5 reasons why your next breakfast should be at The Claw


1. They serve cereal! All those American favorites comes together in one place with a choice or full fat, semi skim, soy, almond or rice milk. Think Reeses Puff’s, Trix and Lucky Charms. (Although the latter was not available on my visit)


2. The menu is so BIG that it caters for everyone. Vegetarian? No problems. Gluten free? There’s something for you.


3. Bottomless (black) coffee – These two words are music to coffee drinkers ears and so typically American too!


4. They serve chicken for breakfast! I had the Redneck which is two poached eggs on top of two buttermilk chicken pieces with a super generous portion of breakfast potatoes. Super delicious with a zingy hollandiase sauce. You can also order chicken & waffles.

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5. You can have fun for free! They have arcade machines on free play and a jukebox as well as multiple TV screens showing American sports.​

The service at Claw is always friendly and the atmosphere is very relaxed and casual.

Unfortunately breakfast won’t be served again until after Ramadan so you’ll have a few more weeks to wait.

Also, breakfast is only served on the weekends; Fridays from 8am til 12pm & Saturdays from 8am til 2pm.

Location: Level 2, Souk Al Bahar

Phone: 04 432 2300
Claw BBQ Crabshack & Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

On the hunt for the best buffalo wings @ OW&R

It was a Thursday night and after some awful parallel parking by myself, we walk inside and take the lift to the concourse level to Original Wings & Rings.

We are greeted by Hazel, a polite Filipino lady who ends up being our waitress for the evening. We are given menus upon being seated. Through the glass windows you can see some of the DIFC skyscrapers in the distance.

They have a smoking and non-smoking area but it’s not divided by any glass or walls so it makes no difference where you sit really. I found the high chairs and tables we sat at to be rather uncomfortable and rather high especially for those vertically challenged people like myself, getting on and off the chairs were difficult.
There was a nice buzzing ambiance as it was a Thursday evening with loads of sports game being shown on the multiple screens around the venue.
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 We ate entrees and while we were still digging in our mains arrived. I think the waitress should of been more observant that we hadn’t finished our entrees as they sent them back to the kitchen to sit under the warmer while we finished our entrees. Not ideal. Once dessert arrived there was no change of cutlery between.
For the non drinkers or designated drivers in my case there was a decent sized menu consisting of juices, soft drinks, iced tea, fresh fruit freezers and mocktails.
Note to those soda drinkers they offer unlimited refills. The spinach dip was very good, however letting them down was the deep fried chips it was served with. Some fresh salted nacho chips would work better IMO.
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 The chicken buffalo salad was served on a gigantic plate and I would of happily had that as my main meal,  if I knew how big it was. There was generous portions of chicken it a hot buffalo sauce however the garden salad it lay upon was a little boring.
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For mains I ordered the Buffalo chicken wings (duh). Being the second time at OWR I had expected an improved wing experience as a friend of mine explained how they were her favorite and how they bring out multiple dipping sauces for you to try. Well the Buffalo wings just come with a runny ranch sauce and shoestring french fries, however the buffalo sauce was so thin and watery that the wings barely held any flavor. Also by this stage the wings were cold now too so not as hot as juicy as one would expect.
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 My friend had a fajita which came on a unusually thick pita bread wrap, again served with shoestring fries. She didn’t seem too impressed.
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Not really feeling dessert but Hazel insisting, we ordered the chocolate brownie and lemon cheesecake. Some additional sugar syrup is added to the plate to dazzle it up however after tasting the cheesecake I realized they have a long way to go before it’s at Cheesecake Factory level desserts.
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To me OW&R is better suited to those sports fanatics, who enjoy a drink or two with friends that are not too critical when it comes to their food.

Original Wings & Rings Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

What to eat when you visit Sydney

The top 10 things to eat when in Sydney, Australia.

  1. Yum Cha aka Dim Sum. Recommended location: Cabramatta, this is where you’ll find the most authentic tasting dishes.

2. If you’re a fan of My Kitchen Rules then you must pay a visit to Kin By Us in Macquarie Park. The duo serve up some Asian inspired fusion dishes which are not to be missed.

3. Bao’s are all the rage. You can find these soft and squishy buns at Belly Bao or alternatively Mr. Bao or Bao Stop.

4. Who doesn’t love a soda float? Especially when said soda float contains alcohol. Find them from none other than The Soda Factory, in Surry Hills.

