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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 18 January 2019

How to have a very vegan Christmas in the UAE

Festive options for plant-based eaters to enjoy this year

SugarMoo's allergen-free "Crazy Cake" miniature bundle with edible Santa hats. Courtesy of SugarMoo
SugarMoo's allergen-free "Crazy Cake" miniature bundle with edible Santa hats. Courtesy of SugarMoo

While Christmas is traditionally a time for feasts of turkey, yule logs and mince pies, plant-based options are now becoming the norm on menus across the UAE. So we scoured the Emirates for great brunches, lunches and takeaways that will satisfy even the strictest of herbivores.

Dine out

Boca

Dubai

The European hot spot in Dubai International Financial Centre has been adding plant-based options to its menu for some time now. Most famous among its dishes is the paella roja, with beetroot, root vegetables and Bombita rice, which is part of its vegan-friendly festive menu this year, too. Also included are the ice-packed manzanilla olives, crispy quinoa and snap peas, chickpeas and olive-oil pancake, plus vegan churros topped with cinnamon and Valrhona chocolate.

Available in three-hour slots all day on December 25, Dh295 (food and soft drinks), Dh395 (house beverages), Dh595 (sparkling beverages), free for children below 12, www.boca.ae

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Eat Well

Dubai

The Christmas brunch at Eat Well gluten-free bistro in Dubai is split into meat-based and vegan options. From the plant-based menu of main courses you can choose between a mushroom stroganoff with pasta or rice, or a lentil nut loaf, or the beetroot and millet couscous with falafel. For starters and desserts, there’s a buffet with unlimited starters and desserts. You can also use a voucher from The Entertainer here to get buy-one, get-one-free on the brunch.

December 25, from 11.30am to 3.30pm, Dh140 per person, 054 476 6326, info@dubaieatwell.com, www.dubaieatwell.com

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Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel and Villas

Abu Dhabi

The hotel, which is well known among the capital's vegan community for offering a regular plant-based afternoon tea, is also offering free-from options for Christmas. At Park Grill Restaurant you'll find dishes of: mushroom veloute, black caramelised chestnuts, goma dofu (sesame tofu) and winter black truffle; as well as a delica pumpkin "steak", with a pistachio and chia seeds crumble and cress salad. If you're heading to the hotel's Christmas barbecue brunch at Park Grill terrace, you'll be pleased to know there will be a Vegan Vibes section there, too. That includes freshly prepared dosas, grilled tofu, stuffed Portobello mushrooms, almond milk pannacotta and vegan brownies – to name just a few.

Dh350 (soft drinks), Dh550 (sparkling), Dh650 (bubbly), children 6-12 half price, free for children under 6, 1pm-4pm, December 25, 02 407 1138, abudhabi.park@hyatt.com, www.hyatt.com

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The Lion by Nick & Scott

Dubai

The Lion by Nick & Scott is offering a fully vegan brunch package for Christmas. Courtesy of The Lion
The Lion by Nick & Scott is offering a fully vegan brunch package for Christmas. The Lion

The award-winning chef duo behind Folly by Nick & Scott at Dubai’s Madinat Jumeirah are offering a full vegan brunch package at The Lion by Nick & Scott, a British pub at The H Dubai. On the menu is roasted parsnip, couscous, smoked chestnut and sage; buckwheat blinis with cranberry and apple chutney; steamed thyme, onion and mushroom pudding, served with seasonal vegetables and roasted potatoes; plus poached fruit and mixed nut panettone; Christmas pudding; and mince pies. A truly plant-iful feast.

December 25, 1pm to 4pm and 5pm to 8pm, Dh295 (two hours), Dh350 (three hours), Dh400 (sparkling beverages, three hours), Dh480 (premium beverages, three hours), Dh100 (additional hour), 04 359 2366, book@theliondubai.ae, www.theliondubai.ae

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Reform Social & Grill

Dubai

The family-friendly, British-style restaurant is hosting a four-hour Christmas brunch on the big day with a special vegan menu on offer. Start with a pumpkin and chestnut soup, followed by a nut roast “with all the vegan trimmings”, and finish off with a chocolate and gingerbread pudding. Expect a relaxed, fun vibe.

December 25, Dh450 (soft drinks), Dh580 (house beverages), Dh680 (sparkling beverages), Dh225 for children ages 8 to 14, Dh120 for children under 8, free for children under 2, 12pm to 3pm (four-hour drinks package), 04 454 2638, reservations@reformsocialgrill.ae, www.reformsocialgrill.ae/xmas

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Roots Bistro

Dubai

Roots Bistro, the vegan-friendly cafe in Silicon Oasis, is starting Christmas early this year. On Thursday (December 13), they’re hosting a festive-themed vegan pop-up night. Dishes include balsamic-glazed dehydrated beetroot topped with tofu-almond ricotta (Dh30), meatless-beef and squash pie (Dh55) and an heirloom pumpkin pie with maple cream (Dh30). The team has also prepared a Christmas takeaway menu that features a raw broccoli slaw; plant-based, gluten-free mac ‘n’ cheese for children; an organic lentil shepherd’s pie; plus sides of roasted heirloom potatoes, glazed rainbow carrots and turmeric Brussels sprouts; and a dessert of pumpkin and pecan pie.

