Galito's recently opened in the Dubai for the first time, following two of its restaurants in Abu Dhabi. They have chosen to locate it at Business Bay, an area that in a couple years' time will be teeming with people. Seating on the terrace is a great option in the cooler months, with an aesthetic element in the form of fountains close by.
Galito's Flame Grilled chicken offers an alternative to oily American options which are so ubiquitous in the UAE. It is more expensive but healthier and tastier - you will wonder why you have been spending your money on those American food court restaurants. There is a selection of sauces which vary in spiciness from mild to extra hot. The sauces provide extra flavour but also a talking point among diners - the extra hot is really hot. For the feint hearted, the lemon and herb is the perfect option and is the one my 9-year old usually chooses.
Galito's makes delicious fries, but be careful not to have too much because they are addictive. They use real potatoes with no chemicals or preservatives. Make sure you also try the sweet potato fries.
We have the signature skewers, the Espetada, dramatically served standing up. Juicy and tender pieces of chicken and shrimp hang invitingly, as the natural moisture of peppers and onions drip down as well. Because they use chicken breasts, my least favourite part of the chicken, I am wary that it might be dry, but again Chef gets the balance right.
The addition of boerewors to the menu has had its challenges, but mainly because people are not familiar with this amazing piece of South African meat and slice of culture. It is firmer than what people usually have but is packed with spices making it a richly flavoured sausage. It brings greater diversity.
On this occasion, it is perfectly cooked. As a South African I know! The key is keeping all that moisture inside by not cooking it too long. It has to be done more medium than well, and Chef has done just that. It is served with mashed potato and chakalaka sauce, a tomato and onion based sauce that is as much a part of South Africa as Nelson Mandela. The only thing missing is pap, a carb-heavy polenta-style dish made from maize. Baby steps. Let people first warm to boerewors.
Then, there are the desserts. As good as the Chocolate brownie is, my taste buds are captured by another dessert. The Malva pudding, a South African dessert with Cape Dutch beginnings, contains apricot jam in a textured cake similar to sponge cake. It is richly caramelised and usually has custard poured over it. Tonight, it is served with vanilla ice cream on the side. Its closest sibling would be English sticky toffee pudding. It is everything you want in a dessert - sweetness decadence and a lick your fingers afterwards quality! Be warned though - it is sweet.
Overall, Galito's is a firm favourite of mine. Its new location, away from a mall, makes it even more attractive as a casual dining option. The area around Galito's is open, and gives kids a nice place to relax, so this is an added bonus for families coming here, especially at night with fountains shimmering in the moonlight. With ample parking in the basement, it is an ideal choice. More importantly though, they make good food. If you have not tried the South African menu items, make this your priority on your next visit; something different, but very nice.
Business Bay, Dubai
+971 4 4580559
The average cost per meal for a family of 3 is 170-250AED incl drinks