Free-From and Fabulous!

As a health epidemic takes over our social feeds, we check out the best places in the city to enjoy tasty treats without the guilt trip
ByLucile Helwani
,Naomi Chadderton
Tuesday , 22 November 2016
Free-From and Fabulous!

Whether you’re gluten-intolerant, want to avoid dairy or simply fancy eating a little healthier, there are a number of new joints that have opened up around the city that cater to our dietary needs. We’ve done our research, and even sent you off with some delicious recipes so you can enjoy these dishes at home, too! You’re welcome…


The family-friendly Bystro specialises in exquisite homemade desserts and hearty European cuisine. Breads, pastries, cakes and desserts are freshly-made every day, while there’s an impressive range of homemade marmalades, pickles, chutneys and sauces, too. We recommend the Chocolate Nemesis cake – it’s gluten and dairy-free, so you won’t feel the guilt of savouring it! INFO: Mon-Sat 8am-9pm, Sun 8am-5pm, Al Safa, Dubai, 04 336 8056,


What You’ll Need: Chocolate (275g), coconut oil (175g), 3 eggs, caster sugar (65g), Joconde biscuit ( for the full recipe), water (105 ml) and sugar syrup.

·      Melt the chocolate and the coconut oil together in a pan.

·      Whip the eggs and the caster sugar in a separate bowl before adding the water and bringing it to boil for 3 minutes.

·      Add the sugar syrup to the chocolate mixture and fold in the whipped eggs until the batter is evenly mixed.

·      Prepare your round cake tin with a layer of Joconde biscuit at the bottom, and pour the cake dough on top, smoothing over with a large spoon

·      Bake at 100°C for 1 hr 20 mins. Once the cake is cooked, let it cool at room temperature for two hours and leave in the freezer overnight.

·      Serve with a dusting of cocoa powder.

Comptoir 102

Launched by two Parisians, Comptoir 102 is the trendiest and healthiest spot in the city right now. You’ll never have to worry about what you’re putting in your body all their ingredients comes from local organic farms, and there are plenty of vegan dishes on the menu, too – think sugar-, dairy- and gluten-free delicacies. Their avocado crostini is a must-try! INFO: Daily 8.30am-9pm, Jumeirah Road, Dubai 04 385 4555,


What You’ll Need: Macadamia nuts (500g), lemon (75g), water (450 ml), 2 pieces of wholemeal bread, 2 avocados, sprouts (100g) and cucumber (500g)

·      Combine the macadamia nuts, lemon, water, salt and black pepper together in a food processor and mix together to create the soft crème macadamia topping.

·      Spread a thick layer of crème onto your toasted bread.

·      Top it with sprouts plus thin avocado and cucumber slices and serve with a simple side salad.

Gourmet By Kcal

At Gourmet By Kcal, you’ll be sure to eat only delicious, gluten-free food. From the chicken, fish and beef, to the fresh fruit and veg, everything’s locally grown and sourced directly from organic farms. Not only that, you can also stock up on detoxifying juices, super-food salads and sugar-free desserts – try their caramel tart and your taste buds will thank you! INFO: Tue-Wed-Thu-Sun-Mon 8am-3pm/6pm-10pm, Fri-Sat 8am-10pm, Le Meridien Mina Seyahi, Dubai, 04 511 7139,


What You’ll Need: Walnuts (100g), almonds (60g), maple syrup (160g), cocoa powder (90g), coconut oil (60g), vanilla essence (10 ml), coconut milk (250 ml), coconut sugar (150g), roasted almond crushed (60g) and dark chocolate (14g)

·      To prepare the base, combine the walnuts, almonds, maple syrup, cocoa powder, coconut oil and vanilla essence together and blend in a food processor.

·      Transfer the mixture to the freezer for two-three hours then remove, knead with your hands and roll it out thinly with a rolling pin.

·      Take a circular cutter and prepare six bases for the tarts, keeping cool in a tart mould.

·      Next mix the coconut milk, sugar and oil in a bowl over a low heat to make the caramel.

·      Add a dash of vanilla essence and pour over the bases of the tarts.

·      For the chocolate topping, simply melt the chocolate and pour on top. Keep the tarts in the fridge overnight to make sure they set.

·      Serve with a topping of fresh berries.                     


Set in a super soothing atmosphere, Nolu’s is the best spot in the capital for healthy yet modern American-style cuisine mixed with traditional Afghan dishes. From the extensive breakfast to the mouth-watering brunch menu, chefs use only fresh and natural ingredients. Going gluten-free? Make sure you order the naked burger –you won’t regret it.

INFO: Breakfast Sun-Thu 9am-12pm, Fri-Sat 9am-2pm; lunch and dinner, daily 12pm-11pm, Galleria Mall and Al Bandar, Abu Dhabi,


What You’ll Need: 1 Angus beef patty, iceberg lettuce, a handful of chopped romaine lettuce, tomato slices, any cheese you fancy, a handful of white onion (chopped in ring form), pickles, ketchup and mustard.

·      Cook your beef patty on the grill to your liking, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

·      Peel up the iceberg lettuce and make a ‘cup’, placing the beef patty inside. This will act as the bun.

·      Add the rest of the toppings to complete the burger, seasoing as much or as little as you like.

·      Complete the bun with another lettuce leaf on top. Serve with fries or a side salad.

The Sportsman’s Arms

This family-friendly gastropub takes inspiration from Boston’s finest dining scene. It’s the perfect spot for a late lunch with your family or for some after work drinks with your colleagues. Fill up on delicious vegetarian dishes – our fave is the heritage beetroot salad – it’s light, healthy and tasty. INFO: Daily, 8am-2am, International Tennis Center, Zayed Sports City, Abu Dhabi, 02 403 4235,


What You’ll Need: One red beetroot, one golden beetroot, maple syrup, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, black pepper and goats cheese.

·      Preheat your oven to 180°C.

·      Place the beetroots in a roasting tray and season with salt, pepper and olive oil. Separate the colours in individual trays to prevent the golden pieces from colouring.\

·      Add around 1cm water to each tray which will allow the beetroots to steam nicely and prevent them from sticking.

·      Cover with aluminium foil and place them in the oven for 60-90 minutes.

·      Cut the beetroots into bite-size pieces and put them back into the trays. Drizzle with maple syrup and balsamic vinegar and return to the oven for 5 minutes.

·      Once complete, let the beetroot cool then add to a salad with the goats cheese and lettuce leaves.

Have You Been to Pineapple Express yet?

Serving what’s dubbed as the world’s healthiest ice cream, Australian import Pineapple Express has just set up shop in JLT. Get down there to try out the ‘Healthy Ice-Cream Sandwiches’ - decadent dairy- and soy-free alternatives to the cold stuff, they’re all-natural and vegan, too. We love Raw Peanut Butter, which is vanilla coconut ‘ice-cream’ wedged between raw peanut butter cookies with salted caramel sauce. INFO: Dhs28, Pineapple Express, 6.30am-10pm Sat-Thu, 6.30am-8pm Fri, Almas Tower, JLT