Showing posts with label International. Show all posts
Showing posts with label International. Show all posts

Shake Shack, The Dubai Mall

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When I told some of my friends I’m going to Dubai to try Shake Shack, they suddenly screaming. Most of them keep saying ‘you should try Shake Shack!’ ; ‘Oh God, I missed Shake Shack’ ; ‘Try it, try it, you’re gonna love it’. Ya ya ya everything I heard about ShakE Shack either from friends or google is all positive. Like everyone in the world’s know Shake Shack well. Me personally, and frankly speaking, is the person who didn’t know before what is Shake Shack taste like until I came to Dubai.

Personally I love their interior both outside and inside. It just simple like typical modern American burger house. Seating table was nice with mix of mid-pastel wooden seating table outside and more brown inside. The waiters are also humble and nice. They all like keep greetings me everytime I passed them by. To order the menu, we have to wait in queue with the menu will given first before we’re into queue. So, when I’m ready in front of the cashier, I already know what I want. After that they will give us something like 'pager', and when you heard 'beep' sound, it means your order are ready. 

Shake Shack have great selections of burgers and hot dog. They also have ‘concretes‘ which is another term of an ice cream which can be turn upside down without melted. It just unique for me and curious to give it a try! So, since they’re burgers house. I ordered some of their best burgers. So, here they are;

Double ShackBurger - AED42 ; Single AED26

I’m quite impressed with Shake Shack that they served a double burger without triple bun like I usually had in Jakarta. They just used simply two buns on top and bottom and they put together the two double patty inside. It feels like better for me. This burger was also served lettuce, tomato and ShackSauce. The beef was juicy but way to mushy. I simply love their bun coz the buns was made not from flour but from potato. So it’s added some moist texture and feel like melted in my mouth.

Double SmokeShack - AED48 ; Single AED32

This cheeseburger was topped with hickory smoked veal bacon, spicy chopped cherry pepper and ShackSauce. This burger was way better then the previous. The beef was juicy, dense but not too mushy. If you spicy lover, you must try this one. The shot of the cherry peppers was holy! Btw, I love their sauce and mustard which is all hand-made. The mustard was dense but not too heavy and sour. Very light for burgers.

Shackcago Hotdog - AED25

Never had the hotdog with many filings like this before. They have sausage, relish, onion, cucumber, pickles, tomatoes, sport pepper, celery salt and mustard whole inside. The taste was so refreshing and unique.

'Shrom Burger (Vegetarian) - AED26

Frankly speaking this burger was DA BOMB! They made a crisp-fried portobello mushroom which is so delectably delicious! The texture was sooo crunchy outside and moist inside. 

Shake Stack - AED42

The previous 'shrom burger might be the bomb, but this one was EXPLOITING MY MOUTH! The burger basically consist of the same base with 'shrom burger but they added the addictive Portobello mushroom with cheddar cheese and deep fried them together. What's the result? Look at that mouthwatering melted cheddar cheese and the crunchy Portobello without look greasy. I got savory and salty all together. OMG! I even feel hungry everytime I looked at this pictures! Super Favorites. PERIOD! 


Original (AED15) & Cheese Fries (AED20) + Extra Toppings (AED6 each). Burgers is best pairing with fries, aren't you agree? Shake Shack have two choices of fries, Original and Cheese Fries with other toppings like extra cherry pepper and extra cheese sauce. My favorite would be the Cheese Fries with extra cheese sauce. The portion was big with dense and soft texture. Unfortunately, I didn't like the original one, I expected to have savory and lil bit salty of the usual fries, but this one was just plain for my palate.


Peanut Butter Shakes (left) - AED25. If I could choose to have another shakes of Shake Shack, I would choose this one again. The vanilla shake was infused with rich peanut butter sauce which resulting in dense yet thick texture of milkshake but not too overpowering the whole flavors. Sweet enough and simply addictive! 

