It’s all about the Oreo Cheesecake, Baby @ the Cheesecake Factory, Dubai Mall

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Cheesecake Factory Dubai
Cheesecake Factory Dubai

My love for the Cheesecake Factory began when I was a college student studying at the University of Miami in Florida. My friends and I would take a break from drinking and partying in Coconut Grove to brave the hour-long waits (sometimes more) for a much coveted table. Unlike at some less technologically advanced restaurants where diners on the waiting list had to hover at the hostess table waiting for their name or number to be called, we were given one of those pagers that buzzed and lit up when our table was ready, allowing us some freedom of movement.

We would feel oh-so-grown-up eating at a place that wasn’t the school cafeteria or a fast food takeout joint like Taco Bell or an all-day diner like Denny’s. We spent our non-existent student income on $10 appetizers and $15-20 entrees that would set back our repayment of school loans, and more importantly, our drinking budget, quite a ways.

Overwhelmed at first by the the pages and pages of options on the menu (there are over 200 menu items), we probably spent more time studying the varied selections on their spiral-bound menu than we did on some of our school exams. Perhaps because there was too much to choose from, I found myself gravitating towards the same dishes over and over again: Tex Mex egg rolls, Chicken Jambalaya, Bang Bang Chicken and Shrimp, and the Oreo cheesecake.

Oh the Oreo cheesecake!

Portions were generous so by dessert time, we were always too stuffed to finish a whole slice of cheesecake by ourselves but with more than 30+ options to choose from (and we were determined to try them all), we would strategically order the cheesecakes To-Go (carry-out to some of you) so that we could have a few bites at the restaurant and the remainder we would savior back in our dorm rooms when our bellies weren’t so full.

I attended many celebratory, end-of school-year, and just-because meals at the Cheesecake Factory in Miami. Maybe that’s why to me, the restaurant and the food is nostalgic and comforting, reminding me of those carefree days of college.

Cheesecake Factory - Dubai Mall
Cheesecake Factory – Dubai Mall

Many of those carefree thoughts ran rampant in my mind as I took in the sights, sounds, and tastes of the grand opening of the Cheesecake Factory’s first international location – in the Dubai Mall.

Cheesecake Factory Grand Opening - Dubai Mall
Cheesecake Factory Grand Opening @ Dubai Mall

Overlooking the largest acrylic panel aquarium in the world at the Dubai Mall, the Cheesecake Factory opened its doors in Dubai on August 16, 2012.

The night before the official opening, I attended the ribbon cutting ceremony and along with a few fellow food bloggers (Arabic Zeal,  FooDee, and Maryam Bakes) and  enjoyed an evening sampling the menu and the cheesecakes.

Cheesecake Factory - Dubai Mall
Cheesecake Factory – Dubai Mall

With swirly pastel orange and browns, the interior decor was similar to other Cheesecake Factories I have been to in the US.  A huge plus if you can get the seats that open out into the mall overlooking the aquarium. We dined while catching glimpses of sharks, rays, and other fish life swimming across our vision.

Cheesecake Factory - Dubai Mall
CEO David Overton at the Cheesecake Factory – Dubai Mall

I was very happy that some of my favorite dishes were being offered as samplers that night: Tex Mex egg rolls  Bang Bang Chicken and Shrimp, and the Oreo cheesecake (or so I thought!).

Tiny arrangements of fresh flowers accompanied each tray of food that was passed around by the servers.

Bang Bang Chicken and Salisbury Steak @ Cheesecake Factory Dubai
Bang Bang Chicken and Salisbury Steak @ Cheesecake Factory Dubai


Tex Mex Eggrolls @ Cheesecake Factory Dubai
Tex Mex Eggrolls @ Cheesecake Factory Dubai


Bang Bang Chicken @ Cheesecake Factory Dubai
Bang Bang Chicken @ Cheesecake Factory Dubai


Ahi tuna tartar @ Cheesecake Factory Dubai
Ahi tuna tartar @ Cheesecake Factory Dubai


Cheesecake Factory - Chief Culinary Officer Donald Moore
Cheesecake Factory – Chief Culinary Officer Donald Moore


Crab Wontons @ Cheesecake Factory Dubai
Crab Wontons @ Cheesecake Factory Dubai


Crab Wontons @ Cheesecake Factory Dubai
Crab Wontons @ Cheesecake Factory Dubai

While the savory items were served canape style, the cheesecakes were available for tasting in their full-slice glory! Not all flavors were available that night for sampling but we made sure to taste all the ones that were available: the Original Cheesecake, the Lemon Raspberry White Truffle, and what I am told is their newest addition, the Oreo Dream Extreme.

Cheesecake Factory Dubai
Cheesecake Factory Dubai

I of course gravitated toward the oreo cheesecake, being the only cheesecake I like on the menu. It looked different from what I remembered, but this is Dubai where everything seems to be created with the intent to enter the Guinness Book of World Records, so the larger than life Oreo cookie on top of the cheesecake seemed quite normal in my Dubaified mind.

