The Cheesecake Factory

Does US chain live up to its own hype? We find out 13 Reviews

2012_3_cheeseckae
© ITP Images
 
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It’s been a while since Dubai has experienced such a dizzying frenzy over a new restaurant opening. Considering the number of US chains constantly ‘coming soon’ to The Dubai Mall, when the arrival of The Cheesecake Factory ignited Dubai’s social media channels with lactose-induced excitement, it wasn’t quite the reaction I’d imagined its launch would provoke.

The venue has become notorious as the workplace of failing actress-turned-waitress Penny from US TV series The Big Bang Theory; maybe this popularity explains why our arrival at the reservation desk was
met with a 90-minute wait. That’s an estimated 90 minutes, with the possibility of extra time, and a request that after leaving our names we return half an hour later to collect a pager, which would then call us when our table was (finally) ready.

When we finally sat down to an unexpectedly late dinner it was nearly 10pm, yet the huge dining room was still heaving – a surprise considering it had already been open for a week. Grandiose and golden, it was an odd space: old fashioned and over the top, designed like an American jazz-age salon, glossed over with a glitzy sheen as if to satisfy Dubai’s love of bling. The biggest clash with this epic, ostentatious decor was the menu – this long, chaotic list of deep-fried, Americanised all and sundry was peppered with ads for other venues.

Lost in this mire of east meets west meets deep fat fryer, we looked to the waitress for recommendations. Well meaning and well mannered as she was (and obviously still under the tutelage of her American counterparts, who had been flown in to oversee the opening), she seemed at first to be almost as lost as we were.

So we ploughed on with a plate of fried courgette to start, which was decent enough in taste and texture, but paired with an awful, acrid and artificial-tasting dip. The Vietnamese tacos were more successful and imaginative. A ‘taco’ only by way of suggestion, these little pouches of fluffy, soft Asian-style steamed bread were stuffed with cubes of beef and a Vietnamese-style salad of carrot, cucumber, coriander and chilli. There was a good flavour spectrum of fresh, hot, aromatic, pickled sourness and sweetness. It was a good dish (and one of the best of the evening), but if it had been refined a little to avoid the extremes of sour and sweet, it would have been much better.

Highly recommended was the insane-sounding (and stereotypically American) concept of a fried ball of macaroni and cheese in a burger.

The sweet potato fries that accompanied it were thin and crispy, with just the right amount softness inside, but the burger itself was a letdown. The meat patty, sweet bread bun and salad were all bog-standard fast-food affairs (the meat was particularly lifeless and watery). The fried macaroni ball was surprisingly good, like an ostentatiously rich and creamy arancini (Sicilian stuffed rice balls)having an unhealthy blow-out, but whoever thought of shoving it in a burger needs to go on a diet.

The other main course we sampled was entitled ‘Evelyn’s Favorite Pasta’. I was a little concerned for Evelyn: if the dish really is her favourite, she has clearly never lived, let alone been to Italy. While the vegetable-packed mix (broccoli, aubergine, peppers, artichoke, olives and pine nuts) was an admirable attempt to add something healthy to the mix, the pasta was slimy and salty and tasted as though it had come out
of a tin, or brine, or both. Finally, oddities such as ‘oven-dried tomatoes’ and broccoli made this seem like an anachronistic ’70s concept of Italian cooking.

We then turned our disappointment to the famous cheesecakes, choosing two of the 50 varieties on offer.

As much as I’d love to tell you otherwise, the white chocolate and raspberry truffle cheesecake was a sickly and overly sweet affair. Finally, with ‘Craig’s Crazy Carrot Cake Cheesecake’, we were treated to a dish worth waiting for. A layer of smooth creamy cheesecake was topped with a soft, moist carrot cake sponge, which tempered the richness and added another dimension to the taste and texture, with the cheesy sweetness mirrored again in the topping of cream cheese frosting. Of the whole cheesecake family, clearly Craig has the palate we should trust.

