Nicely priced lunch at Kris Kros in Dubai, even if service is slow

If you're after an affordable business lunch in Downtown Dubai, Kris Kros is the answer. But make sure you have plenty of time on your hands.

Kris Kros restaurant in Downtown Dubai is a decent place for a business lunch – if you have all the time in the world. Courtesy Kris Kros
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Located in a parade of cafes and restaurants in one of Emaar’s Burjside Boulevard buildings behind The Dubai Mall, Kris Kros – like its Lebanese sister restaurant Leila next door – is hoping to pull in business lunch traffic from the nearby Downtown offices.

As a lunch venue, it appears more of a place to meet colleagues than to take a client you want to impress. Think of a slightly upmarket Chilli’s or TGI Friday rather than Le Gavroche or The Ivy.

Fortunately, my work contact and dining partner on a recent day before Ramadan began was not a man swayed by pretension, and things were looking good when restaurant staff ushered us to a pleasant table close to the window.

For a Wednesday lunchtime Kris Kros – not be confused with the ‘90s rap duo Kris Kross – was busy with most indoor tables, and some on the terrace, occupied by the time we arrived.

Food, however, was a little difficult to come by, taking us 26 minutes just to get the menu. The menu itself is confusing, necessitating some 10 minutes of faffing around and recalling the waitress to finally place our order.

Owned by Pinnacle Restaurant & Catering Management, which has the franchise for Leila in the UAE, Kris Kros is the company’s own concept brand.

The restaurant bills itself as “providing culinary favourites with a fresh modern touch to present delectable dishes that transport you around the world on a culinary journey” – quite a mouthful if you’ll excuse the pun.

In reality, this means a confusing mix of dishes from Asia, the Mediterranean and the Middle East. A key at the front attempts to help customers understand the different cuisines on offer. However, it was quite a distraction during a business lunch as you have to wade through pages of starters, salads, pizzas, main courses and sandwiches, each colour coded for ethnicity.

I opted for a chicken fajita wrap (Dh42) while my guest chose a grilled tandoori chicken wrap (Dh39) and we shared a fattoush salad (Dh22).

Some 57 minutes after we arrived, my guest’s roll and the fattoush arrived. Thankfully the lettuce and bread were both perfectly crispy.

My chicken fajita finally arrived an hour and six minutes after I had first sat down and I had to eat most of it alone, as my guest had to rush off to a 2.30pm meeting. The bill, though, was a mere Dh162 for two excluding the service and tourism tax, making it an affordable business lunch. As long as you have plenty of time on your hands.

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