Friday, December 20, 2013

Appam Paradise - Nalas Aappakadai

South Indian cuisine wasn't something that really excited me until I happened to try the appams at Nalas Aappakadai.

Getting straight to the point, the appams here are superb. I've tried out three variants of appams they have, i.e. the chicken appam, the paneer butter appam, the cheese appam. Honestly I can't decide which one of them was better than the other, because they all tasted so damn good. The appams were fluffy, soft and fresh and the toppings on them were to die for.

Cheese Appam with Chicken Chetinad

These appams taste best when accompanied with a gravy, hence I opted for the chicken chettinad and home-made chicken gravy. The chicken chettinad was very average, it should have been a tad bit spicier and the chicken should have been cooked a little longer, because it was a slightly rubbery. The home made chicken gravy was scrumptious and complimented the appams really well. 

Chicken Appam with Home made chicken gravy

I've also tried the chicken 65 and paneer chilly here which I did not like much. Neither of them were tender and were difficult to eat. So I figured appetizers isn't their thing.

Lastly I also tried out their chicken soup. The waiter had recommended this for my sore throat and not did it just taste delicious but also did wonders for my throat.

Chicken Soup

Moving on to their service, they are quick and alert. Also since both the times I went here, it was quite empty so we got all the possible attention and also fortunately missed out on the usual super loud 'ho-ha' that happens in an Indian restaurant.

It's not your typical cheap South Indian joint but the place is highly clean and quality is good.

Overall quite a good place. I highly recommend the appams, undoubtedly the best in town.

I would rate Nalas Aappakadai a 3.5/5

If you like this review and want regular updates, follow me on Twitter & Instagram

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Thai Ho!

You know there are days when you wake up with a major craving that simply HAS to be fulfilled. This was one such day when I woke up with a craving for some breath taking Thai food and it took me almost 2 whole hours to convince my family to accompany me to a Thai restaurant.

Thai is a cusine I absolutely love but unfortunately haven't experimented with much in Abu Dhabi. Hence, I decided to visit Royal Orchid a few days back. One ofthe few Thai restaurants situated in Abu Dhabi.

Royal orchid is a fancy Thai/Chinese restaurant located in Salam Street and is an absolute delight for a Thai Lover.

On entering, we were ushered to a table of four. The hospitality was superb and the staff seemed well informed and alert.

The waitress handed over the menu and like most times, I found myself internally struggling to keep from ordering everything, because it all sounded so damn good.

However I finally decided to go with Pan Fried Fish Cakes, Crispy Chicken, Crispy Baby Corn with chilly & spring onion for appetizers and Thai Red Curry and Pia Rad Prik in the main course.

Starting with the appetizers, Thai Fish Cakes which is a common street food in Thailand apparently, was
flavorful and isn't battered, hence the taste of the fish, spices, and herbs come through in a rather fresh manner. What surprised me was that these cakes were fresh out of the oil yet it still lacked the juiciness. It was served with Thai sweet chili sauce and a squeeze of lime juice.

Thai Fish Cakes

Moving on to the crispy chicken, this was decent. Not the best I've had but wasn't bad either.

Crispy Chicken 

Surprisingly amongst the appetizers what I liked the most was a vegetarian dish, the crispy baby corn with chili & spring onion, this was so aptly spiced and was so tender & fresh.

Crispy Baby Corn with Chili & Spring Onion

What was truly special was my entree, the Pia Rad Prik (Crispy baby hamoour in spicy tangy thai sauce) which was exquisitely presented, and tasted heavenly! It was spicy, steaming hot and not too heavy. They did not go overboard with the tanginess either. And the hamoour was so tender that it almost melted in your mouth.

Pia Rad Prik

Also my other main course dish i.e. the Thai Red Curry - Chicken, was spicy, scrumptious and the fragrance of the Thai herbs that arose from it just pulled me towards it. The ambiance is quite good. Good lighting and comfortable.

Thai Red Curry 

Royal Orchid doesn't dig a hole in your pocket. Aptly priced fine-dine. A meal for two would have you
lighter by Dhs. 130

Overall I had a great time here and would definitely recommend Royal Orchid.

I would give it a 4/5

If you liked this review and want regular updates; follow me on Twitter & Instagram

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Centro Al Manhal - Friday Brunch

Before I go ahead with my food review for Centro Al Manhal, I would like to *punch* myself for taking so LONG to put this up and being inactive on my blog.

But what's great is that, the memories from here are still fresh and that simply goes to show how much I enjoyed my brunch at Centro Al Manhal.

