#Fivebitesinabox Food Tour of Box Park

A clever invitation was sent out to a bunch of foodies containing a box of clues for the #fivebitesinabox food tour of box park. It contained random items to keep us guessing as to which places we will be dining at during that evening.

1st stop was Le Tresor  where we were treated with an afternoon tea.

2nd stop was Dri Dri famous for it’s gelato. Click the hyperlink to read my review.

3rd stop was Big Chefs. This is where we had a cooking demonstration by Chef Abs below.

Chef Abs below showed us how to make a smoky artichoke hummus. IMG_6284We also feasted on some grilled lamb chops and halloumi skewers.

4th stop was Bikes n Bites which was a very meaty affair. They specialize in smoked meats and various sauces you can help yourself to. All in a garage type setting.

The 5th & final stop was Kuai where we indulged in yet more sugary dessert.

This time it was mochi’s & candy floss.

Boxpark is a brilliant location if you like to food hop as I have done that before myself but this #fivebitesinabox food tour was a lot of fun as we got to meet Chef Aps who gave us a cooking demo as well as hang out with some like minded foodies.

Until next time,

Nossy x

Bikes N Bites Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Fascinating Farzi

If you google Farzi Cafe you’ll see it originated back in India with one branch in Guragon and the other in New Delhi. Farzi claims to be “Dubai’s best restaurant”. Big call for a place which has recently opened it’s doors. The surrounding location is the peacefully beautiful European like City Walk phase 2.

The decor is modern and grand with large gold ornaments, upside down pot plants hanging from the wall and a luminous patterned wall.The restaurant itself is smaller than I expected inside and can feel quite cramped because the tables are small and the way the food and drinks are presented it takes up most of the space. But you can’t complain as it’s all part of the Farzi experience.IMG_6478It’s yet another Indian molecular gastronomy in Dubai but this one is a casual dining cafe with more affordable prices. Molecular gastronomy is when science meets food. The way each and every dish is served is impressive, from halved wine bottles to broken martini glasses they all provide a visual illusion with a hint of cheek. The menu although it looks cool I found it hard to read due to the varying text styles, sizes and colors.

We start with an amuse bouche of shots made from labneh spheres with a dot of berry compote frozen by the dry ice bath.IMG_6418The dal chawal arancini is unusually tasty with a play on fusion cuisine creating an indian appetizer from a well known Italian dish and it works particularly well. Crunchy and flavorful.IMG_6427Our drinks are also impressive served in the strangest contraption with a weird name to match; ananas orbits. It’s a take on a pina colada so a mix of pineapple juice, tender coconut and pina colada caviars which bounce around the drinking apparatus.IMG_6420This tandoori wild mushroom mix with truffle aroma I wasn’t keen on eating as I’m not a huge mushroom fan however, I was surprised. I loved the crunchy addition of walnuts in this dish which made it more than bearable for a non-mushroom fan.IMG_6426The tempura dynamite prawns were enough to give PF Changs a run for their money if only it was served as more than 4 as I didn’t want to share this dish with anymore.IMG_6431The deconstructed shepherds pie was a clever take on the original with tender pieces of meat chunks sitting on creamy mash potato with dehydrated beetroot chips.IMG_6434These lamb chops were so tender it felt as if they were cooked ‘sous vide’ but the flavor got of the meat was lost among all the sauce and micro pop corn pieces.IMG_6436The boot leggin beverages were a sweet soda with a blend of spices.IMG_6442The deviled quail eggs were presented in this interesting wine bottle. It includes golden fried quail eggs, Indian spiced chicken mince and za’taar infused labneh spheres. Again multiple flavors and textures in your mouth.IMG_6438Aloo seared wagyu was an enjoyable dish with tender slices of seasoned wagyu beef with walnut chunks.IMG_6444This wagyu beef slider had a generous portion of beef slices however it was inside a thick scone-like bun which was wasn’t very appetizing.IMG_6452The butter chicken sharwarma sliders served in a large truck and it’s totally normally to see toy trucks on the table here. The bun on these sliders were much more enjoyable, soft and easier to digest, almost like a steamed bao bun.IMG_6454The lamb chops were that tender they could of been prepared with a ‘sous vide’ the only issue is the meat taste was lost among the sauce.IMG_6436

IMG_6463The shrimp curry with lime rice topped with a giant prawn cracker I found again to be over seasoned and too saucy losing the flavor of the shrimp itself.