The bill (for two)
2x fruit lemonades Dhs36
1x large water Dhs21
1x fried zucchini Dhs26
1x Vietnamese tacos Dhs29
1x burger Dhs58
1x Evelyn’s favourite pasta Dhs74
2x cheesecake Dhs64
1x espresso Dhs14
Total (excluding service) Dhs322

By Penelope Walsh
Time Out Dubai,

Time Out reviews restaurants anonymously and pays for meals. Of course, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or independence of user reviews.

Details

  • Location: The Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai, Dubai
  • Tel: 04 325 3521
  • Travel: Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard
  • Cuisine: Cafés
  • Experiences: Wi-fi
  • Times: Open Sun-Wed 10am-10pm; Thu-Sat 10am-midnight
  • Price: Dhs350-500
  • Credit Cards Accepted: Yes

Is this your establishment? Want to update any details? Please send your updates here.

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User reviews

ValueAmbienceService
DecorFoodOverall
  • Users voted this restaurant most suitable for: Family friendly

User reviews:

Posted by: Lama on 24 Feb ' 14 at 11:22
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

I went there for lunch with my family. Our food took 40 minutes to arrive, and arrived 1 dish at a time. We ordered 4 main courses which arrived 1 dish after the other with good time gaps in between! no fresh bread basket was served, service was extremely bad. The food is below average. The fried mac and cheese arrived cold! we told the waiter it was cold and she said" do u want me to heat it in a microwave?" I am definitly not going to return, its a total waste and mess, not worth a single dirham.

Posted by: Neeil on 29 Jul ' 13 at 12:43
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Cheesecake Factory offers big menu with lots of variety. The food is also delicious and is HUGE serving. Service is excellent, and their chefs are efficient and professional. The prices are very high and they only serve FIJI Water, which is very expensive. The ambiance feels as though you are on a Romantic Date, but unfortunately it is in a noise shopping centre which cannot justify the price.

It's good to go only once a year.

Posted by: Dikran on 13 Apr ' 13 at 07:12
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Edited by TimeOutDubai.com

At Dubai Mall : Very Bad, do not waste your money, couple of points : 1- service was bad 2- the thuna burger was uncooked, not rare, but really uncooked 3- the softdrinks, very watery, where is the Cola flavor ??? 4- the chicken avocado, there was 2 pieces of chicken breast (boiled) disgusting and not even grilled (nevertheless it says "grilled chicken " on the menu 5- finally, the CHEESEcake........yes, it was more like a mousse cake, not a real cheesecake, i know a cheesecake, I have been eating it for 30 years !!!

Posted by: Lester on 28 Jan ' 13 at 09:58
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

3 of us went to the cheese cake factory Downtown dubai for lunch on Sunday. Luckily we were taken straight to our table without waiting. The waitress came to our table with a bright smile and took our order. the Bread took 15 minutes when it finally arrived to our table, when asking why, the waitress said the bread was in the oven, baking. The food also took another 20 min from the order time. In the mean time we noticed the staff standing behind our table and busy chatting with each other not paying attention to the other guests, who had to wave their hands to ask something. Our waitress was standing right besides us and applying lipstick and brushing her hair. The manager was having a drink while working. I found that totally impolite and not right at all. For a standard of your type this is totally not acceptable.

Posted by: Julia on 24 Jan ' 13 at 05:15
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

After having been to the Cheesecake Factory many times in America, we didn't expect the same quality of food but when we arrived here, we found that although the service was slightly slow at times, the food was amazing. IF you are looking for a place you aren't worried about spending a little more money on, it is definitely worth a try and you must save space for the cheesecake at the end!

