When you’re in Dubai, the best thing you can do is try out all the places you can’t normally eat. My sister had mentioned her friends gave rave reviews about the Cheesecake Factory when they came, so we thought we would give it a try. I mistakenly thought it was a dessert place taking the name a bit too literally, but it ended up being more, and better than I imagined. Whilst it is of course famous for its cheesecake recipe, it also serves an array of dishes designed to tantalise your taste buds.
The restaurant was founded in 1940 Detroit by Evelyn Overton. It’s websites states:
‘Overton found a recipe in the local newspaper that would inspire her “Original” Cheesecake. Everyone loved her recipe so much that she decided to open a small Cheesecake shop, but she eventually gave up her dream of owning her own business in order to raise her two small children, David and Renee. She moved her baking equipment to a kitchen in her basement and continued to supply cakes to several of the best restaurants in town while raising her family.’
Chicken Tosada Salad
Yes – Everything in Dubai is halal (with the exception of pork-of course).
The first thing you notice as soon as you walk into the restaurant is the immense display of cheesecakes! There is every imaginable variety and flavour possible!! It’s so tempting to want to eat cake first but it’s a well-known fact (amongst regulars, I had no idea!) that the Cheesecake factory has much more to offer then just cake.
Typically in Dubai there tends to be a large queue in every one of the Cheesecake Factory restaurants so it’s normal to go up, request a table and be given a buzzer to let you know when one is available. We waited 15 minutes which wasn’t too bad considering we didn’t book in advance and were seated in good time.
The menu is so varied. There is a choice of starters, sharing platters, mains, burgers, pizza, sandwiches, steaks etc, it’s so hard to decide! Normally when we all go out we choose 2 dishes each and eat tapas style, because naturally someone always steals my food and it’s fun to steal back and taste theirs too!!
We first decided on drinks- between the four of us we chose the Strawberry Lemonade and Housemade lemonade, these were nice iced drinks considering it was so hot outside, and were decorated with a cute sugar topping on the glass making them look pretty. The drinks were also unlimited free refills-which was great.
Moving onto the food we all decided there were one or two things we each wanted and didn’t mind sharing (or forced to share for some!). You can get your starters and mains bought out separately but we asked for everything to be bought out together so we could taste a bit of everything.
We chose the Grilled Chicken Tosada Salad- this consisted of salad with corn, black beans, chicken strips, taco shell pieces and salad dressing with tomatoes. We were impressed by the large portion and it was more than enough for four of us. The salad was nice and fresh, the tacos gave it a lovely crispy taste and it wasn’t overladen with dressing which I find a lot of restaurants do, and ruins the taste. Secondly, we ordered the Buffalo Blasts. This was chicken wings marinated in cheese and spicy buffalo sauce and deep fried (I know my jeans tighten a little at the thought). Can I just say yum! Granted these are not for everyone, especially those who don’t like spice and if you like your chicken soft and moist then don’t choose this, the batter is very crispy so it has a very crunchy texture.
A staple option that everyone chooses is the Factory Nachos- they were accompanied with cheese guacamole and jalapeños with salsa- to me nachos are nachos, they are not the first thing that I would typically go for but as some of my fellow diners wanted them we chose them. I found them to be really filling but as a starter alone they are not a bad choice but not sure I would opt for them next time.
The Fried Prawns with spicy sauce were similar to prawn tempura, except that its more shrimp based rather than big pieces of prawn. I found them to be slightly overcooked (the batter), but the sauce was a nice accompaniment and maybe because I had chosen the Buffalo Blasts, I wasn’t too keen of having too much fried food.
The Roadside Sliders-these are mini size burgers on mini buns served with fries, onions, pickles and ketchup. Perfect!! You know sometimes you get that craving for a beef burger but the thought of an actual massive burger is too much, this is the perfect solution. One portion between four of us was enough to satisfy that craving. The pickle which comes with it is a good complement, and the fries were nice and light.
Typical food behaviour- we didn’t get to have dessert because we were TOOO full!! I have been to Dubai so many times and every time I go I never get to have dessert because of the main. I have made a pact with myself that next time will be just for dessert and coffee!! If you’ve tried the cheesecake would love to know your thoughts.
The cheesecake factory is a staple restaurant for locals and tourists alike so it is ALWAYS busy! It has a relaxed atmosphere and is filled with couples and families alike.
We loved our experience there, and would make sure to go back. There was a small wait, but that isn’t a problem when you know it’s worth it. You can either have intimate seating for two or a buffet to yourself if you’re a group. Next time however, less starters and more room for dessert! We couldn’t believe that we didn’t end up trying the famous Cheesecake, but that is all more reason to go back!
We spent £20 each (around £80 for 4 of us)
www.thecheesecakefactory.com for a full list of locations and menu details.
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Samia is a co-founder and development director of Hijablicious. She will be regularly posting her outfits and sharing her love for fashion.View all Samia posts.