The Cheesecake factory has brought on a lot of hype since it’s launch at Dubai Mall. I had planned to go a few times but for some reason never got the opportunity to try it out. I have heard a lot about how the place was really huge, how the quantity is excessive and how the food was delicious.
All sounded great, and with all the hype I needed to give it a try. I still have not tried the one at Dubai Mall but when the one at Mall of the Emirates opened, for some reason I was free and had nothing to do but try it out!
So we had a trolley with some bags and walked up to the restaurant. It was in a corner beside Virgin. I like the design of the area a lot better than the open to the hotel layout of before. We were welcomed at the front desk and were told the trolley wasn’t allowed inside. They promised they will keep the trolley till we were done but it was in the middle of the mall, surely the trolley would disappear! (It did when we were done..) Either way, we asked for a table for two. There seemed to be a huge number of staff! I mean literally too many people going and coming with orders, all wearing neat clothes in white like food angels or something.
The waitress, while showing us to the table, engaged in some small talk mentioning the offers and sales happening around the mall and how it was busy these days (it was during the Dubai shopping festival) and was really polite, smiling and happy to serve.
The place was really nice! Fresh and brand new. Well, it was. There was plenty of seating, I mean this place is literally the biggest restaurant I have ever entered. Tables and booths everywhere! We were shown to a booth that had a window looking Ski Dubai. I liked that. There were tables in various sections and sizes from the beginning of the restaurant, by the bar, to all the way next to Ski Dubai where we were, really a huge place with plenty of seating options and locations. Beautiful, calm and lovely place.
The thing I didn’t really like was the fact that it was a little tight. I am not the fittest person on the planet and it was a little tight, but wasn’t uncomfortable, it was very comfortable actually just a bit tight.
Soon after sitting down we were introduced to our server (who was a trainee so we were also introduced to the actual server training him) and we were greeted, welcomed and told some specials.
For a brand new place, the menu was a bit worn down around the edges. Not sure if this was brought on from the other branches or if they have had that many visitors since the Mall of the Emirates branch launch. Speaking of the menu, I wasn’t happy. You see, not because there was anything wrong but because there was so many options! I mean I can blindly say this is literally the biggest menu I have ever seen, there was at least a few hundred things to order.
That threw me off. I mean I like when I have a good selection that I can’t pick between one of two or three options but there I had to pick between 20 or 30 things that I wanted to try. I believe it shouldn’t be that huge.
There was wide varieties of everything from several salads to like tens of everything, tens of seafood options, tens if not twenty pasta options, tens of steaks, it was endless. I decided to clear my head from a lot of distraction and go with the basics to try out the place for what it can really do rather than ordering something unusual and ending up with a crappy review because of my choices.
As soon as the bread was brought they had served the water, something I always appreciate about a restaurant not leaving the water till late.
The bread was freshly baked and were yummy! especially the brown bread for some reason.
The place was crowded but we were told the food out be out within 15-20 minutes, which seemed reasonable.
For starters I went with a Wild Mushroom soup. I just liked the way that sounded for some reason.
The surprise to me was that I was between ordering a bowl or cup. I didn’t want to get too full before the main meal especially after what I was told about the place (more on that later..) I decided to go with a cup. If this was a cup what on earth is a bowl! It was huge! I mean, this is what other places consider a bowl if not more. It was a lot.
As far as the soup’s taste was concerned, it was lovely. There was a certain specialty to the way it tasted, unlike any other Wild Mushroom soup I have ever had. It was a bit peppery and the mushrooms were just delicious. The soup was just the right side of thick and seasoned perfectly. I didn’t need to add anything. It was just creamy and delicious, I didn’t want to fill up but I finished it… by the end of which, I was actually full!
For the table, we had ordered a Greek Salad. Here’s the thing about the Cheesecake factory which can go both ways, good or bad. The salad wasn’t on the menu but when it was asked, they had it. Also during the specials we were told of fish dishes that weren’t on the menu, which means they have selections above the selections from the menu! How much food do these people make!
I would be lying if I say I had anything more than two bites of the salad. After the soup, we couldn’t risk eating the salad and literally not be able to eat the main course! The salad was clean, fresh, crunchy and well seasoned with herbs. The cheese was really nice and went together lovely. This is of course after having eaten it later at home. Would have been even better at the restaurant.
Time for the main course, which after the bread, soup and salad was literally unnecessary! I ordered Fettucini Alfredo with Chicken
Before I get into the dish, while ordering we were asked if we want full portion or half. When I asked what was the difference we were told that the portions were really generous and half portion would be more than sufficient for one person. Now I have heard that they serve really large portions so I was really tempted to order a full portion just to see how big it can be but then… chickened out. I was already full, sue me!
So, the half portion is technically the size of other place’s full portion and a bit more. There was, to me, a full plate! Now, the dish.
The pasta was really nice, soft and cooked really well. The chicken was sufficient and really nice too, soft, juicy and tender. There was a little more sauce than I would personally prefer but then again there was a lot of pasta.
The sauce was rich and creamy, slightly salty as it should be and just delicious. I really liked it. Might not be the best Fettucini Alfredo I have ever had but certainly one of the best with ease.
Right after the dish had arrived, the waitress had come with Parmesan cheese and asked if we wanted some on top of the pasta, which when we agreed she started rubbing against the grater she had. yumm!
Now obviously, Neither of us could finish the plate and we had to take the salad and the remaining of the pasta as a take away. Here is the funny factor, almost everyone walking out of The Cheesecake Factory had bags in their hands. I can imagine no one got to finish their plates. Speaking of the take away bag, unfortunately I have no pictures but they placed the food in their own plastic containers with their branding which can be microwaved, so just perfect in terms of continuing your meal.
I have to throw out a bit of an opinion here, the restaurant is beautiful, the service is lovely and the food is really good, but I was honestly expecting a little bit more from all the hype I had been hearing.. A simpler menu, more spacious seating, more flare out of the food presentation… or maybe I just have good food too often.
The Service. It was brilliant. From start to finish, there was something special about the service. When we arrived everyone at the entrance had welcomed us, so hearing about 5 welcomes does make you feel special, while showing us to the table engaging in light small talk about shopping and the sales happening in the mall, while enjoying our meal there was plenty of servers around to ask for any query or question, while the food was served being asked by the manager how our meal was and finally while leaving being greeted and thanked by everyone on the way out really does show how much they cared about customer satisfaction. The service was really good, the staff were really polite, sweet and attentive to what is happening.
At the time there was a lot of servers who were still training so I observed a little confusion with some people who are still new, but after things roll I am sure it would be absolutely smooth.
The Value. 1 large bottle of still water, 2 Wild Mushroom soups, 1 Greek salad and 2 Fettucini Alfredo with Chicken dishes came to a total of 235 Dhs. I think this is good value considering the fact that there is a really high quality and quantity of food. Just do note that the menu entries and prices are of the half portion not the full portion.
The Place: 7 / 10
The Service: 8 / 10
The Food: 7 / 10
Overall: 7.3 / 10
I’d really recommend The Cheesecake Factory, it certainly is one of those special restaurants that everything is smooth sailing, whether the quality of the place, the service, or the quality of the food (and quantity of food now that I mention it).