Living on the ‘other’ side of town, I still somehow often find myself on Al Wasl or Beach Road for appointments at least once a week. Today was no different, so after finishing up, I plugged in One Cafe by Life N’One (which, my apologies to the owners, sounds like a fancy yoghurt) to trusty Dr. Google and six minutes later arrived at my destination. Firstly, if ‘curb appeal’ counts for anything, you will immediately be put off. The cafe/yoga/pilates studio is fronted by a busy parking lot (I chose street parking down the way). Inside, you will know you are in the right place by the number of life-affirming mottos on placards and windchimes. While the immediate steps lead into the studio space (which, should you be interested, offers an extensive list of courses), the back garden has been transformed into a cafe of sorts.
For the record, this is not Lime Tree. This is not Comptoir 102. This is also not THE One Cafe (which is, confusingly, just around the corner at THE One, the fancy home goods store). This is a relatively convenient place to eat post-workout. As you walk over the uneven pavers (as I am married to a landscape architect, when I see work that is dangerous to a pedestrian, I feel the need to point it out), the backyard is made up of a series of small wooden tables (some outdoor, some covered). Taking a seat near a group of (textbook) Jumeirah Janes in the covered section, I sat down with my book to review the menu.
While it’s always good to see a variety in Dubai (yay for vegans!), I thought it strange they only used almond ‘mylk’ in their smoothies — I’m a bit sensitive to this milk production, as a former Californian, growing almonds puts an enormous tax on the land, no matter how delicious they are. Anyway, as my usual ‘lunch’ ‘consists’ of either popcorn, a hardboiled egg, or some portion of cheese, I was delighted by the avocado and tomato salad. Delivered with a bit of pine nuts and chopped onions and radish, and topped with a simple blend of olive oil, it disappeared in a matter of minutes. I also decided to try the Watermelon-Melon drink, which was quite refreshing.
Would I go back? Sorry, friends, there wasn’t enough to tempt me for a repeat visit. In place, I would offer up Limetree or Baker & Spice…or Spinneys. The offers are not particularly revolutionary and I think much of what is on the menu could be created in your kitchen. However, should you find yourself with discerning vegan guests or in need of a zen moment in Dubai, I think One Cafe by Life N’One is the place for you.