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.
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.
The strangely named Gunaydin meaning Good Morning in Turkish, is the restaurants first foray into the UAE dining scene with a whopping 42 restaurants back in the motherland. Unusual meaning as they aren’t even open for breakfast.
Perfectly located opposite the Dubai Mall, it’s the first restaurant as you enter Souk Al Bahar on the right hand side and has prime positioning overlooking the Dubai Fountains with a long open air terrace.
Inside, you’ll find they have their own butcher when you can even purchase cuts of meat to take home with you.
There’s also a bar inside (although they aren’t licensed), a counter of uncooked meats that you can choose from and an oven where they freshly cook all of their breads. Inside is spacious and modern with a pretty patterned floor and caters for groups of all sizes.
Not knowing what to order as the menu is bigger than I expected (and we were handed both an iPad and a standard printed menu) we ask for recommendations instead.
In no time at all out came a vast array of cold mezze, hot bread and salads arrive on the table.
The highlight for me and what I can’t wait to go back for is the panço cold mezze dip. A chunky dip consistency loaded with potatoes and eggplant and a thick white yoghurt with ample garlic. I pretty much wiped the plate clean.
Then came the kebabs. Oh the kebabs.
But it was the lamb kebab that blew my mind. Fresh off the grill the flavor was incredible. I haven’t tasted lamb this good since I lived in Australia. Ranging from 100dhs upwards for two skewers it’s definitely worth trying.
The staff at Gunaydin are mostly from Turkey and even though we may have struggled a little with language translation, they are super patient and polite.
The beef is sourced mainly from Australia whilst the lamb comes straight from Turkey. The Gunaydin specials are sliced tableside and then seared in a melting hot butter and seasoned with sea salt. Superb and a decent serving size for two.
The katmer was spot on. Flaky layers of pastry topped with sticky Turkish vanilla ice cream and a very generous serving of pistachios, it’s the perfect ending to the evening, especially if you’re a nut lover.
Traditionally Turkish Tea is consumed at the end of the meal to help aid digestion of what was for us, a meat heavy evening.
Having visited Nusret before, Gunaydin is definitely going to give them a run for it’s money. Especially as they tell me they will be opening a licensed steakhouse in the near future. Salt bae look out!
Good news is they will be open for Iftar during Ramadan. Make sure to secure your table. I definitely will be.
There’s no other dates I love than ones that involve catching up with a friend over delicious food. That’s exactly what we did at Fuchsia, a funky Thai joint in the middle of Bay Square.
Once you find building C you can take the elevator to Podium level where you’ll see Fuchsia right in front of you.
The restaurant has a lot of outdoor and indoor seating but due to it being in a business tower tends to be a little quieter on the weekends.
Due to the humidity we take a seat inside under the table with the brightest lights and glaze our eyes over the menu. It includes a monthly special menu which has some tantiliaing options including a lamb shank curry which we later order.
To quench my thirst I opt for the fresh coconut water which comes complete with a straw and a spoon for eating the flesh after the drink is finished. I like how they are already planning ahead. 😏
Our server for the evening assists us in choosing our appetizers, recommending the prawn cakes, the lemongrass chicken wings, the papaya salad and some dim sums. Prawn hargao is one of my all time favorites so I insisted that we try them and we weren’t disappointed. I could tell by the freshness that they were made in house and not just store bought frozen variety as I’ve tasted in other places.
Personally I thought the chicken wings were a little chewy but the seasoning was good. The prawn papaya salad had a nice kick thanks to the fresh chili slices but was light enough to eat a lot of. The prawn cakes were so compact and nothing like I was expecting. I think I’m more used to prawn toast.
As mentioned earlier for mains we opted for the monthly special, a very tender and very hearty lamb shank curry in a red sauce with chunks of potato and a side of brown rice which is actually black wild rice which looks purple. It comes served a little sticky which I love. 💜
We also tried the stir fry scallops which come served with a heap of veggies and scallops that are cut up rather than served whole, as well as a pad Thai which we ordered as chicken but gets served as prawn instead, both of which are so spicy for me I can feel steam coming out of my ears like in the cartoons.
My favorite main though was the lamb chops, which come topped with Thai herbs and spices and potatoes wedges which have a citrus kick which make my mouth water. Such a delectable dish and one I’d order again.
Too full for any dessert we sit and relax and let our food digest before moving on. I can now understand why Fuchsia is already a favorite amongst friends who live in the Business Bay Area.
Luckily for me there’s a branch in Barsha should I need my Thai fix.
If you’re British, or have lived in the U.K. or even have friends that did then you’d know all about a Sunday roast. It’s probably a tradition or ritual of sorts where all the family gathers together to catch up over a meal, be it cooked at home or out at a pub.
