Hands up if you are guilty of always hopping in the car and driving somewhere to eat out! It’s something that happens unconsciously to me all the time. When I’m thinking of places to eat or to take people too I firstly think of ‘destination’ type dining and the parking situation, particularly when it’s hot. “Shall we head to JBR, The Beach, City Walk, La Mer” etc and then I start to whittle down choices from there. With the exception of my ‘to go’ cheap breakfast or lunch fix, Cascade multi cuisine, which is literally underneath my building, I rarely eat out in my neighbourhood. Cascade, as you might have guessed, is one of those multi cuisine places that literally serves everything including, Indian, Filipino, Desi-Chinese, Arabic, British, Sandwiches, Salads, Burgers, Fried Chicken, Pizza etc. With all of that variety, as you might expect, some are hits and some are misses. Not only do they serve food they also have the “Only in Dubai and the Middle East” array of multicolored and layered juices and mocktail drinks all with quirky names and often costing more than the main meal! That said, if you choose wisely you can have a decent meal at a more than decent price.
Just before the summer, I handed back my hire car and since then have been getting around by Metro, Taxi, Uber & Careem, on foot and using U Drive and Ekar (rent by the minute car services – new post coming up on that soon). With the exception of walking in the heat, and having to plan a bit more, it’s working well, though I can’t lie, I have my eyes on buying a renting a car sometime in the future. Tht said, taking alternative transportation options has opened my eyes to dining more locally, and also to exploring new areas. So here’s a first post about dining in my neighborhood, more posts to come.
Arrows and Sparrows
Just a fifteen minute walk from my house, Arrows and Sparrows is located in Emaar Business Park, The Greens and is a homegrown business from the co-founders of Friends Avenue, 112 Main Street Bakery (which operates from Arrows and Sparrows) and Socials Cafe in Uzbekistan!
Lovely bright interiors which are not too fussy but welcoming at the same time. Seating is a mixture of raised area near the window through to a larger communal table close to the coffee bar. There’s also outdoor seating which is welcomed, although unfortunately the view is mainly carpark. That said, I know Arrows and Sparrows are very accommodating and allow dogs to sit outside during the cooler months, which is something I will check out with my two rescue girls.
We start off with a Peanut Chicken Salad which is packed with carrots, edamame, lettuce, peanuts, spring onions and chicken all doused with a peanut sauce and topped with crispy egg noodles. It tastes good, and the balance of different textures adds additional interest. I’d love to see a spicy option added to add some warmth and depth to the dish. Next up is a Arrows and Sparros signature burger which is normally served with a beetroot brioche bun. I choose to have it without the bun, and am served a skillfully balanced and skewered stack of two burgers, pickles, cheddar cheese with tomato, lettuce and onion. There’s also a secret sauce, but I don’t really taste that in mine. The burgers are tender and very meaty. We also try the Korean Bowl which comes with chicken and we add an extra side of beef. The bowl is packed with rice, broccoli, mango, cabbage, kimchi, avocado and spring onions and peanut sauce. The beef is tender as is the chicken. Overall I feel that it needed a little more flavoring and again, some heat with a little chili.
We end our meal on a sweet high with a piece of millionnaire’s shortbread and carrot cake. The millionaire shortbread is rich and decadent with plenty of dark chocolate which was a hit for my guest, but too dark for me, but I’m a white chocolate lover so don’t judge me on this one. As for the carrot cake, I’m lucky to get the first slice from the gorgeous cake on display. The cake is packed full of carrots and golden sultanas so feels a little heavy compared to other carrot cakes. Thankfully the heaviness doesn’t translate into a stodgy experience, but its probably a good size for sharing as I couldn’t finish my piece. The frosting is really lovely, not at all sweet and silky smooth which balances out the richness of the cake.
I love my Specialty Coffee, so started with a flat white which was really good. The beans are by Raw Coffee. I’m not generally a huge fan of Raw coffee served outside of the Raw roastery, as unfortunately I’ve had quite a few bad experiences with good beans spoiled by poor brewing. Thankfully this was not the case at Arrows and Sparrows and my flat white was brewed expertly and tasted great. We also tried the new pineapple fizz, a new addition to the menu. The ingredients aren’t listed but at a guess it’s pineapple juice, ginger and soda or tonic. The drink was refreshing and warming from the ginger, a nice touch! Great to see it being served with a paper straw too!
The final drink, with dessert was the turmeric latte, which is made with coconut milk and turmeric, (no coffee I’m afraid!). Unfortunately this wasn’t to my taste at all as it was far too sweet for my palate and whilst turmeric drinks are ‘all the rage’ at the moment this is not one for me.
Would I go back?
Yes! We ate late lunch at about 4pm and were pleased to see that the breakfast menu was still available with some innovative looking dishes which we are keen to taste. I’m a avid supporter of homegrown businesses, (check out the FoodePreneur section of FoodeMag dxb to see how we help promote local homegrown businesses) so would love to pop back and try some of the breakfast items, or even to enjoy drinks and cake on the terrace with the pooches.
Arrows & Sparrows:
Open daily, 8am to 10pm. Breakfast served daily until 6pm.
Unit #G03, Building 4, Emaar Business Park, The Greens.
Parking: Paid on-street parking or two hours free parking in Emaar Business Park with Arrows and Sparrow’s stamp.