Chirag Desai

The Cheesecake Factory, Dubai


Who wasn’t excited to hear about the Cheesecake Factory’s opening in the Dubai Mall in August? I was — having loved their menu during my last visit to the US, not to mention all the Big Bang Theory love — but when I learnt of the long wait times, decided I should let some time pass before trying it out.

Not that it mattered. We ventured down to celebrate a birthday, and, lo and behold, the lines had not died down at all. “1.5 hours” said the polite hostess as she handed us a little buzzer that would let us know when our table was ready. Yup, that’s how organized their wait cycle is.

And how long their lines still are.

(Btw, that’s the waiting line to get on the waiting list for a table.)

We opened with the lettuce wraps, something I had tried and loved during my US visit, and was curious to see how that translated over.

‘Rather well’ is the answer. The produce was fresh, the sauces delicious as always and the appetizer gained a thumbs up around the table.

What is a bummer though: they’re not selling their dressings & sauces like they do in the US. Bummer, bummer.

I have to talk about the ‘eggplant burger’ — it’s not exactly called that on the menu — but it is, by far, the best rendition of a grilled eggplant anything I’ve had at a meal. Wrapped in a burger bun, topped with fresh melted cheese & grilled onions and cooked to absolute perfection.

The waiter might have been confused what the sandwich looked like (we were told it was a flatbread sandwich rather than a burger), but the chef most certainly was not. You may be a meat eater or an eggplant hater, but you’re going to have a hard time saying no to this. Ya hear me, Poston?

I don’t know if we’ll ever be able to classify the Factory into a specific cuisine, but at least they do them all well. With over 200 items on the menu, deciding what to eat was hard.

We figured quesedillas were as different as the food was going to get, and these deserve a mention for being served with the freshest guacamole (yes, just about everything we had that afternoon had some avocado in it, but no regrets), delicious salsa and rich sour cream. The quesedillas were kept simple, just the way I like them.

No celebration is complete without a slice of cheesecake — well, no visit to the Factory is complete without one either — and, just like in the US, their staff obliged with a little deco to make the slice look as festive as possible.

What’s interesting overall about my experience is the consistency. Even the look and feel of the decorated plate matched its US counterpart. Don’t believe me? Take a look for yourself.

The food was delicious, fresh and something you’d definitely want to go back for. The place is buzzing with activity, and if you can get around the incredible wait times — to be fair, it can’t be that hard to kill time in the Dubai Mall right? — you’re in for a treat.

The Cheesecake Factory

The Dubai Mall, opposite the Aquarium

Originally published on Dec 10, 2012.