Four new vegan options for foodies in the UAE

From a vrunch on April 6 to moreish vegan cheese, here are some new plant-based menus to try in Abu Dhabi and Dubai

Wellington nut roast at a vegan brunch in Rove Dubai. Courtesy Rove Dubai
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From having to pick out bits of Turkey bacon from salads to enjoying entire menus crafted around plant-based food, vegans have come a long way in the UAE. Many restaurants give equal weightage to their vegan-friendly dishes, and are constantly innovating and introducing options that are at once conscientious and delicious.

Here are the latest vegan launches in the Emirates...

Vegan roast at The Daily, Rove Healthcare City, Dubai  

On Saturday, April 6, chef Zendy Marsam, in collaboration with Dubai Vegan Days and Rove hotel, will present a four-hour roast dinner tasting, albeit without the meat sweats. A pastry-wrapped Wellington nut roast, served with rosemary Hasselback potatoes and roasted root veggies in a mushroom gravy, is the star of this plant-based show, which also includes an unlimited salad buffet and, for dessert, blackberry apple tart or orange and almond cake. Seating is limited, and costs Dh99 for adults and Dh49 for children. To book, call 04 561 9200 or visit

Lean Bean menu at Taqado, Abu Dhabi and Dubai

Lean Bean menu at Taqado Mexican Kitchen
Lean Bean menu at Taqado Mexican Kitchen

The Mexican chain is known for its straightforward concept and small-number dishes: you pick a filling (chicken, beef, mushrooms, chilli con carne), select a vehicle (taco, burrito, quesadilla, salad bowl) and then choose toppings such as beans, sour cream, salsa, guacamole or cheese. The new Lean Bean menu, too, follows this no-nonsense approach, with one key advantage. The vegan cheese the chefs have created, says Taqado COO Christian Jannssen, is “incredible” and, really, that’s half the battle won when it comes to an appetising taco, quesadilla et al. The menu is available at all 18 Taqado branches in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and includes a green burrito, vegan earth salad, whole wheat quesadilla and a no-guilt lemonade.

Very Vegan menu at Fuchsia Urban Thai, Dubai

Spicy fried brown rice from the Very Vegan menu 
Spicy fried brown rice from the Very Vegan menu 

The Barsha Heights eatery is a popular takeaway spot, and now you can pick up or order in from its new 20-dish Very Vegan menu. In addition to the usual starters (veg spring rolls, sweet potato fries) and soups (clear with mushrooms, tom yum with young coconut), the plant-based menu centres on authentic Thai flavours. Think corn fritters with kaffir lime leaves and spicy tamarind paste; fresh morning glory in tempura batter, Thai herbs and sweet chilli; and a piquant tofu and cashew combo. The menu also includes six noodle and rice options, three salads and woks, and red and green curry.

‘Free-spirited’ choices at Baker Street Cafe, Dubai

Customisable coucous salad at Baker Street Cafe
Customisable coucous salad at Baker Street Cafe

An addition to the dedicated vegan menu at Baker Street Cafe in JLT reads “You’re not picky, you’re free-spirited”, followed by a list of ingredients that you can choose from to modify your meal.

As owner – and baked potato enthusiast – Nada El Jarrah explains, vegan customers, too, have dietary requirements that don’t always fit in with the set menu. Accordingly, once you decide you’re having the couscous salad or roasted veg sandwich or grilled green fusilli, you can add or take out ingredients – which range from baked beans and gherkins to rocket and avocado – as you please.