It’s not often that you find yourself overwhelmed by menu options at a fast food joint, yet at Nordsee, the new German seafood chain at The Dubai Mall food court, I was spoiled for choice. Should I have the lobster? The fish finger sandwich? The lemongrass prawns? The selection was seemingly unending and delicious, with ice trays packed full of fresh fish. It was not a sight I expected to see in a food hall.
My date and I felt befuddled. There were many temptations. I almost settled on a smoked herring sandwich, but instead opted for prawns in a pan. These took a few minutes (well, compared with the likes of a pre-wrapped burger, which is normally what I associate with a venue like this), but the dish was surprisingly delightful. Prawns were meaty and tender and though the tomato-based sauce that topped them was a tad sweet, it was packed with whole chunks of courgette, spring onions and other fresh vegetables. For a food court meal, I was relived to be eating something so healthy.
I also tucked into a bremer sandwich, which was a large fried patty served on a classically hard German bun. While I realise crisp bread is a national point of pride, I found that it overwhelmed the sandwich. The whole thing was disappointingly dry as well. Still, there were other breaded fish sandwiches to chose from, some on less traditional buns, and all a relative bargain at Dhs15.
My date ordered the baked pollock au gratin, which was topped with mushroom and cheese sauce. The best part of this dish was its side order of potatoes, a take on the traditional German bratkartoffeln – sliced and fried with onions and, in this instance, minus the usual bacon bits. It was a simple yet hardy side. The pollock unfortunately suffered from oversalting and a cheese crust that looked like it had spent too long on the display rack.
So while our meal was a little hit and miss, it was still refreshing for fast food. It’s the type of place that produces a very good quickie meal (if you make the right choice, that is). By the looks of things the prawns are the dish to go for – there were six or seven different preparations for the shellfish, many of which looked appetising on the ice trays.
While Nordsee may not be a contender for best restaurant (and c’mon, we’re talking about fast food here), it does at least make a unique and healthy alternative to the ubiquitous burger chains that tend to dominate the food court.
The bill (for two) 1x Small bottle water Dhs6 1x Iced tea Dhs5 1x Pan prawns Dhs49 1x Bremer sandwich Dhs15 1x Pollock Dhs52 Total (excluding service) Dhs127