I have a sweet mouth, forget sweet tooth. And that is one of the reasons why I take it as my noble duty to try and test the various restaurants, cafes and patisseries around Dubai, to find that ultimate Paradise for the Sweet Lover. It is in one of those determined quests, that I stumbled onto Brooklyn Diner, a hidden away gem in a cranny of The Festival City, Marina pavilion. Yes, I love that mall.
Brooklyn Diner is one of the most under-enjoyed restaurants in Dubai. It is casual, sporty, cozy and rustic with an almost elegant edge. I will start of with their flaws, so that once that’s done with, I can get on with all the raves. God help me to stop then!
To get to BD, you need to park your car at the Spice section of Festival City car parks. This will directly take you onto a couple of escalators inside the Marina Restaurant pavilion- all those restaurants with the most coveted alcohol licenses! Even so, unfortunately for BD, their exact location is one of their flaws. With no open air zone for the restaurant, alcohol availability comes to a no-good with some customers, if they can’t smoke it out inside the diner. There is no view nor marina for this adorable joint, which quite shuns them to those customers who want a pretty picture to look at outside their table windows.
The seating is comfortable when it comes to their booths. The sofas are well cushioned, the tables are in proper height and there are mysterious names engraved at the side of each table, which can keep you guessing. The seating would have been wonderful, if only a little more thought was put into their high stools area. A single long fixed table has individual high stools on either sides- one side, quite weirdly, against a wall. The flaw comes in profoundly when a bunch of strangers occupy the table to enjoy a match with a beer in their hands, and the middle occupant has to slide through the laps of those on his side, if he needs to visit the John or to step out for a quick smoke.
Blurrghh!!! Now to crack my fingers and plunge into the goodness of the place!
Call me unprofessional, but I will not be fair to Brooklyn Diner, if I don’t start the raves with their DESSERTS! Ask for the desserts menu, and you might be caught off-guard when the Waiter brings to you a huge tray with an assortment of incredible looking cakes, tarts, meringues and sundaes.
My honest recommendation would be to order one of each! But if you are not the kind who cheats on your treadmill, oh well, go for the Strawberry Cheesecake during the first visit. Do it for a couple of times, and the third time you walk into the place, even before you utter those words, the waiter calls out to the kitchen without a doubt- “A strawberry cheesecake please!”. #TrueStory
The Brooklyn Diner Cheesecake is so good that it deserves a paragraph for itself. A moist soft thin vanilla sponge at the bottom, a rich, creamy, heaven of a cheese filling in the middle and luscious strawberries drenched in chocolate sauce on the top. And here, I gasp for air while wiping away the dribble across my lips. The slice comes to perfection with a coating of crushed hazelnuts on the side and a pot of melted chocolate to go with it.
The picture will not speak for itself. But you will know exactly what language I’m talking if you take a spoonful of that into your mouth.
In another visit, try the decadent Chocolate Blackout Cake, with layers of rich chocolate cake jammed together with thick, sinful dark chocolate. I’m sure I have said enough to a True Chocolate Lover. The same for the Sundae which was nothing short of an epic!
In fact, I have tried every dessert on their tray at a number of occasions, and never has a frown crept into my face because of them. As a Dubai resident who has tried and tested cakes and tarts from innumerable spots and delis here, I can declare with all the might of a pen (or a blog in this case), that Brooklyn Diner is the place to be, if you want to do justice to your sugar cravings.
While you are there, and not drooling on the desserts, glance through the menu and definitely, definitely order the Hot Dog and the Buffalo Wings. The former comes with the longest beef sausage ever, packed with great flavors, while the latter comes in a delicious sauce that you will lick clean off your fingers in the end. Further, if there is any way there is space left in your tummy, go for the Chicken Pot Pie, which is totally worth stuffing yourself until you can’t breathe, let alone get up from the chair without external help!
Else, sip on your Bud while you wait for your kids to finish their 29 Dhs worth Kid’s Meal. Enjoy your drinks and watch some rugby on the TV while they gobble down the fries, drinks and burger in the meal, and just as the showstopper is brought to the table, prepare for the prance! Yes, a HUGE chocolate chip cookie, little bigger than the size of your side plate comes up as the sweet finish to the most well worth Kid’s Meal you have seen!
If you would like to convey the good wishes of your taste buds to the Masters in the Kitchen, call for Mr Gopal Majumdar, one of the Chefs of the Brooklyn Diner team. Hailing from Kolkatta in India, he explained to me that the Cheesecake (which I scrape clean in minutes) takes 3 hours in the oven to bake! With a friendly smile, he posed for my camera and talked to me about their highlighted dishes, namely, the 15 Bite Brooklyn Diner All-Beef Hot Dog, the Chicken Pot-pie and the Brooklyn Diner Cheeseburger Deluxe.
BD is not just about food. It is about great service and a perfect dining experience as well. I have stepped into the place a zillion times, many a times just for the desserts, and each time I was welcomed with wonderfully warm smiles and a friendly passing of the order- “Bring the dessert tray!”- to the kitchen even before I sit! And sometimes, they make you smile broader with amazing compliments on the house that can lighten up your entire evening and make you want to come here many more times, just for the Chicken wings and the Cheesecake, if nothing else. But thankfully, its never ‘nothing else’ when it comes to Brooklyn Diner.