Social House: Great Pit Stop
Whether you live in Dubai or visit the city, you will invariably find yourself at a mall. A mall doubles up as a meeting point, a shopping marathon venue, a tourist attraction and most importantly an eating destination. For the quick-order fast food kind of food places you have the mall food courts which are lined with franchisees that might seem familiar. But there are also the stand alone restaurants which you can enjoy.
A popular mis-conception of mall restaurants is that they are run-of-the-mill and won’t serve ‘good’ food. It may not be an occasion like dining at a stand-alone restaurant I a fancy hotel, its more of a spontaneous stop off.
Now this is where Social House changes every pre-conceived notion of mall restaurants. Situated as it is in the ever-teeming Dubai Mall (with Dubai Fountain views to boot), Social House has the location, ambience and vibe down pat.
Originating in Jakarta of all places, Social House immediately catches the eye with a handsome wooden interior that almost looks out of place in The Dubai Mall. It has broadly 3 seating areas.
- The Outdoor Area: This is by far the most popular seating preference (especially when the weather is bearable) as it has the Dubai fountain view. You are mesmerized into silence, watching the drama unfold with a smile even if you have seen it a hundred times before.
- The Inside Mall Area: This is the noisiest section of the restaurant opens out onto the hustle and bustle of the mall and is housed near the exit to the ever popular fountain. Despite the noise, this area makes for great people watching and Dubai Mall is known to attract all sorts.
- The In-between Area (as I like to call it): This is my favourite part of the restaurant. To get to this area you have to go through doors signifying that it is more private. The only sound you will here is the chatter from adjoining tables (similar to other restaurants) and if you are lucky to get the window table, you get to enjoy the fountain as well.
At first glance, the menu may be a bit confusing. Broken down it’s like this: The broad divisions are East and West (one on either side of each page) and then soups, salads, small plates, rice and noodles as well as land and sea (surf and turf) under those two regions. You’ll also find sushi, a pizza ‘Gourmand’ section and pastas. There’s a lot going on, that’s for sure. In fact, to try as much of the assortment on offer, it’s probably best to go in a group what with being social and all.
Whatever the number, I recommend you start off with their homemade Grandma’s iced tea. I had the Mango flavour and it was delicious, unusual and had a very nice after taste.
For our main course, I had the Nasi Goreng, Indonesian spice fried rice with chicken, shrimp and fried egg and crackers (AED 65). Since I don’t like a sunny side up egg on my rice, I asked them to omit it from my dish. My friend, a staunch vegetarian wanted to order the green Thai curry, but was told that it has a shrimp paste ingredient which I thought was very insightful of the waiter to bring to her notice. So she settled on a safer bet and ordered the Penne Contadina in a rich tomato cream sauce with mushroom (AED 60).
Both our dishes were beautifully presented, tasted delicious and were very filling. Even though I ordered spicy, I had to ask for some chilli paste to help spice the rice up some more.
Unfortunately we did not have space for desert. Hopefully next time! And there will be a next time for sure!
The service was amazing, friendly and quick. The quality of the food isn’t bad, though there is a feeling that the kitchen is trying to offer too many cuisines – some with marginal success, others with less – so stick to the simpler options.
Social House makes for a perfect pit stop to re-fuel before you continue on your shopping escapades at The Dubai Mall.
Lower ground floor, The Dubai Mall (between the Star Atrium and Dubai Fountain). Sun to Thurs 9am to 11.30pm, Fri and Sat 9am to 11.45pm. Tel: (04) 3398640. Metro: Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall.