Review: Black Tap's latest venue at Mall of the Emirates
Three hefty burgers and a mountain of sides between two people? Let’s do this…
Over the years, we’ve put away more Black Tap All-American burgers than we care to admit… These box-ticking burgers are consistently good, with a juicy, cooked-as-you-like-it patty, sunflower-yellow cheese and squishy yet sturdy bun.
So, when we popped into the latest Black Tap venue, the brand-spanking Mall of the Emirates outpost, we considered it our civic duty to branch out from our standard order.
Here’s what Sarah and Miles found on their latest burger adventure…
Crispy chicken (Dhs58)
Sarah: Throwing a bird-based burger into the mix was a last-minute decision, but I have to say I was quite smitten with this one. While some of Dubai’s other chicken burgers can leave you feeling like you’ve eaten a tub of lard, this one tasted clean and fresh, with no oil slick to speak of. It wasn’t the heftiest of breasts (hey, I’m not one to judge on that front), and the battered coating was drier than most, but with the creamy-tangy buttermilk slaw, the freshness of coriander, smoky sweetness from the Korean barbecue sauce, and a lick of heat from the chilli mayo, I found this to be one tidy, tasty chicken burger.
Miles: I’m a purist when it comes to burgers, I’m all about the beef. That being said, I will defend to the death the right of chicken burgers to have their place on a menu. And this is a solid effort from Black Tap. The chicken fillet is a premium-grade, healthy-sized nugget, and thankfully not a victim of the current trend in performance-enhancing brine juicing. There were big Korean flavours at play – a sweet and smoky barbecue sauce duels with the crunchy slaw, which is lifted by a cheeky nudge of coriander and lime. Well worth chickening-out on in my view.
Cuban burger (Dhs75)
Sarah: Well, wasn’t this the surprise package of our visit? Riffing off the classic Cubano sandwich, this bad boy was packing some serious meat. First, there was the plump patty (with just the right amount of pink in the middle), topped with a few slices of nutty Swiss cheese, pickles and a mild mustard sauce. Then came the smoky slabs of beef brisket and a curl of turkey ham. Sounds like a mouthful? It was – but in the best possible way. This hefty fella was a delight to eat. Full credit must go to the potato buns, which maintained their structural integrity to the very last bite.
Miles: The triple serving of meat in this burger isn’t going to appeal to everyone. In addition to the beef patty, you’ll also find smoked brisket and turkey ham. But if you’re willing to court the possibility of meat sweats head-on, this burger has game. After removing the distracting folds of turkey ham, and ladelling on a healthy slurp of mustard sauce – I’m happy (if a little confused) to say, that this was my (surprise) pick of the bunch. It delivers an authentic smokehouse flavour, with a graffitied zing of something fresher. Not quite Cuban, not quite New York. Somewhere in between. Miami maybe. And that’s a vice I can chew to.
The Greg Norman (Dhs90)
Sarah: Ahh Greg, we had such high hopes for you. You had your own little breakout box on the menu, a hefty price tag, and a note saying you were the three-time winner of what we can only assume is an illustrious New York food award. But Greg, you failed to hit it out of the bunker for me. Perhaps it’s because we left you until last, perhaps it’s because your medium wagyu patty was just far too bloody for me, or perhaps the combination of wagyu, strong blue cheese and rocket was just all a bit much, but Greg came a distant third on this round.
Miles: Like masks and hand sani, wagyu burgers are one of those 2020 accessories that seem to be everywhere at the moment. Not that we’re complaining – the high-fat content makes for some seriously juicy burgers. Wet aromatic patties if you will – exactly like the one you’ll find in wrapped in this bap. We opted for a medium grill, which was the right choice (sorry Sarah). I love the addition of a peppery arugula garnish to this ‘People’s Choice’ burger, but the layer of blue cheese did take command of the mouthfuls a little too forcefully for me to give it top marks.
Fried pickles, you had us at hello – the ultimate combination of crunchy batter and juicy, bring interior, with a little pot of dill-flecked buttermilk dressing for dipping. Keep ’em coming at me.
Of the burger add-ons, the Idaho fries were my fave (I do love just a hint of skin on my chips), closely followed by the sweet potato fries. Skip the side salad – unless you want to poach some of the pickled onion to slay through the richness of Greg Norman.
Black Tap, Level 2 Mall of the Emirates (near Vox Cinemas), daily 10am to 10pm. Tel: (0)4 234 3338. blacktapme.com
Images: What’s On