|In a word: Classic|
|Food: Great variety, portion size, classic dishes done very well and healthy options. I’d definitely recommend a visit to sample breakfast Urban Bistro-style|
|Service: Not bad, not amazing|
|Presentation: Nice interiors with plenty of stuff to look at; the view, books & magazines, jars of cookies, bowls of salads, people and unpretentious food presentation|
|Ambience: Busy with the work crowd for lunch, otherwise you’ll find it chilled and the perfect place to linger|
|Location: Fab for Media City workers; probably the best location in DMC in terms of views. Also perfect for Marina residents who are bored with the standard offerings on The Walk or Marina Mall|
|Value for money: Very much so|
|Worth a visit?: Definitely, it’s one of those places that has become a regular haunt because they’ve got the formula right: food, price and service|
Urban Bistro has become a regular haunt and the reasons we go back time and time again is they have the formula right: they serve good-quality, healthy food, generous portion sizes, a variety of dishes from breakfast through to evening, plus, it’s reasonably priced. A rarity to find such a combination in Dubai.
Bistro, deli, cafe and retail, Urban Bistro seems to have all areas covered. Appealing very much to Western workers, they’re perfectly placed to do so being in easy walking distance from pretty much anywhere in Media City, and really do it well; offering the variety of bistro-style dishes, salads and sandwiches to dine in or takeaway.
They’ve got the health and eco conscious sectors covered with heathy options all over the menu together with claims of incorporating locally sourced and organic ingredients where possible – i’m not actually sure what that means in real terms, I guess you just have to trust the team behind the Urban Bistro to stand by their principles.
I’m not the only one loving Urban Bistro, during the week you’ll find it packed with Media City workers, but in the evening and at weekends, due to it’s location, it’s much more chilled out and you shouldn’t have a problem finding a table. The location works for and against the restaurant; it’s got a great view over the lake, convenient for lunch time but consequently busy between midday and 2pm, and quiet in the evening which makes for a nice place to chill out and dine in relative quiet.
Urban Bistro was one of the only places open and worth eating at during the day over Ramadan this year, which made it a first choice for a long lazy brekkie at the weekend.
My favourite time of day to visit Urban Bistro is for brekkie and the Traditional Full Breakfast – don’t be fooled, this is not your traditional greasy meaty breakfast feast, but as far as i’m concerned the best brekkie in Dubai: avocado, sweet potato fritter, eggs done your way, wilted spinach, mushrooms and baked vine tomatoes. It’s fresh and healthy, what more could I want for brekkie?
The Mezze breakfast is another yummy option – a mix of traditional dishes; hummus, foul, mint labneh, served with a generous portion of grilled halloumi and Arabic breads. This is definitely the filling option and a great alternative to a more traditional brekkie, just to mix things up a bit. The three full Full Breakfast dishes come in at AED50 each and include juice, tea or coffee.
The Bruschetta (AED36) is nice, but isn’t quite what I imagined – I expected the bread itself to be less doughy, more toasty and the tomatoes would be cooked, I probably wouldn’t chose it again.
The Cocotte (AED30) is a lovely rich baked tomato and spinach dish topped with two eggs and i’d definitely order it again!
We’ve taken advantage of the, slightly less healthy, French-style crepes (AED15+) a couple of times – authentic tasting but not worthy as a meal in itself, i’d classify them as breakfast dessert. The fruit salad (AED18) is a decent-sized bowl of fresh goodies.
Urban Bistro have had a breakfast offer on during September: two breakfast for the price of one, get the cheapest free. This kind of deal makes me very happy as the full breakfasts at Urban Bistro are truly great – It’s the closest thing to my perfect breakfast i’ve found in Dubai.
Lunch and dinner time options are varied, check out the breakfast and bistro menus on the Urban Bistro website to get an idea of what’s on offer. For me, the fish is a great option and the sweet potato fries are a must. There is always a good mix of fresh salads and sandwiches on display at the deli counter. You can chose three mini-sandwiches and team them up with a green salad and chips for AED44. Again, serving size is generous here, so don’t worry about being hungry after choosing one of their healthy salad options.
My usual grip about salads is that there are very few vegetarian or vegan salad options, and it’s the case here – you see a great sounding salad and find out it has chicken or beef bacon and cheese in it…if only they’d put the animal on the side and add it for the carnivores.
Other must-eats at Urban Bistro include the oatmeal and raisin or white chocolate and macadamia cookies, their chocolate truffles are pretty darn tasty too, the perfect way to round off dinner, or breakfast if you’re so inclined.
Oh and I nearly forgot possibly the best thing about Urban Bistro, the Millionaire’s Shortbread is fantastic – a chunk shortbread, topped with a seriously thick layer of buttery caramel and an almost fatter layer of dark chocolate to top it off. This could be love.
The afternoon tea at Urban Bistro is another reason to head over, priced at AED65 for three filled freshly baked rolls, two scones; one fruit, one plain, with jam and cream, served with a pot of tea or coffee and a platter of the best of Urban Bistro’s sweet treats – mini tartlets and a couple of their delightful chocolate truffles. For a light option, this is great little sharer and if you’re having one of those days when only food will do, perhaps you need to treat yourself to a whole one…mmm…
Urban Bistro have a nice large dinning area, together with terrace, it’s nicely laid out, with a breakfast bar and then a few more relaxed comfy sofa-seating options. The low ceiling is decorated with some funky scrawl, there is always a little orchid in a glass on the table, they’ve got some cool lighting features, interesting books, magazines and things to look at on the shelves, and a really great view over the lake in Media City.
Food-wise, clean and simple white serviceware, no fancy drizzling of sauce here, it’s not necessary.
For some reason the lighting doesn’t work that well for me, maybe it’s the low ceiling or the brightness of outside…? Just an observation.
Pretty good overall, the staff here at Urban Bistro are a friendly bunch and there tend to be lots of them around, although sometimes service is a bit slow in terms of bringing beverages or food out to you…I do sometimes wonder how it takes so long to put hot water into a teapot.
Value for money:
Excellent – for the quality of the food and serving sizes.
Great breakfast deal: 2 for 1 on breakfasts (Sunday to Thursday) in September – eek, only a few days left, best get down there!
Ground Floor, CNN Building, Media City, Dubai
Tel: +971 4 362 4330
Sunday to Thursday 7am till 10pm
Friday & Saturday 9am until 6pm
September 2-4-1 breakfast offer served between 7am and 11am
Afternoon tea is served between 3pm and 6pm