JJ Chicken is a quick serve restaurant where charcoal chicken is the core item on the menu, offered in various balanced and healthy meals, unlike the low-priced fast-food chicken chains.
Not my usual route on a Thursday evening, I went to Kite Beach to try their food as it was recommended by a friend of mine. This particular branch is located in a kind of isolated area away from all the other restaurants and kiosks. It’s like if you don’t wander around that much, you won’t even realize that it’s there because you would think that the selection of restaurants end or start with the food truck, Salt.
JJ Chicken does not have indoor seating and you have to settle with the chairs that are provided outside. During this time when the weather has cooled down, it’s the perfect setting to dine but I’m just thinking how hot this area would be come summer or during lunchtime. I didn’t see any waiters standing outside and I think the idea was to just let people place their order and pick up from the counter. They give you this pager to let you know when your food is ready.
The menu options were a bit limited as what you can expect in a place like this. It’s mostly consisting of chicken dishes and sandwiches and a variety of starters. We asked what their bestseller was and we were recommended the platter and the star on their menu, the charcoal grilled chicken. We also ordered cheese rolls and chicken wings as starters. The drinks on offer were just the bare minimum, softdrinks, water and iced tea in cans.
I have to say I really liked the taste of basically everything that we ordered and I don’t know what they did with the fries but it was savory. It was so good especially when dipped in the garlic sauce. They did not disappoint with the chicken and I liked that it was tender, a bit of juicy and it’s obviously grilled which added to the flavour.
Regarding the service, I don’t think I can give a lot of comment on this because aside from the cashier and the staff in the kitchen, we haven’t really seen anyone outside the area. If we needed something, we had to go up to the counter and ask. No one will ask you if everything was ok, you basically order and then you’re on your own. To the management of JJ Chicken, remember this is Dubai and people want everything to be served to them regardless if it’s the self-serve kind or not.
With all the points considered, I think JJ has a lot to improve on before it takes off to be one of the leading chicken joints in the city. The prices are affordable, the location is also good but they need to add at least an indoor seating option. Again, we’re in Dubai and it’s hot 70% of the year.
To be perfectly honest, I feel like they got the taste of the food right though I think they would need to be consistent on the presentation. With regards to the staff, I suggest that they ensure that there is at least one person waiting outside to look after the diners’ needs. Although it’s evident that it is self-service, people will still need assistance on some things and if they want to provide a good customer service experience for the clients, they need to make sure that these demands are met. Overall, the dining experience was good but can definitely be better. I’ll end this review with a quote from Derek Sivers, Founder of CD Baby and he said “The single most important thing is to make people happy. If you are making people happy, as a side effect, they will be happy to open up their wallets and pay you.”