Centro Al Manhal which is located in Airport Road serves an extremely lavish buffet every Friday and hence a few friends and I decided to visit the place and give the food here a try.
The variety of cuisines they were serving absolutely amazed me. There was a little bit of everything. 

What I personally enjoyed was their chicken sheesh tawook and chicken tikka. Both these dishes were cooked very well, the chicken was tender and almost melted in my mouth. 
Also another fascinating thing about their buffet was their mini pancake maker, absolutely fell in love with the machine and the pancakes. I mean that's the dream right, a machine that makes food?
Honestly I'm the kind of person who judges a buffet by its desserts, if a brunch does not satisfy my sugar spot, it hasn't impressed me enough. But fortunately Centro Al Manhal had some simply outstanding cheese cakes, dutch truffle and tiramisu. There was also another arabic dessert that I tried here, I'm not too sure what it's called but I thoroughly enjoyed it. It appeared to look something similar to 'saiwya'

What I thought could have been better was their seafood, both appearance and taste wise too. Somehow that did not really appeal to my eyes nor my taste buds. 
But it was fun trying out octopus for the very first time, was quite tasteless and goeey.

The ambiance is soothing, it's a calm place to visit on the weekend for some good food and great free flowing wine for about AED 120, which is much lesser than what most other hotels charge.

The staff is extremely friendly and so is the chef, who personally came to our table and spoke to us about the food. 

Overall, I had a good time at Centro Al Manhal

I would rate it a 3/5

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


You automatically know a restaurant is brilliant when all the top Zomato reviewers have the best things to say about it. Hence Lazeez was on my To-Do list for a very long time and I finally decided to take my parents out for dinner here.

I had spent almost an hour on the Lazeez Zomato page, going through its menu and reviews before I could actually head there.

On arriving, we were quite pleased with the fact that the restaurant offers Valet service, since parking could be an issue.

Now unfortunately my first impression about this place wasn't that great, reason being, I disliked the interiors, the sad part is that it was noticeable how they had spent money on the interiors but yet failed to create something neat. The colours used were a mismatch and the accessories used looked slightly cheap, especially the place-mat.  

But we went upstairs, got ourselves seated and went through its extensive menu (which I had already read) and decided to call for Gosht Seekh Kebab, Machli Tikka Lasooni, Murgh Kastoori Kebab, Murgh Bharwan Seekh for appetizers and Murgh Lahori and Roomali Roti for main course. 

You know how they say first impression is the last impression, Lazeez proves that wrong and how, even though I was slightly negative about the place initially, the food changed it for me. Lazeez is truly a foodie’s paradise and I undoubtedly thought it was the best Indian food I had ever tried in Abu Dhabi. It literally blew our minds.

The Gosht Seekh Kebab was wonderfully spicy and juicy; the mutton mince was blended smoothly with the coriander and mint. The Machli lasooni tikka was succulent, yummy and absolutely tender. The Murgh Kasturi Kebab was boneless chicken marinated in some spices and curd, it was grilled in such a way that it melted in our mouth just like the lasooni tikka. But what truly stole the show was the Murgh Bharwan Seekh, this was chicken seekh stuffed with creamy filling of mint, cheese and coriander. This was an out of this world dish that you simply can't miss out on.

Mutton Seekh Kebab, Murgh Kastoori, Lasooni Tikka Machi

Murgh Bharwan Seekh

Moving on to the main course, the Murgh Lahori was boneless chicken pieces cooked with spicy masala and garlic/ tomatoes and red chily. The gravy was thick and luckily not too oily (as served in most other places) the chicken was tender and this dish would taste good with any sort of Indian bread.

Murgh Lahori

Lastly since I had heard a lot about the firni here, I decided to give this a try and absolutely loved it.

There was absolutely nothing I could complain about with regard to the food. It was a perfect 10/10.

The service was good; the server taking our order was friendly and helpful.

Overall the place was quite a huge hit, I decided to ignore the fact that I disliked the interiors and thoroughly enjoyed the food and shall definitely come back and recommend you all to try it out.

I would rate Lazeez a 4.5/5

If you enjoyed this review and want constant updates; follow me on Twitter & Instagram
Click to add a blog post for Lazeez on Zomato

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Oasis - If only the restaurant was as good as the band.

Oasis is a restaurant that was a favourite for my brother and I when we were kids and back in school, after which we shifted to India for a few years. We are both back to Abu Dhabi now and decided to go to Oasis yesterday for lunch and were quite excited about it because we had shared some great times here in the past and absolutely loved the food at one point of time.

