This restaurant on JBR Walk has just got 40 times better!
Here's what you'll want to know about the 40 new menu additions at Big Chefs, JBR
Big Chefs, a restaurant which was originally founded in Ankara, is a family-friendly little spot located among the countless restaurants at the Beach opposite JBR. There are about seven restaurants and shops in this particular cluster which all face inwards; each has a similar dark facade and no exterior features are very memorable...Although when I visited, there were some temporary kids amusements set up in the centre of the outlets – so the exterior of Big Chefs may be incredibly cool but my attention was totally diverted by shiny fluorescent lights, huge fluffy teddy bears and enticing carnival-style games.
The interior, on the other hand, is extremely inviting and homely; a mix of rustic tables and chairs, some practical hard dark wood, other more comfortable whitened wooden seats, or for those of you who feel like lying horizontally, you can grab one of the soft, cushy leather sofas all for yourself. Fairy lights and lanterns adorn the walls and ceilings and a large library (I can't imagine this gets any real use) covers an entire wall; this all creates a snug, homely effect - not what you would expect to find in the middle of a vibrant tourist hub, but this homely quality is also reflected in the food we were about to (over) indulge in.
I was seated next to the open plan kitchen where we could see the meals being prepared, we could see the flames coming from the pans and the waiters bustling about, these new menu additions are as new to the kitchen staff as they are to the menu but you wouldn't know it by how calm, collected and friendly the entire staff were. Anyway, you probably haven't got time to read through the ins and outs of over 40 dishes (ain't nobody got time for that) so let me take you through the best of the best....
For starters...we had hands down some of the best falafel in Dubai
Our first taste of the new menu additions came from the mezze platter, filled with the usual suspects of tabbouleh, muhammara, artichoke hummus, moutabel and a few extras, it's hard to go wrong with a mezze, BUT the crispy ricotta falafel was actually incredible - a must try for falafel fans!
Next up was a thin crust flatbread topped with home cured Scottish salmon gravlax, rocket leaves and labneh cheese...this was awesome - like a mini, not-overly-filling, healthy pizza and finally a casserole of spicy shrimp cooked in a garlic tomato sauce; while the shrimp was good it was the tomato sauce that really stole the show; by the end I was dipping leftover flatbread into the sauce...there is NOTHING better than soaking up excess sauce and wiping the plate clean with bread and this was perfect for just that. So, in an unintentional move by the Big Chefs, the shrimp and garlic became my favourite starter.
The mains were all superbly cooked
Okay so we didn't try ALL of the 40 new dishes, the chef suggested a couple of his favourites and we had a taster of those...you've got to trust the chef right?!
We were glad we did. The menu is huge and varied so sampling some signature dishes saved the usual indecision over what to order. The kitchen can rustle up everything from pizzas, pastas, burgers, and grilled eats, but a lot of what we tried was concentrated on fish and a whole lot of lamb; if you visit we highly recommend the buttery herb crusted pan-fried sea bream, (my personal favourite) the big fresh jumbo prawns with much-too-tempting lemon butter sauce, the succulent rack of lamb served on flatbread with a fattoush salad or the salmon topped with veg and served on a bed of crunchy mangetout. It was a big carnivores offering, vegetarians would be suitably happy with any of their huge salads or one of the wholesome veggie pastas.
(Sweet mother of marshmallows)...They saved the best till last
With just three new desserts added to the menu you'd be forgiven for thinking the Big Chefs got this far, got lazy and called it a day. This couldn't be further from the truth. These three desserts hit the mark on so many levels, there was an Oreo Nutella cheesecake, (it feels wrong how good this was) an elegant strawberry Mille Feuille with a light custard and the unexpected drool-inducing surprise of baked marshmallows served with vanilla ice cream; where, nestled beneath the hot gooey marshmallows, was melted chocolate and hot strawberries...You definitely need a sweet tooth for that last one, but what a delightful and...erm, sweet way to finish the meal.
The important bits:
Big chefs new menu additions are available now!
Starters range between AED 44 and AED 66
Mains range between AED 50 and AED 142
Desserts range between AED 34 and AED 42