Lunch at Dusty’s
Dusty’s at DIFC is a contemporary deli and bar with a self-described ‘global family feel’. It’s located in Al Fattan Currency House, and is designed to give the busy executive a nice break between meetings. The interior of Dusty’s has a funky, unique look that immediately makes you forget about the formal business-like environment that surrounds it. Soft lighting, lots of wood paneling, quirky chalkboard illustrations and mirrored discs along the ceiling create a vibrant and eye-catching atmosphere. When I walk in for lunch, the restaurant is buzzing with activity. I love how much energy there is despite being a weekday afternoon, and grab a seat.
To start, I order the Dustylicious, one of their signature mocktails. It combines apple juice, lime juice and blackberry syrup to create a refreshing drink that’s just perfect for a warm afternoon. That’s followed by my appetizers, the Burrata with roasted peppers and olive oil, and one of their healthy options, the Roasted Beetroot Salad. The burrata is nice and creamy, and seems to have absorbed the flavor of the peppers a bit. The beetroot salad includes pieces of beetroot, citrus and spheres of goat’s cheese that have been coated in crushed pistachios. It creates a nice contrast of flavors. The sweet beetroot pairs well with the tangy orange pieces. The cheese is quite mild, and ties the other notes together. My only issue is with the pistachios, as I don’t think their flavor mixes with the beetroot too well.
For the main course, I order one of their gourmet sandwiches, Portobello Mushroom with Courgettes, and a duo of pasta dishes: Siciliana and Pesto. There’s a choice of pasta available; I opt for penne and linguine. The Siciliana has penne tossed in tomato sauce with slices of aubergine, topped with strips of mozzarella cheese. The sauce has a lovely fresh taste to it, contrasted by the slight sweetness of the aubergine. It’s a really simple dish, but the flavor is great. The Pesto, with linguine, has a sauce of almond pesto with chopped green beans. This provides a different and much more subdued flavor than regular pesto and is a little bit on the dry side.
The Portobello Mushroom sandwich is a panini filled with grilled mushroom, courgette slices and a spread that tastes like basil pesto. This spread definitely has the sharpness that was missing from the pasta sauce, and it enhances the earthy flavor of the mushroom. This is another dish that’s quite simple to look at, but packs in some great flavor.
There’s quite a lot of food to get through, but I still leave a little room for dessert. The Trio of Brulee sounds interesting, so I give that a try. Three small ramekins of crème brulee are brought out on a small tray, each one a different flavor. The first is coffee, which is always a perfect flavor for any cream-based dish. This one proves to be no exception. The second is coconut, which has a very subdued flavor, but is still delicious. The last of the three is mango, with a bold, fruity taste that’s extremely refreshing. It’s hard to pick a favorite among the three, though I find myself going back to the coffee-flavored one quite often.
The atmosphere at Dusty’s is very lively, and I’m sure it’s even more so in the evenings when it transforms itself into a fun wine bar. They’ve also introduced a new dinner menu recently, which Veggiebuzz will be sure to check out in the future.
My server was very friendly and helpful, though she did disappear for long stretches of time. It’s somewhat understandable, as the place was quite crowded, though I think the servers could have been better distributed amongst the tables to prevent any gaps in the service. That quibble aside, Dusty’s has a vibrant environment with a decent range of veggie options and is a great place to hang out, whether you’re stopping in for a business lunch or a more casual meal.
Veggie Friendly: ✔ Vegan Friendly: X
Pros: Quirky décor, buzzing atmosphere, good food
Cons: Service, while friendly, can lag at times when there’s a rush
Price: $$ (50 - 200 AED)
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