Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Ashas - Yas Mall

Firstly, I would like to use this platform and apologize to Zomato for canning on the foodie meet-ups every single time, clearly I had no idea what I was missing out on. 

A few weeks back I finally managed to attend a Zomato meet up at Ashas - Yas Mall

Honestly I went there with no high expectations from the food at Asha's, because from the little I could remember, the food at the Khalidiya branch (Which is shut now) was very average.

This fine dine restaurant is located on the first floor and no before you pop the question, let me clear this out, they don't continuously play Asha Bhosle songs, just a song or two per hour. 

On getting seated, we were offered a variety of attractive looking mocktails, however, unfortunately I had a sore throat and had to give that a miss. 

There was a customized menu created specially for the meet-up, which I think was extremely impressive.

What I ate? Dal Shorba, Mushroom Kurkure, Chingli Chapp, Seafood Seekh Kebab, Murgh Malai Kebab, Muscat Gosht, Prawn Masala, Butter Chicken, Goan Cashew Chicken, Dal Makhani, Kesar Biryani and Chocolate Mousse Cake. 

The Dal Shorba was a bliss for me that afternoon, considering how bad my throat was then. 

Mushroom Kurkure - This was basically battered, deep fried mushrooms, stuffed with cheese, bell pepper and crushed black pepper. An absolute delight for a vegetarian, if you're looking for an option besides the usual Paneer. 

Chingli Chaap -  Before I tell you what this is, honestly, I've been dreaming about this dish ever since that day. Chingli Chaap is basically jumbo prawns that are marinated in spicy ginger-garlic yoghurt paste, then breaded and deep fried. This may sound a little silly, but the Chingli Chaap tastes like the spicy chicken crust you would find on a KFC chicken piece, stuffed with well-done prawns. Much much much RECOMMENDED, even if you aren't a seafood fan.

Seafood Seekh Kebab, I was pretty fascinated to try this out, as I had never indulged in a Seafood Seekh previously. The seafood seekh was basically finely chopped prawns and fish seekh kebab with cheese and bishp seeds, mildly spiced with green chillies. Thankfully this didn't have a pungent smell of seafood, and was very well cooked too, but somehow, it did not appeal to my taste buds. I would give this a miss. 

Murgh Malai Kebab - These were boneless chicken cubes, that were marinated in a creamy cheese and cashew nut paste with a touch of cardamom. This was extremely tender and juicy. 

Moving on to the main course, 

Muscat Gosht - The muscat gosht was basically boneless tender lamb cooked with butter in a spicy, rich onion and tomato gravy, and Anupa from the Asha's team did such a brilliant job in pre-selling this dish that she convinced my Vegetarian friend to actually give this a try. Everybody on the table unanimously rated this dish a 5/5 - I would definitely recommend this.

The other two Non Vegetarian main course dishes i.e. Butter Chicken and the Goan Cashew Chicken were average. Although I think the Goan Cashew Chicken would have tasted better had it been served with rice (which was suggested by the server too) however, I was too stuffed for rice. 

Kesar Biryani - You could literally get the sniff off the rich saffron from a distance, absolutely loved the Kesar Biryani. 

Lastly, they had two options in their desert menu, Chocolate Mousse Cake and Pista Kesar Malai Kulfi, here again due to my sore throat, I opted for just the Chocolate Mousse Cake, which was not just physically appealing but was delectable too. 

The service? Thanks to my sore throat (wow I've mentioned this way too many times) I came across as one of those cranky and demanding kids, because every 10 minutes I would request the server for a glass of hot water, but clearly that didn't seem to annoy the server at all, as he brought it with the same enthusiasm and smile every single time. 

Also a special thank you to Anupa who has been working with Ashas for over 10 years now, it was a pleasure meeting her, as she gave us an insight on the food served at Ashas. 

Interiors - Most fine-dine Indian restaurants go over the top with their interiors making it look a little tacky, but the atmosphere at Asha's is classy and calm at the same time. 

Pricing - Asha's is definitely heavy on the pocket, but a good option for a special family lunch/ dinner. 

Rating - I would rate Ashas a 4/5 

P.S. Post this meal, all I would like to say is, Dear Asha's

Asha's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, May 11, 2015

Love At First Sight - Shakespeare And Co.

The phrase, 'Love at first sight' is something I bethought I would nev'r believeth in, until Shakespeare and Co. hath happened. 
Alright, never-mind, got a little carried away, might as well just stick to normal lehman english. 

Last week, I visited Shakespeare and Co, located at the China Court of Ibn Batuta and instantly fell in love with the place, reason being, its chic, Victorian decor. 
We were there around 4 pm and had no issues whatsoever in finding a table, as the cafe was rather deserted and dessert-ed (if you know what I mean ;))
What we had? The Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce and Potato Croquet's, The Shakespeare Macarons, The Shakespeare Marshmallows and The Mint Sheesha.

