Is the Cheesecake Factory at the Mall of the Emirates All That They Say?
We’ve been hearing a lot of raves about the new Cheesecake Factory in the Mall of the Emirates, so we needed to check it out for ourselves. Located near Ski Dubai, the first thing I noticed about the place was it was huge, but that should have been a given being that it is the largest Cheesecake Factory in the world with the capacity to seat 526 people in its 2100 m² space. The second thing in noticed was the soothing warm-colored hues, providing a relaxing environment.
They seated us in a spacious booth that easily seated 3 adults and 4 children overlooking the Ski Dubai. The booth offered a great view of guests frolicking in the Snow Park. Our waiters, Alex and Leonardo, were extremely attentive from the beginning. Their menu was vast, so it was difficult to decide with the myriad of choices available. One of my dining companions ordered the Chicken Madiera after Alex had confirmed it was one of their best selling dishes, and he was not disappointed.
I was interested in something a bit lighter, so I ordered the Chinese Chicken Salad. It was love at first bite. My other adult dining companion ordered the Tossed Garden Salad. The kids gravitated towards the quesadillas and pasta dishes, and everyone was satisfied with their choice. As we waited for our meals, we snacked on freshly baked bread. Alex had to replenish the breadbasket several times, and cheerfully did so with a smile on his face.
When they brought out meals to the table, our mouths dropped. The portions were enormous. Each plate had a serving large enough for two meals. Needless to say, we all went home with “doggy bags”. Two of the children shared a pasta dish, and even they had enough for a take home meal.
But as full as we were, we had to try the cheesecake (after all it is called the Cheesecake Factory, how could you not indulge in a taste?) However, we were smart. Seeing the portion sizes, we knew to share. We ordered a slice of Snickers Cheesecake, a slice of Key Lime Cheesecake, and a slice Oreo Cheesecake, the restaurant’s best-seller, and then we all sampled the spread. It was a split verdict on which was the best, with half choosing the Oreo, and the other half choosing the Key Lime. Guess it was a palate preference, depending on whether you prefer a sweeter cheesecake or a more tangy cheesecake. But it was all YUM!
Throughout our entire meal, Alex and Leonardo checked in to make sure all was well and our needs were met. Always friendly, they both took the extra few minutes to chat and build a rapport. Something that’s often forgotten in today’s world. Kudos to you, Alex and Leonardo, we appreciate you going the extra mile to make our visit extra special.
The next time you’re in the Mall of the Emirates, I highly recommend checking out the Cheesecake Factory. It’s worth the trip. And if you’re dining out with little ones, try getting a booth overlooking the Ski Dubai Snow Park. It will definitely keep them entertained.
Choose from Fantastic Apartments to Rent in Dubai
If you’re a holidaymaker, there are plenty of places of stay that are close by to The Cheesecake Factory and other attractions, and at dubaishortstay.net we have a range of villas for rent in Dubai. Alternatively, we also have an excellent selection of apartments for rent in Dubai too, giving you a great choice.
Taste of Dubai – Sample the Fare of Some of the Best Restaurants in Dubai
With thousands of restaurants to choose from, and Michelin star chefs from some of the best restaurants in Dubai, who can find the time or money to experience it all? Well, Taste of Dubai is here to help. This 3-day festival in Dubai, starting today through to the 16th March, will represent 150 dishes from over 30 of the city’s top-rated eateries. No doubt you will get a taste of what these fine dining establishments have to offer.
In its fifth year, Taste of Dubai is a festival of the senses. It brings together some of the world’s top chefs offering small samples of their signature dishes for guests to indulge in. This gives everyone the change to tantalize their tastebuds with some of the world’s finest dishes for a fraction of the cost. Image the next time you’re sitting with friends discussing fine dining, food, and being able to say, “Atul Kochhar, his Kori Kempu is fabulous, you must try it, and the Miso Black Cod from Nobu is simply to die for.” Or, “Gary Rhodes, I had the pleasure of meeting him once. I love the way he combines a bit of French flare in his British cuisine.” For 30 Dhs. you’ll be able to meet this world-famous chef and sample his fare.
This year will add several new faces to the scene as well as 12 new restaurants. Gizzi Erskine, a UK Television chef, and a local favorite, Ariana Bundy, author of the book Pomegranates and Roses will be joining the venue, as well as Jenny Morris and the Spice Prince of India, Reza Mahammad from Food Network fame. In addition to Atul Kochhar and Gary Rhodes, Giorgio Locatelli, Vineet Bhatia, and Richard Sandoval are some of the other chefs you’ll get to meet.