After scrutinizing the Oreo cheesecake for a few minutes I finally picked up my fork to take a much anticipated bite.

Oreo Dream Extreme @ Cheesecake Factory Dubai
Oreo Dream Extreme @ Cheesecake Factory Dubai

Hmm…it was rich, and creamy, but it wasn’t quite right to me. I took another bite, and another until I had eaten a whole slice on my own. It was certainly good, I thought, but not how I remembered it.

As I swallowed my disappointment at the thought that the recipe had been changed, a waiter told me that this Oreo cheesecake was actually a new, if not the newest, addition to the cheesecake menu and was called the Oreo Dream Extreme. The original Oreo cheesecake would still be available on the menu – I breathed a huge sigh of relief.

I think another visit to the Cheesecake Factory will be needed – for me, it’s all about the Oreo Cheesecake, baby.

Oreo Dream Extreme
Photo Credit: FooDee

Not surprisingly, with the Chief Culinary Officer Donald Moore and CEO David Overton in the house, the food that night was very good and nicely presented with the fresh flowers. But as is the case with all Dubai franchised restaurants – will the quality hold when they  return back to their operations in the US?

Disclosure: I enjoyed this complimentary dining experience as a guest of The Cheesecake Factory but all views and opinions are my own.

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The Cheesecake Factory:  The Dubai Mall, opposite the Aquarium, Telephone: +971 04 325 3521. Not licensed for alcohol nor pork (so those dishes that originally contained alcohol had to be modified).

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  1. My first cheesecake at The Cheesecake Factory was Chocolate Coconut Cream Cheesecake – it was so nice. Aiming to try ALL, we had the Reese Peanut butter cheesecake (this is not the exact name..) and it was TOO sweet for me!

    Next time, I’m aiming to order the basic cheesecake!

    1. It’s certainly fun to make your way through the cheesecakes! Best way to do it is to convince work and friends to have dinners there – the more ppl, the more cheesecake 😉

  2. My first Cheesecake Factory was in Phoenix when we were visiting family there. My sister was all the rave about it and she made sure we went there to try it for ourselves. I totally loved it. We ended up dining there one more time before heading back to Dubai. It’s kind of sad that it’s getting such a bad rap from folks around here. You’re right, it’s comfort food and I think it’s great for those family eat outs 🙂

  3. Really fabulous photographs, Sandy. I’m so impressed (& a bit jealous).
    Yes, the Cheesecake Factory is over-the-top, but great for casual celebrations. Waiting to go back again … maybe in December. Need to pace myself!
    Thanks for the great post.

    1. Thanks for the nice comments!

      I ended up going to the Cheesecake Factory in Chicago last week but VERY DISAPPOINTED that there was no Oreo cheesecake on the menu – only the Dream Extreme 🙁

  4. I love your photographs! They’re gorgeous 🙂
    I went back once after the opening – had slightly over an hour’s wait to get in haha. The waiters are still as friendly as they were at the opening. Food was good – I tried one of the burgers this time and it was decent. I did have a cheesecake, but it’s terrible that I can’t remember which one!!! Something chocolatey. *sigh*
    I’ll go back and try the Original Oreo Cheesecake for sure.
    PS – Thanks for the credit 🙂

    1. See my reply to Holly’s comment – I can’t see myself going to the Cheesecake Factory any more if they don’t have the original Oreo cheesecake – it just ruins my entire nostalgic experience if I don’t get to eat it in a to-go container after my meal.

  5. Tried it out this weekend and was fun overall but nothing memorable on the culinary front – not surprising given that like most American franchises (TGI’s, Chilli’s, etc.), most menu items taste like rubber. I tried four different cheesecakes and the one with the peanut butter stood out as most favoursome. All boring though – Magnolia Bakery’s Red Velvet Cheesecake is still one of Dubai’s best cheesecakes, possibly even better than the one at La Petite Maison! Ho hum…

    1. Yes, for me, it’s really just nostalgia that brings me back to the restaurant every once in a blue moon. And I tend to stick to the tried and true dishes…

  6. What gorgeous photographs! I’m on a diet these days to fit in a gown for my sister’s wedding next month, and your photographs are challenging my resolve 😀

    You are right; this is Dubai so everything has to be different – bigger, sweeter, and richer.

    How did you find their Tex Mex egg rolls and Bang Bang Chicken?

    1. The Tex Mex egg rolls were as good as I remembered them to be. The Bang Bang Chicken wasn’t too bad – but because it was pre-opening night, they didn’t use the shrimp and I found the chicken a little dry.

      In the US, they have a Skinnylicious menu section (or something like that) – wonder if that will be rolled out here in Dubai?