5. Fancy AF ice creams. I mean look at my ice cream. It’s floating in a cloud. Create your own at Aqua S.

6. If you’re lucky enough to have family or friends in Oz then there’s nothing like a home cooked meal prepared on the BBQ along with some fresh seafood. Check out my Xmas spread below.

7. Everyone’s always looking for the best gelato in Sydney. I can tell you now that N2 extreme rocked my socks off. I prefer it over Messina.

8. A freak shake. Canberra started the craze and the rest of Oz followed. Check out The Missing Piece in Macquarie Centre for your fix.

9. A pork sausage roll with tomato sauce. Nuff said.

10. Last but not least, a chicken schnitzel or schnitty as us Aussie like to call them.
Most pubs and RSL clubs serve up a decent schnitty and I couldn’t leave Sydney again without smashing one down. Don’t forget to ask for chicken salt on your chips and your choice of gravy.

Weslodge Saloon @ JW Marriott Marquis

Weslodge Saloon is a Canadian export which opened it’s giant yellow saloon style doors in none other than the world’s tallest hotel, JW Marriott Marquis back on April 14, 2016.IMG_8324Located on the 68th floor (same as Prime 68) but in tower B, Weslodge commands a huge space that seems to go on forever. The kitchen has a traditional grill which is used to smoke the meats. IMG_8333The decor is very country club meets saloon with animal heads complete with antlers hung on some of the walls, candelabras and historic art in frames which creates an instant charm.IMG_8331Executive Chef Ben Heaton flies into town every now and then to check on the progress of this newly opened bar and restaurant and while he’s in town he generally releases a limited addition menu item.

The 68th floor restaurant wouldn’t be complete without views of the worlds tallest building, the Burj Khalifa.

The crowd is young and hip and seem to enjoy the tunes spun by DJ Sneaky Pete playing everything 90’s, from rock to R’n’B.

The service is prompt and starts arriving not long after we place our order. The cocktail list is impressive and spans many pages. You may spend longer than intended reviewing what’s on offer.IMG_8342For starters we tried a Weslodge salad which is chopped with feta and avocado, a scallop ceviche with rock shrimps and a firey but zingy jalepeno vinegerette as well as a tuna ceviche came with delicate Nori chips on the side.IMG_8347IMG_8350IMG_8351The lobster poutine was definitely a highlight for us. Chunky pieces of Lobster throughout a generous portion of perfectly fried chips and a tasty gravy with melted cheese curds. Need I say more? Salty but moreish.IMG_8354We also had  a scotch quail egg which was perfectly cooked however the sausage filling was a tad too spicy for my palette. However I enjoyed the addition of the homemade truffle onion jam.IMG_8355The wait staff were well dressed in crispy white shirts, suspenders and aprons and were well mannered with most of them Canadian locals.

The honey Tabasco glazed southern fried chicken was juicy but under the crunchy coating was the fatty chicken skin which I removed before eating.IMG_8362The show stopper was the bronzino fish which had been grilled to perfection. I gobbled it down crispy skin and all. So delicious and highly recommended.IMG_8365They make a real effort with their presentation I mean check out they transformed the chunky onion rings below.IMG_8369For pure comfort and style all guests sit on leather upholstered seating with glam marble table tops. Perfect for those “from above” foodie shots.

The side of creamed corn polenta was topped with a crunchy blackened kernels and garnished with a load of herbs. IMG_8366IMG_8373The Smore’s was a limited edition item served with homemade graham crackes, a bitter chocolate and not the gooeist of marshmallows. I felt this dessert could of been better.IMG_8392I preferred this coconut cream pie which had a subtle hint of lime. Although a thicker crust would of gone down a treat. IMG_8391Our waitress for the evening Joanna was phenomenal. Personable, knowledgeable and on the ball. Unfortunately she was only in town to train the staff then was heading back to Canada.

Some exciting insider information is they are opening another venture upstairs in the near future. If Weslodge is anything to go by then us Dubai folk are in for a treat.

