Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Indigo - Beach Rotana



Over the past 1 week, I've sat down to write this review several times, but everytime I would complete a line or two, I would erase whatever I had written, simply because, I needed to do complete justice to Indigo by writing a review as spectacular as my experience there. 

Indigo is the perfect fine dining experience serving Indian food, located at Beach Rotana (TCA) which in itself is a plus, because most other fine dining Indian restaurants are situated in Yas, which is slightly far from the city.


A colleague and I were invited by the head chef of Indigo, Nitin Raheja for lunch last weekend and we had gladly obliged. But back then, we had zero idea of what was coming our way, because had we known, we would have definitely skipped dinner the previous night and breakfast too. 

Food? Going by what I've written above, I'm sure you've guessed that we were literally bombarded with food at Indigo, but hey, who in their right frame of mind would ever complain about free food? Wait let me rephrase that, who in their right frame of mind would complain about free fabolous food, wow 'F3' (random observation, you may ignore and move on with reading this review)

At Indigo, there was no discrimination between food, right from being served Mumbai Street Food to Punjabi Parathe, Hyderabadi Biryani to Assamese Dumplings (Momos) we were to experiment it all. 

What we tried? Dahi Bhalla, Assamese Dumpling (Momos), Teekhe Tandoori Aalu, Non Veg Platter (Chicken Seekh Kebab, Mutton Seekh Kebab , Fish Tikka, Mutton Tunday Kabab & Jhinga Til Tinka) and the mini Veg Platter (Hara Bhara Kabab and Tandoori Stuffed Mushroom), Alu Parathe, Puri Choley, Keema Pao, Ande Ki Burjhi, Lamb Biryani. *PHEW*

Honestly not trying to over-sell the place, but genuinely I quite liked everything I tried, barring the fish tikka (which wasn't as tender as I expected it to be) and the Lamb Biryani. 

My top 5 favourite dishes from what I tried would be -

1) Chicken Keema Pao - 
Chicken keema with Pao has mostly been a street-style dish, so it was a pleasant surprise to see this being served at a Fine Dine restaurant. The Chicken Keema is minced chicken curry prepared with tomatoes and onions and this is served with pao. This was by far the best Chicken Keema Pao I've ever had, it was literally mouth-watering. I was almost convinced to call for a second round, inspite of having so much food on our table already. 



2) Chicken Seekh Kebab - Succelent spiced chicken mince, skewered and cooked over charcoal. The seekh kebabs were spot on, tender, spicy and flavourful. Definitely got my taste buds tingling. (always thought to myself, if the Britannia ad was inspired by the word tingling, you know like, ting ting tiding) 
 

3) Mutton Tunday Kabab - Minced Lamb Tikkis mixed with spices and green chillies. It has a super soft paste like texture from the inside. The kababs are unmissable spicy and have a smokey excellent taste to it. 

The Platter (Jhinga Til Tinka, Chicken Seekh Kebab, Mutton Tunday Kabab)

4) Jhinga Til Tinka - These gigantic prawns literally call you towards it and don't you dare make the mistake of giving it a miss. The Jhinga Til Tinka are basically king prawns, coated with bread crumbs and sesame seeds which is then marinated with aromatic spices. Even though I have had sesame prawn toast several times, this was the first time I had tried Jhinga Til Tinka (I like the sound to this)


5)Teekhe Tandoori Aalu - As the name suggests, this was chili potato, which was not just spicy but also had this tamarind flavor to it, which made a dish as simple as this so scrumptious.



Also a special mention to the Chicken Dumplings (Momos) which were quite good, but yet not the best I've had.




Honestly post this meal I was sure that I would have to drop the 'Anorexic' from my blog name, because I had eaten so much that I was actually contemplating unbuttoning my jeans (but trust me, I didn't, I survived) 

Also after being served lavishly with all this food, we were also convinced by the Chef to try out their special ginger icecream and their 'sau meel ki chai' which I kept hearing as Saumil and was wondering to myself, who exactly is Saumil? But well, in my defence I was slightly sleep deprived.

This was the 1st time I was trying out either, the ginger icecream as well the sau meel ki chai. All it took was one bite of the icecream and 1 sip of the chai, for me to fall in love with both. Also for all those who don't know the reason behind it being called the 'Sau Meel Ki Chai' it is because travellers in the North side would have this during their long drives (100 miles and more, thus the name)

This chai was served in an extremely fascinating tea pot which infact was also used as a decorative piece at Indigo and it sure did enhance the place.


Ambiance? The interiors are quite fancy and classy, and the restaurant has a good mix of Indian and Firang crowd. 


Cost? We didn't really have to pay for our meal but yes it is heavy on the pocket and is not suitable for a casual dinner, but is a great option for any sort of celebration (birthday, anniversary, appraisal at work) If its the third option, kindly drop me a comment with your HR's email ID ;)

Service? The staff was well trained and friendly and so is their head chef, Nitin Raheja who made it a point to visit every single table at the restaurant, and it came as no surprise, to over-hear all those praises for him. 

