I've been a big fan of Tribes for a great many number of years. This was since they were located in the Fashion Dome end of Mall of the Emirates. The restaurant was always so attractive, being that it was uncharacteristically African. This made it so unique. I also enjoyed all the meals I had there, (including ones at Tribes Carnivore, it's sister branch in Dubai Mall). When Tribes relocated to the east side of Mall of the Emirates, they seemed to lose their authenticity so to speak. All the warm, vibrant and festive decor African decor simply vanished! It was replaced by modern contemporary plain Jane decorations that fell flat. I was also sad to see that Bunny Chow, the enduring South African comfort food had been removed from the menu! Such a BIG disappointment to me!
As always, the service here is top notch. We were welcomed by GILBERT TEMBI from the Meta tribe in Cameroun. It's always so interesting to me to see which tribes the staff at Tribes come from; perhaps because I'm a fellow African. Simply fascinating and splendid stuff! Gilbert was super polite and friendly. We were served by SILAS, of the Yoruba tribe in Nigeria. My 'home boy' was so delightful, sweet and professional. Manager BERNARD MBITHI, from Kenya paid us a visit, and we chatted for a while. Very kind and personable guy. They never ever go wrong with the service at Tribes; impeccable- from start to finish! 👍🏽
I ordered the Spicy Salmon Burger, which was a Peri-Peri Spiced Salmon Fillet, with avocado, tomato, onion and lettuce with tomato and onion chutney. It came with french fries. My maid got the Jamaican Style Whole Boneless Chicken, a Chargrilled Baby Boneless Chicken in Jerk Seasoning, with a Garlic Dip and Jollof Rice, or any choice of starch. She substituted for fries instead. We got the Lime & Mint Mojito, as well as the Strawberry Mojito. Both drinks were superb; tangy and refreshing. Fatima, (my maid) enjoyed her chicken very much, as did I when I tasted a little bit of the piece she couldn't finish. It was very well seasoned. We were served 3 adorable freshly baked dome-shaped complimentary date and walnut bread(s) with french butter. They tasted good, but I prefer the tomato and cheese alternative served at Tribes Carnivore. As for my Salmon Burger, it was a huge disappointment! This burger looked and sounded amazing on print, but didn't quite deliver. First of all the salmon was very bland and I didn't taste any of the tomato and onion chutney they claimed was on it. I don't like when burgers are served with cold vegetables. It always dampens any burger experience for me. Instead I like my veggies to be room temperature, so that it doesn't 'clash' with the usually hot protein of the burger. The tomato, lettuce, onion and avocado were super cold, and that really ruined it for me. The chunky fries were the highlight of the dish. They were so soft and crunchy! They reminded me of classic British chips!
I will conclude by saying that I enjoyed my visit to this newly opened/relocated branch of Tribes, even though like I mentioned earlier, that 'African Va Va Voom' factor is all but dead and buried! I wish that they had retained the 'essence' of my dear continent in more ways that one. A special thanks and shout out to BERNARD, SILAS and GILBERT for their exemplary service. Staff such as these guys prove that the service at Tribes is a gift that keeps on giving! A slight criticism i have of this visit is that the food took very long to emerge. Perhaps extra precautions being included in the food preparation due to the Covid-19 pandemic? I dunno 🤷🏽♀️ All I know is that we waited for quite a long time, even though the restaurant wasn't packed. Their prices are also not competitive, (never have been), but at least portions are decent. I do wish that they would bring back the Bunny Chow. They do it so well. It was one of the most authentic offerings on their menu. So now I have no choice but to visit Tribes Carnivore, Dubai Mall to 'satiate' my Bunny Chow craving! I hope they will season the salmon in the Salmon Burger well and keep those darn veggies out of the fridge! Other than that, Tribes is an awesome place, with a varied menu, and I will always, always recommend this fabulous restaurant.More