What’s it like: Located in the charming, fairy light-adorned alfresco haven that is Century Village, this achingly hip restaurant recreates a little slice of New York in Dubai. With exposed concrete walls and pillars made from packing crates, the interiors are trendy, but as long as the weather allows, I’d opt for the outdoor terrace overlooking a small fountain and pond that is home to a couple of curious turtles. The menu is a celebration of meat and says as much – if the wrought iron cow greeting guests at the entrance wasn’t enough of an indication! – but we were impressed with the variety and quality of non-beef offerings. Sharing a plate of Soho wings – tender smoked chicken wings coated with a delicious homemade sauce – and steak chips for starters, we not only polished everything off, but were licking our fingers after! For mains, my partner opted for the Chicken Vera Cruz, a Mexican-inspired chicken breast served with a salsa topping and grilled asparagus. I had my mind made up well before going there, that I would cook my own steak – their latest offering is a raw steak served at the table on a steaming hot volcanic stone slab, so one can cook it according to personal taste. This is like sizzler, the 2.0 version – the stone can stay hot for over 25 minutes, and, while first-timers can get it wrong (it’s recommended to cut the steak into small pieces so they cook faster, and my first bit was a bit more cooked than I usually like), the staff are happy to help, and once you get the hang of it, it’s a lot of fun. Served with two sides of potatoes, vegetables, and a sauce – a mushroom sauce in my case, which I found a bit too drowned in cream – this is theatricality of food and taste all rolled into one. Dessert is, in true American fashion, hearty and heavy, with options including cheesecake and our pick, a rich chocolate pudding with vanilla ice cream. If you’re looking for good steaks at affordable prices, and a licensed restaurant that is relaxed and unpretentious – and God knows that’s a rarity in Dubai! – then look no further.
If you want to go: Around Dhs350 for three course meal for two (without drinks), call 04-2868520.
Best for: A chilled-out meal with friends
– Sudeshna Ghosh