Posted by: ngoni on 21 Jan ' 13 at 18:41
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

we went to the moe brunch ,it was the worst expirence i ever had,the waiter and manger didnt know were there steaks come from and they dont know the cuts of the meats and to top it all of they over cooked it ,i wouldnt recomend anyone to go there

Posted by: Dom on 20 Jan ' 13 at 06:31
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

I've been to there 3 times, just because I couldnt stomach the things I really wanted to sample from the menu.
Breakfast: Cold coffees and cold food. NOT worth it.
On another ocassion-
Lunch:
Vanilla Milkshake: Awesome
Fried Calamari; Bland and too oily.
Chicken sliders: very nice!
Burgers; a total catasptrophy, overcooked tasteless meat, bread was dry. They should seriously sample Johnny Rockets or Fat Burger to learn something. Fries were the only good thing on that plate.
Cheesecake: Red velvet and Carrot Cake. Goes without saying, one of the best I've had. Could do with a bit less sugar.
I would only go back there to bag a take-out of some of the Cheesecakes.

Posted by: Raq on 18 Jan ' 13 at 11:53
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Went to their MOE branch, service was very poor. Kid's meal arrived 30 mins from ordering ogether with aduts' meals. Normally in most restaurants in Dubai, kids' meals are are always served ahead. when we followed up 2x, all the waiter could say was it's coming. Ordered pizza & pasta lunch combo for myself and it arrived together after 30 minutes after placing the order, so how can you eat both at the same time? One point to note is that they couldve asked if i wanted to have the salad first while waiting for the pizza! The same waiter explained to me that the restaurant was very busy hence the delay. I mean, excuse me?! Is that really what you say to customers as an explanation? A manager, Josh, approached us to apologise and offerred a complimentary cheesecake after we finished our meal - well, it never came so I'm sure they forgot about that! The waiter offered to refill my lemon mint cooler so i said, are you sure? He said, yes ma'am and then he came back with my empty glass saying sorry, the refill is only for the child's lemonade and he put back the same empty glass in front of me. When i was paying the bill, the same waiter had to gall to ask if i wanted to leave a tip, to which i stared at him pointblank in the eye and said definitely no!

Posted by: Maysoon on 26 Dec ' 12 at 11:19
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Food is great, portions are too big! but options are veeerrryyy nice.

one things is annoying, we were waitlisted for 3 hrs one time.
but alteast when we're back we had our table ready in few seconds.

no phone booking but the service at the front desk is good.

Posted by: One of you on 14 Dec ' 12 at 16:11
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

We were there for breakfast, coffee came in 15 min. and it was cold, we did not mind, after 45 min we were still waiting for our order. When we asked waiter to follow up we have been told that it is coming in 5 min.
Another 15 min passed we were still waiting and really hungry but what makes us really angry is what we were witnessing.
Go there, observe and judge for yourself.
1-Food is waiting on the counter for so long to be taken while waiters are just chatting in big groups, walking around or at least 3 of them gathers in front of the screen seems trying to solve a math. problem.
2-Managers are not even aware what is going on since they are so busy with posing around or chatting with each other.
3-Bread is cold, coffee is cold, food is not served and no waiter or manager came and apologize about it or offered a courtesy treat.
4-You actually have to call them and make them aware of the situation hope to hear a sincere apology instead of an awkward explanation and fake sorry.
Overall it is a FACTORY and far from the charm,coziness, personal attention,professionalism and quality.

I generally don't write comments however after what I experienced i felt like i have to write this and let other people know. Wont worth your money.

Posted by: Mons on 12 Oct ' 12 at 09:32
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Great food big portions. Love it!

Posted by: Ahmad on 13 Sep ' 12 at 11:46
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

they have the best food, best quality, best service. the food taste so good, and the cake so yummy. food portion is so big that you won't have space for their delicious cheese cake. worth to wait 1-2 hour to be seated!

Posted by: Michael on 12 Sep ' 12 at 14:17
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Best food in Dubai!

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Close X The Holy Month of Ramadan started on Sunday, June 29 and will last for one month. During this time live music and DJ sets will stop and opening hours may change at all venues. Please call ahead to confirm details with the outlet.