At home, it’s exciting as the you can smell the aromas of the meat of choice, roasting away in the oven for hours whilst you eagerly await dinner time.
For those British expats that miss the joys and accessibility of a Sunday (Saturday Roast) then fear no more.
Darren Velvick and the team at The Croft are whipping up one not to be missed. Served every Saturday from 4pm until gone, there are 5 options to choose from including chicken, beef sirloin, lamb loin, organic salmon and even a nut roast for the vegetarians.
Last night my friend and I tried the lamb loin and the beef sirloin, the former which comes with a side of mint sauce and the latter with a horseradish cream.
When they arrived I was so impressed with the portion size and presentation. They didn’t skimp on anything. They serve it with creamy sweet potato mash and crunchy roasted potatoes as well as heirloom carrots, purple cabbage and perfectly cooked broccoli. Not to mention the giant Yorkshire pudding filled with gravy. This is exactly what a roast dinner should look like.
If you like a tipple with your dinner then you can enjoy their happy hour with house vino from 28aed per glass or 135aed per bottle. The house white – colombelle blanc is sweet on the palette but refreshing on a warm afternoon.
You can choose to sit inside in front of the open plan kitchen or outside on the deck to soak up the last of the rays or catch the warm breeze. Inside you’ll see the masters at work plating up the special of the day.
If there’s any room left you might be tempted by the dessert menu which has quiet a few options to choose from. The warm chocolate with crispy cornflakes is for the chocolate fans, a warm fondant served with milk ice cream and chocolate flakes.
I went with the rhubarb & custard, a famously British dessert, which is served with blobs of cold custard amongst poached rhubarb sticks and crunchy crumbs of oats.
So if you’re looking for a deliciously filling dinner on a Saturday afternoon or evening then head to The Croft, 5th floor inside Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel & Suites, where the service is warm, the atmosphere is relaxed and the food is sure to delight.
I’ve never been to Cuba before. It’s definitely on my travel bucket list though. So when an invite to try a fairly new Cuban bar/restaurant arrived in my inbox, I accepted almost immediately.
Cubano Lito is located in the Ibis One Central hotel, not it’s neighbor next door. I (learnt that the hard way). It was inconspicuous from the outside, with no sign, just a giant teal door painted with a flower. We tried our luck and sure enough inside we find this hidden gem.
The owners have left no detail spare when it came to furnishing and decorating this corner space. From a cigar corner complete with a cabinet full of Cuban cigars to a fully tiled bar with rustic pieces like old barber chairs, a jukebox mixed with alternate leather and aqua seating even down to the bar tenders uniforms it all combines to really recreate the feel of Cuba adding so much charm and character.
Should you prefer some fresh air there is also a small al fresco dining space surrounded by lots and lots of pot plants. Karina from Peru is our waitress for the night and my guest and her converse in Spanish. The food menu is made for sharing and the chef prepares us a selection of dishes to try. First up was some empanadas, one stuffed with beef and served with a creamy dill dipping sauce whilst the other was totally vegetarian and stuffed with halloumi cheese and guava paste, this one coming with a sweet plum sauce.The mixed grill is served for two and contains seafood and meat. Everything is char grilled so there’s a very slight chance that it could come over cooked and dry which is partly what we were thinking judging by how well done the meat was, however we were surprised to find how tender the meat was. The charred seafood was so tasty it didn’t need a sauce but a slight squeeze of lemon was a nice touch, however the squid or calamari rings were the only things I didn’t enjoy off the platter as I found them a little on the chewy side.
We also tried their mojito ceviche which was one of the best I’ve tried in Dubai, well diced pieces of white sea bass with loads of herbs and citrus juice with a nice kick from the one and chili. So addictive I end up finishing the pot to myself. Oops!
They have some great cocktails most of which are rum based of course, my favorite being the La Mula, (it only took me 3 cocktails to discover it).
By this stage I want to get up and dance. At 9:30 every night besides Sunday a live Colombian band play a mix of Spanish and international songs. Lucky for us there was some guests who happened to be salsa dancers so they got up and put on a show on the dance floor for us. I was mesmerised.
Considering it’s only been open for 4 months, it pulls in a decent sized crowd, who are there to enjoy the live music and soak up the atmosphere.
Cubano Lito is definitely a hidden gem in Dubai and I’m looking forward to taking friends back here and also trying their desserts! Or perhaps even learning how to salsa!
