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Gourmet by Kcal: Welcome to the healthy food revolution


The only place in Dubai serving 100% free-from (but still delicious!) favourites

Dubai has a reputation for being a hub for all things new and current, and it stands out among other major metropolitans because it doesn’t just grab hold of the latest trends, but actually embraces them. Which is exactly what’s it’s done with the healthy food craze that’s sweeping the nation. That’s a good thing too because – according to this news report – 30% of the UAE’s population is obese. Gourmet by Kcal – the brain child of Andreas L. Borgmann and Mark Carroll – has arrived just in time, then.

Before we sing the restaurant’s praises, let’s take a quick step back. I just want to point out that the Kcal brand is already well known in the UAE; the innovative food and lifestyle company has several healthy fast food joints across the country, and people have been lapping up their nutritious food options since the company opened in 2010. While the brand’s fast-food eateries are smaller and have a ready-to-go-fast vibe, Gourmet by Kcal – set in the Le Meridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort and Marina – is more laid back with a distinctly hip organic atmosphere. Featuring rustic-urban upcycled furniture – think chairs and couches upholstered in coffee sacks, all centred around a 70-year-old olive tree – the space also boasts a bar where all sorts of healthy potions are juiced and blended throughout the day.

Now onto the good stuff; the food. All of the restaurant’s organic vegetables, fruits and honey are sourced through Ripe Organics the coffee is sourced from Columbia and Ethiopia by Raw Coffee Company, a fair-trade and 100% organic company based in Dubai. Everything from the sauces to the breads are sugar-, gluten- and dairy-free and prepared in-house from scratch each day. The new gourmet concept follows the existing Kcal nutritional guidelines, meaning all the dishes are nutrient rich and free from preservatives and additives.

At Kcal Gourmet’s launch last week, guests – including yours truly – enjoyed an Arabic mezzeh platter, Vietnamese spring rolls, gluten-free Italian pizzas, Indian black rice biryani, caramel tart, dark chocolate mousse, coconut caramel cheesecake and – the winner of the night – the truly succulent organic paleo beef burger. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect in terms of flavour, but I was pleasantly surprised. While the dishes are no doubt super healthy, it doesn’t feel like you’re eating “on a diet”.

With a versatile, nutrient-rich menu and friendly staff, Gourmet by Kcal is the perfect place for those seeking a lighter, healthier option in an uplifting and feel-good space. Here’s to feeling lighter and happier!

Gourmet by Kcal, Le Meridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, Dubai Marina, Dubai, 04 511 7139

Fatima loves cheese, bridges, lakes and bungee jumping, and sometimes all four at the same time… Scribe’s junior writer dreams of exploring professional food critiquing and space science (well, through her writing anyway). Share your dreams (and favourite star) with her at fatima@scribe.ae.