Had some last minute errands with Mark a couple of weekends back before I flew to the Philippines. Our search for my baby sister's purple bathrobe (which she specifically requested for her wedding shoot) led us to Ansar Gallery in Al Karama. We didn't find anything and since it's already past lunch time, we just decided to have our lunch there.
Pampangeño is what a native of Pampanga (a province in the Philippines) is called, Pampangeños being the collective term. Being the Food Capital of the Philippines, Pampanga also offers delectable dishes which I have come to love (next of course to Ilocano specialties :D). And because Mark and I were both craving for some Filipino food, we were sold when we saw Pampangeños.
Filipinos enjoy family feasts, and that is what is evident in Pampangeños. It was already past lunch time but families still dot each of the tables when we arrived, good thing we were still able to score a table for two.
We were served with a complimentary egg drop soup. It was served hot which perked our tummies up. I was already eyeing for the Sizzling Beef Sisig when Mark blurted out the same when I asked him what he wanted, so I had to change my order. :p I was choosing between the grilled seafood platter and grilled chicken and thought that the first would be too much so I settled for the latter.
Grilled Lemon Grass Chicken with Unlimited Rice - AED 22.00
Served with vinegar and soy sauce, lemon, atchara, and unlimited rice, this dish would have been perfect if the chicken meat didn't lose its juiciness. The chicken was overcooked making a bit tough to chew. The rice on the other hand was on the soggy side which I didn't like.
We knew that Mark's order was coming when the sumptuous aroma of the Sizzling Beef Sisig filled the air. Sizzling hot and with vibrant colors from the fresh chilies, onions, and egg, this dish is such an eye candy. And we were glad that it tasted just as much as how good it looked. The generous serving of beef chunks were accompanied by crushed cracklings which added texture to the dish. Mark also approved of this dish that he had another serving of rice. :D
Sizzling Beef Sisig - AED 23.00
There's no doubt that the dishes were good. But one letdown, and definitely a defining factor whether a restaurant will be visited back again or not (well at least for me), is the slow serving time and the unremarkable customer service.
We felt the Filipino hospitality when the staff greeted us with a smile as she ushered us to our seats, yes, but it all ended there. It took a long while before one of the staff finally stopped and heeded our request for the menu. Then another period of waiting game began just before a different staff took our orders. Waiting for the dishes to be served took even longer.
If not for the Sizzling Beef Sisig, which Mark claimed to be the best tasting beef sisig that we've had, I'd definitely not recommend going back to this restaurant especially if you're not patient enough to wait.
Ground Level, Ansar Gallery
Al Karama, Dubai
United Arab Emirates
+971 (0)4 3961446
Nearest Metro Station: Burjuman (Red Line)