If you’ve been anywhere near Instagram in the past couple of years, chances are you’ll have seen Black Tap. Famous for its towering freakshakes in a rainbow of vibrant (sugary) colours to its juicy burgers, this chain has a huge following.
Set up by Michelin-starred chef Joe Isidori in New York in 2015, Black Tap has been making waves wherever it goes – from the US to Dubai.
Its first Dubai outlet at Jumeirah Al Naseem, has been a massive hit, routinely packed day in, day out. And it’s with this in mind we head with high expectations to its sister outlet at Rixos Premium Dubai at JBR.
We visit on a weekend evening, when it’s relatively busy, with a few couples sitting at the bar and larger parties eating in the dining area.
Sadly, it’s not quite as cool as the original. Though funky, the urban décor, with graffiti and dark tables, is all a bit contrived. The freakshake station (which, in Jumeirah Al Naseem, is a discreet, cool ice cream bar towards the back) dominates the entrance, and the place has a weirdly clinical feel.
But on to the burgers, which is why we’re here. We arrive hungry, and the All American Cheeseburger is a good size, housed in a perfectly soft bun. But the meat patty is excessively salty. The burger is of good quality though, despite us swigging down our cola. A side of sweet potato fries is nice enough, albeit lukewarm.
The highlight? The crisp, tasty onion rings that transport us to retro American diners in one salty-sweet bite. They’re moreish and delicious.
Service is slow, and after quite a wait we think better of a shake, and call it a night.
Perhaps it’s just a blip, and we wouldn’t be averse to giving it a second go, but while Black Tap JBR is fun, it just doesn’t wow.
While better than some chain burger joints, and fine if you’re in the area, we’d recommend you make a trip to Jumeirah Al Naseem instead.
The bill (for two) 1x All-American Dhs75 1x spicy special burger Dhs100 1x onion rings Dhs37 2x diet pepsi Dhs42 Total (incl service) Dhs253
The bottom line Head to Dubai’s original branch first.
Black Tap JBR