Maple Leaf – Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Dubai
Oh, it finally opened it’s doors – Maple Leaf, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, located in Cluster V. As we live quite close to it and walked by a couple of times, we witnessed the creation of the new diner from the beginning. Observing the entire progress, from construction to decoration of the restaurant, we got more and more exited about finally trying their menu and checking out their service.
A couple of days ago we discovered more and more people walking in and out of Maple Leaf and saw the ‘Now Open’ sign displayed on their window.
We skipped the occasional trip to Carefour and decided to enjoy authentic Canadian dishes for dinner on this day.
Up on entering the restaurant, we unfortunately missed a warm welcome, as no one really paid attention to guests walking in.
Fair enough, Maple Leaf’s staff is not yet on top of their game, and still transits through the soft – opening phase. This is why Servicexcellence exists – discovering new places around town and complimenting their services with constructive feedback as well as offering future services such as consulting and training.
Nevertheless, we decided to take a seat ourselves and make us of the time to keep observing the staffs’ interaction with fellow other guests around. Two female waitresses were present on the floor, four chefs worked behind the open show kitchen, one manager walked around in the restaurant checking on his guests’ well being and another manager, dressed in shorts, t-shirt and baseball cap wandered around in the back of the house area.
It took a couple of minutes until one of the ladies approached us. She greeted us, laid the table with two paper menus, a paper napkin and cutlery and took our drinks order. Delighted about Canadian specialties on the menu we ordered home-made peach ice tea and a cherry cola and a Dr. Pepper.
Furthermore we decided to have Quinoa salad, a rib’s burger as well as a typical Poutine for dinner. The traditional way of preparing Poutine is to double – fry potato wedges, soak them in gravy and add cheese on top. Yes you are absolutely right – its sounds just as heavy as is it. However, the rule of thumb with Poutine is, the more gravy and cheese, the better.
It did not take longer than 7 minutes for our drinks to be served – it took time for them to prepare the ice team from scratch, which reflected in the great taste – and only 10 more minutes for our food to arrive. The waitress seemed to be knowledgeable about the menu as well as all ingredients her fellow colleagues used to prepare our meal and wished us a good meal.
The food was delicious. The salad’s ingredients were fresh and carefully chosen, the rib’s burger – which consisted out of a bun and pure meat soaked in BBQ sauce was unique – and the Poutine so delicious that we could not resist ordering another portion with a couple of spicy Jalapenos on top.
While enjoying our meal, we took the time to observe the staff and service a bit more carefully. We found them interacting with guests only when guests waved them over and overheard a conversation between the attentive young manager and one of his waitresses. He approached his staff to check on the current guests’s orders and asked her who had ordered what. Unfortunately she was not able to respond to him without looking at her notes, as he had expected. He took it with gratitude and advised her to be more attentive in future, tapped her on the shoulder, smiled at her and moved on to a table close by serving his guests personally.
As mentioned earlier, it was quite obvious that the staff needs a little more time to practice their customer service skills, enhance their product knowledge even more and familiarize themselves with the basics of guest service – nevertheless we have to mention that based on our observations, they seem to be on the right track.
The staffs’ interaction resembled the overall atmosphere of the restaurant. Carefully chosen decor and interior placed on the right spots, demonstrates the managers’ great intentions. For the future however, it will need a little more of attention and character and a personal touch to enhance the overall atmosphere.
Up on asking for our bill, the manager approached us asked if we enjoyed our meal and liked what we saw so far. We shared our constructive feedback and complimented him on the tasty food. The manager shared with us that Maple Leaf, Jumeirah Lakes towers aims to enrich their menu with more healthy food items in future, as well as to star serving breakfast over the next couple weeks. We are already looking forward to it.
Overall we have to admit, that for a restaurant in soft-opening phase we had a pretty awesome experience. The staffs’ attitude and willingness to learn was complimented by the chefs’ creations and the manager’s personalized service.
Are we planning to return you might wonder? Definitively, yes! Maple Leaf, Jumeirah Lakes Towers is an authentic Canadian restaurant located in the heart of Dubai, with great potential to turn into the city’s new ‘hot spots’.
We wish the young team of Maple Leaf good luck for the next couple of weeks, as we understand how critical they are for the success of a newly opened restaurant and can only recommend them to all of you. Pay them a visit and find out what Maple Leaf is all about for yourselves – you will not regret it, that’s for sure.
Keep exploring and see you soon,