Last month, on our way from Abu Dhabi to Dubai, we spotted a place with fancy light poles. It’s quite an unusual sight in the area and got us curious with what’s going on. Two weeks later, we heard about the upcoming Last Exit, a food truck park in Jebel Ali. It’s the first of its kind in the region making us very excited to see what the fuss is all about. More than just being a perfect pit stop to break a long drive, Last Exit is said to be a culinary destination itself. What’s more, it’s open 24/7!
So, on the weekend of its opening, we decided to check it out. Last Exit is located on the right side if you’re driving from Abu Dhabi. So if you’re coming from Dubai, you have to make a U-turn. It’s easy to navigate with a Google Map but with its super eye-catching signage, it would be very hard to miss. Imagine four cars stacked over each other, who wouldn’t give a second glance?
The retro theme is impressively carried throughout Last Exit even at the smallest of details. Past the striking sign is a pavement painted with different colors, each one corresponds to a food truck. If you follow one particular color, it will lead you to a service road decked up with the menu and an intercom – basically just how any drive thru works.
There are 12 food trucks in Last Exit, one of which is an All-Day Mini Mart convenience store. It was a little surprising though that the familiar food truck brands, like Moti Roti and Salt, were nowhere to be found in the park. You know, the trucks we usually see on pop-up events around town. Instead, we were introduced to food truck versions of popular cafés/restaurants. I had mixed feelings about this but anyway…
We tried four of the food trucks during our visit. We headed to The Brass for their signature hot chocolate, then to Il Caffe di Roma for hubby’s latte. Afterwards, we got beef burger from Burger Pit and Cheese Coney hotdog sandwich from The Hot Dog Stand. Quite a weird combo, you say? Well, we were there early in the morning for breakfast supposedly. Had Clinton Street Baking Company’s fried chicken and waffle been available, maybe it won’t sound too strange a breakfast combo after all. For these, we spent more than 100 AED – not really that pocket friendly I’d say.
We sat down in the nicely decorated dining hall to have our meal. Petrol pump handle doorknobs. Pedals on stools. Tires as basins and seats. Road signs on the walls. Everything was impressively put together. After having our meal, we enjoyed perusing over each quirky detail.
I’d love to say that we enjoyed our morning in Last Exit but we had a terrible experience with the security guards. The place is really instagrammable that I just couldn’t be there and not take photos. Since there’s a sandstorm that morning, I opted to use my camera and ditched the phone. Then, one of the guards approached us, asking us to refrain from taking photos until we get permission from their office. He’s reiterating that we’re from media because of our DSLR, a camera that almost every photo enthusiast owns nowadays. We were stunned so we kept our camera away and stopped going around. We noticed that the guards were following our every step so we just finished our meals and drove off. Day ruined.
So, are we keen to go back? I’ll be frank that despite the not-so-nice experience, it’s both a yes and a no. I wouldn’t bother driving almost an hour to get to a food truck version of a café that’s just a stone’s throw away from home. But yes, we’ll return (probably) should we ever found ourselves in our hangriest state while on the road home from south.