Keeping It Local at Roux
While City Walk has some well-known franchises and chain restaurants to draw people in, City Walk 2 is a bit more experimental, showcasing lesser known and newer restaurants, such as Roux, the homegrown casual dining concept that made its debut in December. Roux promises mouth watering bistro and cafe fare made with locally sourced organic ingredients.
At one end of a square plaza in City Walk’s indoor retail space, Roux echoes the contemporary European vibe of the locale with a white block lettered sign, hanging bulbs and a monochrome color scheme (broken up by the wooden furniture). A small fruit and vegetable stand set up in one corner adds a rustic feel to the space, and everything there is for sale! All the produce is local and organic, while the breads are made in-house.
Roux’s salad selection includes The Quinoa, a tangy quinoa salad with pomegranate seeds, sun-dried tomato, baby spinach and goat’s cheese. The flavors are robust, but the pita chips scattered on top of the dish are too soggy and greasy for my liking. I was expecting them to be crisp, to add another textual element. The Green is a mix of avocado, spinach, rocket and kale chips with some additional options available (I go for goat’s cheese). The citrus dressing and a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds give this dish some tang as well, while keeping the flavor profile distinct from the previous dish. I’m also glad to find that the kale chips have the crunchiness that the pita lacked.
The appetizer dishes at Roux are a more substantial portion than I expected, and could each make up a nice light meal. The playfully named Roux-ccini, for example, is a large zucchini cut in half lengthways and stuffed with rice and roasted peppers. The freshness of the zucchini really shines, and is bolstered by the sweetness from the peppers. The Mushroom Melt sounds like the perfect dish - mushrooms and cheese on toast, what’s not to love? - but the two thick slabs of toast, along with the rich, cheesy topping, becomes a bit too much after a while.
There is a scarcity of vegetarian options in the main course section, with only a pasta arrabbiata and mushroom risotto to choose from; I opt for the risotto. To its credit, the risotto is a flavorful and well-prepared dish, but it’s not the most exciting dish. I also have a side of Ultimate Fries, topped with parmesan and parsley and served with guacamole and sour cream. It’s addicting, and definitely one for sharing (if you’d even want to share it, that is).
When it comes to dessert, Roux does away with the dessert menu and instead invite you to check out their freshly made desserts at the pastry counter. These tend to change on a daily basis, so you’ll always have a good variety to choose from. I have the Strawberry and Pistachio Cake because I’m curious about how that unusual combination will work. To my surprise, it works very well, with just the right mix of sweet, sour and nuttiness.
The City Walk expansion is quickly building itself up to be a casual dining hot spot, and in spite of the several cafes and restaurants surrounding it, Roux carves out a little niche for itself with its focus on local ingredients. The food is delicious, though it could use a few more veggie options to really make it worth multiple visits.
Veggie Friendly: ✔ Vegan Friendly: ✔
Pros: Good food, good location and ambiance
Cons: Needs more veggie main courses
Price: $$ (50 - 200 AED)
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