There’s something magical about Vida Downtown. I’ve only ever been here in the evenings, and it never fails to amaze me how this space can be all at once chilled out yet classy. Vida Downtown is a cocoon of serenity, a far crying contrast to the gaudy hustle-bustle of neighboring Dubai Mall.
It was a Friday night, and a queue of high-heeled, decked up young ladies lined up for a table at 3in1. The billowing cabanas by the poolside make for an ideal dinner setup, especially on a weekend. I too wanted a table by the pool, but as we had our little one in tow, we decided to sit indoors.
The menu at 3in1 is primarily Mediterranean, and although the menu offerings are limited, they seem to have all the dishes that get my interest.
We started with a mezze platter that consisted of a number of much-loved Arabic starters including Falafel, Hummus, Tabouleh and Vine Leaf packages.
We also ordered the Lean Green. Our host told us this is the most ordered salad on the menu, and now I know why! This leafy green salad may look more apt for the table of a food-deprived dieter, but the dressing and mix of flavors is so phenomenal that I found myself forking up the last leaf.
This salad consists of charred asparagus, mange tout, broccoli tops, spinach, peas, pumpkin seeds and a sweet and sour lemon dressing. Highly recommend you try this!
I am a huge fan of Sajouk, the spicy Arabic beef sausages served in a tangy pomegranate sauce. When I saw it on the menu, I knew I had to try some. At 3in1 they really do an amazing job with their Sajouk. It comes in a sizzling hot pan, the sauce so thick its almost sticky. The sausages are spiced to perfection, and vanish in no time. This is one of those dishes that you wish you could pick up and lick clean!
I gave in to my craving for Sajouk, but had I known how generously large our main-course would be, perhaps I would have skipped it (yes, ignorance really can be bliss!). We ordered the Levant Sharing Grill, a mighty tray full of carnivorous treats. Although the menu says its good for 2, I believe 4 consenting adults can share this among themselves as well.
The Levant Sharing Grill consists of generous portions of prawns with avocado, octopus with orange, beets and pine nuts, minted pea falafel, fish fingers, rib-eye steak, lamb chop, cajun-spiced thigh, garlic tiger prawns, grilled salmon, green salad, spiced marrow and french fries. And guess how much you pay for this enormous feast… a very reasonable AED 370!
My favorites from the grill platter included the succulently juicy lamb chops, the prawns with avocado, and the very flavorful beetroot with pine nuts.
We downed it all with refreshingly fruity mocktails. They also have an alcoholic menu, and an impressively long selection of fine wines but I was the designated driver that night.
For dessert, I opted for the Cheesy Cake. This is a butterscotch-flavored cheesecake served with caramelized popcorn and peanut dust. The flavors are all at once familiar, and so sitcom-American, yet the combination is not as commonly found on menus across the city. Loved the butterscotch flavor, but I would have preferred to go easy on the peanut as it dominated the overall sweetness of the slice.
Overall, we had a wonderful dining experience at 3in1, and will surely be back with help to finish off that grill! The ambiance here is absolutely perfect for catching up with friends after a long week of work. Best to make a booking now and take advantage of the breezy weather we are enjoying! Bon apetit.