Monday, September 21, 2015

Happiness in a jar - Molten Me

You know a place is beyond words when you decide to visit them twice in the same week. 

So Molten Me in Abu Dhabi is an extremely tiny place, which is rather hard to locate and unlike the Dubai one, this is only a take away joint. 

I know how it's hard to imagine anything in Abu Dhabi being far from where you actually are, because that's how small Abu Dhabi is, yet Molten Me is definitely a 10 - 15 minutes drive from the city. However, having said that, let me tell you why it's worth the drive.

You may probably ask, how can there possibly be a dessert parlor solely dedicated to molten cake? Honestly, that crossed my mind too & my curiosity resulted in me landing up at Molten Me and giving it a try. Was I mind-blown? YES! 

Molten Me comes in 3 options, rather 3 bases - White Chocolate Base, Chocolate Base and Red Velvet Base.
Now once you're done choosing one of these options, you get to pick your filling (as seen in the menu below)
I decided to opt for, White Chocolate Base with Cookies & Cream, Chocolate Base with Hazelnut and Red Velvet Base with Red Velvet.
While all the 3 Molten Me cakes were basically half baked cake, with a molten center which tasted gooey, here is what I thought of each one of the cakes that I tried. 
White Chocolate Base with Cookies & Cream
This was my personal favourite here, not too chocolatey, exactly how I prefer my Molten Cake. However, if you don't like extra sweet, don't opt for this. 

Chocolate Base with Hazelnut
This is heaven for a chocolate lover. If you thought nutella had changed your life, try this out. 

Red Velvet Base with Red Velvet 
This was extremely rich and is a good option for someone who is looking for something not too chocolatey but yet chocolatey, you know that weird state of mind? I feel you. Try this out. 

All of these molten cakes come in supremely adorable quaint jars which you can take back home & can eventually also use them as candle stand/ accessory jar or just for serving your desserts, the next time you have friends over.
Also these make for a great gift option. I think it's high time we move on from the bouquets and fancy chocolate trays & make way for Molten Me. 
These are priced at AED 20 per jar or AED 55 for 3 jars, which definitely is expensive, but happiness comes at a price, I guess.
Lastly, they have also introduced 2 milkshakes to their menu, out of which I tried out the Red Velvet Milkshake, which was creamy, thick and filled with red velvet cake granules. Definitely worth a try! 

Overall, as you may have guessed, I LOVED IT!
Rating 4.5/5 (Deducted the 0.5 for the pricing/ not having a seating option)

Go there, NOW! 

Molten Me Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, September 20, 2015

AVASA - St Regis

I was at Avasa last weekend on a lunch date with my friend, Angela & we had quite the time here.

Starting off with the food, we decided to order for just 3 appetizers and then do desserts post that.

The picture above clearly states that, reading a menu and placing an order is a serious task. Well after much contemplation, we finally decide to call for, Fish Koru Kempu, Chandi Kaliyan & Mutton Galouti with Varqi Paratha.

Now the Fish Koru Kempu is basically extremely crispy and crunchy fried fish that is coated with sesame seeds and is accompanied by a cucumber-coconut chutney dip. This was mildly spicy and is definitely something you will find yourself munching on even once you’re full.

Chandi Kaliyan was Chicken Malai Tikka flavored with cardamom, marinated in cashew paste which made it extremely creamy and garnished with edible silver leaf, which for some odd reason really fascinates me (don’t judge) But on a serious note, the chicken was very well cooked & tasted great.

Mutton Galouti Kebab with Varqi Paratha was supremely tender & again very well cooked pounded lamb kebab, however I wish it was a tad bit spicier. It tasted slightly bland, probably to suit the taste buds of the Arabs & Europeans, who you shall see in large numbers at Avasa. So here’s a tip, do mention that you would like it spicy to your server, in order to not be disappointed.

Moving on to the desserts, we ordered for Rasmalai, Gulab Jamun & Kulfi (for my friend, as I had a sore throat) both the desserts were extremely rich & with every bite you knew this was not your ordinary Indian mithai. My personal favourite however was the Rasmalai as the Gulab Jamun can get a little too sweet.

Also a special mention to the drink, Virgin Toddy, that I was recommended by the Avasa staff for my sore throat. It was honestly a life saver and I may just want to come here every single time I have a throat infection to sip on this, because it works better than a cough syrup and tastes good, hence it’s a win win situation ;)

 Interiors By default you would find yourself clicking a picture of 2 things at Avasa.

 1. The stunning wall hanging bangles

    2. The beautifully done up wall at the entrance (don’t forget to click a picture here, it has all the potential to go up on your Snapchat/Instagram/Facebook *wink wink*)

Also what’s great about Avasa is that they have an outdoor sitting option and since WINTER IS COMING (Read: Game of Thrones) it would be a great place for a dinner outing with friends & family.   

Pricing Avasa is priced fairly decently as compared to other Indian fine dine restaurants in the city.  

Staff, Avasa’s manager, Sumitra is a great host, extremely warm, friendly and most importantly well aware of everything on the menu, she along with the servers shall make sure you’re treated in a royal way. I noticed her visiting the other tables too to check on them.

Also, it was lovely meeting Avasa's head chef

I’m definitely going to go back to Avasa to try out the main course and other appetizers & would recommend it to you as well.

Location & Contact info : The Collection, The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi. 02 - 6742221 (For reservations)

Find them on Social Media : Facebook  Twitter  

Rating : 4/5

P.S. They have something called Peanut Butter Paneer on their menu that I just noticed on Zomato, why wouldn't I want to go back? 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Why NomNom?

Hello, hope you’re doing good. I’ve been slightly sick & hence the delay in uploading this review.

