Stepping foot in Tribes, you’ll feel a world away from the mall, and will completely forget that you’ve just left the likes of Mulberry and Marc Jacobs behind in Mall of the Emirates’ Fashion Dome. With the impressive colourful decor and frequent sound of pounding drums, sitting in the mood-lighting, you really could be in Africa.
Greeted by amazingly friendly staff that were quickly on hand to guide us to our table, we couldn’t help but notice the impressive skewers of meat on the tables as we passed, which is actually not surprising as Tribes is the brainchild of the people behind another Dubai fave, The Meat Co.
Sitting down and taking a look at the menu, we had no idea where to start. The delicious selection of food will take you all over the continent, from South African and Afrikaans dishes, to Moroccan and Madagascarian delights, there are a lot of dishes to choose from.
We kicked off our meal with the Hakuna Matata Platter, which came with a meaty African pie, grilled calamari, Ugandan fishcakes, pan-fried chilli garlic prawns and Tunisian giblets. The highlight had to be the cooked-to-perfection seafood, which was quickly cleared from our plate: they said the platter would be enough food for two, and it was indeed enough food for a very hungry two.
Then it was time for mains, and there’s no fighting it, Tribes is a meat lover’s paradise. You can enjoy meat in pretty much any shape or size, there’s a Three cheese beef burger, Ox tail, Veal shanks and Mixed grill hanging skewers. While fish lovers can choose from a selection of dishes, including the Spicy salmon burger and a rich Cape Malay fish curry; there also a delicious-sounding grilled vegetable and haloumi sandwich for full veggies.
We opted for the Peri-peri prawns, which were absolutely enormous, oh-so succulent and came complete with a chili potato cake and a spicy, moreish sauce; while our friend opted for Moroccan spiced lamb chops, which arrived delicious, tender and cooked to perfection.
Just as our mains were winding down, we got to witness the lively birthday celebrations, which meant we were in for a rendition of African songs on drums: pretty quick, most of the customers – including us – were clapping along to the infectious music.
Dessert posed a problem as we had totally overexerted ourselves on the starter, so we opted to share the absolutely delicious Chocolate Malva pudding, which came with warm vanilla sauce, although I could easily have gone for a typically South African Melk tert or the yummy sounding Warm date and pistachio sponge.
I will one hundred per cent be heading back to Tribes, it’s a perfect family spot and an ideal choice for a delicious meal if you need to put your feet up mid-mall trawl.
The Grand Grill
If you’re a keen meat eater, this is the restaurant for you! At one of the most popular steakhouses in Dubai, you’ll find meat in pretty much every form on the menu. The Tuesday night ribs and chicken deal is always a popular choice, while the seafood skewers are also particularly delicious.
Location The Habtoor Grand Beach Resort & Spa, Dubai Marina
Timing 1pm-midnight, daily
Tel 04 399 4221
For Moroccan food in the UAE, look no further than Tagine. Sitting in its opulent interior, you’ll feel like you could be dining in Marrakesh. The Mechoui d’Agneau de lait, that’s roasted lamb shoulder with cumin, comes with recommendations from the chef (and us).
Location One&Only Royal Mirage, Al Sufouh Road, Dubai
Timing 7pm-11.30pm, Tues-Sun
Tel 04 399 9999
Butcher Shop & Grill
If there’s one thing this South African restaurant does well, it’s meat. The impressive rack of ribs is always a popular choice, as is a classic sirloin (the menu comes with a meat guide to help you order, too). Plus, when you leave you can just pop next door and buy some of the best meat available in the city to take home and work your culinary magic on.
Location Mall of the Emirates
Timing 12pm-11.30pm, daily
Tel 04 347 1167