Re-Visit! California Pizza Kitchen in Mall of the Emirates

20 Jun

I have brought to myself a new problem. I am now asked “Since you review food, where do we eat?”. What do I do? Take them to a new place and risk it being good or go to somewhere I liked previously? Yup, Re-Visit it is!

My previous review of California Pizza Kitchen (Which you can read here) was pretty good! and had got one of my highest views, so a Re-Visit was going to either secure their score, pull them up or pull them down.

First up! The place.

The place looks similar to the other branch, so they do keep some consistency in their layout. Again, plenty of booths and tables. Tables are also found outside as well that let you look at… the mall? anyways.. We sat in the last booth (also the only one that was free). The seating was alright and fairly comfortable as last time. The overall feel though was more pleasurable at Dubai mall. Maybe its the high ceilings or something I am not sure. The booth overlooked the kitchen. Unlike the useless wall cut-out in Dubai Mall, this one is actually open to the kitchen, and also unlike Dubai Mall, you can see them preparing the food! I was watching the whole process. I enjoyed seeing food going and coming as well. Now, this is a kitchen cut-out!

I had the same Appetizer as last time, the Dynamite Shrimp.

“Lightly fried Shrimp tossed in spicy-sweet chili sauce and toasted sesame seeds. Served on a bed of crispy rice noodles and scallions”

It seemed almost identical. There was a slightly different taste, a little more spicy than sweet this time, but it was still just as good as last time.

Along with the Appetizer, we ordered soup, the “Adobe Chicken Chowder Soup”

I did not like this much. First of all, it did not look appetizing. It was very thick and seemed more of a pudding than a soup. It has Chicken and a whole list of vegetables in it. I would not recommend this, focus on the Dynamite Shrimp.

Leaving the soup aside, I tried a new Pizza this time, the “Jamaican Jerk Chicken”, yes, jerk.

Going through my previous review of California Pizza Kitchen, I really enjoyed the Pizza. This one was even better! On the menu it contains:

“Grilled Jamaican Jerk spiced chicken breast with spicy sweet Caribbean sauce, Mozzarella cheese, crispy beef bacon, mild onions, roasted red and yellow peppers and green onions”

Firstly, it had everything mentioned, and in very good balance. The taste was definitely there and the Caribbean sauce was sweet but not over-powering. It was just right.
The size seemed very consistent with before, and sufficient for 1 and a half person (or 2 not so hungry people), even though the Pizza is relatively thin. The Chicken was perfectly cooked, enough of them around and tasted nice.
Overall, I preferred this pizza to their “best selling pizza” and it has a lot more flavors going on. It was hot enough and right out of the oven. 6 slices that like before seems light to eat, yet nicely filling. The beef bacon, as usually is, was a little hard rather than crispy but did add a light flavor to the pizza. I liked the whole combination, it worked.

The other main dish ordered was the Spaghetti Bolognese.

Fairly straight forward. Nothing fancy or unexpected. It was cooked well, the Minced Meat sauce was tasty but there were two little points:
The first, the Spaghetti was a little peppery. Not sure if they meant it to taste that way or the Chef was a little heavy on the pepper.
The second, the Spaghetti was a little thick. I usually find Spaghetti to be thinner than this.
The taste was good though, those are just light criticisms. The Portion was quite good as well, and filling for a hungry person.The Spaghetti is left long and not cut up.
There was some Grated Parmesan, but not enough. I would like if they offered cheese on the side for people to add as they wish. The dish would have been better if was a little warmer, as by half way through, it was a little cold.

The Service: The last time, the Service was spot on very good, food arrived quick and I had a few negative comments on the Kitchen cut-out. This time though, the Kitchen cut-out was lovely, but unfortunately the rest changed too. The food was a little slow, I did have to stop and wonder “hey, where is the food?” in the pause between starters and main dishes. The service was good, no doubt, but they were not as attentive and plenty as before. I had to look around for servers to get the bill, and when I got it with a comment card, again had to look around for 2 minutes for someone to get me a pen. They were a little busy, but almost in par with my previous visit as they were polite, sweet and happy to serve.

The Value: It is quite good for the good food. 1 Appetizer, 2 Soups, 1 Pizza, 1 Pasta and 2 Soft Drinks came a little under 200 Dhs (Kinda what I estimated in my earlier review).

So how does my Re-Visit to California Pizza Kitchen compare with my Review?

These were my Ratings:

The Place:   6 / 10
The Service: 8 / 10
The Food:    7 / 10

Overall: 7 / 10

So, what did I think Deviated from the above?

I think that would be The Service. I think it should -1

The Place’s rating drops to 6.7 / 10.

To me, this does means that they are fairly consistent, sometimes the service might be good or slightly under-par but does not drastically change.

I’d recommend this place.

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Posted by on June 20, 2012 in Re-Visits


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