Restaurant Review

Dubai Round-Up Part One

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Something different today: my thoughts on all the spots I visited on a recent trip to Dubai. Suffice to say, I sampled a lot in three days.

Bateel Cafe
My first food experience in Dubai wasn’t the greatest. While the location is fantastic (Marina Walk), the food proved unremarkable. I ordered a turkey wrap which was barely passable. However, my brother’s mushroom risotto was admittedly delicious. The latter (and the gorgeous setting) definitely bump up rating which would have been atrocious.
Nad Rating
C

The Cheesecake Factory
I tried this place a few times in the States and it was consistently delectable. I’m pleased to say that the quality is as impressive in the Dubai branch. The nachos were scrumptious, and my Americana burger was a joy to devour. The one downside were the bizarre avocado egg rolls (my friend insisted on them and I caved).  In addition, we didn’t get to sample any cheesecakes due to the immense portions of our meals. Nevertheless, The Cheesecake Factory is a great choice if you’re looking to indulge and overeat.
Nad Rating
B+

Magnolia
After feeling regretful for not ordering a cheesecake, we ordered an assortment of cupcakes a few hours later from this New York bakery. This now-iconic franchise exerts a potent hold over the global public and I don’t really understand why. The Manhattan branch (which I’ve tried a couple of times) is insanely overrated, and this one is no different. The cupcakes (chocolate, carrot, and red velvet) were fine, but much too sweet. Nevertheless, it’s an undoubtedly fun experience to share with friends.
Nad Rating
C

Calabar
A beautiful outdoor pub situated in the Address Downtown Hotel. My friends wanted me to catch Burj Khalifa’s funky fountain show which for some reason never turned on that night (just my luck). We waited and waited to no avail. Nevertheless, Calabar‘s ambiance is undeniably pleasant and I enjoyed an excellent glass of white wine here.
Nad Rating
B

Ihop
I never tried the chain in the States but this was an amusing brunch spot in JBR. We sampled a few platters; the waffles were heavenly and the chocolate pancakes succulent. The blueberry pancakes however could have been flavorful. Nevertheless, a highly recommended choice for a binge or two.
Nad Rating
B

Bar 360
With gorgeous 360 panoramic views of Dubai’s skyline, Bar 360 is one of the most seriously stunning bars I’ve ever been to. Located in Jumeirah Beach Hotel, the place is elegant and the music is laidback. It single-handedly convinced me that Dubai was capable a unique brand of beauty (quite the accomplishment). Magnificent.
Nad Rating
A

Madinat Jumeirah Amphitheater
I’m not exactly sure what the place was called but it was located in Madinat Jumeirah’s amphitheater. A casual spot with bean bags instead of chairs, I was bracing myself to get poisoned. Shockingly enough, the food was top-notch. We ordered an assortment of appetizers and each of them was outstanding. The nachos were superb, the quesadillas scrumptious, and the seasoned fries were some of the best I’ve sampled in my life. Greatness can truly emerge from the most unexpected sources.
Nad Rating
A

Cirque Du Soir
I didn’t know what to expect going into Cirque Du Soir but it was quite the memorable experience. With a freaky circus theme and a handful of crazy characters running amok, Cirque is definitely worth visiting. I doubt I’d ever go again (once is enough to sample the atmosphere) but it was one of my trip’s surefire highlights.
Nad Rating
B

TBJ – The Burger Joint:
Located in the Atlantis hotel, The Burger Joint was the ideal lunch spot after hours of adventure in the Atlantis Resort. I ordered a luscious burger which was brimming with a generous amount mouthwatering bacon. The fries were also deliciously on-point. Outstanding comfort food.
Nad Rating
A-

ChoShos
I heard a lot about this place even before my trip (apparently it’s been a Dubai staple for years). Sadly, I wasn’t that impressed. Although the salmon ceviche was incredible, the sushi was average. I ordered a range of makis and I didn’t even finish my plate (which never happens with sushi to put things in perspective). In addition, the setting isn’t particularly memorable. Ultimately disappointing.
Nad Rating
C-

Galerie Lafayette
An impressive setup in Dubai Mall, I was urged by my friend to try the extremely fresh salad bar (as a form of damage control after my few days of binging) and I was pleasantly surprised. With a large variety of toppings and super-fresh ingredients, this place is a sure-fire winner as far as salads go.
Nad Rating
B+

Nestle Tollhouse
The best cookies I ever had in my life were from this little kiosk in Dubai International Airport. The aroma mesmerized me from a distance, and after pacing around for 20 minutes, I eventually succumbed to the temptation. Suffice to say, there was no guilt afterwards because the two cookies I sampled (chocolate chip and macadamia nut) were beyond heavenly. I seriously can not recommend this place enough. And the fact that they were both microwaved thereby ensuring the perfect ratio of gooeyness and crunchiness, made the experience perfect on every level.
Nad Rating
A+ 

Conclusion
All in all, a terrific trip filled with tasty treats and a range of culinary (and alcoholic) delights.

Nad Rating
B+

3 comments

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