It’s been a while since I have been at the Al Garhoud branch of Chilis so it was a good opportunity to do so!
Since I can remember the restaurant has been calm and relaxing. At lunch, it was no different.
We even got a little plant on the side of our table. As it turns out, it was Chilis’ 15th Anniversary and they had some decoration around. The thing I adored the most about this branch was the calm and quiet, it didn’t disappoint. As soon as the doors were opened, the staff were cheerful, polite and offered a table that was quite appropriate. Just away from other people, but not too far away. It is nice they understand spacing out customers for noise and comfort! Once seated, they brought their new menus, stated that there are new things added and some old removed and introduced us to the name of our server.. Although I couldn’t fully understand the waitress’s accent, I pretty much got the idea.
I really liked the place because the seating is varied and there is windows around bringing in plenty of light and the soft music in the background doesn’t distract nor leave a deafening silence.
So, the new menus!
I didn’t really know the old menu by heart, but I do remember my favorites and thankfully they are all there! As per what the waitress informed (and what I can remember of what the waitress informed) there were a few new Pastas and Chicken meals with the “Guiltless” section removed. I am one of those people who agree trying to save calories in a place with a menu baring millions of calories isn’t recommended, but still, people who are cautious of their calorie intake and are trying to slim down or lighten down should have that section, especially since I tried a few of them and they were delicious in the past.
For starters, I ordered a bowl of Chicken Mushroom Soup and Boneless Buffalo Wings.
I liked the side of crackers. The soup was acceptable. I have had this very soup at Chilis numerous times and there have been some good experiences, but this time it was not one of them. The soup was extremely thick, almost like a paste. The taste of everything in it was nice except for an increase in Black Pepper. Being thick and having more Black Pepper than usual, I did end up chewing on some peppers at times. Overall, the soup was alright and was at a good warm temperature but nothing to run home about.
The Boneless Buffalo Wings was nice. It was perfectly cooked and hot. It was extremely Vinegary and had a lot of spices in it and the dip is to cool the whole thing down. There is also some Celery if one ever needed to calm things down more! It is yummy to have but just keep in mind, if you have more than 2 or 3 pieces, your taste buds are going to burn and you may not really taste the rest of the food! I like it, but with moderation.
For the main dish, I, for the first time, ordered the Ribs. I was told that it was a lot and could cater for two people and it was recommended to have half. I of course didn’t listen and ordered the full one.
It was big! It was two big chunks of meat around a gigantic bone. Time to break it down..
The Meat: It was super tender, covered in delicious Barbecue sauce and would melt off the bone. Slicing it barely even needed the knife. If you like this cut of meat, you would adore it. I personally liked it, but a Rib-Eye is still preferred.
The Sides: Typical Chilis French Fries which are seasoned with Salt and Black Pepper. Tastes good, especially with your choice of dip (Mine is their Honey Mustard)
The second side was Cinnamon Apple. I have no idea what it was doing with this dish, but I understood the idea of bring something sweet to it. I also was given additional Barbecue sauce in a cup, that went along well with the meat.
A nice touch though was that they brought hand wipes with the barbecue sauce… I guessed probably in case someone does decide to have the Ribs with their hands, the old fashioned Meat-Lover way.
The second dish was the Monterrey Chicken with Shrimps.
This is my usual at Chilis but decided to change this time. The dish is simple with a Grilled Chicken Breast topped with Barbecue sauce, Beef Bacon Strips, Cheese and Chopped Tomatoes. This is a Combo set, where one can decide on two main dishes (from a selection of around 6 optioned) and 2 sides. The first peeve is that even though the Shrimp is considered a second “Main”, 6 or 7 tiny Shrimp certainly isn’t sufficient, especially compared to the other main beside it on the plate.
The Monterrey Chicken itself was well grilled, moist and the Beef Bacon was a little chewy. With the toppings, it is a very delicious dish.
The Sides: The Mashed Potatoes with Cheese and Chopped Beef Bacon has always been standard across every branch I been to and has been consistent here as well, delicious but needed Salt.
The Vegetables did require a little more steaming as they were a little crunchy.
After all this food there certainly wasn’t any place for any sweets or desserts, so probably some other time.
The Service: It was really good. When the re-fill-able drink was around 20-30% of the glass, they provided me with a full new one. When ordering food and the side dish was Vegetables they informed us that they were out of Broccoli (Which I believe is a sign that they really do know whats happening in the background). They were quick and attentive to our needs, the manager visits the tables to check if everything is suited to liking and there was ample polite staff to go around.
The Value: 1 Starter, 1 Appetizer, 2 Main Dishes (Albeit, one rather large main dish), 1 Juice, 1 Soft drink and a small bottle of water was around 250 Dhs which is good value for the quality and quantity of food served with really good service.
Another important Value factor which I found out by accident was, EmiratesNBD Credit and Debit card holders get a 10% discount when paying with the card. If you do not have that card, there is an online survey of some sort (I wasn’t fully attentive) that if filled along with the code on the bill would give either a discount or dessert on your next visit. Nice touch.
The Place: 6 / 10
The Service: 8 / 10
The Food: 6 / 10
Overall: 6.7 / 10
I’d recommend this place. The Al Garhoud branch for its calmness is a special favorite of mine.