Helpful hint from your favorite local Dubai blogger: there is not a lot open for lunch at 12 PM in Dubai. See, I had a whole plan of leaving the city so we would arrive at Banyan Tree somewhere around 2 PM (to — naturally — maximize our time at this heavenly property). Packing up, we managed to get a small errand taken care of in record time. Ready to plug into Google maps, I realized my timing was off and that Coya didn’t open until 12:30. Bummer. At 11:30 and having had no breakfast, we needed to find a closer option. Hypoglycemia, be thy name. ‘How about Slider Station?’ Hubs suggested. Awesome! I could go for a burger (esepcially after the killer Flywheel class that morning). We drive to the Galleria and are told (contrary to the Google business listing) that burgers are not served until 1 PM. Darn. A quick lap around the Galleria yields pretty much only Taste of Italy by Heinz Beck.
11:45? Sure, let’s
be given the breakfast menus and ask for the lunch menus and wait.
Fortunately, the wait was definitely worth it.
The current business lunch option is quite tasty and filling choice. With a great selection for starters and mains and a VERY reasonable price (AED70 per person for two courses, not including drinks), I think it’s a perfect spot for a mid-week meet up. Bummer about not being able to have a glass of white wine with the meal. Honestly, I’m still not sure why this brand didn’t hook in with a reputable hotel (ala Social by Heinz Beck), but with a Diet Coke in hand, I survived.
To start, I chose the BRUSCHETTA DI POMODORO E OLIVE, a toasted baguette with cherry tomatoes, olives, basil and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil. Let’s be fair, the portion is quite large. I’m also not sure how they managed it, but the cherry tomatoes were at the perfect level of ripeness. With perfectly toasted bread, this is a dish I would happily order again. In addition, because I can’t ever NOT order this when it appears on a menu was the Burrata. In this case, Burrata con verdure in pinzimonio (one of my favorite cheeses with zucchini, carrots, asparagus and fennel salad seasoned with white balsamic vinegar). From the photo below, you can see it is served on a rather small plate. While the cheese itself was wonderfully creamy, I think a better preparation would involve a larger plate and some sort of carbohydrate (a small crostini or similar, in addition to the vegetables). At AED75, this is on par with similar offerings in Dubai.
Healthy Hubs went for the INSALATA CONDITELLA, a summer salad with mixed fresh vegetables including: carrots, red onions, celery, date tomatoes, zucchini, red radish, cucumber (and toasted bread). This might sound like a simple dish, but it was executed to perfection — the exact right amount of dressing and wonderfully crunchy produce.
For my main, I opted for the MEZZO RIGATONE CON CACIO E PEPE, short Italian pasta with creamy cheese and peppery white sauce, served with pea foam. The dish was everything that was promised, and, even for my American sensibilities, a bit too large a portion. I didn’t specifically get ‘peppery’ from the sauce, nor did the pea foam add much, but the sauce was nicely blended and very rich.
Hubs decided on the SPAGHETTI AL POMODORO, Italian De Cecco spaghetti with tomato sauce and fresh basil. We both agreed that while we probably could’ve made both of the pasta dishes at home, they wouldn’t turn out nearly as nice. Hubs also thought the breadcrumbs were a bit unnecessary on the below dish, and I would tend to agree.
As part of the set lunch menu, for an additional AED10, you could add a cup of coffee or tea and a pastry. I would urge you to definitely take this option! Looking at the delicious selection of pastries, I happily chose the lemon mereingue tart. While the marshmallow topping was a bit too sweet for my liking, the lemon curd filling was spot on.
With a total bill of AED255, I felt the price to be exactly right. Had we not ordered the burrata, it would have been considerably less and a bargain for the level of food we received.