Location: Hotel Ibis World Trade Centre, Ground Floor Phone: 04 429 8847
Open Daily 5pm – 2am
Happy Hour everyday from 5-8pm Buy 1 drink get 1 free
Free flow drunch – Friday’s 5-8pm 159aed – Unlimited house cocktails and selected beverages
Unlimited Cuba Libres every Saturday 5-8pm for 199aed
Let’s be honest. I hadn’t heard good things about KIZA so I was very hesitant to visit. However last Monday evening a bunch of food bloggers (myself included) gathered for another BME in DIFC. I’m so glad I got to try KIZA for myself as in the end I had nothing to worry about. Hakuna Mata!
KIZA is located in the same building as Mint Leaf of London and is easily found on the Ground Floor. There is no valet service unfortunately so depending on where you park you will have to pay.
Our evening starts with a change of outfits. We were lucky enough to wear some incredible designs by Ntombi Couture. After a small photoshoot, we enjoy a welcome cocktail or mocktail of our choice. I opted for the passionfruit mojito which was served with a load of ice, fresh mint and fresh passionfruit. (My fave!)
KIZA used to be located somewhere in Healthcare City and was a lot smaller venue/bar. The new space in DIFC is huge! It has a bar which takes centre stage lined with African drums as chairs. In the middle is the DJ booth and dance floor where we learn from the African staff members how to do a traditional dance which they do at weddings. It was super fun!
Once we eventually sit down we are served two small portions of soups to try back to back. A pepper lamb soup which is very spicy, I nearly choke as the pepper goes down the wrong hole. The choking aside the lamb adds a nice meaty flavor to the broth although some of the lamb pieces were a little too fatty for me to finish my bowl. Next up was a lentil soup which was very powdery on my palette.
From the starters menu we also try the Kiza mango salad, special BBQ grilled chicken wings and African meat pattys. The Kiza mango salad was fresh – I love the addition of fruits in salads which adds sweetness and the addition of walnuts for the crunchy texture.
The BBQ wings had a nice sauce I only wish there was more of it and I personally would of preferred if the wings were left on the grill for a little longer, as the chicken skin was a bit soggy. The African meat pattys are equivalent to South American espanadas, a thick pastry baked with a filling of minced meat and vegetables. Warm and comforting and addictive, I could of easily downed the whole plate to myself.
Before main courses arrive we change seats so we can get to mingle with other people. The smiling staff offer us a glass of red or white wine to go with our meals. First out of the kitchen was the African kale, Peri Peri Prawns and the jollof rice. The sauteed kale was drool worthy and the prawns were so big and mean looking and tasting. The jollof rice is a red tomato based rice which is a nice base for the Kenyan vegetable stew which is a little on the spicy side.
Next out was the Mixed Grill Platter which was huge in portion size and perfect for sharing, however juicy the meat looked i still found some pieces I tried to be on the dry side. Looks can be deceiving!
The masala fries which landed on the table at the same time were thick cut potato fries rolled in ample amounts of masala spices and herbs.
The sea bream was served whole and then cut up into pieces. A fleshy meat, (but beware of the bones); I enjoyed it with Kiza’s special African sauce which was served with the prawns.
From the desserts we tried I most enjoyed the Pineapple upside down cake. The cake was light and fluffy and had a coconut flavor to it, whilst the cooked pineapple is just enough sweetness to end a filling African meal.
For those who are lucky to work in the DIFC area and love an after work tipple KIZA have a happy hour from 4-8 everyday!
The food menu is quite reasonably priced considering it’s classified as fine dining. There’s definitely some items I’d order again like the African meat pattys, Peri Peri Prawns and the Kiza salad.
If you want to see what my fellow foodies said about KIZA click on the hyperlinks below:
If you managed to find the location of By Parkers then you would of seen Tribes on the opposite side of the mall.
If the name wasn’t suggestive enough Tribes in an African inspired restaurant and more catered to the carnivores than to the vegetarians. We were welcomed by one of the staff saying “Welcome to Africa”.
We choose our seat ( the table with the best light ) and are introduced to the manager who says they are trialling a new menu which is A la carte style rather than the ‘All You Can Eat’ buffet they once served.
Unfortunately for us and our rather large appetite the Prime Rib was unavailable and I settle for the South African 100 day grain fed beef fillet instead, cooked medium and my guest the hanging skewer.
In my opion Africa produce some of the best beef in the world, reminiscing on my steak in South Africa which I could cut with a butter knife. Although not to throw shade at my home country or neighbors, Australia and New Zealand cuts are also featured on the menu.
First to arrive on our table was a rather large loaf of warm bread loaded with sundried tomatoes. Pro tip: The mains are quite big, so keep the bread intake to a minimum.