To me the service felt as if it was very rushed with the staff wanting to immediately show us the creativeness behind the dish before we had time to get our cameras ready. However apparently this is normal service for restaurants in India.

The Irish haze was another drink we tried served in a “broken martini glass” essentially a martini glass without the stem. Dry ice is added beneath it and it bubbles away furiously like a tea pot about to explode.IMG_6440The desserts did not stop arriving. We tried 4 of them between us with my favorite being the jalebi caviar. Not only because the jalebi has cleverly been made into tiny little caviar pieces but the multiple flavors and textures meant it was a mutlisensory experience.

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Jalebi caviar dessert
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The after photo of the risotto phirni oxide

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Rasmalai tres leches with carrot cream and a rose petal net

Although we didn’t order this final dessert, the chef wanted our humble opinion. It looked like a standard chocolate fondant but the twist here was the raspberry chocolate filling and chocolate chunks topped with fresh berries. Although not very Indian it’s still very appealing to all the chocolate lovers out there.IMG_6473

IMG_6476The bill comes standing in an old school type writer. There’s nothing they haven’t thought of when it comes to presentation.IMG_6477Props to the person who created this menu and the clever ideas behind the way in which to serve the meals. It makes for a very memorable experience.

It was fully booked out when we dined on a Friday lunch so make sure to reserve ahead of time and go get “Farzified’.

Location: City Walk 2

Phone: 04 3942556

Farzi Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sustainability at Skye & Walker

Luke, I am your father… That’s the first thing that came to mind when hearing about Skye & Walker. Although it has nothing to do with Luke Skywalker nor Star Wars. However the overall restaurant idea is pretty out of this world.

Judging by the location in Old Dubai I didn’t expect the restaurant to look this nice. Although how well it would do in this area I’m not sure of. Personally I think it would be better received in somewhere like Dubai Marina.

However their concept is what stands out. Where in Dubai can you find a place with a sustainable concept. From their re-purposed granite crushed to make a stunning new concrete floor to recycled table tops, doors, furniture and light fittings. Sourced globally it could be the reason the opening was delayed longer than expected. Their ingredients are locally sourced and everything has a healthy touch or twist.

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For drinks, we tried the bright pink pomegranate lemonade. A pink citrus drink with a zing, followed by a matcha iced latte.  The matcha iced latte only had a subtle green tea flavor which is strange considering it’s a condensed version of green tea.

I love how they serve you a bowl of kale chips to start rather than a heavy bread basket. A healthier alternative that you can season to your liking.

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They have some amazing tasty, fresh and healthy salads which are well presented and after tasting them all it’s hard to choose a favorite.

I was not a fan of the pita, i found the use of white bread to be a little heavy and the falafel to filling to have no real taste. The raw veggie bowl sitting in a generous portion of labneh was great. Crunchy bite sized veggies perfect for dipping.

 

When the mains arrived I must admit they smelt great but my favorite was by far the herb crusted roast chicken with a delicate mushroom gravy.

For desserts we were served raw carrot cake in a mason jar and a decent sized slice of a flour-less chocolate cake which had hints of cardamom which I found to be a bit potent and very arabic tasting, which perhaps might not be for everyone.

We also got to sample 7 different types of gelato from ci gusta some flavors of which are made especially for S&W. I’d recommend the vanilla which has hints of balsamic.

The service was particularly good on the evening of the opening event, as  you would expect. However on my return visit the server wasn’t very up to speed with the menu. Also one thing that baffled me with the menu was that you could make your own juice or smoothie at the juice bar, but when I approached the counter, there was no juice bar to be seen, nor a list of ingredients to choose from. Still relatively new I guess these are just teething issues which will eventually be ironed out. Nevertheless the food I ordered was faultless. I can’t get enough of their oven baked sweet potato fries.

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A great concept, a health conscious menu and a aesthetically pleasing venue, if only it wasn’t so far from home.

Location: Ground Floor, Marriott Executive Apartments Dubai Creek, Rigga Al Buteen Street

Open 7 days a week from 6:30am until midnight

Telephone: 971 4 213 1221

skyeandwalker.com

Skye & Walker Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Breakfast at Dean & Deluca, MOE

To be honest I’d never noticed Dean & Deluca in Mall of the Emirates before. Perhaps it’s the monochrome design which failed to catch my eye or maybe I’m more fixated on the familiar names surrounding it. Although now that I’ve been introduced to the brand, D&D is a bit hard to miss situated on the right hand side of the new VOX Cinemas in Mall of the Emirates expansion level 2.

