If you were to tell me to meet for lunch at Shakespeare and Co, I would picture myself in London or in some quaint English village but surprisingly Shakespeare and Co was actually founded in Dubai. We came across it at the very modern Souk Central Market in Abu Dhabi, where it seemed that a piece of England had found a nook for itself amongst the spice shops and the Arabic wood panels.
Souk Central Market – Abu Dhabi
Once inside you find yourself in a mix between a Victorian style pastry shop and an Arabian night’s color combination scheme and the truth is that although it might sound a bit weird, it all works out in the most charming way. The restaurant looks more like a living room with various sofas and armchairs set together around coffee tables making for a very relaxed, laid back atmosphere. You could just picture yourself chatting the afternoon away.
The food is simple and tasty. The menu being composed by an array of salads, sandwiches, wraps, eggs Benedict, crêpes… and the juices are fantastic. That is something that I found to be true of most places in the UAE, they combine freshly squeezed juices in such a way that I found myself hardly missing alcohol and feeling very healthy with my watermelon and lychee juice.
A nice place to take a break from your sightseeing.
It is no secret that I am a hamburger lover. It must me a mix between the juicy burger, the soft bread, the crisp greens and the creamy sauces that makes me crave those peculiar sandwiches which were actually created at the beginning of the twentieth century and still today there is an ongoing debate as to its birthplace, US or Germany. I guess it is one of those things we will never truly know.
I am in the constant quest of finding the perfect hamburger and although I didn’t have the “perfect” burger at Shake Shack, I had a real good one. Shake Shack started off as a hot dog cart in Madison Square Park in Manhattan in 2004 and it has been expanding ever since and in a way it still keeps that hot dog cart feel in the décor. Today you can enjoy a Shake Shack burger in six states in the US, the Middle East, Turkey and coming soon to Covent Garden in London. I recently tried their Dubai location in the Emirates Mall. Their menu is pretty straight forward and it cuts your decision making to either burger or hot dog, fries or cheese fries and then there are milk shakes, desserts… I, of course, went for the hamburger and a side order of cheese fries. The meat is extremely tender and juicy and the whole burger blends together just right. I was quite surprised by the cheese fries because beforehand I got the idea the cheese sauce would have your typical store-bought flavor which I normally don’t like. I don’t know what is in that sauce but it was totally addictive. My friends ordered the hot dog which was quite tasty too. My recommendation; if you ever find yourself shopping at the Emirates Mall, give Shake Shack a try. I know that I will definitely try some of their other locations.
Over the past years with Chinese all you can eat buffets popping up all over cities and towns, Chinese food has been downgraded and given a bad rep which is a shame since it is one of the oldest and richest cuisines. Chinese cuisine dates back to the 11th century BC and today the style varies greatly from one region to the next but nonetheless being as rich as it is, it is quite difficult to find high quality Chinese restaurants. I guess that is why I am such a fan of Hakkasan where not only is the decor fabulous, so is the food. As one friend and foodie says “Hakkasan is an eye-opener”.
Hakkasan started off in 2001 in Hanway Place, London and now just eleven years later it has extended to the USA, India and the Middle East. All the restaurants maintain the same feel with wooden screens and latticing and a dimly lit elegant atmosphere.
We have been to the London, Dubai and Abu Dhabi locations and we have enjoyed all of the meals finding the quality and the preparation of the food to be premium. Hakkasan specializes in cializes ciallyl to be als. and Abu Dhabi locations and we have enjoyed all of the meals. dim sums and if you are a dim sum lover, as I am, I guarantee that you are going to love Hakkasan. The last time we were in London, we had an all dim sum lunch which was to die for.
The last time I dined at Hakkasan, I did so at the Abu Dhabi location. Although EAU is Islamic you can get alcohol at hotels so both in Dubai and Abu Dhabi there is a wine list but it is extremely pricey. The upside is that they have a very tasty cocktail selection at a more reasonable price.
Now onto the food…
Steamed dim sum platter…delicious as always