This charming cafe is packed with healthy options

After becoming a mother, Monica, aka Moni, wanted to make sure she was giving her children the best start in life by looking after their health. Though she admits she’d always eaten healthy herself, it became more vital that her family follow a healthy diet, too.

In today’s world, we’ve become accustomed to the convenient way of life, which often means our diet takes a toll as we turn more to processed food for ease.

With an extended shelf life, foods are stripped of their natural nutrients and instead packed with artificial flavours, refined sugar and preservatives that are having a negative impact on our health.

That’s where Moni wanted to take action, and ensure that whatever she and her family ate was wholesome, nutritious and, of course, tasty.

What started as sharing homemade snacks with friends later turned into a small business doing home delivery and now a physical café.

Located in the clubhouse at Al Bandar, the modestly sized spot is bright and inviting despite its size, and features an adjoining play room with a pool table and bean bags.

With just a handful of seats and a modest menu, this is the kind of place where you might grab a healthy bite to go or enjoy a light meal with friends.

All of the dishes are either gluten free, dairy free or vegan. Menu items include toast with various toppings, porridge, açaí bowls, pancakes (served only on weekends), soup, sandwiches, tacos and drinks like fresh juices, smoothies, milkshakes and coffee by Dubai based The Raw Coffee Company.

There’s also a display case with sweet treats like cookies, cupcakes, flapjacks, date bars, scones, brownies and protein balls in various flavours including carrot truffle, nutty almond and tahini.

Out for a lazy weekend breakfast, I opt for the toast with LocoHazel – Moni’s healthier and palm oil-free version of Nutella. A generous portion of the nutty cocoa spread drips down the sides of the homemade bread, which is light and spongy.

It’s all topped with slices of banana and toasted coconut flakes for an indulgent but somehow light dish that goes down a treat with my morning coffee.

My friend equally enjoys the avocado on toast. This popular breakfast dish is given a twist with the smashed avocado served on top of a homemade chia and beetroot quinoa bread. Sprinkled with chilli flakes and fresh coriander, it’s a vibrant and fresh breakfast.

As we mingle over coffee, we witness a steady stream of people walking in and out grabbing snacks and small plates to go.

Clearly healthy food that tastes good is a winning formula and Moni’s Healthy Choice is a great place to get just that.

Need to know

Location: Moni’s Healthy Choice, the clubhouse, Al Bandar
We say: Healthy food that doesn’t skimp on flavour
Cost: AED 71 for two
Opening times: Sun-Thu 7am-7pm, Fri-Sat 8.30am-6pm
Contact: or follow @moniscafe on Instagram 

WORDS Rachael Perrett

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