Friday, August 30, 2013

The unexpected has happened; The Anorexic hog is reviewing a vegetarian restaurant.

As a true Mumbaikar I was super excited about trying out Salam Bombay because I had heard a lot about it from a few friends who literally live here during their lunch break.

Thankfully they opened a branch right next to my office in Al Nahyan, which I personally think was a great move from their side because if you have visited their other branch in Salam Street it is filled with ADCB and other banks crowd at all times and similarly here there is an ADCB bank right besides Salam Bombay and more over the entire area is a commercial area. I’ve also heard they are opening a branch in Mussafah very soon.

Now getting to the food I’ve tried out a few things here, starting with their Paneer Tikka. Salam Bombay takes, 'teekha banana' to a whole new level, I almost had smoke coming out of my ears (as seen in cartoons) but no seriously, my face had turned red. It definitely tasted really good, but their thick level of red chilly powder around the Paneer made it very little difficult to have it after 3 pieces.

Paneer Tikka 

 I’ve also tried out the Paneer Cheese K Seekh but unfortunately the Paneer wasn't as soft as it should have been and tasted very average and similarly the Dahi Puri I tried out very recently was very ordinary too, hence you can definitely give both these items a miss. If you’re craving delicious Dahi Puri,i I would recommend Chappan Bhog.

Dahi Puri

Paneer Cheese K Seekh

Next moving on to to their Chole Bhature, this was absolutely amazing. The Bhature are huge and the chole are spicy, make sure you ask for the green chutney for some extra flavor. I would definitely recommend this.
Similar to the Chole Bhature, another brilliant dish I would recommend here is the Pao Bhaaji, it reminded of the brilliant Pao Bhaaji I used to have in Mumbai at Bhagwati (Kandivali)

Pao Bhaaji

Salam Bombay is the most renowned for, it's ‘Vada Pav’ (the Indian burger) There is a huge hype in Abu Dhabi for the brilliant Vada Pav served by Salam Bombay, but all that is for a reason, the reason is the vada pav is actually outstanding, it takes you right to a small street vendor on the busy streets of Mumbai.
Lastly unfortunately they don't have too many options in desserts, but I remember trying out the Rabbadi in the other branch which tasted a little stale.

Salam Bombay

Talking about the interiors, you would find nice bright green walls with some huge posters of famous places in Mumbai and for some odd reason they have a London tube station board saying chaat counter, but I think they were trying to make it like one of those Mumbai station sign boards.
Also even though I haven't tried the Veg Lolypop and Tandoori Platter, I’ve heard it’s brilliant.
I would rate this place a 3/5

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Zaatar W Zeit

Zaatar W Zeit has a very unique, or as we Indians would say 'Hatke' concept, it's a blend of Lebanese and Italian food. 

The menu comprises of salads, wraps, pizzas and a few appetizers. I tried out two variations in the pizza and two variations in the wraps.

To start off with the pizza, I called for the Ultimate Cheese Pizza and Chicken Barbeque Pizza. 

The ultimate cheese was a complete delight for a cheese lover like me; it was smothered in 4 cheese and oregano. There wasn't too much of tomato sauce thankfully. The crust was thin and crispy. This was priced for 33 Dirham’s.

Ultimate Cheese Pizza

Moving on to the BBQ Chicken Pizza, this obviously was loaded with barbeque sauce along with chicken that was very well cooked, mushrooms, green pepper, onions and cheddar and mozzarella cheese. Here again the crust was brilliant. Also I think it would be safe for me to say that it was one of the best BBQ chicken pizza's I've had. This was priced for 42 Dirham’s.

BBQ Chicken Pizza

The quantity of the pizza is suitable for 2 people.

Next we have the Wraps; we called for the Baked Falafel Wrap and the Spizy Chicken Wrap (and no that isn’t a typo for spicy) I'm usually not a fan of spending 30 Dirham’s or so on a wrap when I can have a main course for around the same price, but thought might as well give it a try.

Starting with the Spizy Chicken, this was basically marinated chicken with bell pepper, spinach, onions, melted cheese and a spicy sauce on top. The sauce was very mild, it was barely spicy, or maybe that's just the Punjabi in me talking. But the melted cheese was extremely breath taking. This was for 33 Dirham’s.

Spizy Chicken Wrap

Lastly the Baked Falafel Wrap which was a delicately spiced falafel mix seasoned with sesame syrup topped with parsley, tomatoes, turnip, radish and mint. I think it was absolutely bizarre for my friend to pay 22 Dirham’s on a falafel wrap, you could get almost 70 falafels for that (just saying) anyhow coming back to the wrap, it was no doubt good, it was minced falafel with all the right sauces complimenting it, but not sure I would want to spend that much on falafel. (I could be a little too judgmental sometimes)

Baked Falafel Wrap

The common factor between both the wraps was that it was really filling. 

The ambiance of the place is like any other fast-food joint, but their prices are slightly more than a casual fast food restaurant. Also since I visited the branch on Salam Street there were no tables catering for larger groups. But for that you could always visit the branch at Abu Dhabi Mall. 

What I absolutely adore about Zaatar W Zeit is that, it is one of those very few brands who go all out with Social Media presence and that has also helped them create such a strong brand identity.

Overall  it was a great experience, I would definitely recommend the place and looking forward to visiting Zatar W Zeit soon. 