IMG_1743D&D was new to me having originated from New York City. I was thankful for the invite I received so I could get to know more about D&D. The U.S stores apparently stock more in terms of gourmet groceries and have a smaller cafe area whilst Dubai branch is quite the opposite.

IMG_1710Open for breakfast from 9am and serving food until midnight they have 3 separate menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The media breakfast I attended  had a live saxophonist which set the mood whilst the wait staff were on point attending to our every need. The kitchen was a little slow to reciprocate due to the constant flow of arriving guests.

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The restaurant is designed as an open kitchen with various stations. An espresso bar, a fatayer and pizza station and a sharwarma & grill station. There is also a glass fridge showcasing the cakes and desserts on offer. Under the marble bench tops on the outskirts of the restaurant are wooden shelves containing gourmet retail products which are available for purchase including: tea, chocolate, sauces, snacks etc which make for great hampers/gifts.

The menu is simple and has a great glossy finish over the images which are shown without any crockery which is a great way to see exactly what you’re getting. A clever design.

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I started out with a chai latte which I must admit was a little lack lustre. It’s usually a spicy warm drink but this particular one was more just like warm milk. I asked for a fresh orange & carrot drink instead which was a better replacement, a healthy refreshing citrus juice with slices of each as a garnish.

Their convenient location on the second floor means there is natural light which floods in from the glass ceiling above and the wide leather sofa seats make for very comfortable seating whilst dining.

Feeling rather hungry that morning I decided to go for the breakfast pizza. Now please be warned this dish is better for sharing. I got half way through and was unable to continue. It was a nice combination of flavors though with spicy soujouk sausage and baked egg topped with a handful of arugula and a few shavings of fresh parmesan. It could of used some more roasted tomatoes and the sausage was perhaps a little too dry.

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I did also try some of this baked halloumi which was seasoned with herbs and salt and garnished with olives, which is perhaps why I got full so quick. I would order this again to share with friends as it’d be too much cheese and salt for one person.

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But as we all know there is always room for dessert. So a few of us shared the signature pancakes topped with mascarpone cream, red berry puree and finished with fresh berries. The pancakes weren’t overly thick which made them easy to digest but they did need some extra maple syrup on the side and a scoop of vanilla ice cream wouldn’t go astray.

Just when we thought we were finished we were asked if we’d like some dessert; ’cause pancakes aren’t dessert? Or are they? So without hesitation we opted to SHARE a carrot cake between the table.

IMG_1741The cake came straight from the fridge was was a little too cold for me. However the best part was the peanut butter brittle which was stuck to the edge of the cake.

In conclusion, D&D do have an extensive menu which caters to a broad range of tastes and afford-ably priced too. This is the only D&D outlet open in Dubai at the moment with future plans to extend down the track.

Location: Level 2 expansion in Mall of the Emirates

Phone: 04 4190830

 

Dean & Deluca Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Comptoir 102… A healthy surprise

I must admit I rarely go out for breakfast. I mean I can poach my own eggs and smash my own avocado. Although sometimes it is nice to catch up with friends, explore new parts of Dubai and try somewhere new, cue Comptoir 102.IMG_1585 (2)I had heard about the cafe on social media and also found in featured on Dubai Food Festival’s website, via a YouTube video by the Al Awadi brothers. Click below to watch it – Dubai’s culinary secrets

Comptoir 102 was an idea brought to life by owners Alex and Emma for their common interests in healthy food, art, design and fashion. It shows as soon as you walk onto the premises. The eclectic decor covering multiple rooms is as refreshing as the mini farmers market outside. There is over 3,000 items available for purchase for the home or ones self from 30 hand picked boutique sellers from around the globe.

Being our first time here we walked straight through the premises into the back patio which is lined with a bamboo wall. However next time a better seating option would be the front side of the cafe which has ample natural light flooding in providing better photo opportunities for us foodies. Although I also enjoyed the book shelf wallpaper they used inside.IMG_1610 (2)The breakfast menu albeit less than extensive, my friend and I still struggled to choose. My friend wanted a bagel which they’d run out of. I was going to get scrambled eggs and buckwheat pancakes although I eat eggs too often so I settle for the labneh panini and smooth kale smoothie whilst my friend goes for the vegetable sandwich and a matcha latte.IMG_1591 (2)Comptoir 102 serves mainly organic, gluten free and raw food which is great for the health conscious. They even have a main menu which changes daily – I assume according to what they’ve sourced from the local farmers.