Unfortunately we were not aware of the standard of the food deteriorating and falling down and decided to call for the Chicken Wanton, Chicken in Hot Garlic Sauce and Chicken Schezwan Noodles.

Starting with the chicken wanton, this was torturous; it was fried in oil that was probably years old. It wasn't crispy either. It made us feel sick and we left the entire plate as it was.

Chicken Wanton

Moving on to the main course i.e. the Schezwan Chicken Noodles and Chicken in Hot Garlic, this was dreadful too.  Not only did its appearance disappoint us but the food taste as well. The chicken used in the noodles seemed stale, the noodles weren't cooked well either. The chicken used in the gravy dish was very rubbery and was tough to even chew.

Chicken in Hot Garlic 

Chicken Schezwan Noodles

You know there are times something is wrong with the food but the friendly staff makes up for it to some extent? Here the staff as well seemed rather arrogant except for the two Indian restaurant managers I think.

The restaurant interiors are decent, not too bad. Area wise it’s huge though.

However I would definitely not recommend this place to anybody until they change their food quality and the staff brings alters their attitude.

I would rate this place a 1/5

If you would like to have constant updates on food and other random things, follow me on Instagram & Twitter

Monday, October 21, 2013

It's the time for Shawarma

My colleague and I had just got done with our meeting on Najda and were discussing where to grab a quick bite from and that's when my colleague suggested Shawarma Time, a place he had heard about recently.

When I heard the name 'Shawarma Time' I thought it would be a normal Arabic restaurant and Shawarma would just be one of their many dishes,  but little did I know that the restaurant only was a Shawarma specialist and were limited to just Shawarmas. 

Their menu isn't too cluttered but at the same time they have quite a few variants of shawarmas listed, such as Shawarma Wok, Mexican Bites, Shawarma Pizza, Shawarma Saj etc. Unfortunately most items that were listed were not available.

I tried out their original ‘Chicken Shawarma’ and the ‘Mexican Bite’.

The original Chicken Shawarma was quite good, the pita bread was fresh and the chicken stuffing was done generously.  Unfortunately I don’t have a photo of the shawarma but I do have a photo of the  way it was packaged which was quite cute.

The Chicken Shawarma

But what stole the show was the Mexican Bite, which was Mexican cheese bun that was stuffed with chicken shawarma, this was a unique concept and the bun was fresh and the chicken was juicy, an absolute treat to my tummy.

Mexican Bite 

The ambiance and interiors of Shawarma Time is bright, they have an open kitchen concept and they have also managed to have a small kids section. The colour scheme of the interiors is very similar to Zaatar W Zeit.

Open Kitchen 

Kids area

Both these dishes were priced at 15 AED each which is quite expensive for a Shawarma honestly, since you could instead get a tastier Shawarma from Lebanese flower for about 6 AED. But yes I would definitely recommend you to try out the Mexican Bite.

I would rate this place a 3.5/5

If you like this review and want to follow my regular updates, follow me on Twitter & Instagram

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Hot Plate

Are you craving for some Indianized Chinese food? Hot Plate is where you should be then.

I've been hearing about their food from quite some time now and finally decided to give this small desi Chinese like restaurant located in Mina Mall (Abu Dhabi)

Honestly I was quite excited about my experience here because it reminded me of all those days I spent in small Chinese restaurants like Discovery, Fire Bowl etc. back in Mumbai.

Coming to the food, I had called for the Chili Potato, Prawn Crackers, Thread Chicken, Sweet Corn Chicken Soup, Schezwan Egg Fried Rice and Singapore Chicken from their extensive menu which also includes Indian food.

I thoroughly enjoyed the sweet corn chicken soup which really helped my sore throat feel relief. 

Sweet Corn Chicken Soup

Coming to the starters, the thread chicken was way too threaded for me, because I honestly found it hard to even find the chicken amidst the fried noodles. Thankfully the fried noodles tasted decent. But it was the chilly potato that I absolutely loved, this was perfectly prepared and though I initially laughed at my friend who called for this dish and argued with her to call for another non-veg starter instead,  it was definitely a treat to my taste-buds and much recommended.

Chili Potato 

Thread Chicken

Moving on to the main course, the schezwan egg fried rice was average; however there was no flaw in it as such that I can prominently point out. The Singapore chicken on the other hand was really good as the chicken was well spiced and tender.

Schezwan Egg Fried Rice 

Singapore Chicken

Also for me, prawn crackers almost invariably taste brilliant if it’s accompanied with the right sauce and thankfully Hot Plate serves great chilli sauce.

