New retail development The Pointe is a bit of a tricky one, for people seem to be completely unaware of its existence. Located at the far end of the ‘trunk’ on Dubai’s manmade Palm Jumeirah, the city’s latest lifestyle district offers an overwhelming choice when it comes to eating out. Clustered beneath the monorail tracks, diners will find everything from fast food joints such as McDonalds and KFC to upmarket fine-dining venues like Greek spot Ena or the French inspired Rue Royale.
Chicago Meatpackers is a causal steakhouse that sits somewhere in between. Managing to balance a welcoming and family-friendly vibe across a split level venue looking out across the bay towards to touristy Atlantis Hotel. With three restaurants in Germany and this new opening in Dubai, Chicago Meatpackers represents a value for money option when it comes to those carnivorous tendencies.
The interiors are appealing with an industrial slant thanks to the sparing use of silver ducting and exposed brick walls. Entering on the ground level a huge mural resides above the open kitchen and displays the names of various knives used in the butchery process, while a toy train travels in circles above diners heads on a suspended track. Upstairs is the better bet thanks to those aforementioned waterfront views and the presence of a fully stocked bar. With a strong identity in place, the name of the restaurant is quite literally branded in the floor tiles, while a neon sign flickers with the words ‘eat, meat, sleep, repeat’ in vibrant pink hues. As a haven for all things meat, the restaurant certainly ticks a lot of boxes and we’re suitably impressed by the railroad styling of the booths that provide the impression of riding in a freight train on the way to the cattle markets for which Chicago’s Meatpacking district was once renowned.
Service is prompt and effective and there is genuine warmth from the front of house team who are keen to showcase the very best that CMP has to offer. The restaurant also has the advantage of being pet friendly, with dogs welcomed on the upper level. The menu though, offers little in the way of surprises with the exception of the pricing, which provides good value for money considering the location.
Taking great pride in their meat, the restaurant serves USDA Greater Omaha Nebraska certified Angus beef sourced directly from the United States and prepared upon a gas-fired lava stone grill to ensure the steaks are tender, juicy and boast that expected char-gilled taste. From the appetisers we’re tempted by the appeal of the signature onion loaf and the fried pickles but with it being lunchtime, instead opt for the carpaccio (AED 64). Thin slithers of tenderloin, Grana Padano cheese, pickled onions and candied walnuts work together to provide a plate of varying textures and complementing flavours.
From the selection of 90 day wet aged beef, we are recommended the 250g ribeye (AED195) which is certainly at the cheaper level of the steakhouse spectrum but doesn’t appear to compromise on quality thanks to a thicker cut that carries a good flavour. Sides come at an additional cost and we soon find ourselves tucking into an acceptable creamy truffle mash (AED 35).
Despite the meat-centric menu, Chicago Meatpackers offers a number of vegetarian options including pasta and the California Veggie Burger (AED75) which is quite literally laden with grilled buffalo mozzarella, zucchini, eggplant and peppers between a sweet brioche bun. Tricky to eat but full of fresh ingredients and varied flavour, our vegetarian dining companion was more than happy with the burger.
Desserts are perhaps a little uninspired but the carrot cake two ways (AED 48) is a worthy choice. Presenting a slab of spiced and nutty carrot cake, plenty fo frosting and a scoop of carrot cake flavoured ice cream. The dish may not be the most memorable but offers a sense of comfort and is executed rather well.
We had few expectations going in but would suggest that Chicago Meatpackers makes for a good choice for families dining at The Pointe. The unfortunate location at the far end of the East Marina means walking past countless other restaurants to get there, but CMP does just about enough to stand out from the crowd. With positive word of mouth it’s highly likely that this will translate into footfall in the coming months.
Out & About UAE were guests of Chicago Meatpackers. All views are our own and photographs are © Out & About UAE.
The Verdict: Chicago Meatpackers
The opening of The Pointe has resulted in close to 100 new shops and restaurants opening on the Palm Jumeirah, meaning visitors are well and truly spoilt for choice. Chicago Meatpackers is at a disadvantage due to the location but a family friendly dining room (which also allows pets) and a good price point makes this causal steakhouse a good option away from the expected restaurant chains should you be in the area.