Where to eat at City Walk

From healthy cafés to ice-cream parlours, burger joints and a whole lot of cake, Amy Mathieson picks 11 of the Al Safa Street haunt’s top eateries

An extensive shopping district by Meraas, the company behind BoxPark and The Beach at JBR, City Walk is home to many a luxury store and café. True, shopping isn’t (yet) classed as a sport, although anyone who has spent hours (and kilometres) walking round Dubai’s malls may be forgiven for wondering why not. It’s also hungry work, so when the time comes to replenish those calories you’ve burnt, you’ll be pleased to know that you’re spoilt for choice at City Walk.

Italian 04 344 2550 Jumeirah

Hungry residents and tourists alike are drawn to this increasingly popular part of town, and Sapori di BiCE is a strong choice for those after an Italian meal in City Walk.

Pitching itself as “casual chic family dining” is pretty spot on. Interiors manage to pull off that tricky blend of upmarket yet not overly fussy, ensuring it appeals to families and couples alike.

There’s a lofty, bustling feel to the eatery and it’s busy on our visit.

An Italian bread basket of olive and cherry tomato focaccia, arrives first, served with olive oil and balsamic vinegar containing dabs of goat’s cheese and an incredibly moreish homemade basil pesto. Next up, it’s calamari fritters accompanied by tempura-style courgette and mushrooms – the calamari is tender enough but lacking a little in seasoning, and not as enjoyable as the vegetables.

Don’t miss the traditional lasagne Emiliana, which is rustically presented in a mini cast-iron pan and is voted by our group as delicious as home-made would be (unless you’re an Italian grandmother, that is).

Despite the Italian-twist, paella is packed full of seafood and fresh herbs, it somehow lacks the real punch of flavour expected from this sort of dish.

Desserts are authentic and tasty, so opt for the salted caramel pecan pie for a treat. Plump for scoops of intensely-rich black cherry and pistachio ice cream on the side, which work surprisingly well.

Dishes are mostly well thought out and tasty, but there’s room for improvement in some areas. With the amount of top-notch restaurants popping up in the area, will this continue to be a family favourite? We’ll see.

The bottom line
Worth a visit if you’re in the area and craving lasagne.

Dessert café 04 455 1666 Al Safa

A bright and friendly eatery serving family fodder that will certainly appeal to young diners. The light pink and white interior reminds us of the Mad Hatter’s tea party, and sweet treats are piled high on the entrance table. The menu is extensive with all of the usual favourites including burgers, nuggets and the venue’s foot-long hot dog. The desserts are decadent, with cream and all sorts of gooey surprises hiding throughout.

Middle Eastern 04 385 6971 Jumeirah 1

Located near high-end designer shops including Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren, this coffee house takes its blends seriously. Stick to your standard morning mocha paired with a range of tasty baked goods, or try something completely different in the form of one of The Brass’ signature blends including lavender honey or cinnamon lattes. There’s also an “East meets West” theme, which is reflected in the range of Arabic and Turkish coffees and sandwiches on offer. The breakfast menu features seven dishes, ranging from a decadent French toast covered with Nutella and pistachio, to a smoked salmon sandwich for the more savoury palate. We recommend the light egg-white omelette with a wilted spinach filling, if you want a healthy start to your morning. Pair it with a walnut sahleb (steamed milk, orchid flour, cinnamon and topped with fresh walnuts), and you have yourself a winning breakfast. The staff at the City Walk branch are good when it comes to recommending dishes, especially if you can’t decide between a Moroccan or a Californian salad.

800 72523 Al Safa

Don’t be put off by the name if you have an aversion to lettuce, there are plenty of steaks, sandwiches and seafood dishes at Saladicious Grillz. Of course, salads are the speciality, so expect a bumper selection, from classics like Caesar and Greek to sashimi and Asian quinoa.


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