It was always going to be interesting to see how good a Black Tap “craft” burger would taste without beer, its competitive edge. So, this new, unlicensed branch at Mall of the Emirates seemed like the perfect place to find out. Sandwiched between Din Tai Fung (@dintaifungae) and VOX Cinemas (@voxcinemas), the boys from SoHo’s Broome Street in NYC couldn’t have picked a better, more eye-catching location. Yet, while the Michelin-starred dumpling specialists hustled and bustled next door, there was hardly a single person at Black Tap.
I ordered an Old-Fashioned, my sister ordered a Black Tap Salad, which is basically a green salad with a burger patty thrown in, and our food buddy Jack ordered a Crispy Chicken Sandwich. And because we couldn’t spend our money on beer, we spent it on imported water instead. Pari also ordered Black Tap’s take on P.F. Chang’s (@pfchangsme) Dynamite Shrimp which they call Atomic Shrimp – how creative. She and Jack seemed happy enough with their food. The truth is that Jack’s chicken sandwich was not Pickl. (@eatpickl) good but it was surprisingly good nonetheless.
The chunky patty in my burger, however, was under-seasoned and grilled without even the tiniest hint of a sear. Now, if I was having a beer with my burger, I probably wouldn’t have noticed, minded and/or cared. But as things stand, I was taking miserly sips of ridiculously expensive imported water instead, and one tends to notice little things like the absolute lack of salt in one’s burger when one is stone cold sober. And yes, I could have ordered one of their amazing milkshakes, but I didn’t think my already tubby physique would be particularly well served by adding a gazillion calories to the hamburger and fries I was having for lunch.
When you have as many wait staff as you do diners you expect service to be good. And it was, but it could have (should have) been better. The hostess who greeted and seated us was good as was the friendly, bubbly African girl who brought us our bill at the end. But the young man who took our order literally had to be coaxed into attending our table after he served our food. I also think we should not have been charged for my tasteless burger. And lastly, before I tell you not to waste your time here and to go straight to Shake Shack, be careful of the protruding legs of those stupid partitions they have in-between tables least you should trip…like I did.
So, if you fancy having the best burger at Mall of the Emirates (easily one of the best in all of Dubai), head straight to Shake Shack (@shakeshackme) on the Ski Dubai side of the mall. For now, at least, the only thing worthwhile on the VOX side of the mall remains Din Tai Fung’s Xiao Long Bao soup dumplings.
#1 Food Blogger on Zomato Dubai – 2018, 2019 and 2020
Xerxes physically dines at, or orders from, each and every venue he reviews. He pays in full for whatever he and his companions eat, drink, take away or occasionally throw at each other. Xerxes accepts no money, gifts, discounts or free meals in return for reviews or favouritism. What you have read was NOT influenced in any way by the venue. Join his culinary journey on Instagram: @ravenousxerxes or reach out to him via email on firstname.lastname@example.org.