Not only will you get to taste some of the finest dishes these chefs have to offer, you’ll get to see them in action at the Phillips Chef’s Theatre where many will demonstrate their unique skills in recreating their favorite dishes in front of you. Or, if you’re interested, you can sign up for a free cooking lesson in the Kenwood Cookery School.
Here are some of the city’s top dining establishments that you can expect to see at Taste of Dubai (just to get you started): •Armani/Amal – Indian Cuisine •Armani/Ristorante – Italian Cuisine •Asado –Argentinian Cuisine •Frevo – Brazilian Cuisine – Try the Churrasco-Style Grilled Flank steak •Indego – Indian Cuisine •Izakaya – Japanese Cuisine •Gaucho – Argentinian Cuisine – Try the Dulce de Leche Cheesecake •Mango Tree – Thai Cuisine – Try the Goong mare nam pow (Char-grilled prawns with lime, chili and garlic sauce) •Nobu – Japanese Cuisine •Prime 68 – American Cuisine •Rang Mahal – Indian Cuisine – Try the Bhuna Baigan Aur simla Mirch (Roasted aubergine) •Rivington Grill – British Cuisine •Ruth’s Steakhouse – American Cuisine •Rhode’s Mezzanine – British Cuisine •Rhode’s Twenty10 – British Cuisine •Ronda Locatelli – Italian Cuisine •Seafire Steakhouse – American Steakhouse – Try the Tenderloin Wellington and Truffle Mash •The Gramercy – American Cuisine •Thiptara – Thai Cuisine
Entrance is 80 Dhs.60 Dhs. if you buy them in advance and VIP tickets are 240 Dhs. (220 Dhs. in advance). VIP tickets give you fast track entry, access to the VIP tent, 2 free drinks at the VIP bar and 3 dishes to try for free at any of the participating restaurants.
Don’t forget – Come hungry, your taste buds will thank you!
Food is an integral part of the culture and heritage of a tourist destination. When a tourist visits an alien city it is not natural beauty or urban glitz that he or she is looking for but the uniqueness that every culture provides. One of those prime unique features is the gastronomy. Dubai is not an exception. It offers a wide range of culinary delights complete with mouth watering local and international cuisines. Restaurants and fast food chains are dotted across the city to provide quality dining experiences to tourists. The cafes provide a time of relaxation with a steaming mug of coffee or tea complemented with a sweet dish. For those seeking something more expensive, hotel restaurants could be an appeasing choice. They provide exclusive dining experiences in a sophisticated ambience. The bars, pubs and discos are open late into the night.
Dubai trip is quite incomplete if one misses out on the local and regional delicacies. Shwarma is one such delicious local recipe. It is lamb meat or beef grilled on a skewer which is then cut into fine juicy slices and sandwiched within pita breads with salad dressing of red and green capsicum, tomatoes and onions. There are Iranian and Lebanese versions of the shwarma as well, albeit a bit more costly.
Other equally mouthwatering dishes include the likes of Matchbous and Hareis. The peculiar names notwithstanding, the dishes are enough to flare the taste buds of food lovers from anywhere in the world. Matchbous is a hot dish of rice cooked with spiced lamb while Hareis is a succulent delicacy of tender lamb and slowly cooked wheat.
Then there is the exotic local seafood served with seasoned rice. The seafood is fresh from the Indian Ocean and consists of lobster, crab, slipper lobster, hamour, tuna, shrimp, king fish, red snapper and pomfret. Dates have always been associated with the Arabian food culture. They are part and parcel of any Arabian meal.
There are other specialties like Hoummus, Tabbouleh and Ghuzi. Hoummus is a fine paste of crushed sesame seeds and chickpeas. Tabbouleh is a luscious dish of chopped parley, crushed wheat and mint. Ghuzi is a whole lamb roast on a mixture of rice and nuts. Wara enab is another refined dish of vine leaves and rice while Koussa mahsh is nothing but stuffed courgettes.
People with sweet tooth have nothing to worry about as Arabian desserts are hotshot favorites among gourmets. Umm Ali—a bread pudding– is one such dessert. So is Esh asaraya which is a semi-sweet cheesecake with cream topping. Mehalabiya is a pudding where pistachios and rosewater are scattered to give it an unforgettable fragrance.
