Let me start with facts, I don’t enjoy “healthy” food, I hate Salads, Green is my least favorite colour while eating, I like my food to taste good & I firmly believe taste & health can never co-exist. There, it’s out there in the open. I have said it aloud. Hence, my waistline & medical reports have seen an upswing similar to the Dubai temperatures in the last fortnight. Pop! comes the mail from Soulfull promising healthy gourmet food while Wifey is going thru the reports. Seems right time.
I went in to Soulfull for a Saturday lunch after the invite from Farah. It’s located in the Emirates Financial Towers near DIFC, an area brimming with office crowd for lunch on weekdays, hence Saturday lunch was perfect for a relaxed experience. The place has the green healthy vibe around it right from their logo, the Artichoke. The fresh Juices Bar adds in to the ambiance.
I was greeted by Rajesh, the person in charge who explained me the concept of Soulfull being in a way a Healthy Gourmet option for the discerning crowd. He then uttered ” We have No Butter in our kitchen” & I almost gasped visualizing an afternoon of green leaves with dressings in front of me. Rajesh quickly freed me from my dream sequence & assured “It will taste good”. Challenge Accepted!
We started with the Mango Ginger Limonita which is a mangoful twist to the usual Lemon Mint. Quite Refreshing! The Fresh Watermelon Juice without additives tasted perfect.
The Lentil Soup was served & it was brown & not the usual silky yellow ones I have been used to. Made with black lentils, it packed subtle flavors as the lentils had not been totally blended in to it but still had a bite to it. The garlicky wholemeal crouton was the perfect foil to the soup. Rajesh’s promise sounded more convincing.
Then came the Baked pumpkin falafels. Variation from the usual Chickpea ones but I missed the crunch of a good falafel here. Miss for me!
Then arrived my fav dish of the day, the Kafta Sandwich. A Kafta patty sandwiched between 2 crispy brown pita breads with mozzarella & tomato, pickles & tzatziki sauce on the side. The patty just oozed juices every time I took a bite in to it & made me dig in for more. Highly Recommended!
Salmon Nicoise Salad came in next with boiled eggs, beans, lettuce, cherry tomatoes,potatoes, honey mustard dressing & a sesame crusted salmon on top. The freshness, crunch & tart tomatoes complemented the eggs & potatoes well. The Honey Mustard Dressing can pack more mustard flavour though.
Quinoa Biryani... Now why would you want to take a popular dish & fiddle around with it unless you can make it better than the original? They did a pretty awesome job at it. The Quinoa offered the bite which a Rice cant & was cooked in a Indian spiced broth with saffron aroma. The veggies, special mention to the bite the snow peas & the broccoli added along with the cashews at the top. Total Winner dish!
Peri Peri Chicken came in with a perfectly grilled chicken, spicy peri peri sauce on the side, rosemary flavoured baked potatoes & a quinoa salad. Totally complete meal in itself, however the pepper salad doesn’t add in anything.
Now, how do you make healthy desserts without the usual trickery of Sugar Free, No Gluten, Whole wheat flour drama. Soulfull has made them into small Energy bites, each capturing a different flavour profile. My pick was the Green tea with peanuts, honey & coconut…its like a eating a Snickers bar sans the stickiness. The pistachio – dates energy bite was rich & filled with nuts, the Cocoa one slightly bitter due to the cocoa covering.
I dined as a guest, but a meal for 2 should be approx 120 Dhs which is great considering the calorie intake is minimum & flavour profile pretty damn good.
Final Verdict: Soulfull has removed all my prejudices about healthy food & delivered on their challenge. Pro Health & Pro Taste at the same time. Recommended for everyone as your body needs to breathe happily once in a while.