Ibn Battuta seems to be enjoying a bit of a revival in terms of their food offering. The recent extension has offered a new array of fast-food options, as well as the welcome addition of M&S for the Brits! On the cinema side, Nando’s has landed and with a couple of new restaurants awaiting completion, shoppers are almost spoilt for choice in one of the smaller malls [edit – it’s not that small at all, I’m talking shite, thanks Dina!] in the Emirate.
We decided to check out The Hot Dog Stand on our recent trip; a new eatery in the back corner near where the cinema is.
If you follow my Instagram page, you’ll know that I’ve recently been lucky enough to visit Coney Island and experience their famous chili-hotdogs:
Upon seeing the ‘Cheese Coney’ on their menu, it’s safe to say I got very excited and was intrigued to could see if they could get close to what the original offered us a few weeks prior. The missus decided to give the boneless, buffalo wings a go.
The restaurant is trendy in its design with rustic wooden tables, a beautifully lit logo-sign that captures attention from the outside and warm hanging lights that give the restaurant a comfortable ambiance. I wasn’t sure about their choice of ‘comedic’ signs for their feature wall, though. Chauvinistic signs claiming that “Guys: No Shirt No Service, Girls: No Shirt Free Drinks” I feel are inappropriate at the best of times, nevermind in a Muslim country and other signage relating to beer (that can’t be sold in a mall) and urination should also probably be replaced.
My hot dog arrived and my heart sank. They certainly had not captured the generous feel of a proper Coney dog, that drips and oozes with cheese and chili. It was pretty uninspiring; a disappointing, over-reduced, overly-salty chili was smeared along the sausage and the cheese was just grated on top. On the positive side, the bun was magnificent – it glistened in the light, was fresh and soft and the sausage was tasty and appropriately sized, it’s just a shame about the filling as it really let the dish down.
My wife’s boneless wings were great, though. The buffalo sauce packed a real punch and the wings had moreish crunch, were juicy and I sat in envy, watching her finish them off.
We had a portion of sweet-potato fries too. The first one I had was raw in the middle, but in all fairness, the rest were cooked well; they didn’t feel overly greasy and had a nice crispness.
We finished all of the food and got the bill. It came in at 82 AED which for two lunches, a portion of fries and a couple of waters wasn’t bad at all.
FOOD: 10/15 – The chili in my hot dog was poor, as was the generosity as a whole, but a good sausage and bun was the redeeming factor. The wife’s wings were excellent.
SERVICE: 10/15 – Standard service expected in a mall, served with a smile and the food came relatively quickly.
DRINKS SELECTION: 2/5 – we fancied a milkshake but there were only two available, not much choice on any front.
AMBIANCE: 3/5 – They have popular music playing in the background that adds to the vibe, but it was pretty empty inside.
DESIGN: 3/5 – Well lit, with cool furniture – a point knocked off for the silly, inappropriate signs though.
VALUE: 4/5 – One of the cheaper options in the area and I think a hotdog other than the one I chose, would be much more enjoyable and offers decent value.
CONCLUSION: I think they’re on to a good thing here – if they just get that chili sorted out (my recipe is awesome guys if you need a hand!), fill the dogs up a bit more and get the silly signs off the wall, it will be a solid option for anyone wanting to dine in the mall on a budget away from the food court.