Shortly followed by our drinks. I ordered the African sunset mocktail however they must of been out of fresh passionfruit as disappointingly there was none in my drink.
I loved the decor especially the wicker basket lamp shades and colorful walls. The waitresses wore these cute printed dresses, whilst the guys outfits were very bright and colorful.
We shared the beetroot and avocado salad as a starter. It was light and fresh and I especially loved the garnish of roasted garlic slices.
For me the crunchy prawn and avocado dish had the potential to be a nice dish but the prawns weren’t as fresh as one would of liked.
When our mains arrived my steak was cooked excatly to my specification and beautifully charred. Unfortunately the corn wasn’t straight off a cob and tasted a little more tinned than fresh and the sweet potato was the yellow variety so not as sweet as the orange type.
Dessert was not required but insisted upon us, so we agreed to share the melting caramel malva cake which is a hefty slice of date cake with a burnt caramel cream on top. Indulgent to say the least!
If you’re celebrating a birthday don’t forget to mention it to the staff as you will be entertained with the African drums, singing and dancing which will have you smiling from ear to ear.
I don’t know about you but I can’t help but sing Bruno Mars 24K every time I hear the restaurant name 24 Karat. This newly opened Italian fine dining restaurant headed up but none other than Chef Glady (which many of you may remember from Per Te) calls the Marriott Al Jaddaf it’s home. Replacing a Japanese restaurant which never eventuated, the kitchen was changed, as was the decor to give this spacious restaurant, the midas touch.
The gold theme touches everything from the cutlery to your plate or even into your glass. Their menu’s are on iPads and offers a video preview of almost every dish hence it does take a little while to go through the entire menu. Luckily the attentive staff are on hand to give you some suggestions. I’m sat on a wide, plush, subtly golden chair which is so comfortable it doesn’t feel like I should be eating on it, rather be watching TV in someone’s living room.
For starters we ordered the 24 Karat burrata; served with 3 way cherry tomatoes, poached, cherry and sun dried, drizzled with basil dressing and creamy balsamic truffle flavored gold flakes! Two of my favorite foods together, what’s not to love?
As well as the seared scallops with creamy saffron, exquisitely made squid ink crackers, shimeji mushrooms and a cauliflower puree. Perfectly cooked and presented.
Not to mention the beef carpaccio; thinly sliced rare beef garnished with pears, pistachio, circles of parmesan cheese, sprinkles of black Hawaiin salt and slices of fresh truffle. Each ingredient playing a key part to balance out this dish.
Whilst we wait a slate board of freshly baked chilli and garlic crisp bread arrive made in house. It’s decorated with stracciatella cheese and olive oil with fresh sprigs of herbs.
Chef Glady also bought us a sample of the Japanese wagyu. A grade 9 marbled steak cut into slices and served upon a bed of truffle mash. The steak melts at 29 degrees and your mouth is generally around 34 degrees. So this piece of meat literally does melt in your mouth. If you wanted to order this in the restaurant be prepared to cough up 790 dirhams for a 350gram serving. However the quality of the meat is that good, it’s worth every dirham.
For mains we tried the paccheri Lobster and Crab pasta and the slow cooked and braised veal ossobucco milanese, the latter atop of a brightly colored saffron risotto.
The pasta was cooked very al dente. The large tubed pasta shells engulf the Canadan losbter pieces in the crab sauce that each bite is seafood heaven.
Last but never least order the golden bomb and tiramisu for dessert. The golden bomb is the highlight for sure. A chocolate sphere surrounded by a an edible forest; a nest of woven sugar which is drowned in hot white chocolate sauce until it melts leaving a mix of chocolate and berries on a bed of crumbled chocolate brownie. Just wow!
Before leaving we take a tour of the restaurant which has 3 private dining areas, a huge al fresco dining terrace with views of the Burj Khalifa in the distance. They plan to install an outdoor pizza oven too. My mouth is already watering.
At the moment the restaurant does not have their alcohol license but that could change in the future. They do however have a quite a range of soft beverages including Dubai cola, (a cola drink mixed with dates and honey which is very sweet) and lots of fancy non alcoholic wines with plenty of sparkles inside.
24 Karat fits perfectly into the Dubai brand with gold flakes and truffle ringing through their menu. However it’s the quality of their ingredients and the way they wow their customers with attention to detail which is why this Italian restaurant is set for success.
It’s not just in the presentation but with the execution of each dish. The passion for food really shines through. You’ll be hard pressed trying to find a dish that isn’t delicious or “grammable“.
It was a warm mid week evening when we set off Downtown to Mori Sushi, located on a quiet stretch of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Blvd. For those who come by car parking is free in the car park behind the restaurant, with a validated token.
