PHOTO BY JMYDS/EXPAT MEDIA
DUBAI – “I think I ordered too much!” I blurted out to my dining partner as a giant platter of appetizers was served on our table: a mouthwatering spread of cheese nachos, calamari fritos, veggie quesadillas, beef taquitos, and buffalo wings served with jalapenos, guacamole and sour cream.
We’re at Cactus Jacks, the Tex-Mex restaurant at Millennium Airport Hotel in Al Garhoud, Dubai. A two-member acoustic band is already playing in the outdoor stage as we dig into the Dh100 platter. I loved the perfectly fried and seasoned calamari fritos, and the mildly sweet buffalo wings with a spicy kick, but I wished I didn’t take too long taking food photos because the melted cheese had already clumped on top of those nachos.
Serving portions here are big enough for two people to share, and it is perfect in the al fresco setting. A few minutes later, my dining partner’s appetiser arrived: a platter of Picante crab quesadilla (Dh75). We shared two grilled quesadilla filled with Picante marinated crab meat and two types of melted cheeses: cheddar and Chihuahua. Heaven in every delectable bite!
I thought I was full, but a look at the main course served at the table made me hungry again. The lamb amarilla (Dh175) was delicious! Four pieces of perfectly grilled Cajun marinated lamb chops, complemented with creamy mashed potato and mixed vegetables. I admit it was the only dish I almost didn’t want to share.
My dining partner went with the chef’s recommendation of barbecue spare ribs (Dh105). Apparently, a lot of Filipino expats come here for this: smoked, slowly cooked spare ribs with homemade spicy barbecue sauce and French fries. The sauce that coated the spare ribs was a little too sweet for our taste, but the tender meat just fell off the bone.
We capped off the night by sharing a plate of sizzling hot chocolate fudge cake served with a side of spiced vanilla ice cream (Dh40). It was delicious, but we wished they gave us a bigger scoop of that delightfully light ice cream.
What we liked: The big servings, the Picante crab quesadilla and the lamb chops
What we didn’t like: Slow, often unattentive service as the crowd thickened in the evening
Value for money: 4/5
Phone number: 04 7028855
Cuisines: Tex-Mex, Latin American
Average cost: Dh340 for two people
Payment: Cash, cards or meal coupons
Opening hours: 6pm to 3am
Features: Full bar, vegan options, gastro pub, live music, gluten free options, outdoor seating, shisha
Location: Millennium Airport Hotel Dubai, Casablanca Street, Al Garhoud, Dubai
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