Brand new at MOE, with plenty of flavours of Asia …
Last week I was in Mall of the Emirates and came across a new restaurant in the place of Chop Chop, which I remembered had been undergoing a renovation. The decor caught my eye and I promised myself I would visit the next time I was at the Mall which is exactly what a friend and I did early last week. A bit of googling revealed that Miu Shanghai is in fact the replacement for Chin Chin and part of the Paris Group. Rich Cafe is also part of the Paris Group and I am huge fan, you can read my review here.
Gaucho makes a steak in the market …
Stepping into Gaucho DIFC is quite an experience, the intense black and white decor with monochrome accessories is just beautiful. The walls are adorned with cow-hide and the whole place has a magical feel to it. We were whisked down from the bar area to the main restaurant in a glass lift, it all felt rather futuristic. There is no denying that Gaucho is every inch a top class restaurant, all this was going around in my head before we had even sat down!
Bennigan’s American Fare, Irish Hospitality
I had heard about the opening of Bennigan’s in the UAE last year, their first branch opened on Emaar Boulevard and I made a mental note to check them out. However, a few months later I saw the hoardings appear in Dubai Mall and decided to wait until they opened at their second venue in the UAE. Then out of the blue I was invited down to Bennigan’s to share their American fare and Irish Hospitality. The husband was elated as he has dined at many a Bennigan’s over the years when visiting America. Was this franchise going to be one that came across the Atlantic intact?
Farsi Restaurant at JLT
Yes those three magic letters again!! Jumeirah Lake Towers is home to Farsi Restaurant and that is where I found myself yesterday. It’s no secret that Persian food is one of my preferred foods and I am a regular visitor at our local Persian restaurant Caspian. I think it is the simplicity of Persian food that appeals to me, not over spiced, good clean healthy food.
Villa Beach, a secret you will thank me for …
It’s not a secret that I have had a long-standing love affair with Jumeirah Beach Hotel, from the day it opened it has been part of me. We have stayed at the hotel various times and are regular visitors, especially when we have guests in town. However during all this time I didn’t know about Villa Beach, they kept it a secret!! However, a couple of weeks back they let the cat out of the bag, and to celebrate the launch of Jumeirah Restaurant Week I was invited to preview their special signature dining three course menu.
Nofara Cafe JLT
Yet again I find myself in Jumeirah Lake Towers, dining as their guest at the recently opened Nofara Cafe. Nofara translates into the word fountain and a fountain was often to be found in the centre of a home, kind of like a meeting place. Nofara Cafe is light and airy and has a rather contemporary feel to it, dark wood, light tables, you get the jist. There is an outside terrace and also an indoor Shisha area, separate from the main dining area.
Nofara has taken a little bit of everything from around the world and added its own slant on things. The menu offers everything from breakfasts to desserts and also has a good deli selection of sandwiches and side salads. We ordered the fava bean dip to share, which was fabulous but it wasn’t a dip it was more like the consistency of a potato salad, but it was very tasty. There was just the right element of cumin and coriander in the dish, not overpowering in any way. My guest much to my delight ordered the shakshouka with two eggs, having heard about this legendary shakshouka dish but not having experienced it myself the curiosity alarm went on. Luckily for the seafood devil inside of me I opted for the seafood stuffed calamari, with salad. Shakshouka is a somewhat Middle Eastern dish its origins claim to originate from Tunisia. The dish was absolutely amazing and by far the star dish of the day, unbelievably tasty with a rich tomato sauce and perfectly baked eggs.
My seafood stuffed calamari was good but I did find the dish very dry, the taste was there it just need a sauce of some description adding to it. I suggested that the Manageress discuss this with Chef and was pleased to hear that he had taken my comments on board and the next stuffed calamari dish to leave the kitchen had a butter/lemon sauce with it. I am not a big lover of sweet things but the flourless chocolate cake caught my eye and I brought some home for later that day, AMAZING! by far the best flourless cake I have had in a long time. Nofara will have its teething issues and I am guessing there will be alterations to the menu as they find their feet and discover what is popular with their diners. I have said before when reviewing outlets in JLT they aren’t destination dining outlets, if we are really honest people don’t drive to JLT to dine unless they live in the vicinity. I will be driving back for that chocolate cake though
Seafood stuffed calamari
Thank you Nofara Cafe for inviting me to dine with you, I hope my comments were taken in a constructive manner. I absolutely adored the doggy cafe outside. Nofara Cafe is located on the lake terrace of Swiss Towers, Cluster Y, Jumeirah Lake Towers. You can find them on Facebook and Twitter and I have also uploaded more photographs to my Facebook page.
Another little find in JLT, Memsaab
It was a rather last-minute lunch date with a friend that found me sat outside of Memsaab in Jumeirah Lake Towers. JLT is fast becoming quite the foodie place these days. The weather was perfect for al fresco but I think the temperatures are getting a bit hot now, maybe not for dinner though. The restaurant is small and decorated beautifully and has a lovely lake view terrace.
Jumeirah Restaurant Week
A global culinary celebration
May is a going to be a good month for dining because for yet another year Jumeirah are hosting Restaurant Week from 23rd of May until 1st of June. Last year the initiative was a huge success so this year they have gone global! During this unique week we are able to dine at various Jumeirah outlets at a special rate. Unique three course menu’s have been created and are offered to us at amazing price. A three course casual dining outlet menu is just 120 AED per person. If you fancy something a bit more up market then a three course signature outlet dining menu is available at 180 AED per person. I know one thing for sure, you will struggle to decide which outlets to visit.
Bait Al Bahar (The Beach House)
When I saw an update on Facebook with some rather nice snap shots of a new venue right on the beach in the heart of Jumeirah my heart missed a beat. The next day we were in the car and trawling the area near Dubai Offshore Sailing Club in a mission to find Dubai’s new best kept secret. It however isn’t a secret anymore because I am going to tell you ALL about this new and unique concept that has recently opened. I know in my heart of hearts that Bait Al Bahar is going to be a huge success.