Restaurant Review:

Al Safa, Dubai

Swedish franchise with a Boston sports theme, O’Learys, managed by UAE based chain TIME hotels, recently opened the doors to its latest outlet in Dubai on Sheikh Zayed Road. This branch of O’Learys is TIME’s second one after its inaugural outlet in Fujairah in 2015. A vast space, the casual dining restaurant is divided into different areas, featuring huge TV screens that you can enjoy your favorite sports on, a lively arcade, an outdoor terrace, a dedicated area for Shisha and a bar with an extensive selection of non-alcoholic cocktails and beverages among others.  We were recently invited, along with some other bloggers, to experience O’Learys right before it officially opened its doors to the public and here’s how our session went:
The affable team at O’Learys had a set menu in place for us that we could choose dishes out of. As we perused the menu, they set buckets of popcorn in front of each of us so we munched while we chose! Here’s what we had:

Appetizers & Drinks

  • Parmesan Wings
  • Chicken Quesadillas
  • Pistachio Milkshake

  • Chicken Parmigiano: Chicken Breast filled with Parmigiano in Tomato sauce served with linguini pasta
  • Woody’s Cajun Chicken Burger: Blackened spice chicken and Cajun Dressing (this comes with Pepperoni sausage too)

  • Mexican Fried Ice Cream: O’Learys speciality! Vanilla Ice Cream with a crunchy coating, deep-fried with a caramel sauce and whipped cream
  • New York Cheesecake: A classic new York style cheesecake served with fruit coulis
The Parmesan wings were delightful! The flavors of Parmesan perfectly blended with the chicken and had us wondering why we don’t see more of this combination in other restaurants. The quesadillas were good too, much like we’ve had elsewhere, nevertheless a great start to the meal. With regard to the mains, the burger was good and would definitely make for the perfect edible accompaniment to a sport on TV. The pasta was decent as well but not the best we’ve had. Finally, the desserts; they were as pretty in appearance as they were tasty. Both of us chose one of the two desserts but ended up finishing the other one’s choice! If you’ve eaten Asian fried ice cream, the Mexican version is quite similar but is more caramel based and we loved that. The New York cheesecake as they claim is indeed classic and its great taste and charm lie in its simplicity; another winner.

Our favorite part of the session though had to be the time we spent at the arcade! We were each given a bunch of tokens to spend in the arcade and this turned each and every one of us into little kids. Between courses and any chance we got, we’d run to the arcade and challenge each other to air hockey or basketball or try to get the high scores in Pacman or Pinball. It was a true task for our lovely hosts who had to keep bringing us back to the table whenever the food arrived; we apologize for turning you into babysitters but the arcade is just too much fun to stay away from!

We loved the vibe at O’Learys and can see it become a popular spot for some good entertainment, food, non-alcoholic drinks, Shisha and an awesome arcade.  There’s something for everybody to do! In a nutshell, O’Learys offers you an energetic and comfortable setting in which to kick back, relax and watch major sporting events at with your friends and family, munching on your favorite foods, sipping on some delicious drinks.