Tuesday May 21st, 2024
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Nounette & Co: A Dahab Eatery Serving Rainbows on a Plate

Had Carrie Bradshaw been born in Dahab, she wouldn’t have bought Vogue for dinner.

Riham Issa

Nounette & Co: A Dahab Eatery Serving Rainbows on a Plate

In our relentless pursuit of ‘healthy’ culinary experiences, many of us have fallen victim to monotonous salad bowls or chugged one too many green smoothie concoctions, all the while attempting to convince ourselves that these bland monstrosities were delightful.

Tucked away amidst the rugged mountains framing Dahab, newfound beachside healthy food haven, Nounette & Co. is splashing waves of rainbow-coloured soul-nourishing super bowls along the azure Red Sea coast.

From their Rainbow breakfast combo to their fluffy chia pancakes topped with dollops of rich cashew cream and their saucy pasta buffet, Nounette’s offerings, prepared with loads of love and a splash of magic, burst with colours and flavours that will satisfy most cravings from breakfast through dinner.

Upon stepping inside the rustic wooden restaurant, you will be greeted by a warm ambience, reminiscent of a bohemian eatery on Malibu beach – where you’re just as likely to bump into Chris Hemsworth leisurely enjoying a Sunday brunch as you are a group of dreadlocked newly-vegan drummers.

“They call me the crazy chef because I just let my wild instincts guide me in the kitchen, building my plates as if I am sculpting an art piece,” Chef Nada Howaidy, founder of Nounette & Co. tells SceneEats. “I don’t have rules in my kitchen and I don’t follow certain recipes. I like to make everything from scratch and infuse each dish with vibrant colours and flavours by incorporating different vegetables, fruit  and even real flowers to bring a little bit of life into every dish.”

After spending years immersed in the fast-paced world of marketing and PR management in the film industry, Howaidy decided to leave the city that never sleeps in 2019, and sought solace in Dahab. What started out as a three-week vacation, soon turned into an extended stay of almost three months. It was during one of her yoga retreats in Sinai that she rediscovered her true passion for the culinary arts, ultimately leading her to establish her own restaurant.

“It all began with cooking for friends at home and preparing meals for my yoga retreats in Sinai,” Nada recalls. “Initially, I felt a deep connection to the film industry, believing it was where I belonged. However, I have always revelled in creating audacious fusions of seemingly incompatible ingredients. It’s in my nature. And so, I wanted to share my love of food with the people of Dahab.”

Named after her and her mum’s moniker, Nounette brings unconventional remakes of mundane healthy dishes to the table, “I borrowed the name from my mother, as she runs a catering business called Nounette. I was very inspired by her accomplishments and what she was capable of doing, and I aspired to follow in her footsteps,” Howaidy shares with SceneEats. “It’s now our family name; encapsulating tales of hard work, moments of happiness and triumph, as well as instances of struggle and sorrow. It embodies the deep-seated passion for food running in our family,” she adds.

Challenging our preconceived notions of healthy cuisine, Nounette’s indulgent breakfast combos, coming in Pink, Green, and Rainbow, are fulfilling assortments of colourful delights served with a side of your choice of beverage.

“Who said you can only have one thing for breakfast? You can have eggs, a little bit of mashed potatoes, avocado, grilled beans, salads, and fruits. You can have it all!” Howaidy exclaims. “I want to show everyone that the kitchen is a realm of joy, happiness and love. That’s what it is all about. You can get as creative and crazy as you want in the kitchen.”