Dubai Festival City
The Japengo Cafe decor looked cool and welcoming, so I selected this location over all the other endless eating options at Festival City. The ratio of staff to customers looked 3:1 and I hoped that it meant quick service at 3:30pm, but unfortunately I was in for a long wait.
I was seated quickly enough by a very polite Maitre D, who gave me enough time to peruse the lengthy menu of Appetizers, salads, sandwiches, sushi, sashimi, maki, temaki, Italian, wood fired pizzas, stir fries in crispy baskets, Oriental, Lebanese, Specials, Sides, Desserts, fresh juices, fruit cocktails, coffes, teas and Persian dishes.
I ordered an iced tea - 16dhs - which arrived soon enough. While ordering the iced tea, I had also ordered my main course. Unable to decide between the grilled lamb chops(72) and the Nasi Goreng (51), I asked the Maitre D for her recommendation. Usually if a Maitre D recommends the cheaper option, it means the restaurant is sure of that dish ensuring repeat customers.
I went with her recommendation, but was in for a really long wait. After 25 minutes of trying to prolong my iced tea, I finally found a waiter who hovered close enough to get his attention and asked for my meal. He brought it instantly and what followed leaves me with no doubt that they forgot to serve me my meal even though it was ready much earlier.
The fried rice was colder than room temperature, the side stick of chicken satay was cold and starting to harden around the satay stick. the roast chicken piece was starting to dry out and was also cold. The rice had no balance in flavour, the satay sauce had potential, but served at low temperatures lost its punch. the roast chicken could have been awesome, but was a solid lump of not too tender flesh. (all 3 were a part of the nasi goreng dish)
With so many staff manning seperate counters for each specialty and with very few customers, I expected much better service. Seems they were more involved in their own conversations and preoccupied with eating their own lunch (which I saw some of them do in the restaurant) than serving paying customers.
Didn't bother ordering dessert as I was already running half an hour late with this delay and couldnt afford another half hour.
Would rather grab a sandwich at Cinnabon, the next time I am in the vicinity.
The BBC Good Food Team seem to have had a better experience at the Mall of Emirates Location:
Dare I risk it at another location?