First Impressions | Breakfast at Parker's Dubai Review
Parker’s is a wildly successful local restaurant. They have over 150k Instagram followers and multiple locations around the Middle East. They became famous after introducing their members only concept, to get in you had to have a Parker’s key, and kept people coming back by offing menu items that are inventive, trendy, and Instagrammable.
I have been to Parker’s in Dubai Mall for lunch a few times. Unfortunately, they leave us gluten intolerant foodies out of the exciting Parker’s experience. All of the creative lunch options and unique desserts contain gluten. Salad (that has to be modified) is the gluten-free (GF) option. Many people I know who can have gluten love Parker’s and I want to love it too. I became excited when I saw the La Mer location breakfast menu had GF options marked on the menu because I was ready for the exciting Parker’s experience.
FIRST IMPRESSION REVIEW
Taking inspiration from the Youtube beauty community, I base my first impression reviews on my first experience trying out a restaurant. I am explicitly calling this type of review “first impressions” so my readers know my experience level with the restaurant and have context for my writing.
There are three items on the menu marked GF: Sweet Potato Guac, Parker’s Acai, and Tropical Acai. Both acai bowls were similar, so I ordered the Sweet Potato Guac and the Tropical Acai.
As we were waiting for our food to come to the table, a server brought us a tester of the Sweet Greens smoothie. It was delicious, especially for a green smoothie. The sweetness of the peach and mango cover up the bitterness many people dislike in green smoothies. I would order the full size if I visit Parker’s again.
The Sweet Potato Guac (39 DHS) is a take on avocado toast, so it’s perfect for a healthy start to the day. It was relatively filling but light at the same time. I was happy I ordered the acai as well because I was quite hungry and this wouldn’t have been enough to fill me up. I think the Sweet Potato Guac would have been a filling meal on its own if I had added the optional egg (+12 DHS). Knowing Parker’s inventive reputation, I’ll admit I was hoping for a twist to make this dish extra exciting. It was merely a standard healthy breakfast offering I would be happy to eat again.
The Tropical Acai (39 DHS) is the dish that would be my first choice to order again. The acai was a smoothie like consistency topped with a mix of toppings that added different textures to each bite. I would recommend asking if they can serve it in a bowl. The spoon they gave to eat it with was so large in proportion to the size of the coffee cup that the toppings fell out when I tried to get a bite with acai and the toppings together.
Ronnie had the Parker’s Club Sandwich (43 DHS) in the pictures. He also had an issue with the presentation. The sandwich is so thick that he had to ask for a fork and knife so he could deconstruct and eat it.
Side note: If I could have gluten, I would try the french toast. I was almost drooling when I saw it pass by on its way to another table. I highly recommend checking out Parker’s if you can eat gluten because there are so many enticing options that contain gluten.
Gluten-free options are marked GF on the menu. I appreciate that they also print on the menu to inform the staff go your allergies, which I made sure to do before ordering. When I ordered the sweet potato guac, the lady told me they would remove the cheese to make it gluten-free. I wasn’t in the mood to ask “why does this cheese contain gluten?” so I just said that would be okay.
Servers confusing dairy and gluten is a common thing I encounter in Dubai. While some cheese can contain gluten, most are gluten-free. It could also have been the case that this particular server was confused and the cheese was okay, but I was just not in the mood to call over a manager and ask a million questions. Sometimes I want to eat like a typical customer without all the fuss, so I agreed to have the cheese removed.
I'm bringing up the following point because it is so vital for any restaurant to understand when labeling GF. If a dish is marked GF on the menu, then all the ingredients listed for that dish should be GF, so customers don't get confused. If a customer orders an item marked GF thinking it is gluten-free and doesn't inform the staff of the allergy, there could be a health problem for the customer if the dish contains gluten. As a customer with an allergy, I always inform every restaurant I am gluten intolerant, but when I was newly diagnosed I didn't realize I needed to be so careful. Restaurants labeling items GF need to take the situation seriously and make sure the items marked GF are GF. They also need to make sure everyone on the staff has a clear understanding of what gluten is and which dishes are safe for customers eating GF.
All the servers I encountered were friendly. Parker’s is a self-service concept, but they also have servers that can take additional orders if you are eating and realize you want to add something.
Parker’s has a lovely beachside cafe feel. Situated in trendy La Mer, Parker’s has an equally lively vibe. The outdoor marble tables make for the perfect background to snap you foodie Instagram pics. There is a big outdoor seating section, perfect to take advantage of while we have fantastic weather in Dubai, and an indoor section for when the heat kicks back in.
When Parker’s started, you had to have a Parker’s key to eat there. This time we were not asked if we had a key, so I’m not sure if that rule is in place anymore. I have been asked at the Dubai Mall location when the restaurant was so busy there was a line to get in. Maybe we weren’t asked at La Mer because the restaurant was less than half full when we went for breakfast.
I think my rating would be much higher if I were not eating GF. So many people love Parker's, but I did not have a good GF experience there. Do give it a go if you can have gluten and tell me in the comments how your experience went.
People who are not eating gluten-free, breakfast with friends and family before enjoying the beach, taking guests who have come to visit you in Dubai
Great location in trendy La Mer
Convenient self-service concept
Shop S 07, South, La Mer
Jumeirah 1, Dubai
Reviews are written based on my experience at the time I ate at the restaurant. Remember to always check with the restaurant staff regarding current menu, timings, prices, and allergy information. They are subject to change at the restaurant’s discretion at any time, and I cannot be held responsible for their changes.
Have you tried Parker’s? Comment below the dishes you love or want to try.