When a meeting was called last week, I did a quick search of available breakfast locations that I hadn’t yet been to, that were geographically easy to get to, and that provided free parking… And Taste Kitchen came up. Online, the Taste Kitchen presence is quite flash — a lot of stunning food photography and hey, a decent enough 3.5-3.8 rating (depending on the location) on good old Zomato. Diplomatically, in the end, the target goals were met: there wasn’t a wait, it was easy to get to, and there was free parking.
You’ll note that food is not on this list.
Seated in the middle of one of the courtyards in the Italian themed Mercado Mall, as the only diner on arrival, there was plenty of room for seating and I chose one of the middle tables. The ambiance is kind of an open plan modern kitchen, which I think works well with the menu. Given the high ceilings, this isn’t a place you will feel cramped (and parents, I think I spotted some high chairs available). After ordering drinks (including homemade lemonade which came with its own twee straw and artisanal bottle — points for presentation), we got into a rather lengthy discussion and even though we planned to meet for breakfast, it ended up being much closer to lunch when it was finally time to order. I found it strange the staff never approached us while we were talking, but I guess we were emitting a ‘this is a serious meeting, please don’t bother us’ vibe. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Although I could’ve ordered off the semi-limited breakfast menu, I decided on fried eggs on toast, with grilled asparagus and parmesan (technically not available until 12 PM). Within the rest of the party, there was an order for the TK beef burger (which was given a prompt ‘I will never order this again’) and a wrap each (both of which were deemed ‘a little greasy and salty’). Of the group, I think I came away with the best order and while good (eggs cooked correctly, a good balance with both the asparagus and cheese), it was nothing worth coming back for (at AED50 there are plenty other similar options).
Look, the reality is that, if you’re in Dubai, there are too many good options for breakfast or brunch. There is no need to waste time and money on a place that does not deliver, and maybe there is a reason why the city classics (LimeTree, Jones the Grocer, Tom&Serg, Friends Avenue) are always well populated. Sorry Taste Kitchen, I won’t be returning anytime soon.