Logma

Dubai is embracing the trend for outdoor-mall projects, such as The Beach at JBR and Citywalk on Al Wasl Road. Also on Al Wasl Road and joining in the new trend is the latest shopping and dining district, BoxPark. A concept from London’s cutting-edge Shoreditch, it is essentially a series of retail outlets, each built inside a cargo shipping container – i.e., in a box, so to speak. One new eatery now open at BoxPark is Logma. Meaning ‘bites’ in Arabic, it’s a casual dining spot promising ‘Khaleeji treats’. Within the shipping container setting, Logma is a simple, fun and modern-looking café, with a palette of cream, natural stone and wood. It also uses plenty of traditional Emirati-style woven palm fronds as design details. Outside the box, you’ll find outdoor dining space on all sides. On the warm evening we last visited Logma, the restaurant seemed to be pulling in good trade, with lots of diners both inside and out, representing a mixture of different nationalities. The welcome here felt efficient, but not especially engaging. However, we encountered a multitude of different servers during the meal, and the tone of service warmed up throughout the evening. The menu at Logma is surprisingly small and fairly untraditional. There’s a small list of breakfast dishes featuring classic egg and bread-based items – baith temat and chebab (Emirati pancakes) for example. There’s a small bites section featuring a selection of samboosa – think, Emirati samosas – and fries, alongside there are three rice dishes, a page of salads, a page of sandwiches, and finally, desserts. It looks like there isn’t much choice on the menu if you’re looking for the usual Emirati recipes, however, in reality, if you think of this as a modern Emirati café, it contains just the right range of choices. The food that arrived at our table was largely of a good standard. The filling inside the cheese samboosa was sweet, fresh, creamy and airy in equal measure, while the outside dough was bubbly and crisp. The Logma fries arrived doused in a flavour-packed seasoning with a little sweetness from mild, diced pepper. With expectations of the average Emirati portion size in mind, the chicken rice looked like a relatively restrained dish. It received mixed reactions at the table, and was certainly not the best example of Khaleeji rice skills, with not as much richness of flavour. However, the rice was still pleasantly buttery and brought a slight charcoal nuttiness to the dish. The grilled cheese sandwich, using traditional khameer bread, was crammed with a delicious spectrum of four cheeses combining a creamy consistency with a rich, sweet and tangy flavour. Our favourite of the savoury dishes was the freekeh salad, a combination of traditional roasted wheat, with fresh leaves, fresh parsley and coriander, plenty of oily pesto and pine nuts. Rounding off the meal, the luqaimat (Emirati doughnut balls), doused in caramel-like date syrup and sesame seeds, were a strong example of the nation’s favourite dessert. Recommended by the waiter, the chebab katayef was another enjoyable treat, made with a thick and crispy pancake, stuffed to the brim with sweet, caramelised dates and mascarpone cream. Logma is successfully doing exactly what Emirati food needs to do in order to gain a firmer hold on Dubai’s dining scene. The restaurant is far from traditional, but it offers plenty of classic flavours and ingredients, which have been turned into enjoyable and interesting café dishes, with a handful of modernisation where applicable. Well worth checking out. The bill (for two) 1x cheese samboosa Dhs32 1x Logma fries Dhs28 1x freekeh salad Dhs45 1x chicken rice Dhs55 1x grilled cheese sandwich Dhs38 1x chebab katayef Dhs42 1x luqaimat Dhs34 2x mocktails Dhs66 2x karak tea Dhs24 1x large water Dhs14 Total (including service) Dhs378