too, but only tuck in if you’ve got the self-control to stick to one. Poppadoms are good alternatives to bread, but you’re still looking at 50 calories each, in restaurants, as they’ve usually been fried.
INFO: Grosvenor House, 04 399 8888, www.grosvenorhouse-dubai.com.
EAT: Prawn Tom Yum Soup, 270 calories (approx).
AVOID: Anything ending in cracker, toast or cake. And rice.Thai people are, for the most part, pretty trim, so you’d think it would be easy to stay skinny eating out at Dubai’s Asian spots. Not so, unless you’re careful. You might as well stick anything ending in cracker, cake or toast straight onto your thighs and be done with it. Those prawn crackers might be free, but at 15 calories a go, they’re a disaster waiting to happen. Just ask the waiter not to bring them to your table.INFO: Locations across Dubai, 04 334 9175, www.lemongrassrestaurants.com.
EAT: Tuna, avocado and mango salad, 500 calories (approx).
AVOID: Anything fried. Dodge the rice too. Going Japanese is usually a safe bet when you’re trying to drop a dress size, but it’s not a no-brainer. For every saintly miso soup there’s a tempura prawn waiting to take up residence on your behind or swing from those bingo wings. Just say no. Instead, opt for Sumo Sushi’s tuna, avocado and mango salad with sesame seed dressing. The avocado gives you your essential fatty acids (great for smooth skin), while the tuna provides extra protein and the mango is just, well, yum.
INFO: Locations across Dubai, 04 335 47 04, www.sumosushi.net.
EAT: Shish taouk (replace the bread and fries with steamed veggies). Expect confused looks for 500 calories (approx).
AVOID: Anything with cheese.
An ill-advised Lebanese slip-up has derailed many a determined Dubai dieter but an Arabic dinner doesn’t have to spell disaster… if you’ve got an iron will, that is. Firstly, don’t even look at the bread basket, or it’s game over. Secondly, give the tahini a wide berth, unless you want to develop one of your own. There are 86 calories in a tablespoon of this sinful sauce. On the plus side, you’re good to go with chicken kebabs and salad or steamed veggies. Just ask the waiter to hold the fries.
INFO: The Dubai Mall, 04 330 8828, www.alhallabrestaurant.com.
EAT: The new Leggera pizza, 500 calories (approx).
AVOID: Cheese and meat toppings.
Yes, it’s possible to eat pizza and not get fat. You just have to be clever. Ask for no cheese on a regular pizza or try Pizza Express’ brand new Leggera pizza, specifically designed to come in at under 500 calories. The Romana dough is thinner and crispier, and the rocket, herb and ricotta salata salad dressing with balsamic syrup replaces the centre of the dough, making it lower in calories than other options. Genius!
INFO: Locations throughout the UAE; 04 394 5616, www.pizzaexpressuae.com.