Order until Thursday (December 20) to be delivered on December 24 between 6pm and 10pm (or picked up between 4pm and 6pm), from Dh1,280 (for eight people), foodie@rootsbistro.ae

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Simple Cafe

Abu Dhabi

Avid Instagram users may have noticed that this healthy cafe has been publishing tasty-looking vegan recipes on its social-media accounts lately. These are all available to order for pick-up or delivery around Christmas, too. They just need 48 hours’ notice, and you can choose from a range of dishes, including roasted fig and pumpkin soup, herb-crusted pumpkin mac and cheese, and a cacao yule log, as well as a “cranberry crush” juice.

Dh25 delivery fee in Abu Dhabi, from 9.30am to 1pm; collection from Zayed Sports City, 10am to 7pm; order via social media, www.simplecafe.ae

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Super Natural Kitchen

Dubai

The raw vegan restaurant in Galeries Lafayette at Dubai Mall is putting on quite a spread on Thursday (December 13). To start, you have beetroot ravioli stuffed with cultured fig and herb cheese, spinach oil and pea shoots. To follow, there’s the “ultimate Christmas burger”: a homemade brioche bun filled with a crispy jackfruit patty, spiced cranberry sauce, lettuce, tomato, pickles, creamy horseradish bread sauce and a side of charred Brussels sprouts. Finally, to finish, there’s a mince-pie tart, buttery crumble topping and stem ginger ice cream. Bonus points for those who bring a non-vegan to the dinner – you will get 25 per cent off. Throughout Christmas you will also find the regular, 100 per cent raw vegan/gluten-free Super Natural Kitchen menu available for dine-in and takeaway.

Thursday (December 13), 7.30pm-9pm, Dh150 per person, thena@snkitchen.com, www.snkitchen.com

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Tub of Butter

Dubai

Tub of Butter's vegan nut roast. Courtesy of Tub of Butter, Dubai
Tub of Butter's vegan nut roast. Courtesy of Tub of Butter, Dubai

A three-course Christmas lunch is on offer throughout December at this gourmet cafe, and there's an option for vegans and vegetarians. It includes a mushroom soup, followed by a nut roast, with a rose and coconut mousse for dessert. While you're there, you can also pick up a few decent stocking fillers for the gourmand in your life.

Dh150 per person, book 24 hours in advance, 04 343 8884, tubofbutter.com

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Dine in

Caho Chocolatier

Across the UAE

Whether it’s for a lovely stocking filler for a vegan loved one, or to gobble up yourself on December 25, Caho Chocolatier’s Christmas-themed hampers and chocolates are worth checking out. Dark chocolate bars in coconut, almond, apple and hazelnut are available, for example, as well as bite-sized pieces. Then there’s also the gorgeous Christmas Hamper (Dh350) that includes 400 grams of artisan chocolate slab in a wooden box with a hammer, plus three 80-gram bars, and one ceramic mug. You can customise the ribbon with a special message, too.

www.cahochocolate.com

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Kibsons

Across the UAE

Kibsons' vegetarian hamper. Courtesy of Kibsons
Kibsons' vegetarian hamper. Kibsons

Having dinner at home and making it yourself? Then Kibsons has our vegan friends covered. They have launched a vegetarian Christmas hamper that includes Brussels sprouts, parsnips, red cabbage, potatoes, carrots, sage, thyme, clementines, pears, chestnuts, dates, pomegranate seeds and cherries. It also comes with 12 fruit mince pies, but these aren’t vegan (you’ve been warned). The popular online grocery store also now sells DIY recipe boxes, with all the ingredients for a vegan eggplant stew (if you’re so inclined on Christmas). Some other favourites from the vegan range that wouldn’t look out of place on the Christmas dinner table include Coco’s cashew cream cheese, Alpro’s soya chocolate milk, nush almond milk yoghurt and Baker’s Kitchen’s oat sourdough bread.

www.kibsons.com

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SugarMoo

Dubai; Abu Dhabi and Sharjah, minimum delivery of Dh350

SugarMoo's allergen-free "Crazy Cake" miniature bundle with edible Santa hats. Courtesy of SugarMoo
SugarMoo's allergen-free 'Crazy Cake' miniature bundle with edible Santa hats. SugarMoo

At any time of the year, the vegan cakes from Dubai’s SugarMoo are beloved, even among dairy-lovers. This Christmas, the team has taken their most popular plant-based sweet treat – the "Crazy Cake” (also dubbed the “Allergy-Free Cake”) – and made a bundle of three miniature varieties that are dressed with edible Santa hats. The bakery delivers to Abu Dhabi and Sharjah for a minimum spend of Dh350.

Dh52, www.sugarmoo.com

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Veganlife Bakery

Across the UAE

For general vegan baked goods and sweet treats, look no further than Veganlife UAE. The team behind this online store has whipped up some plant-based mince pies, a yule log, gluten-free jam cookies, a festive brownie pack and cute Rudolph gingerbread cupcakes. And that’s just the Christmas-themed stuff. There’s plenty more in-store for the veggie-loving sweet tooth at the dinner table. These tasty treats are refined sugar-free, too.

www.veganlifeuae.com

Updated: December 12, 2018 05:32 PM

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