Slapfish

This brand new California seafood concept in Ibn Battuta Mall comes to Dubai with two distinct differences. One, the menu focuses primarily on a fish-themed vision of American comfort food, and secondly that the brand voices its commitment to sustainable (if not local) sourcing of fish and seafood. Slapfish is decorated with a shiny, clean and striking contrast of white and tomato red. Menus are presented on iPads and are divided between ‘dunking’ items (such as fries), and ‘handheld items’ (including sandwiches and tacos), although there is much more besides. There is a notable emphasis on lobster, included in multiple recipes; a surprising and welcome addition to menus in an affordable and casual setting. Fish on the menu is primarily a choice of either salmon or mahi mahi. Staff are friendly and polite enough, and leave a positive and efficient impression, since food hits in dribs and drabs, but at lightning speed. What hits the table at Slapfish is generally very good, too. Chowder fries were a naughty poutine (fries topped with cheese curds and gravy) sort of a dish, with decent fries doused in a thick, cheesy white sauce, interspersed with miniscule flakes of fish and equally tiny shavings of crispy, chewy beef bacon. The fries clumped and clung together in a gooey, creamy mess that was utterly satisfying. Sweet potato tater tots had a lovely, crumbly, panko-like coating, and inside a rustically mixed edge (rather than an ultra-smooth puree), giving them a more organic and raw texture. A small bowl tightly crammed with little cubes of Mediterranean-style roasted vegetables tasted simple and wholesome, well prepared and nicely, neutrally seasoned. While you can order fish as a whole dish, teamed with accompaniments such as rice, you can also order just the fish itself as a ‘side dish’, fried or grilled depending on your choice. The grilled salmon was nicely caramelised and slightly crusted on the surface, but a fraction dry within. It came with its own side dish, a large portion of creamy coleslaw. By far the most exciting item on the table, however, was the lobster grilled cheese sandwich. This (big) beauty was two thick chunks of bread, which were sweet, fluffy, crispy and toasted to a buttery golden brown. Inside were plump shrimps and chunks of lobster, tied together with a creamy cheesy mixture of mayonnaise-based sauce and melted Monterey Jack. A delicious indulgence. On the side there was also a mountain of skin-on potato crisps that tasted like they could only have been freshly made in-house. Slapfish is a pretty accessible addition to this mall that offers good value for money. The diet may or may not go out the window while you are here, but you can choose healthier options if you wish. But, if you’re looking for naughty but very nice American treats, then you’ll be in for a very good time here. The fact that this concept is also sustainably focussed ensures Slapfish gets extra credit too. The bill (for two) 1x chowder fries Dhs24 1x sweet potato tater tots Dhs14 1x seasonal grilled fish Dhs25 1x roasted veggies Dhs16 1x lobster grilled cheese Dhs57 1x large water Dhs12 2x mocktail Dhs34 2x tea Dhs26 Total (excluding service) Dhs208

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