I’m not someone who tries different diets or following any diet trends. Thankfully, I am not allergic to any foods, or suffer from intolerance. Just as well, because I love good food. For those who know me well, heart-warming food makes my heart sing, literally. I am known to compose music or ‘see’ the experience of having a delicious dish in colour (meaning, I might end up creating a series of paintings depending on how the dish inspires me. Sounds strange, but it’s true!).
On my quest to try and do something new (nearly) each day, I found my way to Tr!beca at Jumeirah Beach Road. It is just a metro and a tram away; it’s really easy to get there and it’s a guilt-free trip to get there, especially when you find out how simple, easy, delicious yet healthy the paleo range of foods are.
The decor is dark but full of buzz. It looks like a popular place for people to hang on even on the weekend. Heavy music played by a DJ somehow gets absorbed into the buzz of the people who are enjoying an evening out. I loved the bottles dangling from the ceiling and were filled with lightbulbs, casting dim shadows and creating a case for eating in a meditative form (at least for me). The balcony doors are cast wide open, given the amazing weather we are enjoying in Dubai, thus giving people an option to sit outside which overlooks the piazza.
I have been invited to try Paleo dishes by Tr!beca, a new addition to the other dishes Tr!beca serves. I have already done some research on the Paleo diet which is emphasizes that the food our ancestors, the caveman, is something that we can eat today. Which means, processed food is out!
Now, I’m someone who already incorporates a lot of fish, nuts and seeds into my diet. But trying to get my head around limiting the carbohydrates is a lesson that I’m about to learn at Tr!beca.
Here is a list of the dishes that I have tried:
1) For starters – free range chicken breast, kale diced avocados with grated coconut dressed with coconut oil and lime juice. I could definitely get the taste of coconut oil, the taste of which reminds me of coconut based dishes that mum makes. I have an orange juice to go with the meal (good idea, given that I was fighting a cold).
2) Pan seared salmon, lettuce, datterino tomatoes, peach slices and green olives, dressed in walnut oil. I loved the taste of the pan-seared salmon. Eaten with the avocado, it is a winning combination to my palate.
3) Zucchini noodles, chestnut mushrooms, mixed cherry tomatoes and kale with macadamia nuts pesto. Staying away from the carbs, this zucchini noodles dish is surprisingly something that I can get used to. Zucchini seems to have that ‘neutral’ taste whether eaten as noodles or incorporated into a dessert. And hey pesto! Don’t forget the pesto
4) Tr!beca Paleo Lasagne made of organic bolognese, courgette, aubergine, tomato and mixed leaves. I’m not someone who is fond of aubergine in any shape, form or recipe. My dear mum knows that. However, this particular way of blending the aubergine flesh with courgette and then bundling it back into the aubergine shell was a nice surprise. With a bit of cheese, it did feel like lasagne, minus the carbohydrate laden sheets that we are so used to.
5) Beef tenderloin tagilata with roasted cherry tomatoes. This for me was the show-stopper of the whole Paleo experience at Tr!beca. As a rule, rare or even medium rare meat doesn’t do it for me. So imagine my surprise when I planted a piece of the medium rare beef in my mouth. It was pure heaven as the meat lathered with pesto seemed to melt into my mouth. I had to ask the chef what the secret is to preparing a perfect medium rare meat dish. The chef mentioned how important it was to choose the tenderloin meat, sear the meat at the highest temperature before placing it on a bed of rosemary and thyme and leave it undisturbed on the side. That allowed the meat to cook and infuse the herbal flavours as the meat cooked within. The divine pesto made the meat even more palatable. I know what dish I’ll be ordering the next time I’m back at Tr!beca.
6) Side dishes included cauliflower rice and sweet potato fries. Cauliflower rice was just mashed up boiled cauliflower with a dash of cumin seeds. As for those sweet potato fries, sharp, crisp, it was just the right accompaniment.
7) The Paleo Banoffee pie with coconut, honey, pecan nuts and chia seeds. Curiosity got the hold of me as I tried to understand how the pie could stay in place without the use of flour or eggs. The chef explained how the honey and chia seeds held the pie together like glue. Placed in a hollow circle, it was then layered with nuts and finished with banana and more nuts. I could foresee myself having this as a ‘breakfast’ in itself as it was quite heavy and would keep me satiated.
I suppose, after the ‘Paleo experience,’ it is possible to me to cut back on the carbs in a huge way…
Read a fellow food blogger’s views on the same ‘Paleo’ experience here.
While I was invited along with other food bloggers to try out the Tr!beca Paleo Dishes, the above views remain my own. Photos by Tr!beca have been credited as such and have been used with permission.