Absolutely loved my experience at Indigo, looking forward to going back soon. I  would rate it a 4.5/5
  
P.S. Did I mention they also serve alcohol? Go NOW!    


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Sunday, April 12, 2015

What a Bun-tastic place!


Like seriously, who goes to a restaurant that serves only buns? Everybody apparently, apart from me. 

However like they say, it's better late, than never. 

My friend and I were awfully bored, barely hungry, but wanted to kill an hour somewhere, hence decided to head to Pappa Roti at Abu Dhabi Mall

On getting seated, we were handed over the menu and I decided to call for a Cheese Bun while my friend wanted to play it safe and stuck to the plain bun. 

We had the option to opt for a meal, where in we could add a hot / cold beverage to accompany our bun, but, we stuck to just ordering the buns. 

The plain bun was extremely fresh, soft and crispy from the outside and buttery and sweet from the inside. However I personally preferred the cheese bun, as the cheese complimented the bun extremely well and as soon as I had a bite of the cheese bun, I realized the hype behind Pappa Roti. 






Now as much as I enjoyed the buns from Pappa Roti, I would like to request them to probably re-do their restaurant, as the chairs/ sofa seemed slightly worn out.

Each bun is priced for around, 11 AED which is absolutely worth it. 

The service was good, they did take a while to bring us the buns, but that's simply because they like to serve it fresh. 

I would rate Pappa Roti a 4/5 






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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Gazebo - Delma Mall


I always thought that there was absolutely no way one could ever convince me to travel all the way to Mussafah for a meal; but my parents did successfully manage to induce me to join them for lunch at Delma Mall – Musaffah and I’m so glad they did.

Now Gazebo is extremely popular in Dubai and they have quite a few branches there but this is their first branch in Abu Dhabi, not too sure why they opted for Delma Mall but it’s a good start nonetheless.

On reaching half-way to Mussafah, we decided to call up Gazebo and book a table, hence on arrival; we were instantly given a private cubicle which is nice for a quiet family get together.




Once we were seated, we were immediately handed over the menu by the server; however we got slightly distracted because of their interactive table mat, which had random chicken jokes and facts on them along with a few games.







However eventually we did place our order for the following,

Chicken Chatpata Kebab & Murg BharwanSeekh

Chicken Chatpata Kebab is basically boneless chicken cubes marinated in a hot and sour sauce, which could come across flavored as a charcoal barbeque kebab, but that's not what it is and I honestly don't remember when was the last time I had a Chicken Chatpata Kebab of such fineness.

Murgh Bharwan Seekh is basically seekh made from cardamom scented chicken mince stuffed with creamy filling of mint and coriander. I’ve tried this previously at Lazeez in Abu Dhabi and thought there could NEVER EVER be something remotely as tasty as the Murgh Bharwan at Lazeez, but then let’s just say Gazebo happened.

Chicken Chatpata Kabab and Murgh Bharwan Seekh 



Gosht Galawati Kebab

The Gosht Galawati Kabab is minced lamb which is mixed with spices, green chillies and coriander and eventually formed into a tikki. Believe me when I say this, the tikki was so tender, that it literally split into few pieces on being touched delicately by the spoon, which is also why it was served on a Reshmi Paratha. The taste was spot-on and inspite of not being a huge fan of lamb, I was literally blown away by this dish.

P.S. I've been literally dreaming about it, ever since.

Gosht Galawati Kebab 



 Murgh Lahori

You know my family has a very typical behaviour when it comes to ordering a main-course dish at an Indian restaurant, it always starts off with my mom suggesting butter chicken, which is then shunned down by the rest of us since we all prefer something spicy instead, post which we have a 10 minute long discussion to finalize upon what gravy to order, but we being the indecisive kinds, we always end up asking the server to recommend a red gravy based spicy chicken dish, and the 1st name he suggests is what we ALWAYS end up ordering for. At Gazebo, it perhaps was the lucky day of the "Murgh Lahori Chicken"

The Murgh Lahori was basically boneless pieces of chicken in thick red gravy. It was very rich in flavor and the chicken pieces were extremely tender. Like every appetizer, this dish managed to impress us too.

Murgh Lahori









Hyderabadi Biryani

We had heard tons and tons about the Biryani at Gazebo and hence inspite of being rather full we decided to atleast give the biryani here a try, however, it wasn’t the best possible decision, as there was something lacking in the Hyderabadi Biryani. Even though the Biryani was spicy as per our liking and the boneless chicken pieces in it were well cooked too, the biryani in itself, lacked flavor.

Hyderabadi Biryani 




Bread - Tandoori Roti, TAFTAN, Roomali Roti and Cheese Stuffed (Bharwan Naan)

I was rather surprised that Gazebo didn’t have a mixed bread basket option as served in most other Indian restaurants, however, we decided to individually order for a few bread variants, such as the Tandoori Roti, Taftan, Roomali Roti and the Bharwaan Naan (Stuffed with cheese) Each of them was extremely fresh and complimented the Murgh Lahori well.

Mixed Bread Basket

Dessert – Zafrani Firni

Believe it not I was almost on the verge of exploding post this heavy meal, but yet I decided to hold my breath and bravely order for a Zafrani Firni, as I was told that the Zafrani Firni was a runaway hit here and nobody leaves the restaurant without giving this a try. The Zafrani Firni was basically a milk based dessert with powdered rice. It was flavored with saffron and was extremely delectable.

Now that am done talking about the food, here is what I thought about its service and pricing.

Zafrani Firni 

Service

The staff here is extremely friendly and well informed, however the food takes extremely long to arrive. We had to wait for almost 25 minutes before being served our appetizers. Also I would have appreciated, had they given us a papad basket or salad to engage in while they took those 25 minutes.

Cost

The food was absolutely value for money, our bill came up to 230 AED

Lastly I would like to applaud the agency managing Gazebos social media platforms who were extremely efficient & effective.You can follow them on Twitter Facebook and Instagram

My rating for Gazebo would be a 4/5 

Much Much Recommended! 

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Sunday, April 5, 2015

Happy Easter!

Hey everybody, wishing you all a very Happy Easter.

All weekend I had messages popping in on my FB chat with people inquiring about places that were doing something special for Easter, which is why I thought of doing a little research work and compiling a list of few places in Abu Dhabi and Dubai that are celebrating Easter

Firstly if you're in Abu Dhabi - 


Easter Sunday Brunch at Urban Kitchen
This Thai restaurant will be buzzing with live music, face painting, an Easter egg hunt, cookie decoration and a visit from the Easter Bunny himself. Brunchers can relish a selection of fresh seafood, roasts, French cheese and authentic made-to-order Thai curries. INFO: 12.30pm-4pm Sun 5 Apr, Dhs199 with soft drinks, Dhs299 with house drinks, children aged six-11 dine for Dhs80, kids aged five and under dine free, Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi, 02 698 8137, reservations.table@dusit.com



Book in for a Sunday Brunch in Bab Al Bahr
For those who have the luxury of taking the first day of the week off to celebrate in the traditional way, Fairmont Bab Al Bahr will be offering a brunch spanning three of its restaurants, CuiScene, Frankie’s and Marco Pierre White, for a buffet offering with barbecued delights, British staples of ribeye, rotisserie chicken and Yorkshire puds and fresh homemade ravioli and risotto. INFO: 12noon-4pm Sun 5 Apr, Dhs269 with soft drinks, Dhs319 with grape and hops, Dhs489 with bubbly, Dhs135 for kids aged six-12, Khor al Maqta, Abu Dhabi, 02 654 3238, dining.bab@fairmont.com




Explore Jones the Grocer’s Egg-tastic Menu
The Australian food emporium is presenting a Chef’s Special menu with treats such as omelette with green and white asparagus, smoked salmon and hollandaise sauce; salt cod quiche and dukkah-crusted lamb rump with beetroot, roasted onions and peas. You’ll also find hot cross buns, plus gourmet chocolate eggs that sounds way too good for the kids! Choose from Artisan du Chocolat’s Kaleidoscope eggs with folded layers of dulce de leche, couture ganache and praline overlaid with a myriad of natural colours; Pandora Bell’s Real Eggshell Eggs filled with chocolate praline or Valrhona’s Milk, Dark and Grand Cru eggs. Mmm! INFO: Until Sun 12 Apr, Abu Dhabi branches in Al Mamoura, Khalidiyah, Al Raha Gardens, Al Muneera and Sowwah Square, for all stores ring 02 4438 762; Dubai branches in Al Safa and Sheikh Zayed Rd opposite Time Square Centre mall, for either store call 04 388 1038, www.jonesthegrocer.com



And for the Dubai folks,

Try International Fare in TECOM
Buffet restaurant Channels will be hosting an international Easter brunch with an Easter egg hunt and face painting put on for youngsters. INFO: 12noon-3pm Sun 5 Apr, Dhs195 with soft drinks, Dhs270, with selected grape, Dhs290 with spirits, kids aged six-12 dine for Dhs100, those aged five and under dine free; Media Rotana, Hessa St, TECOM, Dubai, 04 435 0201, fb.media@rotana.comwww.rotana.com 


Enjoy Easter Brunch - Al Bahou hosts festive brunches on Friday with an appearance from the Easter Bunny. Dhs 295 (soft drinks) Dhs 395 (house beverages) Dhs 495 (bubbly) Dhs 145 (ages 13 - 16) Dhs 95 (ages six - 12) Free for children aged six and under. Fri and Sat 12.30 - 4 pm.  04 444 5613 M√∂venpick Hotel Ibn Battuta Gate 



Eat at Suq this Easter - Brunch with the kids and the Easter bunny or head to the evening outdoor barbecue. Friday : Dhs 350. Half price for kids under 12. 1pm - 4pm. Sunday : Dhs 275. Half price for kids under 12. 1 pm - 4pm, 6 pm - 11 pm. Four Seasons Resort Dubai, Jumeirah Beach Road. (04 270 7777)



Hope the list helps you; have a superb Easter :)