Monday, October 25, 2010

Tofu Satay Pad Thai

So here are some pictures from a stirfry that I made today... the recipe is originally from AWW's Vegetarian Stirfries but I played around with it and changed the noodles from hokkien to pad thai.. also added more spices, and changed some vegetables around.

I feel that with stirfry you can NEVER go wrong with a sauce combination of oyster sauce, soy sauce, and a little bit of sweet chilli sauce! A good squeeze of lemon juice and some chopped birdseye red chillies works amazingly too!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Afternoon Tea @ Emirates Towers

Name Lobby @ ET
Address Emirates Towers, Sheikh Zayed Road
Specialties The little cheesecake!
Special Gimmicks Folding the napkin like a suit.
Ambience Bright, modern, sleek, airy.. not atypical afternoon tea setting but very nice.
Favourite table The long couches in the center.
Cuisine English? International? French?
Attire Smart casual
Prices AED160/2
Who went with me Habon
Occasion Afternoon tea
What I ordered Afternoon tea which comes with a selection of scones, pastries, and sandwiches.
What others had Same thing
Usual crowd Hotel guests and the occasional annoying people-watcher
bread entree 10/10
waiting area nonexistent
entertainment None really..
appetizers 9/10 Nice sandwiches, the bread in some was a little too hard though.
dessert The BEST! Little Turkish delights and mini cheesecakes and pastries!
atmosphere 8/10
cleanliness 10/10
portion size 7/10.. VERY tiny desserts! But nice
servers 8/10
salad nonexistent
service 9/10
crowd 7/10
parking 10/10 Valet!
Overall 9/10

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Restaurant Review: Karam Beirut

So, this time I *DID* remember my camera.. I think I need to work on better photographs for restaurant reviews though... and possibly a new review format... this format was taken from an old book that I had where you can compile your own reviews. I seem to be obsessively blogging today.. getting all the posts out of the way!

Went to Karam Beirut at Emirates Mall yesterday for dinner and here are some pictures plus the review!

Name Karam Beirut
Address Mall of the Emirates near Ski Dubai
Specialties The hummus and the kebbeh!
Special Gimmicks The view of people skiing and snowboarding.. quite different.
Ambience Nice, low lighting.
Favourite table By the window!
Cuisine Lebanese
Attire Casual
Prices Moderate. Starters= 15/30, Main Course = 50
Who went with me My dad.
Occasion Dinner
What I ordered Hummus, kebbeh, spinach fatayer, and fatoush... Lebanese appetizers are heaven to share!
What others had mixed grill
Usual crowd Mall rats and people staying at the Kempinski
bread entree 10/10
waiting area nonexistent
entertainment 10/10! Skiing!
appetizers 11/10.. yes that rating exists
dessert did not try.
atmosphere 7/10
cleanliness 10/10
portion size 8/10 very good for sharing
servers 10/10
salad 7/10.. fatoush was nice but the cripsy bread bits could have been better
service 9/10
crowd 9/10
Overall 9/10

Supermarket Series: 2 > Choithram

Here's the second- extremely short- second blogpost in my supermarket series. I had bought these (and other stuff!) last week but had no chance to photograph them.. and ended up eating all the other stuff.. Here are the two remaining things!
Pad thai and mayo!
This Pad Thai is amazing to use. All you have to do is fill a bowl with boiling water from the kettle, place the noodles in it, and leave it there for 5 minutes.. occasionally swirl it around with a fork and once the noodles are soft, drain the water!

The mayo on the other hand is beautiful for serving on little canap├ęs. A personal invention of mine that I really like is to slice baguettes, toast them, and then spread them with a little bit of mayo and maybe a sliced olive or some fresh chives!

Restaurant Review: Noodle House

Name Noodle House
Address Souk Madinat Jumeirah
Specialties Thai green chicken curry... and the rice that goes with it!
Special Gimmicks You tick what items you want in the menu.
Ambience Busy, a wok.
Favourite table the long benches
Cuisine Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese..
Attire Casual
Prices Moderate. Starters= 40/50.. Main Course= 50/60..
Who went with me Afrah
Occasion Catching up! Lunch.
What I ordered Thai green chicken curry and vegetarian Pad Thai
What others had we shared!
Total bill with tip AED200
Usual crowd Tourists hanging around Madinat Souk plus other Dubai residents
bread entree .. no bread..
waiting area a bench outside the restaurant... or the entire Souk itself.. 5/10
entertainment people watching? 7/10
appetizers 9/10
dessert did not try..
atmosphere 10/10
cleanliness 10/10
portion size 8/10 very good for sharing
servers 10/10
salad did not try..
service 10/10
crowd 9/10
parking 9/10
Overall 9/10

Friday, October 22, 2010

Restaurant review: Saladicious

I went for dinner with two of my very good friends last week to Saladicious and amazingly forgot my camera! Did that at Noodle House Madinat Jumeirah too (blogpost coming up shortly!) Here is my review of the place plus some photographs from the website.

