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Health on your plate

If you are calorie conscious a new gourmet café in Uptown Mirdif promises a range of healthy options

  • SPACIOUS: The café can seat over 60 diners and draws an average of 75 on week days, up to 100 on weekendsImage Credit: Zarina Fernandes/ XPRESS
  • Fresh and green:The Rocca Salad served at the Black Iris Café – it has everything you call fresh and healthyImage Credit: Zarina Fernandes/ XPRESS
  • Fresh Morning Breeze: The pancakes served with maple syrup and fresh fruits melt in your mouthImage Credit: Zarina Fernandes/ XPRESS
  • Oriental Breakfast: The meal comprises labaneh, humus, grilled halloumi, Egyptian hallaweh and butter, olives Image Credit: Zarina Fernandes/ XPRESS

DUBAI Black Iris Café, a new gourmet café in Uptown Mirdif, prides itself on treating diners to a ‘fresh experience’. A brainchild of two young entrepreneurs – Razan Al Rousan and Mona Al Jallaf, it regards itself as a destination for healthy eating where everything is prepared fresh.

The tall claims were playing at the back of my mind as I went over the menu. Breakfast meals, salads, soups, sandwiches, pasta, crepes, home-made light gelatos, mocktails – there was plenty to choose from.

First off, some warm green tea greeted me, easing my sore throat. Could not have felt better and, in fact, it readied me for the task at hand.

The salad arrived soon after. The ‘Roca salad’ has everything you call fresh and healthy – mushrooms, strawberry, walnuts, green apple and roca leaves. A choice of balsamic dressing, some lemon syrup, rose-water and lime sauce complete this salad. Priced Dh35, it can be a meal in itself and one should not leave the café without sampling it. Balanced in nutrition, it refreshes you with the fresh leaves and fruits.

Next came the pasta – Penne Arabiata. While the spice and acidity were just right in bringing out the flavours in the pasta, the texture wasn’t up to my liking. So make sure your pasta is well cooked when you order it. Priced Dh40, the Penne Arabiata is served with parmesan cheese.

The café has a seating capacity of over 60 people. “We have an average of 75 people coming in a day. On weekends it can be around 100 people as well. Our mornings and late evenings are usually busy. The lunchtime is pretty quiet,” said Al Rousan, co-founder and managing partner.

The breakfasts here are said to be a big hit with office goers who are given a choice of four options – all of which offer a ‘stomachful’ experience.

Take the Power Breakfast for example. Priced Dh48, it offers eggs (boiled, scrambled or omelette), beans, sausage, jam, butter, toasted bread with orange juice, coffee or tea.

The Oriental Breakfast is a selection of labaneh, humus, grilled halloumi, Egyptian hallaweh and butter, olives and pickles and Arabic bread. Priced Dh48, it comes with orange juice, coffee or tea. You could not ask for more after this!

I went for the Fresh Morning Breeze with pancakes (or waffles or croissants), maple syrup and fresh fruits. For just Dh38 the meal comes with three large fluffy pancakes, orange juice, coffee or tea. The pancakes are simply a great treat and the maple syrup adds just that right amount of sweetness. The texture of the pancake is so smooth it melts in your mouth. This was definitely the dish of the day.

“Everything is prepared fresh at the restaurant. So if someone orders a croissant they have to wait some time to get it,” said Al Rousan.

There’s no denying the café’s fresh quotient. Be it fresh ingredients or fresh preparation, what it promises you is what you get. So whenever you think you have had enough of the oily fatty stuff you get elsewhere and are in a mood to detox, just head to Black Iris Café.


Meal for two: Dh70-Dh100

Location: Uptown Mirdif Mall

Timings: 7am until midnight

Contact: 04-255 9749