South African fine-dining cafe and diner concept Walnut Grove has opened its second store in Dubai. Their first branch is located in CityWalk, and their newer and arguably more prominent location is in the heart of The Dubai Mall, right by the waterfalls.
The savvy, brightly lit cafe looks delightfully inviting with its Parisian-inspired interiors but the real highlight of the new branch is its spacious outdoor seating area that boasts of a stunning view of the Dubai Fountains and the mighty Burj Khalifa.
I visited Walnut Grove at The Dubai Mall on a bustling Thursday evening when parking was chaotic, and the mall was crowded with people. Getting seated at the cafe proved to be a sanctuary for my retail-overloaded nerves and the staff were kind enough to lead me to a comfy sofa where I could plop my load of shopping bags.
The menu has a number of South African inspired flavors with a local Arabesque twist. For our appetizers round, we started off with a Hummus platter which featured creamy whipped hummus served with roasted baby tomatoes and bell peppers, crisp fried pita and freshly baked bread-sticks.
For my main-course, I tried the decadently meaty Greek Lamb Giouvetsi. This is a newly added item to the Walnut Grove menu and features slow-cooked lamb-shank basted with a mildly spiced tomato sauce that sits on a bed of orzo rice. It is served with a side of minted yogurt and has a Mediterranean familial feel to it. The meat is moreishly soft and succulent, and one serving is generously large enough to share between two.
My daughter ordered the Slider Selection which features three mini burgers served in freshly baked brioche buns. One comes with a creamy mushroom sauce, roasted garlic and portobello mushroom. The other features Walnut Grove’s signature peppadew pesto sauce, and my favorite was the one featuring melted mature cheese and crispy maple beef bacon. The burgers are served with a side of seasoned fries and panko breaded onion rings.
Ending on a sweet note, we headed to the cakes counter to choose a slice to share for dessert. My little one fell in love with the colors of the Rainbow Cake, and after that there was no arguing on which slice would hit our table. The cake was absolutely delicious! Loved the creamy butter icing and the soft texture of the cake, and the portion size is absolutely enormous. Even with my sweet tooth I’d say it can easily be shared between four consenting adults.
Walnut Grove specializes in freshly ground coffees, and this is a must when indulging in one of their decadent slices.
If you are after a far more indulgent drink, Walnut Grove also does a number of freak shakes like this ultra rich Nutella Rocher Shake that had my little monster licking the sides off!
Overall, I really enjoyed our evening at The Walnut Grove. After our meal, we headed to the outdoor area to take in the sights and sounds of the majestic Dubai Fountains. I will surely be back here for a daylight view, and next time I am planning to try their Peanut Butter Cake.