A pink and white representation of an iconic New York restaurant, known for it’s quirky menu and ever so popular Frrrozen Hot Chocolates, Serendipity 3 has taken Dubai by storm. With two branches set up already (we visited the one in CityWalk 2, the other is in Dubai Festival City) and doing quite well, it’s definitely here to stay for a while.
Our verdict: Unexpectedly great food, on an unexpectedly higher budget in a whimsically decorated space that’s best visited at non-peak hours.
Mac and Cheese [AED 55]: This dish is served in a small cast iron pot which keeps the dish at a deliciously warm temperature until you are done with it. We took our time with this dish and even the last bite was the perfectly warm and gooey. The panko crust gave the dish some great extra texture and the truffle oil used was thankfully not overpowering and balanced it out well. A side of beef bacon [AED 10], which was a small cup of bacon strips, was ordered to accompany the mac and cheese.
ABC Chicken Burger [AED 64]: While trying to figure out what we would like to order, T was obiviously looking at their selection of burgers, and so our server Bassam suggested this one. And what a good recommendation it was! The ABC was a very tasty burger, with a surprisingly great balance of flavours and textures thanks to the avacado, brie and caramelised onions along with some guacamole. The brioche bun was not our favourite but we loved the flavours so it wasn’t too bad overall. But be prepared to use a lot of tissues though as this burger is messy!
New York Cobb Salad [AED 76]: A salad can be a very ‘whatever’ type of a dish, throw in some cut up veggies, add a protein and some dressing and that’s it. But it’s what’s in that dressing is what really brings the dish together, and Serendipity 3’s dijon mustard vinaigrette was spot on. It paired really well with the greens, egg, tomatoes, avocado and blue cheese. We devoured this dish in record time. Definitely give this one a try.
Aquapanna water [AED 20]: Even though we asked for local water, we got Aquapanna. It’s worth mentioning that this is AED 20, whereas Aquafina is AED 5! The fact that that is legal is just shocking.
Frrrozen Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate [for two – AED 65]: After we were done with our mains, we almost didn’t order this. It was the “peanut butter” bit that eventually seduced us into it. But unfortunately it almost felt like they forgot to put it in. This was a dish shared by three and sadly liked by none. The reason for this is that there was such a negligible flavour of peanut butter that we didn’t even really taste it.
We know that the frozen hot chocolates are one of the most popular items on their menu and there’s been quite a lot of talk about it but but we somehow did not understand what the hype about this drink/dessert is all about. It was an icey, watery, whipped cream mess with a hint of chocolate and some peanut butter bits at the bottom. We tried to find some positives in this but just couldn’t find any.
The service at Serendipity 3 was really good. When we arrived we were politely informed that there is a 15 minute waiting time after which they kindly took down our name. After we droned around Citywalk 2 for a while we got a call saying a table was ready. Even though we went on a late afternoon on the weekend, it was still very busy.
When we got to our table there was only one chair left as the other two were just taken for another table with a larger group and hence the server who was directing us had to fetch two chairs from their outside seating area. It was a bit chaotic but from then on, the server for our table was very helpful, attentive and quite fun as well. And so was the hostess who came to our table to check on how were were doing, she was very friendly and courteous.
The interiors have a quirky, cute vibe. The colour scheme is a bright, vibrant palette of pinks and oranges with white thrown in to tone it down a bit. The walls are lined with frames encasing pop art, letterforms, clocks and jars of candy. It’s definitely a family restaurant, most tables had parents with their kids enjoying the sweet treats. The exterior is quite attractive too. There’s a cardboard cutout which entices people, mainly the young ones to take a picture. There’s also a cage shaped canopy table on one side and a grass shaped ice cream cone with a cherry on top. And not to mention the name of the restaurant lit up in bright pink. It’s hard to miss.
To Book or not to Book
Serendipity 3 does not take bookings. However they do tend to have a waiting time as they are busy. So if you plan on coming here, its best to visit the restaurant and put your name on the list. After which you can walk around CityWalk until they call you with your table. Our wait time was 15 minutes, but the table was ready in about 10, so overall it wasn’t too bad.
How to Get there
By Car: This outlet of Serendipity 3 is in the new CityWalk, a.k.a. CityWalk 2. The area is still under construction so it can be confusing and our instructions might be out of date by the time you read this. Coming in from Sheikh Zayed Road you take the Jumeirah exit (exit no. ##). Take the left at the first signal, head straight and take the right at the sign saying Hub Zero, this leads you to an underground parking. Parking is free at the time of writing this review. From here we suggest you park in K to N, 10 to 14.
By Cab: Taking a tax is a really good option as all drivers should know CityWalk 2, and the location is quite central thus it’s relatively close to most places in Dubai and easy to get to.
Public Transport: CityWalk 2 unfortunately isn’t metro friendly, the closest station would be Business Bay on the red line, and it’s a cab ride from there.
When you take the elevator from the underground parking up, head outside towards the main rotunda. You can search for Reel Cinema and Hub Zero. Serendipity 3 is perpendicular to these two locations.
- Aquapanna water: AED 20
- Mac and Cheese: AED 55
- Side of beef bacon: AED 10
- ABC Chicken Burger: AED 64
- New York Cobb Salad: AED 76
- Frrrozen Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate: AED 65
Total (for three): AED 290