Name Saladicious
Address Jumeirah Beach Road, behind The One near the Grand Jumeirah Mosque
Phone number 800-72523 (SALAD)
Reservations no
Specialties The salad! And the amazing pumpkin and brie cheese ravioli.. it has crispy sweet walnuts mixed in that makes it HEAVEN. And the drinks.. I highly recommend the Primavera. Also, the lovely selection of dips they bring with the hot bread. I love the olive one.
Special Gimmicks little gnome stools for you to keep your handbags on.
Ambience Low lighting, good quiet location, nice setting
Favourite table On the terrace!
Cuisine Mixed. Salad, Italian, Mexican, Spanish...
Attire Casual
Prices Moderate. Starters at around AED30-40, main courses range from AED50-100 depending on what it is.
Who went with me Shamma and Dana
Occasion Unwinding dinner/girly get-together
What I ordered Pumpkin and brie cheese ravioli
What others had Temptation salad and a Caesar salad.
Total bill with tip AED210
Usual crowd People living around the neighborhood. Mostly expats.
bread entree 10/10
waiting area nonexistent
entertainment 5/10.. a TV
appetizers 7/10
atmosphere 10/10
cleanliness 10/10
portion size 9/10 very good
servers 10/10
salad 10/10
service 10/10
crowd 9/10
parking 8/10
Overall 9/10

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Restaurant review: Shakespeare & Co

Name Shakespeare & Co.
Address Safa Centre, Jumeirah
Phone number 04-3941121
Hours 7AM-1AM
Reservations no
Specialties The decor. Beautiful furniture, walls, and flooring. They recently changed the furniture and now it has more lace and in my opinion has changed from a more French country style to Regency English style.
Special Gimmicks playroom for children and an outdoor's section that stays air conditioned throughout the year.
Ambience Amazing because of the low lighting and comfortable couches.
Favourite table The couch hidden inside the alcove near the children's playroom.
Cuisine Mixed. A combination of Lebanese, Italian, French, and a little bit of Asian.
Attire Casual
Prices Moderate. Starters at around AED30-40, main courses range from AED50-100 depending on what it is.
Who went with me Shamma
Occasion Breakfast
What I ordered Chocolate Viennoise and caramel and almond crepe
What others had Turkey and cheese sandwich and a cafe latte.
Total bill with tip AED110
Usual crowd People living around the neighborhood. During the mornings, moms who drop their children off to school. Evenings, shisha people.
bread entree 8/10
waiting area nonexistent
entertainment 5/10
appetizers 8/10
dessert 10/10
atmosphere 10/10
cleanliness 10/10
soup 8/10. amazing tomato soup
portion size 9/10
servers 10/10
bathrooms 8/10 (one unisex bathroom)
salad 7/10
service 10/10
crowd 7/10
parking 10/10
Overall 8.5/10

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Necessary, The Indispensable, and the Indulgent

Good, creative baking, like good photography, doesn't depend on the tools that you use. It's all about you and your perceptions, intuitions, and inherent talent. Although, with both photography and baking, having certain tools does make the process easier, more fun, and generally a better experience. Here are some images of certain baking tools that are my favourite!

Pastry brush and mechanical sifter. The pastry brush is perfect for greasing cake tins. I used to use spray olive oil before, but the butter brush makes it a lot better.. texture-wise, as well as ease of removal wise. The mechanical sifter is another God-sent invention. It makes a thousand times easier and faster to sift flour although sifting icing sugar can be a nuisance with this. It gets stuck and jammed.
This white sifter is the old-fashioned sifter that works amazing for icing sugar. The rolling pin is a pink silicon rolling pin that is perfect for rolling out dough for biscuits, bread, etc... the dough doesn't stick to the pin as it would if it were wooden. A rubber spatula is another indispensable tool that is used to gather excess dough/mixture. It also helps in folding in- a challenging but easy baking technique.

This is a flat-bladed knife for applying icing/frosting over cakes. This picture is here for entertaining purposes only... look at the reflection! Thought it was fun! =)

I CANNOT live without these! *sigh* my little measuring cups..

This I got from Lakeland in Mirdif City Center. The numbers on the measuring jug are slanted so that you don't have to crane/angle your neck in order to read the measurements once you've placed liquid inside the jug.

Mini muffin tins that work great for making little tarts!

Silicon tart tins! Easy extraction! And a whisk- obviously.. we all know what that's for.. and a wire rack that makes cooling amazing! If you leave cakes or other baked items in their tins or trays, they might overcook.. and the taste is different.. wire racks are amazing for all round cooling.

The best part! This usually gives the theme to your cupcakes! I'd love to learn how to design my own!