Nice ambience, good food, excellent service, and great views—I found them all at Walnut Grove's newest branch in Dubai Mall. Oh and their huge cake slices; I think I'm in love!
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But just like our dining experiences with other really nice, almost-perfect restaurants, we also had our share of a few small misses when we dined at Walnut Grove. Read on to know more about it.
Walnut Grove is a concept grown in South Africa and has been around for a while in Dubai at its City Walk branch. I only got to try Walnut Grove for the first time at their recently opened branch in Dubai Mall.
Located at the ground floor, just right beside The Waterfall, the restaurant's chic interiors and that massive display of cakes were what initially captured my eyes. There's also an interactive open bakery and barista station inside. We immediately felt the warm service as one of the staff welcomed us and ushered us to our seats.
The weather's fine so we chose a table at their al fresco dining area where we enjoyed an unobstructed view of Burj Khalifa all throughout the night.
Anatoly, the staff who attended to us, was very keen in regularly updating us about the status of our orders, but we honestly didn't mind the serving time because of the lovely view.
We had Halloumi Fries for appetizer, along with a refreshing Strawberry Mojito for me (and same old diet soda for Mark).
|Strawberry Mojito (AED 42) and Halloumi Fries (AED 49|
Mark and I enjoyed every bit of the deep fried Halloumi Fries! The pomegranate seeds added texture and a hint of sweetness. The mint and Sriracha mayo dip made it even more delicious! Even the side of rockets with balsamic vinaigrette was wiped out. It's supposed to be for sharing, so I let Mark take some, but I honestly really wanna have it all to myself! Haha!
|My photo may not give justice, but these Halloumi Fries are so good!|
Mark chose beef while I opted for lamb for our mains. Both of our mains came in huge servings, which is already good for 2-3 people, but is also more than filling for a big eater like Mark. Oh, and those edible flowers also added a pop of color to the dishes. :D
The Beef Fillet Trio is grilled beef tenderloin fillet (cooked medium well as how Mark likes it), on a bed of roasted vegetables with beef jus, and a generous topping of fried sweet potato ribbons. It also came with a side of mashed potato (you can choose from either mashed potato or fries) and some rocket leaves, and accompanied with a trio of sauces (thus the dish name)—salsa verde mayo, African chakalaka chili, and Peppadew pesto.
Though Mark loved the beef, he said that some parts were a little tough to the bite. I had a small bite of it and it was tender, though. The beef was flavorful as is (I can clearly taste the charred flavor), but it also went well with the chakalaka chili and peppadew pesto. I also enjoyed munching those crispy sweet potato ribbons!
|Beef Fillet Trio - AED 159|
The only downers were the mashed potato which was bland and too mushy, it almost felt watery; and the vegetables which were a little overcooked; close to soggy (I like my veggies with some crunch to it).
The Greek Lamb Giouvetsi is a must-try! Think of a huge lamb shank cooked in a rich medium-spiced tomato based sauce, mixed and baked with orzo—are you drooling now? The lamb was slow-cooked, it's meat is so tender it falls off the bone! The sauce was flavorful and with spiciness that's just right for my palates (tastes very much like the Filipino dish Caldereta)! The dish also came with a side of rockets and spiced fries (which Mark and I both loved!).
|Greek Lamb Giouvetsi - AED 159|
|It just doesn't look like it in my photo, but the serving of this dish (both the lamb and orzo) is huge!|
We initially ordered Midnight Brownies for dessert, but after minutes of waiting (which we really didn't mind because we're enjoying the view of Burj Khalifa and Dubai Fountain), we were informed that the last piece, which was supposed to be ours, was served to a different table (who apparently ordered the same) and that another batch is already made but will take some time to cool down before it can be served.
I was willing to wait, but Anatoly talked us out of the idea and suggested that we just choose anything from their cake display. To be honest, I got a bit annoyed (things went on in my head like if there was really another batch and it will just really take time, or if our order was even properly noted) but I calmly and gladly told Anatoly that he can just choose for us what he thinks we'd love. :)
And so we ended our dinner on a sweet note with a Ferrero Cake instead. And boy, it was huge! It can be shared by 3-4 people. It was generally good, but Mark and I have different opinions about this cake.
|Mark has a big hand but this Ferrero Cake slice is even bigger!|
For me, it was just okay; I've had better chocolate cakes before. It's actually the cake base that killed it for me, I guess. It was soft and moist, but the chocolate flavor was just not enough for me. It tasted very much like the chocolate cake from a local cake brand in the Philippines (which I'm unfortunately not really fond of).
The frosting was good, the Ferrero taste was there, it was not too sweet. But I guess the cake-to-frosting ratio wasn't well-balanced. Each cake layer was about 2 inches thick, while the frosting was nearly a centimeter. Maybe a little more frosting in between the cake layers would do the trick?
|Ferrero Cake - AED 45|
With a nice ambience, good food with huge portions, excellent service (Anatoly took good care of us during the night, and a couple of other staff were constantly checking on us every once in a while), and great views, plus their huge cake slices; though with a few small boo-boos, our overall dining experience at Walnut Grove was still pretty good. And yes, I am in love!
|I am in love (with Walnut Grove and with this guy)! :p|
WALNUT GROVE, Dubai Mall
Ground Level, Near Waterfall
The Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
We were invited to try Walnut Grove and our meal was complimentary, but this post is not influenced nor paid for. Opinions on this blog post are my own.