Shack-made Lemonade (right) - AED13. If I happened to run outside the mall in he sunny and humid Dubai, this drink will gonna my first choice! Balance in acidity and simply refreshing my throat.

AED 24 (Single) ; AED36 (Double)

When you heard about Shake Shack it means not only burgers, but also the Concretes! Their famous yet fabulous concretes are a dense, frozen custard ice cream blended at a high speed with mix-ins flavor. Here you can also design your own concretes with the ice cream base for single (AED15) and double (AED21) with tons of toppings choices (AED3 each) which are chocolate truffle cookie dough, chocolate toffee, strawberry puree, fudge sauce, caramel sauce, chocolate sprinkles, peanut butter sauce, marshmallow sauce, shortbread cookie, valrhona choocolate pearls, banana and malt powder. All flavors sounds all tantalizing, but here are two of bombs that breaking my palate! 

Red Velvet Concretes 

For a sweetooth person like me, the combination of vanilla ice cream and red velvet flavors was simply delectable. I love how the flavors aren't overpowering each others, I could taste a shot of vanilla in the opening and hint of red velvet cake covering my mouth after. The dense texture of the frozen custard was also great so it's not easily getting melted.

Shake Attack Concretes

Chocolate lovers definitely should try this one! Generous filing of chocolate custard, fudge sauce, chocolate truffle cookie dough, Valrhona chocolate pearls topped with chocolate sprinkles. What do you want more than a heaven of chocolate? Me? Enough! This was just beyond haven of chocolate!

Overall, I got great experience having lunch here. Personally, I love everything about this brand. The flavors and texture of the food just like complete each other. The service, the simple packaging, the ambiance of the casual restaurant was just enhance everything to make Shake Shack become something worth to visit. One thing I may add for notes was only their thin packaging which somehow looks greasy in covering some burgers which deep fried together. A thick packaging paper with attractive logo maybe good for personal Shake Shack's branding in the future. 

Will they works in Indonesia's market? I absolutely believe YES, instead of their famous branding, they have something unique to sell for which the competitor might not have. They maybe can simply upsize the portion but lower the price a bit and have a choice of the flour bun since Indonesian are familiar with the flour bun. I believe with some unique selling points like the 'shrom burger and concretes, Shake Shack will ready to fly to Indonesia. 

Shake Shack
The Dubai Mall, 1st Floor (near the Giant Waterfall)
Doha Street, Burj Al Khalifa Complex
Dubai, UAE
+974 04 4190 370
Opening Hours : 10 AM - 12 PM

Texas Roadhouse, The Dubai Mall

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*picture courtesy of

I'm a big fans of steak, but hey anyone in this world doesn't like steak? I don't think so, unless they're have beef allergenic hahaha...Thus, when I saw on my Alshaya Food Tour itinerary I'm going to Texas Roadhouse, I definitely happy. I heard about this brand from some of my friends who live in U.S and by googling it a day before I arrived to Dubai. I happened to realize that this brand is actually a legend in U.S. They've already settled down for about 20 years, geeesss whatta great achievement story I've ever heard about a steakhouse. They're renowned for their handcrafting services from the Hand-Cut-Steaks, Made-from-Scratch-Dishes, Fall-Of-The-Bone-Ribs and Fresh-Baked Bread. I'm seriously waiting for the day to come and finally I visited them tonight!

                                                                           The highest man-made waterfall

They have several branches in Dubai, and the one I visited was located at the gigantic Dubai Mall. FYI, This mall is really huuuugeee, even bigger than Grand Indonesia & Mal Kelapa Gading. Gosh, If I lost several times in Mall of The Emirates earlier, here I thought I will also lost my translation hahaha. The mall is actually magnificent. They have several world's-famous-tourist-attraction like The Giant Man-Made Waterfall and The Biggest Aquarium. They also have the renowned Dubai Fountain but unfortunately due to the limited time, I missed it out. 

The biggest aquarium in the world

But it's okay, I still can catch the steak after long-walk in the mall hahaha. Stepped into the Texas Road House that night, I immediately realize that they're true famous from the waiting list outside. Many people keep coming to see whether they've already get their seat. Many servers was also ready to greet them in front of the house. I found their restaurant isn't wide enough, quite packed with the customers and servers. I still keep thinking why they have so many servers walking and chatting around without doing anything. I never flown to Texas before, but I could easily feel the ambiance of a real Texas. The interior with some pictures of Texas, the typical table setting, the country music, the bulls and cowboy attributes and the friendliness of the staff were all like I’m in Texas. 

The selections of the menu was quite huge from appetizer, main course to dessert if I can compared, this looks similar with selections of menu in our Outback Steakhouse or Abuba Steak. The unique things is their beef is are all imported from U.S and hand-cut every day and I’m gonna screaming since the portion was soooo huge (I guess it earlier since they have an open kitchen which show how big the hand-cut beef for every menu). After being seated, the servers friendly asking and explaining us about the menu. I love how they looks well-educated to persuade us to try something. Of their hundreds selections, I picked some of my favorites one for you guys. So here’s the menu you won’t miss when someday they’re coming to Indonesia.

Anyway, before starting I just wanna give some good news about TRH uniqueness. They have great compliments while we're waiting the food to come. A big basket of peanuts and the 'it' fresh-baked bread. The fresh-baked bread was so fluffy and savory. Eat it while hot, you're gonna love them much. Other best part is, I found they have not only bog portion of beef but also the sides! What they called Made-From-Scratch-Sides are served in big portion. You will have several choices of sides like baked potato, mashed potatoes, steak fries, seasoned rice, house salad, caesar salad, fresh vegetables, buttered corn, honey glazed carrots, coleslaw and cup of soup. Aaaan of those choices, you'll get two sides every time you ordered a beef, chicken or fish menu! God, this must be a good selling point when they're coming to Indonesia. None of the steak restaurant here has those kind of very big deal combo. 

Fried Pickles - AED19

Never thought that fried pickles will be something fun to munch. Crunchy outside but I still find the fresh and crunchy real pickels inside. The bleu cheese dressing was also good, light and not too sour for me personally. Simply great starters.

Smoked Buffalo Wings - AED39

I'm not a spicy kind of person, but tried to order it spicy just to ensure whether it went as spicy as Indonesia's had spiciness in some of their food. Fortunately, this lightly smoked chicken wings was glazed with a true hot and spicy sauce. Hot til it's like exploding in my mouth hahaha! Well, American people must be have a well-spicy-palate too hihihi...The bleu cheese dressing was also good, light and not too sour for me personally. 

Cherry Limeade - AED19

A very big portion of drinks for me personally. Surpringly, it's also great as refreshment. A balance amount of soda with lime and cheery shots. Not too sour with a sweet after taste. 

Steakhouse Salad - AED69

Positive! Texas people was that hungry hahhaa even the portion of this appetizer was sooo huge! I thought it’s best for sharing. Fillet medallions, bleu chicken crumbles, diced tomato, beef bacon, red onions and made-from-scratch croutons serve with Italian dressing. Unfortunately, I didn’t like the dressing. It’s a way too sour for me.

New York Strip - AED120

370g of beef served with shrimp side kick. Unfortunately the medium beef was not as juicy as I thought before. It's a lil bit dry inside and hard to cut. The shrimps was fresh but a lil bit salty. Unfortunately, their side dish of fresh vegetable was didn’t fresh at all. The broccoli even was overcooked, so did the carrots.

Dallas Fillet - AED99

This was my first winner for my second round course! They used most tender beef which indeed very tender ever! Every part of it was just well-seasoned and grilled to perfection. I sometimes had difficulties in enjoying medium beef whether it's too hard to cut or just going medium well, but this Dallas Fillet was simply cooked perfectly and very easy to cut. The side dish, baked potato with cheese, was also good. Soft and so cheesy. Favorites. PERIOD! Anyway, you can choose the fillet from 170g (AED99), 225g (AED129) or 340g (AED169).

Ribeye Steak Combo - AED129

This big combo actually served with two choices of either beef rib or grilled shrimps (AED119). I chose to have all best winning beef in plate. Frankly speaking everything in my plate was DA BOMB! The medium beef rib was beyond juicy and tender. I didn't had difficulties in cutting the beef like I did for the New York Strip. It is also very well-seasoned with light of grilled smells, I guaranteed this one could standalone without pouring the sauce into. 

And the Ribeye was beyond excellent also. It was soo juicy and tender and very well-seasoned. The BBQ sauce was very flavorful even until inside the beef. I could easily cut this well-done rib eye and enjoyed it with the tasty grilled mushroom. Btw, for your info, ribeye here even bigger than I had in most of steak restaurants in Indonesia. It's like their smallest portion is the biggest portion here hahaha. The ribeye, anyway, has 3 choices of portion. You can have 285g, 340g or 455g (geees can't imagine how big the 455g of beef hahaha)

Country Fried Chicken - AED54

This was the best breast chicken meat I’ve ever had. Big portion with super crispy skin outside and very moist texture inside. Sometimes breast part is a lil bit dry, but TRH made it sooo tender for me. And oh the made-from-scratch gravy was sooo creamy and balance in sweet. I looove this one! Favorite. Period!

The made-from-scratch sides fro this one was also my favorites, Caesar Salad. The fresh lettuce in a big portion topped with generous cheese and light mayonnaise. For a cheese lover like me, I found their mayonnaise still light even I eat together with the cheese. Not too overpower and everything just became so creamy for me! 

Grilled Salmon - AED69

Thanks to God, I'm not allergic to Salmon and could enjoy this winning salmon was my grateful to God. It's really moist and tender! the lemon pepper sauce even made it taste fresh and light. Oh well, the best part was also their made-from-scratch sides, I chose Honey Glazed Carrot and House Salad. The Honey Glazed Carrot was magnificent! Well-cooked and crunchy carrod with a balance sweet of honey. Geeez, I even can make it standalone for snacking hahaha. Meanwhile, the House Salad was simply refreshing, big portion of green and red lettuce, tomato, cheddar and feta cheese. 

Big Ol' Brownie - AED28

A warm and premium chocolate brownie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and rich chocolate sauce. I love their moist and warm texture, unfortunately for me personally this combination of chocolate and vanilla turned into something too sweet. And oh, the presentation was also looks 'messy'. They better not to put that sauce like that. A simple drizzled of nuts with simple sauce might be better.

Well, steakhouse supposed to be have something unique to sell. I thought TRH will gonna works in Indonesia since the price is quite similiar in some menu but they might be should lower the price more for the appetizer range. Serving the food for less than 15 minutes is also a good selling point for them. Just ensure, in the beginning TRH has a packed menu don’t be too wide first. And oh, to make their servers keep coming every time to the table was sometimes annoying. In Indonesia, the customer's might not be familiar with that kind of service. Just take some notes for that, I believe TRH will ready to break Indonesia's market. 

 *1 AED = IDR3950 (as per 18 September 2015)

Texas Roadhouse
The Dubai Mall, LG Level (near the waterfall)
Doha Street, Burj Khalifa Complex
Dubai, UAE
Ph. +097 04 419 0266
Opening Hours : 10AM - 12PM

IHOP, Mall of The Emirates, Dubai

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My favorite novelists, Ika Natassa, in her newest novel Critical Eleven once said "Travel is not wanting to sleep because for once reality more interesting than your dream". Indeed, for the very first time, I feel that my reality right now is even beyond my beautiful dream. I just still can't believe that living in my dream is interesting but enjoying my reality right now is beyond amazing. Never thought before that I was flown by Emirates to this city with several food bloggers and foodies which sharing the same dream and passion in food with me. It is OH GOD like a dream but hey THIS IS REALITY. 