Location: 68th Floor, Tower B, JW Marriott Marquis, Business Bay

Phone: 04 5601700

Weslodge Saloon Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Dinner @ Royal China, DIFC

Yet another London export which calls Dubai home is the Asian restaurant named Royal China. I’ve dined twice at this DIFC location before with both times being for the Friday brunch. The first time I went I was super impressed and the time after I was left scratching my head as to how the service could differ so greatly.IMG_6632An invite saw me return back to Royal China but this time for dinner where myself and my guest got to sample their a la carte menu and hopefully give them a chance to redeem themselves (service wise) as I had no complaints with the food quality previously. I’ve been told their head chef is from Shanghai so looking forward to some authentic tasting dishes.

First thing I noticed as we were seated in our red velour seats were the overly scratched dining tables. I also noticed from my first visit back in Jan 2015 that the furniture looked like it hadn’t been updated since then. Maybe some new tables or even table clothes would look nicer for their guests.IMG_6603The giant red lanterns overhead are striking as is the see through bar with the multiple wine racks. I know Dubai hasn’t caught up with the no-smoking indoors but at one stage during our evening I got a big whiff of cigarette smoke. Unavoidable but a non-smoking dining area would also be welcome.IMG_6631One of the multiple waiters for the evening went over the menu/s to give us some suggestions on what to eat. We started with some drinks and I tried the recommended Red Dragon mocktail (a fruity mix topped with fresh raspberries) whilst my friend opted for the passion fruit mojito, both refreshing and easy to drink.IMG_6605Royal China doesn’t normally serve dim sum at dinner time but we were lucky enough to have a steamed platter brought to us in a basket containing, vegetable, chicken and scallop varieties. They were as good as I remembered.IMG_6609This time round I was keen to try the peking duck. Wrapped in a soft warm wrap, the aromatic duck was nice but the crispy skin was too hard on the teeth which turned my friend off.IMG_6611We had a variety of mains including the szechuan prawns which were juicy decent sized prawns coated in a firey chilli sauce.

We also tried a beef with black pepper sauce which came with sauteed onions and red pepper. The beef slices were extremely tender and delicate, a nice contrast to the crisp peppers.IMG_6617The Chinese broccoli sauteed in garlic was crispy despite looking over cooked.IMG_6619The lemon chicken was the most disappointing dish we tried that evening. I’m baffled as to how a simple dish could go so wrong but the chicken was dry and tough even though it was thinly sliced and the breadcrumbs and lemon sauce did nothing to improve the taste and texture.IMG_6621The flowering jasmine tea is always welcomed at the end of a meal. Helping to aid in digestion and it’s also a sight to see, with the flower almost growing in front of your eyes.IMG_6627The only dish we tried off the new Summer menu was the green tea glutinous rice dumplings filled with fresh mango. This dessert took a while to arrive but when it did it was warm to touch. The mango filling is more like a mango custard while the tart taste of the green tea dumpling is dominant over the sweet filling.IMG_6630The service was slow between meals with it taking them a long time to clear the tables. There was also multiple staff serving our table instead of having one dedicated server. The music was random and did not match the atmosphere and would be better suited to a lounge or bar. Perhaps more traditional music might be more appropriate for a restaurant classified as fine dining. Overall I prefer and would recommend their Friday Brunch with endless amounts of freshly made dim sum to choose from for just 188dhs plus DIFC taxes, which is better value for money. They also serve the hard to find (in Dubai) but delicious cheung fun noodle dish which is popular in Yum Cha places across the globe. Hopefully the service will be improved upon and become consistent with each visit.

Location: Building 4, DIFC (Valet Parking available)

Phone: 04 3545543

Royal China Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Yum Cha @ The China Club

The China Club has been on my foodie hit list pretty much since I moved to Dubai nearly two years ago. For me, Yum Cha or Dim Sum (as some may call it) was a ritual with my family and eventually friends too, so much so that I started my own Yum Cha Club which entailed monthly meetings held at various yum cha places around Sydney.

Two years later I’m still on the hunt for the best Yum Cha restaurant in Dubai.  So one sunny Friday morning we arranged a small gathering and 4 of us set off to Radisson Blu in Baniyas to see what all the fuss was about.

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We arrive at the hotel and walk down some long halls before finding The China Club. Tucked away in the corner, there was no one to greet us as we entered. There are two private dining areas on either side before we reached the main dining area which isn’t overly big by any means but had very formal classic decor.

