Monday, November 10, 2014

Weekend Perfection - Taste of Abu Dhabi

Personally my idea of a perfect weekend involves good food, music and a few drinks never hurt, right? *wink wink* However, unfortunately Abu Dhabi does not have too many events that I could boast about which excels at all three simultaneously.

So I was instantly jumping with joy when I initially read about "Taste of Abu Dhabi" and couldn't wait for the first week of November.

Before I get into details about my experience at Taste of Abu Dhabi, let me give you a gist of what Taste of Abu Dhabi actually is, it’s a three-day food carnival featuring 18 of Abu Dhabi's best fine-dining restaurants, which offered mini-samples of 4 popular dishes off their menus. Also the cuisines were diverse; it ranged from Lebanese to Indian, Chinese to Italian.

So I decided to go there on Saturday with a few friends, and take my word on this, this event was way more than just food, it almost convinced me that I was not in Abu Dhabi, but in some European country. The food, the ambiance, the crowd, the music, it was all impeccable.

My favourites from the various mini samples I tried out were, Caramel’s TNT shrimp, Avasa's Chicken Tikka, Villa Toscana’s Spinach & Ricotta Ravioli, Holland Mini Pancakes with Nutella and the Oreo and White Chocolate Doughnut from Love Doughnuts.

  • TNT Shrimp from Caramel - The TNT Shrimps were four extremely good looking, big crispy prawns topped with mayo and it was also a tad bit spicy, in a good way. It reminded me of the dynamite shrimps from P.F.Changs which is something I can swear by.

TNT Shrimp 

  • Chicken Tikka from Avasa - There were about 4 Indian restaurants at Taste of Abu Dhabi, but the winner hands down was Avasa, judging by the crowd gathered around the Avasa stall at all times. The chicken tikka was extremely well done; tender & juicy. It was marinated in red chili & mint, also the quantity of this dish was far better than most dishes served at Taste of Abu Dhabi, and hence it was a clear hit.

Chicken Tikka Counter 

  • Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli from Villa Toscana - Someone rightly said, don’t judge a book by its cover, the Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli failed to impress our eyes, but definitely created magic on meeting our taste buds. The quantity is less, but this pasta pocket stuffed with spinach, cream and cheese is definitely recommended.

Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli 

  • Holland Mini Pancakes with Nuttela - My friend who is a recent Amsterdam return would shoot me down had I not tried out the Holland Mini Pancakes, because this is 1 place she has been raving about ever since she had gotten back. Initially I was rather shocked on seeing how tiny the pancakes were but the second I put the pancakes in my mouth, it literally melted and there I was smiling like a little child delighted with her candy.
Holland Mini Pancakes with Nutella 

  • Oreo & White Chocolate Doughnut from Love Doughnut - Love Doughnuts had a lot of options to choose from, but I couldn’t possible resist the temptation to pick a doughnut with two of my favourite ingredients, Oreo and White Chocolate i.e. and I’m glad I listened to my heart and went ahead with this because I absolutely loved it. It was fresh and fortunately not extra sweet.

There was no time to click a picture of the doughnut :D 

So yes, that was a short, ok maybe not short, but yes a review of my favourite dishes at the Taste of Abu Dhabi. Also do note that each dish was priced between 15 – 35 Dhs.

However like I said earlier, this event was more than just food, there were stalls by Zomato  Reserve Out and SPG Hotels that caught our attention along with the fantastic band that was performing here, courtesy McGettingan’s

A tiny video I tried taking of the band performance 

Zomato had some extremely fun games at their counter like Food Pictionary, Kidney Bean Sucker - where one had to basically suck the kidney bean by the straw to an empty bowl for a minute and another game where one had to blindfoldedly separate the safety pins from a rice bowl. Oh and they were kind enough to give away restaurant vouchers and witty posters!

Reserve Out and SPG Hotels on the other hand was perfect for photo lovers like me, I’m sure the pictures below shall explain why.

Lastly there were also a lot of celebrity chefs like Jun Tanaka, Jenny Morris & Eric Lanlard who were not just seen giving cooking lessons and tips to the visitors but also were roaming around the event and were seen posing for selfies with a lot of their fans.

All in all, a lovely event and also a little birdie told me that they might just come back with it again in February, let’s hope that’s true. 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

I liked it so I put a "Ring" on it : Buffalo Wings & Rings

I've had several restaurant reviews piled up in my head and on some random notepad files on my computer. So I thought I would start off with a relatively new restaurant I tried out recently, i.e. Buffalo Wings & Rings.

So we were 3 girlfriends catching up after a while and 1 of them had read about Buffalo Wings & Rings on the interent and suggested the place to us.

Buffalo Wings & Rings has a simple yet fun ambiance to it. The adorable bucket lamps hanging above each table caught my attention. Also I've to mention that the Punjabi in mean almost jumped on reading the tagline of the restaurant, that read, "Eat, Drink & Talk loudly" exactly what a Punjabi lives for, right? :D

Yup, that's what I'm talking about ;) 

The staff was extremely friendly and well informed about the food they served.

After a long debate on what to order, between my friends and I, we finalized and placed an order for 3 dishes, namely, Buffalo Chicken Quesadilla, Nachos Supreme and Boneless Chicken Wings.

The service was quite prompt and we got our food within 10 - 12 minutes of ordering.

The Buffalo Chicken Quesadillas stuffed with grilled chicken was medium spicy but extremely juicy, just the way a quesadilla should be, also fortunately, it wasn't over-loaded with tomatoes.

Buffalo Chicken Quesadillas 

Moving on to the Nachos, the tortillas were stuffed with grilled chicken coated with spicy sauce, tomatoes, onions and was lavishly laden with cheese & topped with sour cream, as seen in the picture below.

Nachos Supreme

Lastly, the much awaited chicken boneless wings were what actually blew our minds, because one, I absolutely relish on chicken wings, but somehow I prefer boneless chicken so I was quite glad that they had a boneless option. But getting back to the taste, we had opted for the crazy sauce which was extra spicy and juicy. This was accompanied by bleu cheese, which complimented the chicken wings.

Also do note that there are 5 other flavours to choose from, such as, Garlic Parmesan, Cheese, Lemon Peppar, Teriyaki, Roasted Garlic and Sweet BBQ.

Buffalo Chicken Wings - Picture Courtesy - Zomato

Now that we were impressed with the food we had called for and were done patting our backs with the decision made with regard to what we had ordered, we managed to find some space in our tummy and called for the strawberry cheesecake, which hit our sweet spot bang on.

Strawberry Cheesecake

The icing on the cake was that the place was pocket friendly & each dish was for about 35 Dhs.

I'm sure you know it already, but yes #TheAnorexicHog totally recommends Buffalo Wings & Rings.

I would rate it a 4/5

P.S. The filmy in me always manages to find a Bollywood reference to my post, so jisko khaana nahi mila woh jaake apni "Bhens" charaaye. Get it? No? #kthxbai

Buffalo Wings & Rings Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato