In this day and age, we are much more conscious now about what we eat. Not only calorie wise but also how refined / processed / preservatives – laden our food is. Atleast I am and have been more so since I had kids. I would choose a jar of ghee any day over hydrogenated vegetable oil or some low fat junk and avoid boxed food as much as possible. And don’t even get me started on the vices of food colors, msg and other nonsense that we are forced to eat in commercially made food. So homemade is best! But we do love eating out and have to usually silence that small voice in my head that’s expressing these concerns, especially when I eat out with kids. So when I heard of Dine Smart’s concept of healthy, preservative-free food I was instantly happy to have a reasonable priced option. They don’t serve organic food which is another thing but that means it’s not very heavy on the pocket. Rather its just like the food you cook at home without all the taste-enhancing-but-not-good-for-you additives which are common at restaurants.
We were invited to their Barwa city branch during Ramadan to sample some of their dishes. For breaking our fast, we had fresh dates, a fruit salad, a simple yet delicious garden salad and a superb carrot orange juice with zero added sugar! That along with plenty of water was just the perfect way to break our fast.
After a quick prayer break, we had our next course which was soup – a lentil soup which was average but I totally relished with the splendid garlic bread that came along with it. It was plain delicious!
Next up was the main course. I chose Chicken Milano – which was a perfect choice – and well could be one of the best item on their menu. The tender chicken breast were cooked to perfection and served with grilled veggies, potato wedges and milano sauce. I totally enjoyed it.
We also sampled some of their other main course items. The pasta alfredo and the fried rice were good. But I was quite disappointed by their chicken wrap. It just tasted like a bland roti filled with too much salad and less of chicken. Lacked flavor.
They could do with some improvements there but overall I was happy enough to go back for an encore.
This time we had a look at their menu which is quite extensive actually. A lot of smoothies, soups, salads, continental, chinese and pasta dishes. We were looking for a light dinner. So ordered the avocado salad with a lime dressing and chicken stir fry with walnut fried rice.
The portions were huge and good enough for two for a light dinner. The salad was fresh and tangy with the lime dressing. The perfectly ripe avocado pieces made for some good baby food too for our little one. The chicken stir fry was slightly above average. Could again do with a few strips of more chicken and a dash of more flavor. The walnut fried rice is a misnomer. What you expect is some nutty goodness but what you get is a regular fried rice with a single walnut piece for garnish! But in all the dishes you can really taste the fresh ingredients and the homemade touch. And for a very reasonable price (40 QR for the salad and stir fry) you do get the bang for your buck.
They do not have desserts yet but some outstanding juices and smoothies. We were told by the chef that they are experimenting on it. Good luck to the team and our final word would be its totally worth visiting and indulging in some healthy treats.