REVIEW: Chival is a beautiful new lunch spot in Dubai
As new and as unfinished as it is, there’s already an interesting and distinctly un-Dubai-like buzz to City Walk, whose atmosphere feels more like a regenerated corner of an emerging European city. It’s all clean, crisp lines, broad plazas, swish boutiques, electric information panels, swooping architectural features underlit in purple and all manner of food outlets and retail pop-ups in old vans and the currently de rigeur shipping containers. In the cafés and restaurants, of which there is an almost unfillable profusion, the clientele are young, laptop-wielding, coffee-sipping professional types who seem to be about to launch something ground-breaking. Basically, we could be in Frankfurt. Or Barcelona.
In the heart of all this is Chival on the ground floor of La Ville Hotel & Suites at the northern tip of City Walk 2. With its floor-to-ceiling windows, spacious interior, white walls and counters, beech bench-top high tables and citrus-coloured crockery, it looks like a cross between an Apple store and a fashionable homeware retailer, and is the kind of place media execs will hold breakfast meetings over blueberry pancakes.
Midweek lunch is why we’re here, though. Their new Social Lunch is a very simple, working-day concept that ought to enable you to be in and out in your allotted break after a good quality, easy-to-order meal. Your menu, such that it is, is a grid in which you can order a protein, a starch, a side dish and a sauce – and there are 16 possible combinations, all of which have been designed to blend flavour-wise whichever quartet you go with. It then arrives in a deep – slightly too deep? – bowl and a side plate with your salad. Simple.
For instance, we ordered the grilled chicken, the steamed rice and roasted tomato sauce in one bowl, and beef, mushroom ragout and boiled new potatoes in the other, each accompanied by the house salad with mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes and a generous basket of oven-warmed bread. The former was a Mediterranean hug, all warm notes with a gentle sweetness from the sauce, an earthily acid bite from the tomatoes and the texture provided by the seared edges of the chicken. Gone too quickly, sure, but this is lunch; the portion size was just right. The latter was much richer, with the creaminess of the ragout perhaps overwhelming the other elements a touch, but the beef was beautifully cooked and benefitted from the sharp side salad.
At just AED45 for your dish, with an additional AED15 for a dessert, this ought to be a popular option for the gathering number
of businesses in the vicinity. We can’t vouch for the other 14 permutations, but we’re certainly curious enough to come back and try – especially once we’ve lined up an afternoon at Hub Zero.
Where: La Ville Hotel & Suites, City Walk
When: Sunday-Thursday, 12pm-3pm
Contact: +971 54 309 5948