Being in the heart of Dubai we are probably among some of the most spoilt for restaurant choices in the world. One can find almost anything your heart desires in terms of food choices. The opening of the new Traders Hotel Dubai has brought with it yet another wonderful mouth-watering restaurant that not only gives you another dining option but also allows you to sample many different cuisines from the one menu.
The Junction, which appears to be aptly named after the busy Dubai Cinema junction located diagonally to it, brings to life a setting that is both stylish and charming. With its fresh new appeal this is defiantly a place that will be much sort after.
The restaurant has a large open plan setting with stylish dark timber tables and chairs blended with soft cream coloured seating and table clothes. If you like the sofa style seating than opt for a table along the wall, which allows you to indulge in true comfort.
With the tile floors and the stainless steel kitchen the whole atmosphere oozes with a crisp clean feel.
Each table has a pot of brightly coloured flowers that brings the table to life. The walls are home to a vast and extremely interesting array of black and white photos depicting traditional Arabic lifestyles and families. The adjoining bench tops are laden with jars of various sizes and shapes filled with an interesting variety of objects.
The walls surrounding you are not only a mix of colours from bark brown, light brown and cream but also appear to be a variety of textures that are very pleasing to the eye.
The restaurant is well spaced out and does not leave you feeling as if you are sitting on top of the people beside you. There are a selection of tables that have been set up to accommodate larger groups in a more private area of the restaurant a little out of the hustle and bustle of things.
The large floor to ceiling windows that line one entire side gives you a superb view of the busy Dubai Cinema junction through the wooden louvers that allow you to see out, but not others to see inside.
With a mix of both soft and bright lighting around the room you are left with an atmosphere that is both pleasingly comfortable and relaxed. There is a wonderful selection of very eye catching lamp shades that I could have had in my house. Their large shape and casual colour would be a sought out treasure anywhere.
The toe tapping music is at a level loud enough to be enjoyed but not to overpower any dinner conversations between guests. The staff, we found, are extremely warm and welcoming from the moment we arrived till we departed. They were all close at hand to offer any support or suggestions we required with a happy smiling face.
To describe this menu would be to put Indian, Arabic, Italian, Chinese, Malaysian and European dishes is a blender, shake them all about and pull out a selection of the finest dishes from each and lo and behold you have The Junction.
With such a large selection of dishes, this is a restaurant that will have something to suit all who walk through its doors.
For the lovers of Arabic food you can choose a selection of both hot and cold mezuzahs like Moutabel, Hommous, Fattoush, Spinach Fatayer, Kebbeh and Sambousek to start of your meal.
Being an absolute fan of Thai food, the Thai Beef Salad on the starters menu caught my eye immediately. A rich blend of thin strips of beef combined with green and red peppers on top of a bed of fresh pineapple and served with a chilli lime dressing, it had a rather spicy bite.
The pineapple gave it a sweet but sour zing that brought my taste buds to life and had them eager for more.
If you are a seafood lover than you must try the tempura fried Shitake Mushrooms. Large mushrooms are stuffed with crabmeat and served on marinated Ruccola leaves garnished with cherry tomatoes and a spiced Soya dressing. This dish when served looks rather like the mushroom have been made into a sandwich with bright blends of redís and greenís combined with pale yellow.
Be sure not to over order on the starterís as they are pretty large servings and if you over indulge too soon you may just miss whatís still to come!
Moving onto main course you are left with so many choices you are going to have to come back here again and again just to avail of the scrumptious dishes you miss.
Pizza is something that few can resist, and with a choice of five on the menu you can be sure that the pizza fans in your family or group are going to be more than pleased. These are true gourmet pizzas with toppings like air-dried beef, octopus, smoked Salmon and Artichokes to name a few.
If you are feeling like some pasta than you not only get to choose what pasta you would like from Linguine, Fettuccine and Penne but also the sauce to suit your taste on the night. How about spicy tomato sauce with eggplant, zucchini and grilled Bramley apple or Saffron-dill sauce with smoked salmon either sounds extremely tasty.
Or perhaps some home-made Ricotta Cheese and Spinach Tortelloni with boletus mushroom sauce and beef bacon. This dish is also available as a vegetarian option.
Being a fan of good Indian food myself, I settled for the Tandoori Tiger Prawns fresh out from the Tandoor oven. The prawns were marinated with a rich mustard paste, cheddar cheese, cream and Indian spices. It had a creamy rich cheese flavour with the true spice of India. The tiger prawns were served on a bed of sheered salad consisting of carrots, cucumbers, onion and tomato that when eaten along with the prawns gave a refreshing cooling sensation to break down the spice. All dishes from the Tandoor are served with steamed rice, naan, raita and chutney, making these also very large portions.
If you opt to indulge in the grill than you wonít be disappointed with its vast selection of Ostrich medallions, South African Springbok steak, fillet of Beef or Omani Lobster and King Prawns. All of the grill dishes are served with your choice of two accompaniments like buttered Asparagus, Chinese style Pak Choy, steamed rice and fried garlic creamed potatoes.
For the sweet tooth, who like me always have to read the dessert menu first, you will not be disappointed. The chefís are busy in the kitchen creating just the perfect dish to entice you. The marble cheesecake with mixed berry compote is for the true cheesecake enthusiast, who looks for that certain blend of just the right flavours.
If you are looking for something a little different in a dessert than the Apple and Pumpkin spring rolls on pineapple compote and vanilla sauce would be a good one to try. I have already decided that is the one to try on my next visit.
The restaurant is also open daily for lunch and offers not only an Al la cart menu but also an express luncheon for only Dh35.
The Junction not only offers you a new and exciting venue but also one that is very good value for money. The serving sizes are large and the food was of the finest quality. The atmosphere and setting was both casual and charming, the perfect place for you to explore next time you are looking for something new. by Kerry Leigh