Mori sushi originated in Brazil, then opened a store in Egypt before finally landing in Dubai. It’s a fusion menu with inspiration coming from South America.
The staff greet us with a warm welcome and ask if we’d like to sit inside or out. We try outside firstly, but after noticing a mosquito bite or two, we swiftly change to an inside one. The decor screams modern industrial with steel beams, wooden finishings and an impressive light feature which hangs over a round sharing table.
As we glazed over the extensive menu, we had Wizard on hand, our waiter for the evening as the menu itself is slightly overwhelming. Wizard was very knowledgable when it came to the menu and assisted us in placing our order. Wizard was also very entertaining and had a wicked sense of humor.
Our drinks arrive first, which come served in a carafe which is good for sharing between 2. The mojito passion was slighty sweet with a hint of sourness.
First out for the food was the jalapeño tempura prawn. It had a thick batter and strangely enough a non spicy sauce which was still very dry and left us a little underwhelmed.
Not to worry as next to arrive was the avocado bowl. Half an avocado which is served warm and scored, topped with white fish, cashews and a ponzu sauce. It was creamy, with a hint of crunch from the nuts. Delicious!
This was followed by a serving of chicken gyoza which we asked to be fried. A great juicy filling however the outside was a little too oily. Next time I’d choose steamed for sure. The dipping sauce was spot on. Although I couldn’t make out exactly what was in it.
To try something other than the norm we went for a Halloween roll, however there was so many ingredients that once inside my mouth the flavors were mushed and nothing was distinct or stood out for me. All I know was that it was super crunchy.
Gunkan is fusion created with rice, 3 types of herbs and pine nuts. From this section of the menu I opted for the Gunkan Fresh Crab. I found it a little on the dry side even with the fresh mango slices. As they are speciality sushi they are served in one piece only. Same with the Joey maki in which I chose the Salmon roll, this was a nice combination but a little too big to eat in one go but then too messy to take bites of.
From the mains we had to try the black miso cod. It was flakey and flavorsome. A delight on the palette. Still not as good as OKKU but now i’m comparing fine dining to casual dining so for a casual dining restaurant Mori’s black cod is not bad at all.
To wrap things up we finished with a sweet ending of banana croquettes. Deep fried chunky slices of banana served with a decent helping of vanilla ice cream drizzled in chocolate sauce. Enough for one but also fine to share if you’re just wanting a few spoonfuls.
If you’re looking for a quite spot for sushi with friends then Mori is for you. The hardest part will be choosing what to order.
Make no mistake, Zengo is located in Le Royal Meridien and not Meridien Mina Seyahi. Also note, there is a separate parking area for direct access to Zengo. Don’t put the car in valet unless you wish to take a short stroll through the hotel grounds to find it.
Zengo is probably the biggest Pan Asian restaurant I’ve stepped foot in. Spread out over an indoor and outside dining area with separate bars, 3 of them to be exact. One end houses the sushi bar and grill whilst the middle is a long bar with opposite being the resident DJ who mixes house tunes all evening.
The furnishings are sleek and detailed with the overall ambiance inviting. The outdoor bar is impressive although the yellow lighting over the outdoor dining table which overlooks the beach, sounds great but it reality wasn’t great for photos so we chose to sit inside at a semi circle booth.
The food menu is one single page covering Thai, Chinese and Japanese cuisine which is a new directive created by Chinese Chef Lieu back in September.
The raw dishes are executed and presented beautifully. The fresh seafood tasted divine. I can highly recommend trying the Suzuki aka the seabass sashimi.
The dumplings I found to be quite average. Not a lot of flavor at all. I’ve tasted better dumplings at Din Tai Fung. The duck pancakes was a strange combination of flavors and textures, not a dish I’d order again.
I wasn’t fond of the grilled seafood, as it wasn’t juicy, perhaps a little overcooked as it was powdery in texture.
The popular main dish is the coconut chicken and I can see why, char grilled sliced pieces of juicy chicken on a bed of coconut sauce with a generous garnishing of green herbs. Delish!
Our waitress Madina was like our best friend. Chatting away and answering all of our questions without hesitation and also feeding back our thoughts to the chef.
The drink list is extensive and impressive. I immensely enjoyed the Italian wine. I could of easily knocked back a bottle to myself.
Ladies Night @ Zengo 7-12pm every Tuesday 3 free drinks and 50% off food
The restaurant was quiet when we dined on a Wednesday night. My guess it would be hard to fill considering the size. I’ve been told the Ladies Night gets quite busy though so it’s best to make a reservation.
Next time I visit I’ll definitely re-order the Thai food and the raw fish.