Prawn Crackers 

Location wise, this place is slightly odd as it’s located in Mina Mall and I believe not too many people visit the mall any more.

As far as the ambiance is concerned, it’s simple and not very clean. Which is definitely the major downfall of this place, they really need to make the
restaurant slightly more hygienic and clean.

Lastly the staff was friendly and was good with their service.

I would rate this restaurant a 3/5

If you liked this review and want to follow my regular updates, follow me on Twitter & Instagram

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Alouette je te plumerai

Alouette is a French restaurant known for their crepes and surprisingly I'm not here to review their crepes, because I haven't tried them yet but intend to soon. But then again Alouette is not just about its crepes, it also had a wide range of other dishes inclusive of salads, waffles, Parisian fries and some breath taking drinks.

This place is absolutely mesmerizing and it's almost impossible to not fall in love with it at first sight due to its beautiful interiors. Alouette is filled with Eiffel tower replicas and other peculiar things you would see in Italy which makes this place a perfect location for a first date, different story that I went here alone twice. #ForeverAloneMoment.

But well coming back to Alouette, I recently went here during my lunch break to sip on some hot coffee since I had a bad throat ache and since Alouette also sells Starbucks coffee. But then I happened to see an Arab lady being offered one of the most appealing and fancy drink ever, however I wasn't sure what it was and inquired about it and told him to get it right away.

The fancy drink I had called for was a cotton candy lemonade drink, who would have ever thought of a drink like this?

The Cotton Candy Lemonade Drink

I absolutely loved the cotton candy and the refreshing drink, but what I probably LOVED was the glass. The Eiffel tower glass was absolutely adorable.

Also the last time I came here I remember trying out the cheese bolognese fries, which was so appetizing and was literally overflowing with cheese. The quantity was great too; it took 3 of us to finish it.

The staff here is quite friendly and I love their outfits.

Alouette is slightly expensive but it's a brilliant place to visit once in a while, especially since it’s hard to find such places in Abu Dhabi.   

Also have a look at their super cute feedback form in which I attempted to draw my cotton candy drink. Yep, drawing is clearly not my thing.

The Feedback Form

I'm definitely going to head back here soon and try out their crepes.

I would rate this place a 4/5

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step"

We have all read about various inspirational stories and how people have gone through hardships to reach where they are today. Similarly, I met this one young man last night who has been in Abu Dhabi for the past 6 years working as a security guard for a company, he definitely had it in him to take that single step and undertake the risk of starting up something of his own only because of his strong determination.

I know so many people who are quite well to do and yet hesitate before opening up something due to the fear of loss but this man, Mr. Taiyab thought otherwise and started a refreshment shop called ALWAN refreshment shop.

This isn't exactly a restaurant review, I was just quite pumped up on hearing his story and how he opened up this refreshment shop and thought of sharing it.

But I did try the thai chicken wrap which was quite good and more importantly fresh unlike Sea Shells (The most dominated refreshment shop in Abu Dhabi)

It’s a very small place but he also mentioned how he plans on buying the store besides his refreshment shop and expanding it. However I would definitely recommend this place for people working and staying in Khalifa Street/ Salam Street, you can always place an order on 02 - 6713090

Let’s all help make this ambitious man’s dream come true.

Monday, September 23, 2013

La Passion Cafe

La Passion Cafe
La Passion Cafe has been on my mind since the past 1 month. Though I honestly wouldn't even know about this place had it not been for the voucher I was gifted, reason being, it’s located in Reem Island and I haven't really discovered much in Reem Island as yet.

In fact I also tried visiting this place about 2 weeks back but ended up losing my way and did not reach the destination. Finally last weekend I decided to go here and try out Moroccan cuisine for the very 1st time with my family.

The manager of the outlet recommended the buffet they were serving, but that did not seem to impress either of my family members and hence we decided to go with a la carte. We ordered for chicken breast in mushroom sauce, chicken tagine, seafood tagine and brochettes chicken.

Tagine, I believe is referred to as a pot which is served with a semi-gravy dish. The chicken tagine was marinated in lemon and olives. This was very appetizing, however it wasn’t boneless (And just a reminder, I can’t stand chicken with bone)

Chicken Tagine

As for the seafood tagine, this was basically fish tagine and the fish was so soft that it almost melted in my mouth. The spices used in this dish tasted very Indian and masale-dar, in fact what’s funny is that my mom thought it tasted exactly like this ‘Punjabi Machli’ she has had before.  But nonetheless, it was flavorsome.