The Chicken Satay and The Potato Croquet's - The Chicken Satay was basically marinated chicken tenders skewers. The chicken was extremely well cooked, however I wish it was slightly more tender. The taste was spot-on though. Also, the peanut sauce accompanying the satay complimented it well. 
The Potato Croquets were mashed potatoes stuffed with cheese. This had the perfect balance of crunchy and creamy and made for a pleasing side dish.

Macarons - A macaron is a French sweet meringue-based confection made with egg whiteicing sugargranulated sugaralmond powder orground almond, and food colouring. The macaron is commonly filled with ganachebuttercream or jam filling sandwiched between two biscuits (cookies). The name is deri
ved from the Italian word macarone.
Thank you Wikipedia for that lovely description, that went slightly above my head, but I'm hoping all those reading this review did get it. 
However if you didn't, here is how I describe a Macaron, 

Now that we have got that established, let me tell you about the Macarons at Shakespeare. They had a variety of flavours, such as, Coconut, Strawberry, Chocolate, Pistachio, Vanilla, Hazelnut, Raspberry etc

The Macarons were fresh, and the Macaron biscuit wasn't hard, the ganache within the Macaron is not very sweet either thankfully. While all the Macarons were drool worthy, my personal favourites were the Coconut, Vanilla and Pistachio Macarons. 

The Shakespeare Marshmellows – On first glance, this could appear to look like an edible rubix-cube, but just that this rubix cube gives you pleasure, not stress ;) The Marshmallows were perfectly gooey and literally melted in my mouth.

The Mint Sheesha - This was by far the most appealing looking Sheesha I had ever smoked, I mean look at it, someone who doesn't smoke would want to smoke from a Sheesha that looks that gorgeous ;) 
But yes for the serious Sheesha smokers, the mint Sheesha was fabulous, extremely smooth and didn't hurt the throat at all. Also the coal was changed frequently. 

Service - The staff was friendly and had a constant smile on their face
The cost - Shakespeare is definitely not an inexpensive place, but at the same, its not priced exorbitantly either. 
The ambiance - Shakespeare and Co. cafe is like a pretty dollhouse, filled with dainty lace decor, beads and everything pastel.The feminine decoration and elegant furniture shall definitely win your heart.

Overall Shakespeare and Co is an entire package that pleases you in every aspect. 
I would rate Shakespeare and Co. a 4.5/5

For regular updates, follow me on Facebook Twitter Instagram

Click to add a blog post for Shakespeare and Co. on Zomato

Monday, May 4, 2015

Mission Dessert

I've been wanting to visit Galleria Mall at Al Maryah Island for a while now and finally managed to get myself there over the weekend, but I was there for a mission, a very important mission.

A little confession, I'm not so much of a dessert person, but when I crave for something, am worse than a pregnant woman, I NEED IT, I REALLY DO.

So for the past couple of days I've been having a major craving for Red Velvet Cheesecake and what better place to fulfil this craving than Magnolia Bakery.

So with no second thoughts I instantly ordered for a Red Velvet Cheesecake on being asked my preference, also along with that I added a Peanut Butter Icebox Pie.

On a single bite of the Red Velvet Cheesecake, my taste buds did the happy dance. The cheesecake was velvety and creamy, the cheese wasn't too sweet either, just the way I prefer my cheesecake. Also, the red velvet texture was very tender and almost melted in my mouth. The quantity was quite generous, but then again it's priced at AED 30, so it better be. 

Moving on to the Peanut Butter Icebox Pie, this basically was Wafer crust layered with caramel, peanut butter and whipped cream, topped with Reeses peanut butter cups. I wasn't a huge fan of the wafer crust by itself, but it was very palatable, when I had it with the butter cups, however there were just a handful of butter cups on top, so it wasn't as delightful as I expected it to be. This again was priced at AED 30 and can easily be shared by two - three people. There was also an option of a Snickers Icebox Pie, which is something I might give a try on my next visit.

The interiors of Magnolia are very vintage and chic and is the perfect place for a girls hang-out. 

There wasn't much interaction with the staff as such, but judging from the short conversation I had with the server, he seemed polite. 

Also lastly for all those who don't know, Magnolia isn't limited to just desserts, they also serve Salads and Pasta, but I would still not recommend this to the calorie cautious folks, as you're sure to get tempted and call in for something that would do you no good ;)

Overall I would rate Magnolia a 3.5/5

P.S. Here is some food for thought, you're welcome. 

Click to add a blog post for Magnolia Bakery on Zomato