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.
There’s no such thing as a free lunch
It is exactly one year since I launched this blog, and more or less one year since I decided to stop lifestyle blogging and concentrate purely on food blogging. At that time I knew of a few other food bloggers, primarily those who were recipe blogging and not concentrating on restaurant reviews. The great Foodiva was making a name for herself in the food world with her impartial reviews and interviews with high-profile celebrity Chef’s. I live in a Frying Pan had firmly made her mark on Dubai’s street food scene. There were also a few lifestyle bloggers who did the occasional food review, however there appeared to be no one who concentrated on the mid price range restaurants that Dubai has to offer. This is where I was comfortable and I started blogging and searching every little nook and cranny of Dubai to find all its hidden little reasonably priced gems.
Bu Tafish in Jumeirah 1
Bu Tafish was recommended to me many times when I was covering Seafood Month, but like a few others I didn’t get round to it as soon as I would have liked. Last week I eventually did make the trip to Jumeirah 1 to sample the delights of Bu Tafish. Apparently Hajj Radwan Othman Ishtay Al Tamimi, aka Bu Tafish is the brains behind this concept that was established way back in 1968, the first seafood outlet in the UAE.
Anar Persian Restaurant at Madinat Souk
It’s no secret that I love Persian food and following a recent trip to Madinat Souk I stumbled upon Anar. It was love at first sight and that was before I had even sampled the outstanding food! Just the decor of the restaurant was enough to have me hooked, absolutely stunning, not typical of most traditional Persian restaurants here but one of understated elegance, with a touch of Persia.
Crescendo; oils, spices and vinegar hits Madinat Souk
Foodies love shops that sell food, foodies adore shops that sell artisan hand-made foods, foodies in Dubai will love Crescendo! I am hoping that the Owner of Crescendo reads this little blog and is happy to hear that I heard about this little gem via Facebook, so yes social media does work and on this occasion a like has been transformed into a paying customer. I am pretty confident there will be many more like me.
Shahi Angethi, authentic Indian cuisine straight from Lucknow …
Being British we love a good curry, however the curry we are used to has been adapted to appeal to the British palate, rarely do we get to sample authentic Indian food. There are literally hundreds of Indian restaurants scattered around Dubai but how many of them serve authentic Indian food hailing from the heart of India? I think I have found one