Salad and Bagels

Salad and Bagels would never normally be the type of place I review. As the name suggests, it’s a salad bar that specialises in bagels, and the potential for it being a minor entry in Dubai’s eating-out scene is great. But I was called to the place for one reason, and one reason alone: it advertised itself as having the world’s longest salad bar. I had to see what that looked like, though I’ll admit I was doubtful: a quick Google search revealed record-breaking salad bars involving 1,400kg of food served on tables 55m long. I couldn’t imagine too many venues that could house such an array of food. As it happens, my suspicions were soon confirmed: when I sat down and looked at the menu, I noticed they’d downgraded their claim to ‘largest salad bar in the Middle East and North Africa’. It was still a bold statement, and still seemed inaccurate. The cooler containing this supposedly mountainous array of salad was just shy of five metres in length, and was only half filled. I’d bet money that it wasn’t even the largest salad bar in Barsha, let alone the Middle East. As the trays on display were filled with little more than a few bits and bobs of lettuce, tomatoes and olives, my date and I decided to order from the menu. I opted for a Thai salad, which was somewhat lacking in Asian character. It was served without a dressing and comprised sliced cabbage, orange slices, pieces of chopped apple and a sprinkling of grated ginger. In an attempt to complement it, I ordered a side of one of the few dressings available – smoked onion vinaigrette – but this added little to the dish. My date had the beanno salad, which looked better on paper than it did in its ultimate execution. It promised Italian-style beans (they were really just ordinary, over-boiled green beans), mozzarella (mysteriously absent), tomato pesto (also absent), brown onions (they were white) and ‘famous Italian dressing’ (a bright orange-coloured sauce that was strangely devoid of flavour). Needless to say, we weren’t impressed. We tried to save the meal by ordering a couple of bagel sandwiches. I chose the olive and sun-dried tomato option with a slab of strangely bland cream cheese, while my companion had the beef parmagiana, which promised roasted beef, marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese and roasted peppers. This confused our waitress slightly – she asked my friend which of these ingredients she’d like on the bagel (when she checked with her manager, she discovered that the sandwich was indeed meant to come with all of them). Feeling underwhelmed and misled, my date and I decided to take our leave of what was possibly the most under-stocked salad bar in history. False advertising never felt so cruel. The bill (for two) 1x Beanno Dhs28 1x Thai salad Dhs26 1x Bagel Dhs30 1x Beef parmagiana Dhs28 Total (excluding service) Dhs112

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