I am in Dubai right now and this post is really written in Dubai tonight hahaha. I am here staying in the most comfortable bed ever at Sheraton Dubai Mall of the Emirates Hotel, with joyful smile and laptop which accompany me reviewing all restaurants to go in the Alshaya Food Tour I joined. This tour is organized by Acorn Marketing Research & Consultant and M.H Alshaya Company, the leading retail franchise business who brought  Starbucks, H&M, Debenhams, Victoria’s Secret, etc., to the market of Middle East and North Africa, Russia, Turkey and Europe. This tour is simply held to introduce Alshaya’s best restaurant and hope they will bring it to Indonesia. Yay! Can’t wait to see that US-chain-famous- burger outlet, Shake Shack, is settled in Jakarta.

 gorgeous view from my hotel

Okay okay enough for the opening. Promise that I’ll tell you more about the hotel and another exciting trips beside the food tour on other blogpost special with tons of pictures that will make you envy hahaha kidding! Now, in the first day of the tour, the food bloggers and foodies was brought to know closer the hippest breakfast restaurant in town, IHOP. In U.S, the IHOP family restaurant chain has served its world famous pancakes and a wide variety of breakfast, lunch and dinner items which the tradition is now become popular and growing in Dubai. IHOP is located in Al Barsha District of Dubai in one of the largest shopping mall in Middle East, Mall of the Emirates. The mall was even bigger than Grand Indonesia. Gees, it even took us about 30 minutes walking from hotel exit to the restaurant and I got lost several times hahaha. In this mall, there are the biggest Indoor Ski ever where you could easily do the snowboarding, ice body sliding or feeding the real penguins! They also have a beautiful indoor water fountain with stunning ceiling view. 

IHOP here was located on the first floor next to Shake Shack. The interior itself for me like a U.S classic family restaurant. Covered every table setting with cream and red which for me is a way too boring. There no such a pictures in the wall which I thought they should have more interesting pictures to show. The ambiance is quite relaxing but I didn't hear any back sound or music. But never mind, I was greeted by very humble waitress which explains me any single details of my questions. In IHOP, one waiter is serving only one table which is a very great news for me as in Indonesia some restaurants have the waiter serving most of the tables.

After being seated, we ordered several dish to try which is start from breakfast, lunch and dinner. Don't wonder if IHOP covered them all. They're not only selling pancakes. They sell like everything you want to eat! This one also good news since back to Jakarta, I there are no pancakes house selling so many choices of pancake. So, ready to say YES or NO for IHOP coming to Jakarta? Here's what I got from today's breakfast. Check it out!

New York Cheese Cake Pancake - AED42

Cheese cake is my favorite thing! And I will say YES for this pancake which has a REAL cheese cake flavor. The texture was sooo fluffy, moist and tasty. I can even feel the rich of cheese inside. Btw, you can choose 4 choices of the syrups. They have Original (the old-fashioned maple syrup), Blueberrry, Strawberry Banana and Cinnamon Apple. I always love the old-fashioned one. It just perfect combination for the pancakes. Really great breakfast!

Original Pancake with Old-Fashioned Syrup - AED41

This one was also customer's favorite. The texture was simple dense but fluffy inside. Simple put your favorites syrup and they're gonna melted your day!

Belgian Waffle with Vanilla Ice Cream - AED45

For the very first time, I could look that this waffle should be crunchy outside and fluffy inside and I was right! It just way tooo perfect for the waffle to be so crunchy but yes it is right and the texture inside was also fluffy and have a rich vanilla flavor. And oh, the vanilla ice cream was also not getting melted easily. Loove it so much!

Big Steak Omelette - AED57

I'm the one who always made my own omelette in my house and I expected will get a better quality one since I'm eating in one of best breakfast resto in the world. But sorry to say that, IHOP omelette's was too dry. Maybe they need to put some milk to make it softer and decrease the thickness of the egg and the filing. I'm feeling too full in the opening for an omelette with much beef and mushrooms inside.