I would give it a 4/5

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Una comida deliciosa

Now that you’re done google translating the blog-post title, let’s get to the review :D

Out of the various things I miss in Mumbai, one of them has got to be Sammy Sosa (A Mexican restaurant located in Oshiwara) apart from the amazing Mexican food they serve; this place has too many memories attached to it as well. Moreover I have tried several other Mexican restaurants in Mumbai as well but absolutely disliked those.

Surprisingly the first Mexican restaurant I visited in Abu Dhabi turned out to be a mind-blowing experience. Cantina Laredo located in Khalidiya Mall, is all about tortillas, enchiladas, nachos and margaritas.

A friend of mine was celebrating his birthday and decided to have a small dinner gathering here and on just hearing the cuisine Cantina serves, I was absolutely thrilled. Any food that is served with over-flowing cheese automatically gets my mouth watering.

We called for Laredo Fries, Pollo Chipotle and Chicken Fajita. It must have been the very first time I visited a Mexican restaurant and did not call for Nachos or Quesadillas.

I had also called for a Sangria Swirl which was a traditional Mexican frozen lime cocktail swirled with sangria. Thankfully for this one time, the taste of the lime wasn't overshadowing the sangria taste.

They also had Mango Lassi in their drinks section which was quite funny for a Mexican restaurant to have. I was almost convinced to try it out but decided against it thankfully.

Moving on to the Laredo Fries which were Mexican style fries smothered in chili con queso and melted mixed cheese, topped with taco meat and sour cream. So this pretty much tasted like Nachos, but obviously the nachos were replaced by Fries. The meat was very well cooked. Even though this was considered to be an appetizer, it was very filling.

Next we had the Pollo Chipotle which was basically grilled chicken breast topped with a creamy smokey chipotle pepper sauce and melted Monterey jack cheese. This was so full of flavour and even though I absolutely love cheese, we all know an over-dosage of it in a dish can spoil the taste, but this has the right amount which made it extremely tasty.

Lastly the Chicken Fajita which was chicken that was warmly served in a sizzling skillet with grilled onions and peppers. It was served with flour tortillas, sour cream, pico de gallo and guacamole. This again did taste quite good, not the best I've ever had however.

I would definitely recommend the Laredo Fries and Pollo Chipotle. If you're a fan of Mexican food, you are sure to fall in love with Cantina.

The staff here was friendly and also almost convinced us that they serve liquor but just to see our reaction. They knew their food well; our waiter also served us guacamole that he made live on our table itself which complimented the free tortilla chips we were served.

The ambiance is elegant, a good fine dining restaurant. However the place was rather empty when we went.
It is no doubt slightly expensive, but I personally think it was totally worth the experience we had here.

Overall nachos nahi khaya par khaana khake nachne ka man zarur kiya (Sorry, my post in incomplete without a PJ)

I would rate this place a 4/5

Sunday, August 4, 2013

A pleasant surprise..

If you want to surprise your taste buds with some good, wait let me correct that, BRILLIANT Chinese food you should definitely visit Shanghai Surprise.

I have been here quite a few times when I was back in school and finally visited this place a few weeks back after shifting to Abu Dhabi and I was just praying the food quality hadn't deteriorated. But much to my surprise, it had just got better, much better.

On getting seated at Shanghai Surprise, you’re welcomed with a bowl of complimentary Prawn crackers which are absolutely delicious to munch on, especially with the dipping that accompanies it.

Prawn Crackers

We ordered for Fish Hakka which is basically Hakka recipe of fish cubes stir fried with garlic, ginger and chili. This was recommended by the staff. The fish was very soft and was quite spicy, which made it taste all the more better.

Fish Hakka

Apart from that we called for Steamed Chicken Dimsums which was served hot and it almost melted in my mouth. It also had the right amount of Chicken stuffing in it.

Chicken Dimsum

The last appetizer was Chicken Satay, which is chicken on satay skewers, this is served with peanut sauce. It is presented in a mini barbecue, so it’s obviously really hot. Above it lie five enticing pieces of chicken. Also surprisingly unlike the previous times I've had this, it was quite spicy which is exactly how I love my food.

Chicken Satay

As far as the main course is concerned, we decided to stick to the basics and just called for Chicken Fried Rice and Kung Pao Chicken. The Kung Pao Chicken was sweet/spicy gravy with chicken cubes and garnished with peanuts. This was simple, yet tasty and the Chicken Fried rice tasted excellent as well.

Kung Pao Chicken

We had also ordered for Wine, and honestly I can't really say anything much about wine, because I can never judge the difference of 1 wine from another. But well, it tasted good.


Since it was my dad’s birthday dinner, the Shanghai Surprise team also brought in a complimentary cake slice with a candle and wished him, which was a really sweet gesture.

My dad fascinated with the candle

The staff here is a mixture of Indians, Nepalese and Chinese and each one is friendlier than the other. They undeniably know how to treat their guests flawlessly.

The Staff 

The Kitchen

Shanghai Surprise is clearly not as cheap as Oasis, Kawloon (other Chinese restaurants in Abu Dhabi) but then again here you’re talking about a classy fine dining Chinese restaurant  and for that and the food quality Shanghai Surprise serves, it is certainly worth the price they serve it for.

I would rate this place a 5/5

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