Our drinks and food both arrive in a timely manner and we decide to share our sandwiches so we can try both flavors. This worked in my favor as I found the labneh panini to be a little overpowering with the saltiness of the olives however I loved the texture contrast with the addition of crushed walnuts inside. The smooth kale smoothie was creamy and delicious although a bit steep for the size.IMG_1592 (2)IMG_1593 (2)After devouring our food and relaxing in the patio we browse the mini farmers market to see what’s on offer before moving indoors to check out the various home wares, clothes and jewelry inside.IMG_1598 (2)IMG_1605 (2) Not only does Comptoir 102 offer a cozy and relaxing environment, they also have a range of bicycles near the front door which are free for patrons to use around the immediate area. This is such a great idea and really accentuates the healthy lifestyle theme.IMG_1614 (2)In conclusion, Comptoir 102 offers a refreshing surprise to the usual cafes found in Dubai. It was not a bad way to spend my Saturday morning and I’m looking forward to taking guests here and possibly even riding the bikes too!

Location: 102 Beach Road, Jumeirah 1

Phone: 04 4489502

Comptoir 102 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Taste Kitchen – Ticking all the boxes

Taste Kitchen (created by chef duo Nick Alvis and Scott Price) opened it’s first branch in Mercato Mall and today it now has 3 locations in Dubai.

 

If they had a mantra it would be simplicity is best.

The simple design of their restaurants, with their easy-to-read menu, along with a focus on fresh quality ingredients.

And it works.

The branch I frequent most is Silicon Oasis. Tucked away inside Cedre Shopping centre, this decent sized cafe offers both indoor and outdoor seating with modern/industrial decor. The service is great here with all the wait staff being super attentive.IMG_8952They serve warm bread with olive oil and vinegar whilst you wait (not long) for your mains to arrive.IMG_8953
The lemon and ginger water was nice and refreshing. I’ve also tried the virgin Pina Colada which was a tropical delight.IMG_8954For mains I’ve tried the Salmon with greens. The salmon was char grilled in Chinese 5 spice and served on a bed of beans spinach and cabbage.

However it’s the beef short rib served on a bed of mash with a side of greens that is the show stopper.
The tender beef literally melted in my mouth and the creamy mash and crisp greens were a nice accompaniment.IMG_8956

IMG_8958For dessert we tried the pear crumble which was a little too hard in terms of the crumble topping which made it difficult to chew but the warm pear inside was a nice change from your standard apple filling.IMG_8961Overall Taste Kitchen offers a clean, fresh cafe concept with healthy options too which keep me going back for more.

Taste Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Lunching @ Tom&Serg

I popped into Tom&Serg for lunch one weekend with a friend. The place is still busy regardless of the two new ventures which are now open; The Sum of Us in Trade Centre area and the newly opened Common Grounds in Mall of the Emirates. The decor has the same industrial feel with a touch of greenery across all 3 branches with the addition of lush floral arrangements for sale at the front of the cafe.IMG_9101Besides their short menu, they also serve a variety of cakes and pastries to tempt you, including the Aussie tradition of Lamingtons.IMG_9099I think they were a little understaffed as they weren’t very attentive and it took a good while to be seated and passed some menus. As the menu is not overly extensive we chose quite quickly and likewise the food arrived in a jiffy (bearing in mind we only had salads).

The presentation was lacking as it looked like it had been thrown onto the plate. However that being said the Moroccan chicken salad was full of flavor and very satisfying. The iced latte I ordered was also particularly good with no need to add any sugar.IMG_9096

IMG_9095My friend however didn’t enjoy her super-food salad as much calling it “bland and boring” as it didn’t quite hit the spot.IMG_9098Due to the concrete floors it does get quite noisy in here and with every table full the chatter buzz is quite loud so don’t go expecting to get any work done. Go for the brunch vibe without the alcohol of course.

Tom&Serg is located at 15A Street, Al Quoz.

04 4498579

Tom&Serg Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato