COMFORT CLASSICS

Map There’s nothing better in the Dubai winter than settling in for delicious food and drinks at your cosy neighbourhood hangout. FACT’s Shabana Adam sinks into a chair at Urban Bar and Kitchen – UBK – in Mövenpick Hotel Jumeirah Lakes Towers, only to find the holy grail of comfort food menus…

 

Located at Mövenpick Hotel Jumeirah Lakes Towers, UBK showcases itself as a convenient and inviting option for hotel guests and visitors alike. A dimly-lit dining area with relaxed seating welcomes diners for leisurely lunches and lazy dinners, whilst the lively bar area is one of the best spots in the city to experience top sporting events on match days.

The well-designed venue with its wooden beams of different hues, oozes warmth on any day of the week. But UBK is more than just a social chill-out spot.

Thanks to the revamped team and refreshed concept, the culinary entourage has introduced a brand-new menu that elevates the quality of food served at UBK. The venue’s casual, laid-back ambience follows through into the dishes coming out of the kitchen. Traditionally described as “pub grub” – at UBK you’ll find a comprehensive one-page menu stacked with all the favourites, complemented by a vast selection of beverages.

Not knowing what to expect, we started our epicurean adventure with somewhat of a revelation; Edamame Hummus (AED42) made from soy beans, chickpeas, and tahini, served with the crispiest bread sticks ever. A simple oncoction that caused such a stir at the table, this hummus is SO good that it could easily give the original a run for its money. Creamy and flavourful, we scoop it all up in impressive timing. Another item from the sharing bites + snacks section that we devoured was the Famous UBK Chicken Wings (AED72 for 0.5kg and AED125 for 1kg). Coated in bbq sauce – you can opt for sriracha chilli too – they’re everything you want and need to accompany your choice of sips when gathering with a group of friends.

The Wagyu Beef Lasagna (AED95) is layered perfection. We all know that Wagyu is the caviar of meat and to see it on the menu at UBK is further testament to the changes and improvements that have been made here. The flavour of the lasagne is a mouth-filling savouriness combined with a palate-coating richness; the texture as tender as lightly cooked fish. The streak of good food continues with the moreish joys of Truffle Mac ‘n’ Cheese (AED65) and the most tender, fall-off-the-fork Braised Lamb Shank (AED105). The slow cooked lamb is served with mashed potato and gravy, reminiscent of many Sunday winter dinners at home in England.

The nostalgic vibes take a pit stop as we veer towards the vegetarian options which there are plenty of. The Beyond Burger with Healthy Salad (AED69) is a plant-based vegan burger with avocado and jalapeno in a vegan bun. It looks and tastes just like the real deal and we love that UBK has given time and thought into offering delicious vegan and vegetarian dishes that could easily hold their own against their meaty counterparts.

It was, however, the Spinach Ricotta Tortellini (AED79) that was crowned the dish of the day. Pockets of stuffed pasta, full to the brim with spinach and ricotta cheese, swam graciously in a wild mushroom cream and truffle oil sauce. The result: a dish that will make you seriously believe that being vegetarian wouldn’t be too difficult after all. It’s undeniably delectable with well-balanced flavours and generous filling. Creamy, cheesy and with a slight buttery aroma, this is the one dish that we would come back to UBK for. Just order it!

The new menu also boasts Tex Mex + Tacos, Chefs Grills + Mains and even Eat Your Greens with a variety of salads, reflecting its need to provide quality fare for every dietary requirement. Dessert is a whole different game. The Dulce De Leche Cake (AED35) leaves us speechless – from the ensuing food coma but mainly from the soft, caramel texture and tastes – wonderful. The Chocolate Lava Cake (AED45) is exactly what we wanted it to be – gooey in the middle and spongey otherwise. The fresh Churros (AED40) are served with cinnamon and Nutella dip or Mövenpick vanilla ice cream. Either way, they’re a definite crowd pleaser.

When Dubai’s climate turns balmy, the award-winning UBK terrace outside becomes an urban oasis amidst skyscrapers and trees. It’s open now for you to enjoy daily happy hour deals, live music, two pool tables, private booths and excellent service.

The facelift that UBK’s menu has undergone was a long time coming. The high standards of the food served is proof that investing the time to perfect a menu is hugely worthwhile. Before it was just the sports and the drinks, now the crowd is going to come back for classic comfort cuisine that reminds them of good times – and what better feeling to evoke with food than this? ✤


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