Bystro is a European restaurant and patisserie situated alongside the busy Sheikh Zayed highway in Dubai. When I heard how popular it was with the locals in the area, I obviously had to see what the hype was all about.
The casual dining atmosphere was perfect for a lunch date with an old friend … albeit with a slight identity crisis.
What stood out as I walked in was the striking yet minimalist decor which appeared to be a mix of European and Asian influences, while the extensive menu featured very Mediterranean-inspired dishes. In the middle of the restaurant was a large glass-encased pastry counter which housed some very tempting cakes, torts and Italian-style dessert bites.
Then you look at another wall and you see a shelf lined with homemade preserves, pickles, chutneys and sauces. There was just so much to take in!
Being an extremely hot day outside, we quenched ourselves with some Classic North Carolina Iced Tea. Now, I’ve never been to North Carolina or tried it’s iced tea … but this had got to be one of the best, darndest iced tea I’ve ever had – not too bitter, just enough sweetness … and just perfect.
For starters, we opted for the Parmesan crusted Portobello mushroom crisps with chipotle mayonnaise. It surprised me how incredibly simple, yet how ridiculously tasty this appetizer was. It was like having a side of fries, but healthier! They were crunchy, soft, and so very flavourful.
My friend and I decided to try (and share) two different items on the menu: I opted for the simple Spicy Chicken Burger with lemongrass and kafir lime leaf, with fried green tomato and chipotle mayonnaise (on the left), while my more adventurous dining partner had the Persian spiced chicken on a bed of couscous with pomegranate, fresh chili and mint yoghurt.
Both dishes were impressive, but the Persian chicken was definitely the more tastier of the two. Those Middle Eastern spices just pack the right punch of flavour!
Although we were too full for dessert by the end, we did sneak a peek at the assortment of sweet goodness encased in the Italian chiller. A sheet of thick glass separated our salivating mouths from the freshly-made breads, pastries, cakes and desserts on display (probably a good thing too).
We’re so glad we took our friend’s recommendation and decided to try Bystro. The food was affordable and hit the spot for a quick lunch. I could definitely see it as a great place for laid-back brunch or a coffee date. Airy, unpretentious, and a great menu makes this one a winner.