IMG_3188I secretly wish we had a bigger group so we sit at a table with a lazy susan but I’m happy we got seated in a booth which is great for small talk.

IMG_3217The waiter explained the Friday brunch deal to us and then took our drink orders. For a set price of 139AED per person you get an array of fried and steamed dim sum, tea, soft drinks and iced tea, starters consisting of salads and soups, as well as mains of noodles and rice and last but not least, dessert! Phew. Make sure you go with an appetite.

We started with delicious hot soups. I had the chicken & corn soup which was fragrant and enjoyable but I didn’t want to fill up on soup as I wanted to leave space for lots of dumplings.

IMG_3192IMG_3194The steamed dim sum were my favorite and I particularly liked the freshness of the dumplings. The har gow was perfectly sticky and you could tell everything was made fresh in house. This is probably the most authentic tasting dumplings I’ve had in Dubai other than Din Tai Fung.

IMG_3196IMG_3206IMG_3203IMG_3207We went through a few rounds of steamed dumplings, making sure not to eat too many fried ones as they fill you up too much and then decided to try some crispy noodles for mains. I enjoyed the crunchy texture of the crispy noodles but they were nearly impossible to eat with chopsticks.

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Crispy noodles

 

I asked to order some chicken wings as it was the only thing off the steamed dim sum trolley we didn’t try but unfortunately they don’t serve them anymore and just haven’t updated the menu since. So we moved onto dessert. Red bean paste sesame balls which were a favorite amongst my friends as well as some puddings, (mango with strawberries was my fav) and vanilla ice cream with lychee. By this stage we were bursting at the seams.

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Chinese Jasmine Tea

The service could of been better considering the restaurant wasn’t overly full. We mentioned this to the manager on duty who apologized and assured us next time it wouldn’t happen.IMG_3187This is the only restaurant I’ve found so far serving dim sum out of trolleys like back home. The price is great value and you’ll definitely leave with a full belly. The only thing missing is the pork.

The China Club – Radisson Blu, Dubai Creek, Deira

Bookings – 04 4489059

The China Club 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

Nando’s – Try something new at DCC

I’m sure most people have eaten Nando’s before and even those who haven’t would of at least heard of the name. I mean it’s hard to miss. They are a global phenomenon specializing in that taste bud tantalizing, Portuguese style, peri peri chicken. In the UAE alone they have 14 stores and have been in operation for a whopping 14 years. Now that says something for their popularity here in the UAE.

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One of the newest stores and one that I had the pleasure of being invited to eat at is the Deira City Centre store located in the food court on level 1.

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The first thing I noticed upon entering is the fun and vibrant atmosphere, with upbeat music in the background. The décor is brightly patterned and gives off that African vibe whilst the smiling staff are happy to be there.

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We’re offered a booth and I gaze over the menu to see what’s new. We settle on an appeteaser platter (nice play on words) consisting of the new red pepper dip, a chicken & mushroom soup, some mixed olives and lemon & herb chicken wings. As well as some designer drinks, crimson cola and caipirinha. Whilst we wait for our food to arrive other orders go past and that tempting Nando’s aroma has my mouth watering.

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The red pepper dip was spicy and addictive. Served with toasted warm pita bread pieces for dunking. Highly recommend if you like spice. The chicken and mushroom soup was warm and comforting.

I was pleased to see the new addition to the espetada range, the espetada carnival which now comes stuffed with feta and parsley so I decided to give that a whirl for the mains along with the new three bean salad and peri peri salted fries. Juicy pieces of succulent chicken thighs which is served hanging and suspended from it’s skewer dripping with sauce. I can see parsley but the feta flavor is lost for me against the mild basting of peri peri sauce. Luckily for me I ordered some haloumi on the side so I still got my cheese fix.

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I’ve never before ordered a dessert at Nando’s probably because I’m normally too full and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t full from eating all of the above, however a mint tea helped me digest a little and Sangam, our ever so lovely waiter suggested we go for the Choc’late Lovin Spoon Cake. It’s a mix between chocolate and pudding and dark chocolate cake so it’s heavy and moist but also irresistible. If you can fit it after your main fix, then it’s definitely worth the calories!

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With 4 new stores set to open in the UAE this year, you’ll never to be too far away for that cheeky Nando’s fix.

Nando's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato