A long time ago I saw advertisements for Friday’s around Dubai Festival City and the dish that caught my eye was their Lobster and Steak combo. Of course I had forgotten this, and the reason I went there for lunch was to try their new Burgers. So A Burger or Steak and Lobster? What Burger?!
Walking in, we were greeted by the staff all happy and polite. There is a wide selection of seating at this branch.
Tables, Booths, by the bar, by the mall’s view, and by the window. We just picked a nice cozy booth by the bar, with a good view of everything.
One of the really distinct features of Friday’s is their extreme excessive overload of things on the walls! I personally prefer simplicity, but this is special in its own way. Almost anything you could think of between sport equipment to video games, and our booth was even right under money stuck to the roof! I thought that might bring good fortune or something.
The Menu’s arrived! and the confusion began! I dislike it when a menu does not have enough things to choose from. Friday’s have a different issue, too many things to choose from! This took some time that we had to send the waitress back about two times asking for more time. Speaking of waitress, the craziness on the wall continues with their uniform! Everyone has his own unique amount of toys, badges and hats!
After serious debate, the starters were The Buffalo Chicken Strips and the Mushroom Soup of the Day.
Right before the Soup Arrived they brought us the drinks and set of sauces (Barbecue, Red Tabasco and Green Tabasco) which is good as I generally have to ask for those.
The Soup: It was good. The creaminess wasn’t too over powering and the flavors were really there. I enjoyed it till the last spoon and it looked like the food has improved!
The reason I say that is because, since the beginning of Friday’s in the UAE their food has been fine. That is a problem because they certainly didn’t create all this fuss, decoration, huge menu to be just “fine”.
The Soup came with two crackers that were tasteless.
Now the Buffalo Chicken Strips were really good. There was sufficient quantity for a starter, I mean a light eater could have this as a meal on its own. The Buffalo Wing Sauce Flavor was really there, and unlike other places, it was not wet dripping in the sauce either. The Blue Cheese Dip was perfectly complimenting the Chicken Strips. Being that it was fried, there were pieces all stuck together. There were some Celery Sticks if you are into that kind of thing. Ours went back to the Chef’s Rabbit.
So all the fun and games are over. The Appetizers and Starters are done, we have started and its been a good start. The Main Courses were The Steak and Lobster Duet and Half Portion of The Cajun Shrimp and Chicken Pasta.
The Masterpiece. Or so I thought.
The Lobster: I was expecting more in terms of flavor. The Meat was really stuck to the shell (No one is to blame for that) and so it took some effort to get the Meat out with a fork and knife. After success, The Lobster was almost bland and I did not taste any sort of the pre-claimed “Sauteed in Garlic Butter”.
After the focus was off the Lobster, I recalled one thing about Friday’s side’s that I never liked.
The Vegetables: Why do they not taste good? They are cooked well, and are not crunchy or raw. They look quite alright, yet have no taste. I tried a little Tabasco and that didn’t really do much either. I have been to numerous restaurants with similar cuisine and the Vegetables are much simpler, in almost full form (except being sliced) and are flavorful.
The Steak: My last hope on the plate! So I centered the “Juicy Flat Iron Steak with Caramelized Onions, Mushrooms and melted Provolone (Or Cheese for the ordinary me and you)” and I grabbed the knife and within 3 seconds I knew what I was dealing with. I asked for a Well Done Temperature Steak, which I can understand can sometimes be a little hard, but this was Over-Cooked. I loved the mess on top, it was delicious and all the Onions, Mushrooms and Red Pepper (ironically not mentioned in the menu) with the Melted Cheese were a nice combination.
The Steak was Over-Cooked, Dry and there was a big chunk of vein that had to abandon ship, to a tissue. I believe no matter what I am eating, if I have to take something out of my mouth, that kills it.
The Sauce: It was yummy actually. It was creamy with a little touch of pepper and it was really nice. My only problem was I really didn’t have anything that complimented it on the plate. I tried the Vegetables, Lobster and Steak and neither were perfect with it.
So, the Cajun Shrimp and Chicken Pasta. It did need quite a bit of Salting as it was fairly bland, but after that, it was fairly delicious.
The Chicken was Tender and so were the Shrimp. They tasted good.
The Vegetables in it (Green Peppers, Red Peppers, Tomatoes and Onions) were cooked well. Sometimes, a simple delicious dish makes it so worth while! I certainly would have chosen this over the “Duet” above.
The Pasta (Fettuccini), was well cooked, not over or under cooked and the sauce was creamy, thick, and covered enough of the plate to flavor all the Pasta in there.
There was sufficient amount on the plate and looked really appetizing. The overall dish with everything put together worked perfectly. Something that was especially thoughtful was the ability to have Half or Full portion. Seeing that the Half was fairly big as it was, Full could be suitable for two! (If the proportions are correct)
Why didn’t I order this, or something like this? I wanted something fancy…
As we came to order the Oreo Madness Dessert, we were told, or warned, by the waitress that it was “Hard” and asked if that was Okay. So, How did I, a Man, react to that? Sure why not, bring it on!
So the plate arrived, and it looked delicious! The place was a little dark by the time Dessert came so the picture may not do full justice but it looked like.. a Gigantic Oreo. How could that possibly be bad?
The first thing I, or anyone for that matter, would do? Grab the spoon and dig in. Except… The brown parts, supposedly the Biscuit bit, was Rock Solid. I am not joking. After many attempts being subtle and gentle with the spoon (taking into account we were in public), I gave up, grabbed a knife that was on the table and literally stabbed the Biscuit. When it gave in, it actually cracked all the way through to the edges. I thought it was going to be impossible to chew this.
We dug in, and it was delicious! The Biscuit parts chewed normally like a Biscuit and the Vanilla Ice cream (by Baskin Robbins as per the menu) was delicious too. I couldn’t figure out why did it have to be that hard to get into! It was a serious hassle. We cracked both Oreo tops, had the Ice Creams and left the bottoms.
It wasn’t worth cracking the Biscuit. Delicious but why does the customer have to go through that?
The Service: Very good. There was always someone standing by the bar (Near where we were seated) that simply didn’t have much to do and was scanning around. There were alot of servers going and coming. Staff were polite and had a smile throughout the time there. I do like that I was warned about the Oreos though. While leaving there was an ample of staff thanking us, offering mints and wishing to see us again. Throughout the Dining Experience they would pass by and fill in water into the glasses, and when the water bottle was brought over sticky, the replacement wasn’t just brought out of the container or storage but washed just in case (Yes, I do understand though that bringing over a sticky bottle isn’t the nicest touch). The manager did come give us a visit to check if everything is alright as well (but unfortunately she passed by a bit too early, during the Appetizers)
Value: 1 Appetizer, 1 Starter, 1 and half Main Dishes, 1 Bottle of water, 1 Ice Shake and Dessert came at a little under 250 Dhs. That is a good amount of food and drink ordered. Considering the service, comfort, ambiance, and food (some of it) it is a good, fair value.
A cool offer that they have currently (I do not know when this promotion might end) is that if you fill a special survey (mentioned on the bill) you can get 50 Dhs off your next visit within 2 weeks. Ordering the food we had, that would be about 20% Discount.
The Place: 5 / 10
The Service: 7 / 10
The Food: 5 / 10
Overall: 5.7 / 10
I’d recommend this place. Be simple with your menu choices.