The food and restaurant reviews on this site will be a little bit out of the ordinary… Don’t expect me to order every single item on a menu and give my opinion on them…

You can read about my background on the “About Me” page, but my goal is to show you what restaurants are worth trying when you embark on a healthy eating lifestyle, or you suffer from food allergies. I will plan on visiting the “healthy cafes and restaurants” around town and during my travels, but also want to show you alternatives that you can order and stay on track when you eat in a so called “conventional restaurant”. You don’t need to feel like a weirdo and miss out on socializing with your friends and family and most importantly you don’t need to compromise your goals – regardless if they are vanity or health focused – mine are both :).

With all that said, let’s start with our neighborhood favorite: Vietnamese Foodies in Downtown Dubai. They have an another branch at JLT, which is the original one, but we have never visited that restaurant. We live walking distance from the branch in Downtown, located at Burj Vista tower, on Emaar Boulevard.

Vietnamese Foodies in Downtown Dubai

The restaurant interior is very modern, well lit and spacious. The space is unassuming yet very inviting, with a minimalistic design. There is ample seating and their lovely patio overlooking the Burj Khalifa is a true gem in the winter months. They advertise themselves as the “Authentic Health Food”, emphasizing simple, home style Vietnamese cooking with fresh ingredients. And let me tell you, they delivery exactly that.

As far as I know most of the staff is from Vietnam, so after being seated you are greeted by a lovely waitress who will offer water to get started with. They have their specials printed on the placemats on the tables, while most of the menu items are listed in a printed menu that is easy to navigate and also has images of some of dishes. The menu is clearly marked to help navigate the different dietary needs (vegan, gluten free, dairy free, paleo, etc) which makes your life so much easier! I would however recommend to remind the waiter when placing the order of the different food allergies you have, to ensure they prevent potential cross contamination. 

Restaurant entrance at Burj Vista

As a general rule of thumb stay away from fried food and too complex dishes – this serves the purpose of preventing potential contamination with unwanted allergens, and limit unwanted calories piled up on your plate from deep frying or sugary sauces. 

The appetizer menu is amazing, and includes fresh salads, shrimp rolls, or vegan rolls. My absolute favorites are the Green Papaya and Prawn Salad and the Grilled Chicken Rice Paper Rolls. I usually order the dressing on the side, but normally the salad comes already tossed with the dressing (which is gluten free). The portions are rather small so I would recommend to order multiple appetizers to share at a table. 

 

Green Papaya and Prawn Salad

For the main I recommend the Pho. Hands down. The flavors in this slow cooked, rich broth are purely magic, and the best part is that they do not use MSG to enhance the taste (which most Asian restaurants use in their dishes). I will dedicate a separate post in the future to talk about the negative effects of MSG (monosodium-glutamate) on your health, but just in brief it is considered a neurotoxin and has been linked to cancer. To have the label of NO MSG on the menu of an Asian restaurant is HUGE and in my opinion is a must. I would never voluntarily consume MSG ever in my life anymore, and can immediately feel the effects if I accidentally ever ingest any. But going back to the Pho… you have the option of beef tenderloin, beef brisket, chicken, and a vegan version. it comes in 3 sizes with gluten free rice noodles and fresh garnishes. I can easily polish off the medium size, but always ask for the noodles on the side, and just use around half of the portion to add to my soup. My favorite is the beef brisket, while my husband loves the chicken pho. I tried the vegan option before, but I didn’t find the flavor as rich as the non-vegan versions, but it had a great variety of vegetables and tofu in it. I will be honest and admit that we have never ordered any other main dish here personally – despite eating here almost weekly – but have tasted a few options when dining here with friends. They have dim sum, fried rice options, noodles, and various stir fries. All the main dishes our friends have tried here seemed to have hit the spot, and as the staff is very accommodating regarding food intolerances, and if they cannot make something happen that fits your requirements they will just politely ask you to order something else. I always appreciate this type of honesty, as opposed to having an upset stomach after a meal, because the waiter or the cook dismiss my request or have no real knowledge of the ingredients. 

They have traditional homemade iced drinks (lychee soda, iced herbal tea) which are fun to try and some cool desserts. 

Beef Brisket Pho

Overall Vietnamese Foodies gets a 10/10 from us – great casual eatery with healthy options, excellent food quality, fast and pleasant service and very reasonable prices. Almost forgot to mention that they deliver as well – order directly from their website to get 20% off from the first order. This post is not sponsored – we just really love them and hope they stay in business for a long time. 

I recommend you take stroll through the Burj Park after dinner and appreciate this cool and beautiful city we get to call home. 

Let me know what you think of this review!

Cheers, Nora

 

Burj Khalifa
Burj Park

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