Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Taste Buds

Last week we were warned that there was going to be a cyclone hitting the Dubai coast around about lunch time on the day that I was planning lunch with The Geordie One.  With this in mind I thought it best we stay locally so we headed off to Links at The Academy. The Academy is actually a state of the art golf teaching facility, adjacent to the Montgomerie Hotel, but we weren't there for golf, we were after some lunch and shelter from the impending cyclone.

Major major plus point about The Academy is that there is loads of parking, I really don't like having to park in a Mall to dine especially at lunch time.  The Academy restaurant is light and spacious and decorated in lovely tones of beige and green, very relaxed.

We ordered the tuna tartare, capers, parsley, gherkins, garlic mayo and brown bread (45 dhs), which is actually of the starter menu.  My friend ordered the griddled fillet of salmon with green pea sauce, asparagus, brocolli, garden peas, dill and new potato (70 dhs), which was from the main menu. I have uploaded some pictures here.  The food was well presented and served quickly, however I did feel that for 45 dhs the tuna tartare was on the small side, portion wise.

All in all a great venue for lunch with dining al fresco which would have been perfect if we hadn't been waiting for the imminent cyclone!!  we left The Academy at 2 pm expecting to be confronted with a cyclone, the car park was peaceful and there was very little wind....

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All week I have been fancying having some fish/seafood so this morning I asked what people thought of Jimmy's Killer Prawns, the response I got back was not good so instead we decided to check out Barracuda Restaurant on the Beach Road, and I am so glad we did!! The restuarant which is located between Al Manara and Al Safa on the sea side of the Beach Road is quite small but big enough if you know what I mean, the decor whilst tasteful is a little drab but the place was very clean.  We got there around 1 pm and it was pretty quiet but was nearly full when we left, let me tell you why.

The concept of Barracuda Restaurant like most fish restaurants is that you buy the fish, get it weighed and then sent off for cooking. The fish was beautifully displayed in a glass cabinet at the back of the restaurant. The types of cooking they offer are Singary, Lemon and Oil, Lemon and Oil Sizzling, Radda, Potatoes, Potatoes Shredded, fried or Tagine.  I decided to have the Lemon and Oil Sea Bream (53 dhs/490g) and my husband opted for the Sangary Sea Bass (75.00 dhs/625g).  Whilst they were off preparing this were presented with a small trolly of starters to choose from, all at 10 dhs a dish, we took some hommous and bread. The hommous was superb, real nutty flavour to it. 

We ordered a green salad (15 dhs) which was huge so if you do go make sure you order to share as one is too big for just one person, same with the french fries big enough to share.   Eventually (after 45 minutes) the fish arrived, it was well worth the wait, absolutely fabulous. I tried my husbands Singary, very tasty with just the right amount of spice. My Lemon and Oil was also amazing, I could actually taste the lemon through the fish.  The fish was also served with a side dish of tiny limes which complimented the dishes so well.

I noticed on their menu that they have a Seafood Mixed Grill which contains fish, three prawns, crab meat and grilled cuttlefish at just 105 dhs, I thought that was good value for money and will probably try that the next time we go.  They also had a calamari Pane, firm favourite of mine at just 35 dhs. Our total spend today came to 193 dhs.

Nothing more to say other than I have found myself a fabulous fish restaurant and can't wait to go back!!  I have uploaded some photos of our experience to my facebook page, click and like, thank you!


Barracuda Restaurant aren't on Twitter or Facebook but you can call them on 04 3940408

Following my experience at the SPICE media lunch I have a renewed appetite for trying new cuisines.  For months and months I have driven past a Korean Restaurant in Al Barsha and wondered what their food was like.  Yesterday family GA went along to experience Koreana.

The first thing that I noticed on entering Koreana was how bare it seemed, most restaurants here are amazingly well fitted with massive attention paid to interior design.  Koreana I rather suspect is typical of a traditional Korean restaurant, with its small dining areas and wooden tables. I loved the fact the plates didn't match, it was all rather quirky and I felt I wasn't only experiencing Korean food but the authenticity of a Korean restaurant too.

