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Size matters

Bigger is not always better; but Bennigan’s at Emaar Boulevard believes in big-heartedness that’s backed by quality

By Sushmita Bose

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Published: Fri 29 Mar 2013, 8:17 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 8:33 PM

“Generous pours! Generous portions!” So goes the Bennigan’s tagline (yes, including the large dollops of pleasurable exclamations) — and be suitably warned if you boast a propensity to “pick on your food”. If you want to do full justice to a meal that draws on hearty American fare and stands on large-hearted Irish hospitality, then be prepare to ravage at Bennigan’s.

Bennigan’s beautifully-appointed dining quarters in the genteel Emaar Boulevard has a sizeable al fresco area; the décor is contemporary, yet traces of a traditional diner are very evident making it a top reckoner for the casual dining space in a city that’s known for its melting pot proclivities — so, suddenly, it makes perfect sense that Americanism should be juxtaposed alongside Irish-ness to make a meal of it.

First things first. If you’ve been used to the stuff being dished out at Chili’s and Thank God It’s Friday, be prepared to not get swept off your feet: the offerings are fairly same-styled, no-nonsense American ones — salads, starters, burgers, sandwiches and grills.

A bunch of us start out with (on popular demand — there’s somebody trying to stick to a semblance of a diet) the Caesar salad which manages to stand out with its crunchy simplicity.

The Grilled Seaside Salmon is a fresh and tender; thanks to the subtle use of seasonings, the fish rejoices in its own flavours — and the dish is a winner.

The Southwest Sampler packed with nachos, egg rolls and fajita chicken quesadilla served with guacamole, salsa and sour cream is delicious; ditto for the chicken wings, generously basted with house speciality dressings.

As far as the pours go, Bennigan’s in Dubai cannot (obviously) pour out the hard liquid in a trice; but it more than makes up with its impressive array of drinkables. Non-alcoholic beers, Margaritas and Mojitos jostle for place on the menus with thoughtful mocktails that retain the original flavours as far as semantics are concerned (Pinacolada, strawberry daiquiri etc) and ‘oxygen cocktails’.

The signature at Bennigan’s is the Big Irish Burger, the double-deckered, two-patty ensemble that looks so good that you almost don’t want to dig into it. One of the restaurant standouts is the beef bill of fare: the meat is certified Angus; and though I am not a beef-eater, the more adventurous in our lot swears it’s one of the best piece of meat she’s bitten into in a long time. A special word for the garlic mashed potato: it’s excellent, and I devoured an entire portion without even realising the magnitude of the carbs intake.

Next up is another signature offering, the World Famous Monte Cristo sandwich — honey wheat bread layered with sliced turkey, beef ham, Swiss and American cheeses, which is, in turn, batter-dipped and gently fried. Yummy, but sits heavy awfully heavy on our stomachs.

The desserts menu is separate and sparing; it has the usual (freshly-baked) cheesecake, brownie, chocolate cake kind of stuff (with a lot of ice-creams thrown in), but we are in no state for dessert. As everyone scrambles for cappuccino and latte, I decide to let Americanism rule and get myself an Americano.

Yet again, I’m amazed at the size of the cuppa. Gives an entirely new twist to the “jugs the size of Texas”.

Cost for two:

Dh300 (approx)


Bennigan’s Claren Towers, Emaar Boulevard, Dubai Downtown

Call: 04-4517800

Editor’s Rating:


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