21 grams is the newest urban Balkan bistro located on the ground floor of the Park Regis Boutique Hotel in Jumeirah Road. It’s very near Kite Beach and is the perfect place if you want to eat something healthy after your workout.
Yes, I know what you’re thinking… What is Balkan? I asked the same question too because I have never heard of this cuisine before. And then they told me that Balkan, also called Balkan Peninsula, easternmost of Europe’s three great southern peninsulas, is an area of great history, home of many nations and cultures, and an unexplored wealth of amazing food.
The name 21 grams, on the other hand, is derived from the weight of the human soul and 21 degrees is the latitude of the Balkan peninsula.
So let’s talk about the place. 21 grams is a cute little spot on the ground floor of the hotel. It’s very easy to find especially if you’re coming from the beach or passing bu Jumeirah road. Inside, they made use of the small space by having just the right sized stools and tables. They have a very minimalist design and they placed a fresh flower and a fresh fruit on every table.
When it comes to the food, they say that the dishes originated from family recipes using wholesome, seasonal ingredients that are sourced from local farmers whenever possible. I can definitely agree because when we started with the pate and I tasted the bouyourdie, I knew that this is not your average kind of food. The taste is very distinct and it makes you want more.
We didn’t want to order more appetizers because I wanted to try as many main dishes as possible. The servings are good enough for two or as I always say, for one hungry person like me.
We then ordered the following main dishes starting with the Grilled cevapi with urnebes, onions, and peppers. This dish is like their version of kebabs but smaller. I really love this and is again, new to my palate.
The crispy skin chicken thighs were something that I believe we have back home so to be able to taste it again brought a little bit of nostalgia to me. It was nice if not better than our version.
The breaded turkey fillet had some potato dumplings in prune sauce and although it looked plain and simple, it tasted quite good too.
For a variation, I ordered something for the vegetarians out there and this summer zucchini moussaka was great as well coming from someone that likes his meat and steak.
My second favorite would have to be the oven baked seabass because I think they have perfected this dish. The crispiness outside and the tender meat inside was enough to make me plan my next trip to this place.
And lastly, my most favorite dish in 21 Grams would have to be the orange and balsamic vinegar marinated octopus because it had all the desirable elements that I’m looking for in an octopus dish. It was very easy to slice and not rubbery as the other varieties in the other restaurants.
I also love their staff because they are so warm and friendly and they can suggest and recommend things on the menu and they were able to give us a background of the cuisine and the conception of the menu.
We ended our meal by ordering desserts that include chocolate hazelnut baklava, Princess doughnut, Cheese strudel and Elderflower ice cream. Again, as expected, there is just something special about their desserts and even though some were of Arabic origin, they were able to put their own twist on them.
All in all, I can’t stress enough how much I loved the whole dining experience at 21grams. I mean, it’s not the fanciest place in the world, but it’s just that the food is something that when you taste it will make you just close your eyes and thank heavens or whoever is responsible for bringing Balkan cuisine to Dubai. It’s definitely food for the soul – tasty, light and highly pleasant to the taste.
For more info about 21 grams, you may visit their website via this link – http://21grams.me/