Obviously we didn't have the faintest idea what to order but that wasn't a problem, the Owner spotted us and came over to help us choose, we left it very much in her capable hands.  We started off with four small dishes, which is known as Panjang, they were potato, egg plant, kimchi and salad. Koreana also offers an extensive Japanese menu, another cuisine I am yet to try, I have to say the menu looked very interesting!

The two main courses that were chosen for us were Bulgoki and Buldal (I apologise if these aren't correct as the bill isn't too clear).  The Bulgoki was cooked at our table which was rather different.  It is a beef dish, they call it Korean BBQ but it was more of a stir fry in my eyes.  The beef was shredded and spiced and cooked in stock, and was served in lettuce wraps with garlic and chilli.  Very tasty and a different dining experience.

The Buldal was a chicken dish served on a bed of mozarella cheese, a rich dish of diced chicken in chilli and garlic and no doubt countless other spices that I have never heard of, it was very tasty and had a bit of a kick to it. 

The meal was finished off with a complimentary slice of watermelon and orange, which was lovely and refreshing.

All in all we enjoyed the Koreana experience and with a final bill of 153 dhs we can't complain about the price. You can find Koreana in Al Barsha, the best way I can describe it's location is near the Ibis Hotel and the new Al Zahra hospital that is still being built.

I have uploaded some pics onto the Facebook page which you can find here.

Enjoy!

Have you seen the well-to-do, up and down Park Avenue
On that famous thoroughfare, with their noses in the air
High hats and Arrowed collars, white spats and lots of dollars
Spending every dime, for a wonderful time
If you're blue and you don't know where to go to
Why don't you go where fashion sits,
Puttin' on the ritz


Well it started in 1906 and has continued ever since, the words The Ritz are synonymous with everything that involves style and luxury. The musical Puttin' on the Ritz (1930) was about dressing up in your best gear and having a good time.  Well I did exactly that earlier this week, thanks to the team at Explorer Publishing, who very kindly gave me a voucher for two for Afternoon Tea at the Ritz Carlton.  (I entered their UAE for Free competition).

I am no stranger to the Ritz Carlton and have held many a Birthday Afternoon Tea there over the years. The Ritz Carlton is a beautiful hotel, with the best dressed Concierges in Dubai.  The main thing that hits you when you enter their Lobby Lounge is the amazing ceiling and fabulous chandoliers that adorn it, just beautiful.

The Geordie One and I headed outside to the terrace, beautiful time of year for outside dining. There was a lovely breeze and the views, though not as good as they were pre The Palm are still very good.  Within minutes an attentive waitress arrived and we ordered our Afternoon Teas which seemed to turn up in seconds.  There is no way I can describe the three tiered cake stand and it's contents that will give it the justice it deserves, but let's just say when The Geordie One goes silent you know it's good!!!

A couple of hours later, and full of scones, jam and clotted cream we headed home where all I wanted to do was curl up on the sofa, no dinner was made that evening in Casa GA.

Thanks to Dubai Explorer and The Ritz Carlton for letting us experience what is without doubt the best Afternoon Tea in Dubai.  For those of you who are wondering, it's also excellent value for money at just 125 dhs a head.

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Over the weekend we decided to try out another Indian take-away that delivers in our area.  I am ashamed to say I have a huge folder of take-away menu's but pleased to confess that these days I very rarely use them.   I found a menu for Curry Box who are based in both Discovery Gardens and Business Bay.

I decided to have two starters instead of a main course, so ordered the Onion Bhaji and the Prawn Pakoras, the Bhaji's were superb but the Pakora didn't travel well and was a bit soggy by the time it got here, tasty nonetheless.   Atilla ordered the Chicken Kohlpuri was was fabulous, we ordered a couple of Naan Breads, Pappudom and plain rice, the total bill coming to 123 Dhs.  Good value for money and delivery was within the hour.   The food is delivered in a special box and packed beautifully.

Would I recommend giving them a try, yes I would.  I was rather amused when the bill arrived with my delivery address which said that I lived in Casablanket Villas!!  I also found it amusing that they had gone to the time to ensure their boxes had been printed up beautifully with their contact information but with the wrong Facebook domain!  I suppose we could say in the world of Social Media we are getting there ..... nearly.

I am however going to blatantly steal their tag line and say ... Get Curry'ed away!

Their correct facebook page can be found here.

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