However, I thought of trying out a slightly new format to my review this time, I call this the “Wannabe Buzzfeed writer” format, you know like, 5 things that will change your life? 10 things you should do before you touch 30 etc etc – Here are your 5 answers to “Why NomNom?”

Why NomNom? 

1. Desi Chinese - There is Chinese & then there is Desi Chinese, an Indianized version of Chinese food. Nom Nom excels at the latter and I’m not complaining at all, having lived in Mumbai for years, I crave for this & how. Also going by reviews on Zomato, looks like everyone seems to be welcoming this Desi Chinese concept with open arms.

What do I recommend?

Papaya Salad - This could honestly be a main-course by itself, even if you aren't a salad person, try this, you have to, you better do, you won't regret it. This papaya salad is mixed with chili, garlic & palm sugar topped with baby tomatoes, beans & roasted peanuts & is served with Thai chili dressing. 

Crispy Chicken Spinach - Chicken stir fried in chili garlic paste that is served with crunchy spinach & sesame sprinkles. For a better taste-bud experience, make sure you mix the chicken with the spinach while eating it, don't have either of it just by itself.

Pepper Chilli Tossed Tofu - Tofu tossed with ginger, garlic, spring onions & cilantro. Inspite of not being a huge fan of Tofu, I thought this was cooked exceptionally well. 

Thai Young Coconut Juice -  I'm not making this up, it tasted like Malibu Milkshake, obviously without the alcohol. Extremely refreshing & a sure shot hit during the Summers.

2. Cozy Ambiance – This hidden gem is a small restaurant but what’s great is that it appears to be bigger than it actually is thanks to the way its interiors are, also I personally love how bright Nom Nom is. The interiors are minimalistic and elegant. Definitely a place you would want to dine at with friends or family.

3. What's on the menu – Well you name it & they have it, almost. With this I mean, most dishes on their menu can be ordered in your choice of protein, such as, Chicken, Lamb, Fish, Prawns, Tofu, Veg or Duck.

4. Service – The second you enter into Nom Nom, you would know that good service is at top priority. I don’t remember the last time the staff at a restaurant was as warm & friendly as the servers and manager here at Nom Nom.

Also we were fortunate to meet the owner of Nom Nom, who is supremely passionate about his venture, Nom Nom & had the most interesting stories to share with us about his start up & the problems he faced & how they overcame it. If you do manage to spot him at Nom Nom, do ask him about it, you will be in for a supremely positive & interesting story.

Also guess who got a chance to visit the kitchen? *muhaha*

5. Pricing – I remember reading this line somewhere on the internet “Happiness comes cheap, even for Millionaires” and I’m like, yea sure. But post a meal at some of these recently opened up restaurants, Nom Nom being one of them, I may just want to agree.

Nom Nom goes easy on your wallet.  You would barely spend about AED 25 – 35 per dish.

Overall Rating – 4/5

Lastly I would like to ask one genuine question to Nom Nom - Hey good cooking, when do we see you in Abu Dhabi? ;)  

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Calicut Notebook

You know Calicut Notebook should consider replacing the notebook with Express, because that's the speed they work in. I usually get to the service bit towards the end of my review, but this one time I think it was important to emphasize on how quick their service was. 
Now that we have got that established, let me get to the food I had at Calicut Notebook. We ordered for the Chicken Pandanas, Ilayil Tawa Fish, Baby Corn Mushroom Pepper Salt and the Lemon Pepper Grilled Prawn for the appetizers and Alappey Chicken Curry accompanied with Appams for the main course. 
Chicken Pandanas: Not sure what I was impressed with more, the presentation or its taste. This basically was chicken wrapped in pandan leaves and then deep fried. This dish obviously is of Thai origin but I loved the way they Indianized it. Recommended, definitely recommended.

Ilayil Tawa Fish: Calicut style fillet of fish that was grilled & wrapped in banana leaves. You won't believe we actually ordered for this over & over again, because much like Lays, no one can eat just one *ting ting* - but no on a serious note, if you’re looking for something tender, tasty & spicy, then this is your go-to dish. 

Baby Corn Mushroom Pepper Salt: Wow there couldn’t possibly be a dish with a longer name *phew* this was crunchy & crispy, but somehow seemed slightly bland in taste.

Lemon Pepper Grilled Prawn: This was one dish I was sure about, because as you would know, me being the Zomato fan-girl that I am, I did my homework before heading here & had read a lot of people raving about this. However, unfortunately this was quite a downer, not sure if it was just a bad day to judge, but the prawn was a little under-cooked and wasn’t presented in the best possible manner. 

Alappey Chicken Curry with Appam: We had gone a little overboard with the appetizers, so there was room for just one main course to team up with Appams. This was a red based home- style curry, which was mild spicy & tasted great with the Appams. However I wish Calicut Notebook offers these gravies in a bone-less option. 

Price: Please note that the prices stated besides most of the appetizers are PER PIECE and not for a plate. The management should consider stating this on their menu, as it could be slightly misleading. However, having said that, I think it’s quite interesting a concept too, because if you’re having a forever-alone sort of a day & decide to dine in here alone, this may just be very beneficial.
Also a lot of dishes on their menu are currently available & sound super interesting, so a polite request to the management of Calicut Notebook would be that please start serving those as well. 
There isn’t too much to the ambiance as such, but it’s a huge place & getting a table would not be too difficult. 

Also lastly, did I mention they serve you a complimentary drink here on arrival? *applause*

Overall I would rate Calicut Notebook a 3.5/5

Follow them on their Facebook Page : Calicut Notebook
Calicut Notebook Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato