The Farm is all about the venue. The food is great and service is decent, but neither justify the price, however where in UAE can you sit outdoors in the middle of a lush green surroundings and a brook with flowing water full of fish? The answer to that question is The Farm. We went there to celebrate a special day, and the setting couldn’t have been any better.
Grilled Tiger Prawns with Mango-Tomato Tangy Salsa and Miso Wasabi (AED 37): Great appetiser. The prawns were well prepared and that tangy mango salsa provided a great balance. The miso wasabi sauce could have done with a bit more wasabi to give it an extra kick.
Mushroom Risotto (AED 70): The use of different mushrooms added some extra flavour, but we found it to be a bit too wet, more watery than creamy as it should be and hence a bit bland. The rice was overcooked as well. We are big fans of mushroom risotto, so this was a bit of a let down. A creamier version of this with a a little more flavour would be perfect.
Grilled Corn-fed Chicken Breast (AED 120): well seasoned and cooked enough that it wasn’t dry, however it was still on the bone, we weren’t such a fan of that. The puree that accompanied it along with some sautéed spinach was a decent enough accompaniment, all in all, it was tasty but just not enough to be worth the price.
Sweet Potato Fries (AED 24): These fries were crispy enough but nothing extraordinary. As a side, we guess that’s obvious, however maybe some spice mix or just some salt would have made it better. It was oddly sweeter than we expected too.
Overall the food comes across as over priced, but it’s really not about the food here.
Even though we were pretty full, we did want something sweet to finish off the meal. However the servers seemed to have forgotten we were there since the place was pretty busy by then. Nonetheless it just took too long (we’re talking 20-25 minutes here) to get anyone’s attention. By then we just wanted to leave so instead of the banana almond tart, we just got the bill.
As we have been here previously, the service at the door can be very inconsistent. This time we were not greeted nor really asked to be seated. We entered and wandered into the seating area where eventually we just seated ourselves. We tried to get a server’s attention but they were far too busy, which is surprising since the restaurant wasn’t all that full at the time. Eventually we got the their attention as well as our menus.
The ordering system is something worth mentioning because the menu is on an iPad. This is the Farm’s attempt at being even more unique, or so we assume since their implementation of this was horrible, clunky and very irritating. The menu is an unnecessary multitude of clicks to visit the details of a dish and then another array of clicks to go back. Once you decide what you would like to eat, you just order it the traditional way by informing the waiter… so what was the point of all this? It would be much better if they cleaned up the interface, made the menu responsive and more informative and added features like sending the order to the kitchen with an estimated time of the dish’s arrival (This is T’s geeky side showing up).
The service at The Farm is frustratingly slow. Once you wave out and a server bothered to see you, they take 5-10 minutes to come to your table, every time. Eventually we managed to place our order. We did complain to them that their service was very slow. This seemed to improve things for a while, as the person serving us was kind enough to provide us with some smoking-coffee to ward off the flies.
We decided to walk around and explore the area while the food was being prepared which was a good idea because the food took longer than it took us to explore the venue.
Towards the end of the meal, we felt like ordering a desert but as mentioned earlier it took so long that we lost interest and decided to leave, which took us a lot longer than is acceptable.
Service at The Farm is definitely something they need to fix as it is unacceptable for such a pricey establishment to give such sub par service where visitors get fed up and just leave.
The farm is located in Al Barari. It is one of those magical hidden gems of Dubai, an example of the vision of the various people that make this city so wonderful. When you turn into Al Barari, its like you are suddenly driving through a luscious green forest. You are transported to a whole different place and you instantly forget that you are in a concrete, glass jungle/desert country. You will never not see the shades of brown that people of Dubai are used to until you leave the area.
The Farm keeps this magical world flowing with its minimalistic approach to decoration. They have a herb garden within the premises, which speaks volumes about what The Farm promises to serve on your plate. Healthy, organic and fresh food.
The sitting area is outside surrounded by a small flowing river full of fish. You can walk around the area taking some beautiful pictures. They even have a bridge where you can stand and take pictures of the beautiful brook that runs through The Farm. The seating is under a canopy which just adds to the whole beauty of the place. Unfortunately the running water and nature causes there to be a lot of insects flying around which are irritating while trying to eat. The restaurants solution to this is to give you a plate of coffee powder which is smoking to ward of these flies.
The venue is so beautiful that no matter how the food turns out you will enjoy yourself and feel like you just took a trip to a whole different country.
To Book or not to Book
We had made a reservation a few weeks in advance as it was a special occasion and didn’t want any unfortunate surprises. You can make a booking over the phone and you will receive an SMS confirmation via Reserve Out. It is probably best to make the reservation directly via Reserve Out.
As this place can be busy at certain times of the year, its probably best to make a reservation to be safe. However when we visited the restaurant it was early afternoon and during the week so it was pretty much empty.
How to Get there
The farm is in Al Barari, located on Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Road (previously Emirates Road). It is basically out in the middle of nowhere. Al Barari is somewhat opposite Global Village, in the direction of Abu Dhabi. More specifically its opposite City of Arabia.
By Car: Driving yourself is probably the quickest and most cost-effective way of getting there. There is a decent amount of parking available. If you are not sure of the directions, its best to use a map to get there because missing the turn gives you a 20 minute detour.
By Cab: Many taxi drivers will know the location for Al Barari. The best thing to tell them is that The Farm is located opposite Global Village and follow the signs for Barari.
Public Transport: This is no public transport to the Barari. This is not really an option without using a cab as well.
Google Map: https://goo.gl/maps/yFMZdpKHoiP2
(unfortunately the location isn’t available on google maps, but this link takes you to the exact spot it is located.
You enter the venue by going down a set of stairs. Since its the only place around, its really hard to miss, you enter into a 1 floor building. The building seating/waiting area. Through this you go to the outside seating area, which is where you should sit. You can also get to the outside seating area by going around the small entrance building. The entire place is the farm.