The farm-to-table concept could be considered a bit of a buzzword in dining in the past decade.
Despite the slightly idealistic moniker, the notion at its heart combines sustainability and food in a way that appeals to our desire to move away from the glut of processed foods that cram our supermarket shelves.
The process cuts out a problematic middleman all too present in the way in which we buy and consume food these days: the factory. It also focuses on locally produced ingredients, meaning that our food doesn’t rack up thousands of air miles before making it onto our plate.
Here, farm-to-dining options are few and far between. But with more farmers’ markets opening up, Abu Dhabi’s appetite for the concept is beginning to grow.
It’s something that Bill’s Farm, located near Marina Mall, is keen to prove can work in our arid climate. Founded on the belief that the food we eat should be more honestly produced, the restaurant offers a range of meats and locally grown veggies.
As we walk into the restaurant – which is decked out ranch style with scrubbed wooden tables and plush leather chairs – the restaurant’s commitment to fresh food is immediately apparent. A fridge stocked with different cuts of meat and piles of veggies tells us that our food hasn’t seen the inside of a plastic wrapper.
We start with a halloumi melanzane salad, the salty cheese complementing the fresh flavours of tomato, aubergine and verdant basil pesto, though I don’t get that ripe, delicious summery flavour I was hoping for.
Bill’s soujouk sausage on the other hand, prepared in-house, is a great surprise. Presented as flavoursome meat patties with a delicious kick of chilli and spices, the morsels are moreish.
For the main course, the beef shaslik turns out to be a great choice. The beef skewers are marinated in soy sauce and chilli before being grilled, and have a faint trace of warmth, set off by accompanying chargrilled onions.
The so-called lamb signature is equally as delicious, and we spoon the tender shoulder
of meat and heapings of green chilli over warm flatbreads.
Just when we think we can’t eat another bite, dessert arrives. The restaurant’s signature sweet is the katmer, and it’s an indulgent dish to say the least. Layers of filo pastry, pistachios, sugar and ice cream are folded together to make the world’s most decadent ice cream sandwich – yum.
With great food and fresh ideas, Bill’s Farm is certainly driving the farm-to-table concept in the right direction.
Location: Bill’s Farm, breakwater, next to Marina Mall
We say: Get it while it’s fresh – and save room for dessert
Cost: AED 350 for two
Opening times: Daily noon-1am
Contact: 02 666 1179, instagram.com/billsfarm
WORDS Camille Hogg