Fish Tagine

Moving on to the Chicken in Mushroom Sauce and Chicken Brochettes, both these dishes had one thing in common; they lacked tenderness, it was almost impossible to break the chicken into pieces. The mushroom sauce was mouth-watering and really blended well with the chicken. The chicken brochette on the other hand could have been a little juicier.

Chicken Brochette

Chicken in Mushroom Sauce

We also ended our meal with Moroccan tea that was simply out of this world and was one of the best I have ever had.

Mr. Taib pouring the Moroccon tea

The interior of this place is slightly random but not bad either, it's like any other ordinary cafe in a mall. In fact the mall this is located in, i.e. the Boutik mall is filled only with cafes.

The manager Mr. Taib was attending to us and he was extremely sweet and friendly. He also spoke to us quite a bit about Moroccan food and culture.

The prices are average; it’s about 45 - 50 per dish.

Overall it was quite a good experience trying out this new cuisine.

I would rate this place a 3.5/5

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Camacho Guido - A unique combination.

Who would have ever thought a restaurant would serve Italian and Japanese cuisine together? Camacho Guido definitely did think that way and came up with this unique concept of serving both these brilliant cuisines together.

I had never heard about this place until 17th august which is also my birthday when my friend and I were craving Arabic food and decided to go to Sheesh Shawarma which was really packed that day and hence we thought of entering Camcho Guido.

We absolutely loved the interiors of this fine-dine and immediately thought of the place as an expensive joint but this wasn't the case, the food here was quite reasonable.

I believe most people were here for the sushi but unfortunately I'm not a fan and decided to go for Italian and called for their Mexican Pizza, this was undoubtedly one of the best pizzas I had ever had. The toppings included red chilly, sweet coconut chilly, cheese, jalapenos and grilled chicken. This thin crust pizza literally melted in my mouth. This is suitable for 2 people.

Mexican Pizza

I had also ordered for the raspberry smoothie here, which was very refreshing and tasted quite good.

Raspberry Smoothie and another smoothie that my friend had called for.
I was really glad to stumble upon Camacho and shall definitely visit the place soon to try out their other dishes.

The staff here was quite friendly and as I already mentioned before the prices are quite reasonable and the interiors are beautiful.

I would rate this place a 4.5./5.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Rolls N Rice

Rolls N Rice is literally a stone throw away from my office and hence I almost treat this as my pantry and have food from here very often.

It’s also one of the very few affordable restaurants in the vicinity since it’s located at Al Nahyan camp which is a commercial hub; most restaurants situated here are quite overpriced.

Coming to the food, it's not one of those restaurants with 200 options on their menu, they have about 8 - 10 options in their main course and about the same in the rolls section which makes it easier for one to come to a decision.

Unfortunately I haven't tried out the rolls yet but tried out quite a few other things such as Tarragon Chicken, Laban Chicken, Spicy Grilled Fish, Fish in Tahina and their mixed platter.

I can't really tell you what is good and what's not here, because honestly everything I've had here is really good.

However I can advise you that if you're a fan of spicy food then you should opt for Tarragon Chicken and if spicy isn't your thing you should stick to Chicken Laban which is basically grilled chicken in laban (yogurt) and herbs. Unlike most other places their laban chicken wasn't dry thankfully.

Tarragon Chicken

Chicken Laban
What I would really recommend here is the spicy grilled fish, I absolutely love this, this is glazed with spicy marinade and is extremely juicy.

Spicy Grilled Fish

Also similarly if you aren't a fan of spicy food, opt for the fish in tahina which is grilled fish in a garlic-lemon-tahina sauce, which tastes a little tangy.

All these dishes are accompanied with saffron rice and mashed potato. I don't really like the mashed potato here though so I always exchange that for its fries.

Moving on to the mixed platter consists of spring rolls, mozzarella sticks and potato wedges. Each appetizer is better than the other and the sweet chilly sauce and mozzarella sauce that comes along with it, compliments it really well.

Mixed Platter
It's not a very huge place though and can probably accommodate only 20 - 25 people and hence gets a little cramped up when it’s crowded.

As much as I like their friendly and welcoming staff, their service is quite slow and the food takes longer than usual to arrive.

Also if you're a fan of 60's music, you would have a good time here with their music collection.The also have free WiFi.

Lastly I love how they have a milkshake on their menu named after a girl who sent her recipe for a competition they had on their Facebook page. 

I would rate this place a 4.5/5.

Click to add a blog post for Rolls n Rice on Zomato