The international cuisine is not far behind in satisfying the appetite of Dubai. The cuisines include American, Mexican, Korean, Thai, Japanese, Chinese, Filipino, Lebanese, Italian, French, Spanish, Greek and numerous cuisines from the Asian subcontinent. The Karachi Darbar is a chain of Pakistani restaurants that is worth visiting. The middle eastern Jabal Al Noor restaurant has their own style of presenting fast food in Arabic style. Automatic is a chain Lebanese restaurant renowned for its buffet lunch and lamp chops. Lavish hotel restaurants would feature Indian cuisine by the famous Indian chef Sanjeev Kapoor. The Creek Golf Clubhouse features a wonderful waterfront restaurant with excellent mean and surreal ambience. French restaurant ran by star chef Michel Rostang is one of the most refined and expensive restaurants in town.
Moving to more affordable territory, fast food items such as the fish and chips and spicy authentic Italian pizza are quite popular among Dubai residents. Also, international food chains like Kentucky Fried Chicken, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut and burger king serve the purpose of quick snacks on the run.
Those unfamiliar to Middle East Cuisine, will find it has much to offer. Eaten in moderation, one will also find it quite healthy. However, one must be careful, as when you sit down for a meal in a Middle Eastern restaurant, that you must pace yourself. Meals are usually served in courses, with the “mezzas” being served first. Mezzas are what one would consider the appetizers, however, so much is usually served that you think it is the main meal. Middle Easterners believe in hosting a full table, as they believe that no one should leave the table the least bit hungry. I learned the hard way, the first time I attended a “Middle East Feast”. The waiters brought out so much, that I thought that it was the dinner. I filled up on all the wonder “mezzas”, and I had absolutely no room for the main course. This did not go over well with my Middle East hosts, who kept on insisting that I must eat. By the time I finished, I was so uncomfortable, I could barely move
Some of the common “mezzas” served are hummos (a dip made from chickpeas, garlic, and sesame seed paste), babaganouj (similar to hummos except it is made with roasted eggplant instead of chickpeas), warak ineb (grapeleaves stuffed with rice and meat or with rice and vegetables), tabouleh (a very popular salad made from parsley, tomatoes, cracked wheat known as burghal, olive oil, and lemon), and fatoush (one of my favorites, is a salad with baked or fried pita bread as croutons and laced with Sumac, a spice that adds some tanginess to the olive oil and lemon dressing). There is also menakeesh, also known as fatayer, (these are made from dough, and are topped with meat, cheese, or zaater, which is an oregano spice mixture. Most look like a form of Middle East pizzas, however some are in the shape of triangles and are stuffed with such things as spinach.) Most likely guests will also find some olives, and pickled vegetables such as turnips, cauliflower, and stuffed eggplant to munch on, just to name a few.
Common to the Lebanese “mezzas”, one will find Kibbeh. Kibbeh is a mixture of minced beef or lamb and burghal. The most common ways to serve Kibbeh is either as Kibbeh Balls that are stuffed with meat, nuts, and spices and then fried, or raw, known as “Kibbeh Nayeh”. There are many more, based on the region, but these are some of the most popular.
Next, is the main course. Common foods found during the main course are Beef and Lamb Kebabs, Shish Tawook (this is marinated chicken that is then grilled), and Kofta (minced beef or lamb with an array of spices). If one is near the ocean, then usually Sammak (fish) and seafood is added to the menu. In the Gulf Region, Hammour and shellfish are popular. If alcohol is served, Arak is the most well-known. Similar to the Greek Ozo, this clear licorice-tasting drink turns milky when water is added. Those trying it for the first time must be forewarned, this drink is very potent!
Dinner usually ends with a large platter of fruit for the guests to enjoy, along with some Baklawa (a sweet dessert usually made from phyllo dough or shredded wheat, nuts, and covered in honey or attar (a sugary syrup). Those who partake in a bit of the “Sheesha” (a water-pipe used to smoke flavoured tobacco) will usually indulge themselves at this time. For those who do not smoke, the aroma of the “Sheesha” is quite pleasant, especially compared to that of cigars and cigarettes.
One is in for a real gastronomic treat dining Middle Eastern style, just remember everything in moderation. With so much food to offer, you will definitely need to pace yourself, both with the food and the Arak. (Otherwise, you will pay the price for your overindulgence.)
Another bit of advice, if you indulge a bit to much in the Arak, do make sure to take a cab. In Dubai, although alcohol is served at many of the restaurants, there is a “Zero Tolerance” for Driving While Intoxicated. One must remember this is an Islamic country, and the rules are much stricter here. You do not want to find yourself in jail. With this information, and the friendly tips to guide you through the meal, you are sure to enjoy the feast. Bon Apetite!