C’est Simple Comme Bonjour!
Nestled in Dubai’s artsy lifestyle destination, City Walk, Galeries Lafayette is one of many eateries spread out around the 10 million square feet space with dining options featuring a diverse range from South American to Far Eastern cuisines.
Galeries Lafayette itself is an upmarket French department store chain with near 280 branches worldwide, two of which are located in Dubai. While its origins can be traced back to the late 1890s, the present look of the store contains multitudes.
Besides the aforementioned department store, the top level of the two-storey space also features an art gallery, a kids area, a space dedicated for cooking workshops and the like as well as an extensive cheese selection which is located downstairs where the restaurant portion is housed.
Ample seating is available indoors and outdoors with the former featuring engaging wall decor for patrons to appreciate (and take pictures in front of!) while waiting for the arrival of their dishes.
Speaking of which, the menu includes a fair amount of spreads with highlights including Japanese, Italian, Indian, Moroccan and Singaporean. The sections are clearly marked off for ease, and helpful symbols indicate whether a dish is nutty, spicy, vegetarian or contains hard-shelled seafood; crustacean, like shrimp, lobster and crab.
Depuis le début (From the Beginning)
Between two people, we ordered in two appetizers and two main courses.
We paired their daily market salad with Peking duck spring rolls for starters before diving into butter chicken served with their range of crispy naan and Singaporean fried noodles.
The salad is prepared daily from whatever fresh selection is available. A trip to the salad bar is required to place in the order of your choice of mix. Wait staff is available on-hand should you wish to ask for recommendations.
We called for a healthy mix of greens to offset our guilt of the incoming buttery and fried goodness coming our way. The selection available was a tad limited but had enough to get in a handful of ingredients.
A Certain 'je ne sais quoi'
The Peking duck spring rolls became a personal favorite. As someone who’s never mastered the art of chopsticks, I forewent the given utensils in favor of what God (or the universe or otherwise, depending on your beliefs) equipped us with - fingers, FYI. The taste of tender meat encased in a satisfying - almost ASMR-worthy - crunchy casing was only elevated with the addition of the accompanying hoisin sauce. Sweet and tangy. I would have been happy to simply eat roll after roll.
The butter chicken tasted as you would expect it to based on its name but, unfortunately, didn’t live up to namesakes I’ve sampled at other restaurants. As someone who has grown up on desi food, I am biased though. So it ought to be noted, that while it didn’t match previous butter chickens I’ve devoured, it was still a creamy mix that kept you dipping your naan in for seconds - no double-dipping though, we’re not animals.
Last, but certainly not least, came the Singaporean fried noodles. Barbecue chicken, tiger prawns and egg met in an explosion of flavor in this Asian dish. Seconds are a given and the ratios are well-balanced to guarantee a bite of each ingredient. I can’t speak for the egg though as we asked for it to be left out but as the chefs haven’t disappointed yet, it’s safe to assume the egg won’t be bringing up any complaints either.
You may have noticed that desserts weren’t sampled. The dishes ordered were quite hefty and enough to comfortably feed 3-4 patrons. In spite of consuming copious amounts of green tea, and short of overeating, we bid adieu after our last dish.
The dessert selection is definitely appealing though. A full page is dedicated to it - always a good sign - and it contains enough familiar names for anyone to find a dish to order. Tarts, eclairs, cakes, pastries, fondants and puddings - you really can’t expect disappointment.
The staff is friendly, attentive, knowledgeable and helpful. The venue itself is Dubai-casual and well-spaced. With the diverse options present on the menu, this is one spot you can’t go wrong with choosing for lunch, especially when battling with the ‘I’m not sure what I want’ dialogue.
With the weather being as comfortable as it is currently, we’d still recommend opting for indoor seating simply for the sake of enjoying a warm meal.
Hours of Operation:
Daily from 10am - 10pm
38 Al Safa St - Dubai - United Arab Emirates
(next door to Le BHV Marais - City Walk.)
Internet: Visit their website.
Email: Send an Email
Phone: +971 4 403-3033
Photo Credit: Sana Panjwani | Instagram: @SanaWritesWords