Monday, 26 November 2007

Teatro - Rotana Towers Dubai

I know I'm usually putting new restaurants that Ive visited, but this one is a definite must. Teatro is, for me, one of the best restaurants in Dubai, always leaves me going back for more, and is the ultimate feel good place. I'd love to say that the image of the place matches the food and mood of the place, but it doesn't. Its modern, dark and cozy, and not too romantic, but can also serve to bring about an amourous mood if needed. Its versatile, private but public, its so full of contradictions that it can suit basically everyone. Ive been there for birthdays, for casual and formal dinners and random meetings. the menu is of course international. You can choose from a wide variety of Asian, European and Indian foods as well as the all important sushi. For starters their tom yum soup, served in a big pot, is beautifully and delicately flavoured with just the right amount of chilli. The only problem i think, is that it is a big portion for a starter. So be warned! I also highly recommend the Asian sampling platter, which is a combination of samosa, spring rolls, chicken wings and tempura, which come with their respective sauces. There happens to be a wonderfully fruity mango salsa which works well with most of the foods. As for main course i cant say Ive tried much. But the two things that i have tried have been beyond excellent. Firstly, the sushi. Its extremely fresh, so fresh in fact that the sashimi literally melts in your mouth. Ive had the sashimi platter which happens to change every time according to the fish available that day, but the staple salmon, tuna, crab and yellow tail are always there. You might get some scallops, or mackerel, or other fish that taste great and i don't know the name of. The maki selection is equally fabulous and considering each portion has 8 pieces is well worth it. In terms of value for money, a platter of 16 pieces of sashimi is around 120 dhs which is pretty good.

Lets just say that if youre going to teatro you're going to spend a minimum of 200 dhs which is pretty decent.

the other main course i HIGHLY recommend is the nigiri salmon (i think thats what its called)
its basically a hige cooked salmon sushi (thats what it looks like) placed on a bed of wasabi mashed potatoes.

It is ABSOLUTE heaven, not too heavy and the perfect amount of food on the plate. You'll finish it feeling fulfilled and content.

Whenever i go with other people they all seem to highly enjoy their dishes, so i recommend you go and try whatever comes to your fancy.

Last but not least, their wine list is extensive and rich. I highly recommend the chilean sauvignon blanc, they also have a great chilean chardonnay. Both are light and crisp, a perfect accompanyment to a great meal.

See you there ;)

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Maya restaurant Dubai

so mum was in town and dinner was requested... Honestly at first we had to scratch our heads, because one of the requirements was that it was outside... It never really hit me how many choices we have to dine al fresco around here, and how many i actually havent been to!! So D recommended that we try our luck at Maya, which is at the royal meridien in Marina. Maya restaurant is part of the wave of modern mexican lead by the chef Richard Sandoval who apparently has a big empire stretching across the US. This restaurant in specific supposedly has the blessing of one of the three tenors Placido Domingo, and its New York and Frisco counterparts are particularly successful. So off we went! Honestly i have to confess that i didnt exactly know where le royal meridien was, so for those who are sad sould like me its the one next to habtoor. After a bit of a walk, we arrived and i was pleasantly surprised. The balcony/patio etc was delightful with beautiful views on the garden. The decor was pretty authentic in a classy rather than chilli's kind of way, and each of the waiters and waitresses were "authentically dressed." In the corner stood/ sat a two member band one on harp one on guitar adding to the ambience of the mexican nature and was extremely agreeable. Service was, on a whole impeccable. Considering that it was pretty full that night, the service was attentive, and on the whole they took their time to take you through any questions/problems etc the drinks menu was extensive, and after debating between a passionfruit margherita or a mango mojito i settled for the former. It was light, fruity and absolutely brilliant! i cant say i sould really taste the alcohol but i certainly felt the buzz after i finished it...and i ordered a second without a moments hesitation. D ordered a mojito and seemed a little disappointed. After a sip, i have to say, so was i. It was a little weak and not exactly brilliant, but ca va.

Onto the food..
the menu is pretty extensive, but of course entirely mexican. After debating several options, which were lovingly marked low fat, containing alcohol, vegetarian etc we decided on the ceviche tasting for starter and pescado a la talla, which is basically a marinated hallibut.

the ceviche was dissapointing, honestly i feel it lacked the kick, the citrus mix with the fresh fish, and most of them had a overpowering taste of onion which ruined it for me. not that was unpleasant...but lets just say i probably wouldnt order it again.

my main meal was a fiasco. The hallibut came as promised on red cabbage, but contrary to what was mentioned on the menu ( i went for the light option, i am on a diet after all) it was covered in what appeared to be mayo! i ate a bit of the fish after having scraped off as much of the chilli mayo but wasnt satisfied at all. Thank god they had put tortillas and dip before (which were excellent btw)

D's red snapper was light and delicate, not wow either but ok, and mum's duck with foie gras seemed delightful ( i enforced willpower and did not succumb to the fat dish) she said it was fabulous.

So, while it did start on a good note, it ended on a rather bland note. I wuld love to go back and try something a little more mexican with tortillas or something, and if that does not prevail, at least i would have had a gorgeous passionfruit margerita.

