This was an absolutely random find, but possibly one of my favorites ever! A restaurant that lets you play with your food! I know this isn’t a new concept but it is indeed a great one that I need more fun with.
As you all know, I like exploring and I will basically try any kind of restaurant there is. I am however trying to be more spontaneous and go with the flow. This isn’t something I find hugely easy but I’m working on it. So when a friend suggested heading to The Point on the Palm and walking around until we spotted something that looked interesting, I jumped at the chance!
I even managed not to google the restaurant options. I will admit to going to the website to see roughly where it was and what kind of stuff there was on offer. I didn’t click on the links and read through, and I basically hadn’t heard of anything other than Starbucks!
I arrived a bit early and of course took some random photographs and videos.
My friend arrived and we started to amble around by the water. The temperature is absolutely incredible at the moment. It’s in its high 30s, but low humidity and there was a lovely cool breeze. If it wasn’t lunchtime and we weren’t super hungry, we would have totally walked around a little more. We spied a Lebanese restaurant and headed over.
However…. as we got closer, our eyes were drawn to another place. A Mongol restaurant. I haven’t seen one of these in years, and there are hundreds of Lebanese restaurants here, so naturally my curiosity was peaked. Thankfully my dining companion is a foodie too, so Mongol Ger won and in we went.
We were the first customers of the day and so the setting up was going on around is. We were in no rush so that wasn’t an issue. It also afforded us good opportunity to look at everything that was being put out. That said, the lovely servers were so keen to help that they bought us the basics and we didn’t think much further than that.
The table has two ‘pots’ in the middle of it. One is for soup/broth and one is for cooking on like a grill. They give you options for the soup/broth – spicy or not. There was something said about tomoato or chicken, but I didn’t really care. I just thought I don’t want spicy! You can have one big pot of the stuff, or you can have half and half. That worked super well. One spicy and one plain please, nice lady!
It arrived and it smelled like dishwater. I didn’t really see the point. Maybe it would have been better with the spice but I really just can’t take the heat anymore. What we discovered a bit later is that there is a whole arrray of options that you can put into the broth to make it more into some kind of pho, or whatever.
You could also get noodles – either vermicelli or rice noodles! We had some of those in there too once we worked it out! It certainly made it less dishwater like. As did adding some flavorings that were out on display for you to pick from.
That was great fun but really, wet food is not my thing. The meat was though. It all comes with some form of flavour on and it was perfectly nice, but then we worked out we could make marinades from all the sauces and bits on offer, and that was a game changer!
There was a number of meats available, including chicken, beef, calamari, shrimp and fish. Lots of things to try out! My only issue with this is that you can’t tell the exact temperature or the grill and then I worry about things not getting cooked through. Overcooking is therefore my friend.
It is also really interesting to watch what other people do with theirs. How cultures and different food experiences shape how you automatically put things together. This would be an incredible place to have a really mixed group of friends and everyone take a different round of the bbq meats with the influences of their home.
On top of all this, there was a ‘fried’ section, with the best french fries I have had in an age. There was also delicious spring rolls. As always, there is always something new to try. Today was “sweet potato balls” which wasn’t balls of sweet potato but rather a ball of sugar jelly stuff wrapped in mashed potato, bread crumbed and fried. There was also pumpkin puffs which actually were strangely good! It was a gelatinous blob of pumpkin with some kind of coating. No clue what I was eating but it was really kind of yummy!
The one thing I really don’t get is that there is also a full selection of meats that they will cook for you. When you can have so much fun making up all your own stuff, why would you want to have someone else cook thing for you? Half the fun of this kind of dining experience is that you can have a go yourself. It takes the fun away if someone does it for you, surely. Unless you are a terrible cook maybe? Maybe its those people who think “ok that was fun but I need edible now”? I guess that would make sense. Makes me feel sad for them though.
A couple of hours later, refillable sodas, water and all the fun cooking stuff, I admitted defeat and had to stop with the eating. I had exhausted all the flavour combinations for the meat that I could think of. I had flavoured the broth stuff with a lot of garlic and bits and bobs, so that tasted better. It was getting to the point I was getting a little too experimental and that’s a sure fire sign I’ve eaten too much and now am just playing!
We thought that was all that this fabulous and magical place had to offer, but we were wrong. There was deserts too. I am not a huge dessert person but a little sweet treat was very welcomed after all the flavours and spices. Also, we were kind of celebrating. Our friends have twin boys and it was their birthday this week. We can’t be in South Africa to celebrate, but we could at least blow out the candles in their honour!
3hrs after we had stumbled across this gem, we rolled out again. To put the cherry on the cake, the cost for this whole gigantic meal and fun play time was AED 129 per person. That’s all soft drinks too. You absolutely cannot argue with that for value. We had great food and we had great fun, all for a really reasonable price. I enjoyed it more than most of the brunches we have done recently!
One last treat was in line for me. There was a Typo store there AND it had a sale! I got lovely new stickers for my diary and journal, and some washi tape, too!
A great day out and certainly somewhere I will be back to as an area and the restaurant, especially to see the new fountains. The mechanics look fascinating so I would love to be able to see what they can do!