Spinach and Mushroom Hashbrown - AED36

Never had such a very very crunchy yet so moist hash brown before. I was even take it more  than one bites of it hahaha! I love also they not overcooked the spinach and well-seasoned it with Provolone cheese and rich hollandaise sauce and green onions. Anyway you can choose egg style of your choice. Simply DA BOMB!

Egg Benedict - AED49

Turkey ham on an English muffin topped with two poached eggs, hollandaise sauce and served with hash brown. Frankly speaking, this egg benedict was a MEH! The presentation was terrible. They should not made too big egg benedict and it's tasteless. I don't know it just not into my palate.

After some breakfast, I ordered some food for brunch. Anyway, all the food here have a big portion, even the pancakes have four stacks! So never mind if you want to share your food with friends.

Surf & Turf - AED99

This grilled rib eye steak was also OMG NAY! The beef wasn't juicy at all, so chewy. I even find it hard to cut. This dish was completed with seasoned shrimps, sauteed spinach and mushroom in a creamy saauce. Gosh, the sauce was too acid and salty so did the shrimps. I thought it's too much to put steak and seafood in one plate.

Creamy Mushroom Pasta - AED45

Frsh tagliatelle pasta with creamy mushroom sauce. One of the best creamy mushroom pasta I've ever tried. The pasta cooked al dente and the sauce was simply rich in cream. Maybe they could added more cheese to make it more creamy and cheesy.

Fiesta Chicken Wrap with Onion Rings - AED38

The Onion Rings was DA BOMB! It's beyond crunchy for me, while the chicken wrap was also quite good with soft and warm flour tortilla filled with generous chicken breast, sauteed corn, lettuce with rich melted cheddar and Jack cheese.

Volcano Shrimp - AED42

Only this dish I found it in small portion. The shrimp was so big and fresh. The sauce did a good job too, they're simply sweet and spicy in time. Best for snacking!

Philly Cheese Steak Stacker - AED44

A kind of great portion of sub. The fries was simply great. Crunchy and very well-seasoned. The beef was also cooked perfectly with delectably melted American cheese. I'm in love with this!

Carrot Cake

So, I got this very best closing dish. This cake a way beyond expectation. Way tooo unique to came true. I rarely find the carrot cake infused with cinnamon powder, but this one turned so sooo good. The cinnamon was escalating the taste to another level. I simply love also the moist texture of the cake and the fruit and nuts inside.

Phiuh, whatta breakfast! Overall, I'm quite impressed with IHOP. Most of the food was good and came in a big portion. What I didn't recommend, and don't know which resto in Jakarta I should compared to, is just their price. The price was too expensive for Indonesian's market. They might be can choose whether to adjust the price or the food. But I suggest to lower the price and the portion but not the quality of the food. Since in Indonesia, especially Jakarta, breakfast with American breakfast is still uncommon. Maybe just several coffee shops have their breakfast but very limited to restaurant in Jakarta to have breakfast selections. People usually take breakfast by buying it at the street food area like nasi kuning, nasi goreng, lontong sayur, etc. If HOP want to works in Indonesia, maybe they could add some local menus like fried rice for breakfast in the menu. Hmmm...they might also can consider to change their eating utensils like the plate. I don't now why, but it looks so old-fashioned. Way too boring. Clean and brighter white plate or colorful plate will be more interesting I think.

As soon as they're consider some changes for their market, I thought they're ready to fly to Indonesia. Success for you IHOP. Waiting for your breakthrough in Indonesia. 

IHOP, Mall of the Emirates, Level 1
Syeikh Zayed Road, Al Barsha 1, Dubai
United Emirates Arab
Ph. +971 4 385 0891
Price Range : AED19 - AED49 (Average spending around AED150 for two)
Operation hours : 8AM -12PM
**1 AED = IDR3.950

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