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

blue ribbon sushi NY

Right, as promised a restaurant review... i will have to say that admittedly im going to stretch my memory/mind because it was almost two months ago but im pretty sure i'll get the overall jist of the place.
Blue ribbon sushi was one of the restaurants that were on the infamous list that N had made from london. Apparently, she proclaimed, it was a definate must see. Having heard that we quickly asked T and J their opinion, and automatically across the room (a la F.R.I.E.N.D.S) R shouted across the room that he loved it and we must must must go.
And so dutifully we called to make a reservation to be told that it was on a first come first serve basis. Flowing into the cab me, R, N, T and J gave the address thanks to the use of someones iphone. I distinctly remember that it was a little hard to find, typically new york, where we ended up walking into a place we thought was it first (utterly disappointed) only to be told it was down the street.

finally as we arrived it turned out to be this very quanit place that was a total gem. the entree was small and outside, and you realized when you went in that it was much bigger than you would have anticipated from the entrance. We had to wait a good 20 mins for a table. So as we do we ordered 2 bowls of edamame which were perhaps some of the best edamame ive had in a while!
R joined quickly after and another girl whose name i can't for the life of me remember!

we were sat in a circular table in a little nook which was perfect, and consumed as recommended by the waiter, a beautifully dry hot sake, must have had about 5 carafe!

the sushi was impressive and fresh but not fantastic. me and N, as we tend to do, ventured to try something new and this time it was the jellyfish. I was tempted to try blowfish but it wasnt in season or on the menu ;(
the jellyfish was a disappointment, not because it tasted bad, but rather because it was tasteless. It tasted of the ponzu (i think) sauce, and probably would have been rather bland had it not been in sauce. Gelatinous, the texture was pretty cool, everyone else sort of shrieked in horror, but warmed up to the idea.
There was (as far as my memory serves me) a beautiful selection of sashimi, some fish that are not available in dubai/beirut/london. Their portions unfortunatly were not so generous.

There were the typical requests of maki, i cant say i remember the exact ones, but considering i cant remember the exact combinations i dont think it was sooooo impressive. It was good, enjoyable, and there was great company. The value ok, but overall a repeater.

Thursday, 25 October 2007

Back from oblivion

So... its been a while
its been a tumultous experience of cultures, life, food, fun and everything in between.
i'd love to say i have a new (recent) restaurant to talk about in this blog - preferably one from dubai - but do have a couple of restaurants up my sleeve from NY...
I am however on a painfully dull diet, but massively enjoying the punishments that come associated with bootcamp - i recommend it to anyone (
While it may have you crying with agony and regret as to why you signed up in the first week, it will eventually become rewarding and enjoyable, i promise!

i only wish that there was prime 5 star food that was diet...i suppose its the fat that makes it taste good...dammit.
stay tuned for the first restaurant review...

Sunday, 24 June 2007

traiteur - june 23rd 2007 - parc hyatt

The parc/park hyatt is an interesting hotel.
Tucked away next to the creek its setup and layout leaves you feeling that its quite secretive, deserted and private. Which can be wonderful for an evening night out.
We were however, invited for a lunch at the infamous traiteur. It was a shame it was hot because im sure it would have been lovely to sit outside - dubai for you.
The restaurant decor itself is interestingly modern. With two floors you can either sit in what feel like a café upstairs or head down to the light filled main room where there is an open kitchen.
I quite liked the idea ofthat, and lined up on the metal surfaces where rows of bottles of oils and vinegars which i assumed could be bought for probably quite a sum.
Considering we were around 9, and they couldnt accomodate us on one table in the main room, we were ushered into a private dining room, where there was a wall of wine bottles carefully arranged to create a wonderful gradient from yellow to red and the room itself had its own little stove where probably some parties could delight at the show of live cooking.

the (what appeared to be maitre'd) was a german hitler style woman with orange foundation and a strict face that seemed she could whip anyone if they did wrong!

the bread they placed was wonderfully golden and tasted lovely. They placed with it a duck and salmon paté which was smooth but by no means fabulous. The salmon was better than the duck i give them that.

the butter interestingly enough was this big slab that looked and was eaten like cheese...very kitsch.

i chose an endive and white asparagus salad with sweet mustard sauce for starter.
Well honestly it was more like an endive salad garnished with asparagus which was a shame. The sauce was nice but slightly sickening after a while.

for the main course i chose a pan fried cod with puy lentils and some green sauce i couldnt place the taste of... honestly i found it a little bland, but the fish was light and delicately flaky.
I tried my brothers prime fillet and found it quite ordinary.

it was a dry lunch so no alcohol but i would have liked to taste the wine...

dessert was a little more up lifting, the tea came accompanied with beautifully delicate macarroons, i had a blackberry and coffee one, they reminded me ever so quickly with the ones at la durée :)

i ordered a raspberry and nougat mille feuille which looked briliant but was a little dry the hazelnut cream made it a little sickening but the raspberries were fabulous!
my brother had a blackberry creme brulee which i thought was quite good!

overall not a bad experience i would recommend it but saw that it was a bit expensive unless taking the business lunch which was quite a good deal.

rating - 6.5 / 10

An epiphany!

so i found my calling.
I realized that while i love advertising, i really cant be arsed, nor do i have the passion enough to sit and analyze ads that have already countlessly been scrutinized.
so i have turned to my other passion - food.
this blog will now be dedicated to the wonderful world of food and my experiences with it. and especially with china and NY coming up i feel the excitement rushing through my veins...
so enjoy
bon appetit... and cheers !

i feel pretty?

So the cannes lions have been announced and Dove evolution has won the grand prix!
not that i can say im surprised but hey. Meanwhile i have to say im impressed that I feel pretty got a gold - mabrouk mira!
This weekend was interesting to say the least
after the hindi-jordanian sagheet party on thursday it really got me thinking how i would like to go a close friend's wedding/engagement - non family related and just have a bit of fun. It was so interesting that even the arabs chose to wore sari's and it was quite the show.
a little dumb but im sure fun for them nonetheless.
i headed to 400 after but with the tightness of the missoni shoes around my feet i didnt really feel in the mood, and i hate to arrive when people are already in the mood, it just makes you feel a little left out, plus i cant say i really enjoyed the crowd.
i have to say i was pretty impressed by the size of magic planet, i went with J and N and had some fun even though it was a little awkward at times.