Park Central Deli, Food Store & Cafe, beneath the Ascot Hotel, is the 'go-to' place for fresh fast food. It is ideal when you're in your hotel room, or lazing by the rooftop pool; they have a 24 hour service and deliver anywhere in Dubai for free.
With signs like 'organic' and 'preservative free' beckoning the health-conscious customer, Park Central sounds pretty good. However, do not be fooled by the seemingly nutritional message. Park Central is an oxymoron at best.
They serve juices, smoothies, and salads, but that's about it when it comes to healthy food. Paradoxically they have a limited amount of vegan and vegetarian options, and claim they are all about nutrition. Undermining their 'organic' message are pieces of sirloin steak coated in a sweet calorie-laden sauce, served with mashed potato and garlic bread, burgers and fries, ice cream milkshakes, and fizzy drinks. Park Central seem to think organic means healthy, but when a piece of meat is then topped with cheese, a burger bun with a side of fries and sugary sauce it negates the organic benefits.
They also serve crepes with Nutella and ice cream, espresso over ice cream, and what they call 'your fries are open' section, which lists fries with different toppings such as 'British fries' topped with baked beans and cheese, and 'New York fries' topped with chilli con carne, cheese, and onions. Hardly what you'd expect on an organic deli's menu.
It is a rip off by no stretch of the imagination, and their organic message is simply a money making ploy. It is worrying that tourists may think this place is one for vegans/vegetarians, or those just looking for a healthier option, and will get scammed. The food is overpriced, average tasting, and in no way healthy.
Interestingly it has that health-food 'look' - inside Park Central is wooden, earthy and seemingly sugar-free. They sell organic vegetarian soaps, and stuffed olives, and cheeses in jars that are pretty, which all looks very fitting for a deli of the advertised description.
Do not be fooled food-foragers, Park Central is an expensive, unhealthy deli that will leave an unsavoury taste in your mouth, as well as your bank balance. There are plenty of other options that will deliver on Sheikh Zayed Road, as well as genuinely organic food stores to satisfy health-conscious tummies.