TAWA BAK­ERY This new out­let has binned the gluten – but has it kept the taste?

What's On (Abu Dhabi) - - EAT // REVIEW -

f you’re gluten-in­tol­er­ant or af­fected by coeliac dis­ease, then you’ll know eat­ing out in Abu Dhabi can be tough – in fact, you have fewer restau­rants to visit than veg­e­tar­i­ans. So Tawa Bak­ery, a new out­let in Al Muneera, is good news – Tawa’s owner is an Emi­rati who was di­ag­nosed with coeliac dis­ease two years ago, and she de­cided to prove that grub doesn’t have to be boring just be­cause you can’t eat wheat, bar­ley or rye. She’s come up with a venue and menu that will ap­peal to ev­ery­one, not just those of you look­ing to shun gluten.

Tawa looks lovely, of­fer­ing great views of the beach at Al Raha and some quirky dé­cor, in­clud­ing chairs made from re­cy­cled Coca-Cola cans and re­claimed ta­bles from Italy. But the real wow fac­tor is in the food. The menu doesn’t fea­ture items that will sur­prise you – the brekkie sec­tion is full of stan­dard fare such as eggs Bene­dict, pan­cakes and omelette, while the starters in­clude gar­lic bread and risotto balls. There

Iare burg­ers, piz­zas and pasta dishes in the mains but it’s im­por­tant to re­mem­ber what’s miss­ing – the wheat. And the good news is the food here doesn’t also lose the flavours. To start, the cheesy gar­lic bread looked like a slice of baguette and tasted like it, but was much lighter. The salt and pep­per cala­mari starter was juicy with­out be­ing greasy and was lifted by a mor­eish har­risa sauce. For the mains, a veg­gie burger made of chick­pea was also tasty, although a lit­tle dry. Add a lit­tle sauce of your choice though and it’s a bel­ter. The out­let’s Spicy pizza, with ground mince and gar­lic and onion, was also a cracker – it was tough to tell the base wasn’t made of real dough. Again, it was fill­ing with­out leav­ing you bloated. For dessert, the rich Nutella cheese­cake and sur­pris­ingly light banoffee pie were both knock­out and we also dab­bled with a slice of ba­nana and date bread – great with but­ter but skip the tasty jam, it made it too sweet.

The staff should also be ap­plauded – they were friendly and knew their menu, the only mis­take they made was bring­ing all the dishes at the same time, caus­ing chaos on the ta­ble.

Tawa Bak­ery isn’t just for people with food al­ler­gies – the menu is well ex­e­cuted and the lo­ca­tion makes it a real win­ner.

Al Muneera Beach Plaza, Al Raha, Abu Dhabi, daily 7.30am to 11pm. Tel: (02) 5566900. Taxi: Al Muneera Beach Plaza. tawa.ae

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