When a café is half an hour’s drive from most Dubai landmarks, yet extremely popular, you know it’s good. Such is the reputation of The Farm in Al Barari Villas – yes you need a car to get there, but yes, it’s worth it.
Surrounded by lush greenery and bright flowers, the tropical colours masterfully disguise the fact that it’s in a desert city. The best part of all the scenery is that The Farm is well-equipped for summer, with two glass rooms complete with air conditioning. Setting-wise, it gets a huge tick.
The chef is currently getting creative with camel, and the menu is packed with dishes featuring the desert beast. Whether you’d like a camel meat burger or ice cream made with camel milk, the team can accommodate. The first question we had was “why?” and The Farm have clearly pre-empted this, as the iPads you order from explain everything. High in protein but half the fat, it's fantastic for those who are watching their weight.
We were expecting it to smell earthy or taste gamey. We were wrong on both counts. The meat tastes very similar to lamb but without a strong smell, and The Farm’s chef has managed to design dishes to ensure that the particularly dry meat is tender. Unfortunately, the camel milk isn’t quite as successful. With a heavy aftertaste, we probably won’t be replacing our morning latte anytime soon, although some of the ice cream flavours are delicious.
Three dishes to try:
Garlic stir-fried camel and hot Thai basil
There is no way of telling that this dish is made with camel. It’s simply a Thai stir-fry, and a good one at that.
Marinated camel strips are cooked in Thai cardamom curry with ginger and cashew nuts, giving the meat lots of flavor.
Camel milk ice-cream
Although the milk-based dishes are less appealing, some of the ice-creams are a big hit. Our favourite is the date flavour.