“Meraas is committed to creating open places and new experiences that celebrate the diversity of life in Dubai.” Meraas
You may be forgiven for thinking you have driven straight onto the set of the latest Walking Dead episode or Mad Max movie when you pull into the new Last Exit MadX on the E11 Abu Dhabi bound. Fear not, it’s just the fourth and latest Last Exit location from Meraas that fully embraces its post apocalyptic world theme in the form of defaced food trucks, monster trucks and abandoned cars.
I’m a little late to the game having been away all summer as this new location opened back in August. Located across the highway opposite the original Last Exit this site seems as popular as the original already attracting a steady stream of bemused diners snapping away on their smart phones.
Last Exit Mad X is a mash up of a futuristic movie set meets drive-thru with dine-in options and some family entertainment. I will say one thing for the Merras designers when they decide on a theme they take it very seriously going all out to deliver a unique concept. While the original site on the Abu Dhabi to Dubai carriageway is a brightly coloured automobile theme the bigger Mad X site has a palette of sludgy brown with spikes, chains, weapons and rusty armour plated vehicles.
What’s the most important thing at a pit stop? The food choices of course! While I sauntered about with my camera in search of coffee the other half was deciding on what to eat with several good options to choose from (no photos because he scoffed it before any could be taken, insert a tut and eye roll emoji here). Good to see family favourite Poco Loco (which is also at Last Exit) in situ serving up it’s South American goodies, especially good if you are in the mood for some Mexican food. Gyros & Doner will take care of any Greek cravings with meat and halloumi gyros, tzatziki, fries and of course Greek salad. Bao Wow serves up some steamed buns from Taiwan, Indian Street Food is spot on at Jaldi Jaldi (nice-looking truck too) and you can even get some Pad Thai from the its namesake truck. Fancy a chicken wrap? No problem Hot Chix has got you covered with it’s fried chicken, burgers and sides.
Housed in a retro American airstream Burger Pit is your diner in a van serving, not altogether surprisingly classic burgers, crispy fried buttermilk chicken, hot dogs, fries and good ole American style milkshakes. More American inspired food can be found at Johnny Rockets and even more burgers and wings at Stuffed Burger. Dirty Dog is all about the hot dogs served with a varied of toppings or traditional style with lashings of ketchup and mustard. Pizza lovers will be delighted to see the 800 Degrees Pizza truck serving it’s Neapolitan pizza slices and Ookii Sushi has an array of Japanese favourites and some vegetarian options too.
I found coffee at Il Caffe Di Roma who are famed for serving the popular Lavazza brand, perfect if you are looking for an authentic espresso and an Italian inspired bite to eat. Cupagahwa is offering traditional Arabic coffees, local teas, snacks and sandwiches while the fragrant Indian beverage Karak Chai is available from My Karak. The site, which is conveniently open 24-hours a day, seven days a week also has playgrounds to keep the children amused, plenty of picnic table style seating and free parking.
Last Exit D63 on Al Qudra Road has an equestrian theme with horsebox style food trucks, the Al-Khamaneej site (near Mirdiff) aka Last Exit D89 is a farmyard complete with life size plastic cows, so it begs the question; What will the next six Last Exits look like? Watch this space. Food trucks and the street food scene are riding high in the popularity stakes right now and Meraas are right on-trend with their Last Exit concept.
The Last Exit Mad X experience is fun, the theme, that uses plenty of recycled materials, is well executed and more importantly there’s a good variety of cuisines available. Really who doesn’t love a street food truck (or a beach hut, is that just me?), totally worth a visit if you find yourself on the road from Dubai to the capital, if you haven’t been already or you’re just blooming ravenous.
Last Exit Mad X
Location: Interchange 11, E11 towards Abu Dhabi (opposite Last Exit E11)
Unless otherwise stated, all photos on this page © Jo Brett 2017. All rights reserved.