How was your night yesterday? Mine was a mix of joy, frustration and exhaustion. Straight from work, I took the metro to The Dubai Mall station and walked through the long bridge to the mall itself – something I don’t normally do on a weekday, especially if it’s not Thursday. All for the love of Jollibee. Yes, the first and only (so far…) legitimate Jollibee store (well, more of a stall in a food court) has finally opened in The Dubai Mall yesterday, 4th of May. Located in the crowded food court on the second level and surrounded by international fast food chains and restaurants. The opening created a buzz as hundreds upon hundreds of Filipinos lined up to get a piece of their favorite Chicken Joy and Jolly Spaghetti.
The first time I learned about this Jollibee store in town (yay, we don’t need to fly to Doha anymore!), I never doubted that it would be a hit especially on its first day. And I made a vow to myself that I’d be one of the first to twirl that sweet-styled Filipino spaghetti with my fork. I expected a long queue but I never thought that the it would be that crazy and dizzyingly loooooooong. Upon entering the food court and spotting the red bee, that was around quarter to 6PM, I had to find my way to get to the end of the line. And from where I queued, I couldn’t even see where the counters are! From Jollibee, the line snaked and went all the way to almost the other end of the food court. I made second thoughts about pushing through but the queue was moving so, what the heck, let’s get it on! My fiancé and friend came shortly after. I asked them to get at least something to snack on while waiting in line (how ironic!) It was a brilliant idea to be in good company because it lessened the pain in waiting. And the free wi-fi was such a blessing.
Two hours later, the long queue of people behind us seemed to get lesser and lesser. We later on found out that the management (the mall’s, I think) has cut the overwhelming long line and stopped other hopefuls from joining the queue. We were lucky to make it to the cut. BUT! An hour passed and we were delivered the sad news. No more Chicken Joys! And Jolly Hotdogs! The chicken has been exhausted and it takes 24 hours to thaw. They have a choice to thaw the ones in their stock but refused to as the quality will suffer should they do so. That made a fairly number of people leave the queue shaking their heads in disbelief that they’ve just wasted the past few hours for nothing. Goodbye, two buckets of Chicken Joy. T.T Well, at least they’re keeping with the Jollibee standards. And as long as there’s spaghetti, I wouldn’t mind waiting.
Mall hours were done, and some lights were turned off. Hallelujah at midnight, we’re almost at the stage 3 of the queuing process. At 12:30 we made it to the queue to the counter. Few minutes before 1:00AM, we finally have our reward – 7 orders of Jolly Spaghetti and 3 Jolly Hotdogs. The hotdog stock was miraculously replenished but the burger steak (goodbye, 4 orders) was sadly out of stock. Every single bit of it is authentic –the menu, packaging, crew’s uniform down to the taste, presentation (this really needs a lot of improvement) and serving size (so little…).
The wait is (partly) worth it; if not for the items that are unavailable (we were also hoping for the Palabok). This has been the craziest thing I’ve done in my life. I really don’t know what was I thinking. Well, what can I do, I grew up with the goodness that this store has to offer. But will I return for another round of 6-hour queuing? Definitely not. I’m gonna wait for the excitement to subside (probably 2 months?). Besides, there’s another branch coming up in Burjuman soon.
P.S. Salute to the crew and the Dubai Mall staff for an organized queuing system. And congratulations, Jollibee – such a blockbuster!
Second Level, Food Court, The Dubai Mall