La Ville – Exactly like nothing else

The first hotel to hit City Walk, Al Safa is La Ville, a boutique hotel under the Marriott groups Autograph collection boasting a refreshing modern but minimalistic edge and consisting of around eighty guest rooms and five F&B outlets, three of which I got to experience recently.

We experienced a Culinary Immersion evening organised by Monica at DoinDubai. Starting with Look Up Bar. Make sure you do, as I nearly didn’t notice the sky above me as I was too fixated with the view of the Burj Khalifa over the infinity pool.

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This rooftop bar situated on Level 5, serves up your regular cocktail options as well as some signatures using the hotels own mix of beauty elixirs. Cocktail with beauty benefits? Sign. Me. Up! As well as a variety of other drinks they also have a light bites menu. Some of the options include some rather large jalepenos stuffed with feta cheese, homemade marinated mixed olives and artisan vegetable chips. Think purple potato, beetroot and yuca all served with a tasty onion dip.

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Chival Global Social is the hotels all day dining restaurant focusing on healthy food. The restaurant opens out onto a terrace and even has a private dining area good for 8-10 guests. This room is gorgeously decorated with leafy green plants and quotes on the walls. The overhead lamps add ample light and I almost forgot what it’s like to dine in a restaurant that isn’t dimly lit.

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We enjoyed a range of appetizers including a beet & lentil salad, a spiced cauliflower and freekeh mix as well as my favorite dish a Tuna Tataki and Cucumber Salad with glass noodles, edamame and a miso vinaigrette, followed by mains consisting of Island Prawns, a rather greasy Prime Burger served in a pretzel bun and the hard to pronounce agnolotti pasta, pockets of pasta squares cooked al dente and stuffed with ricotta and spinach, the latter of which we ordered a second plate.

The third F&B outlet on the culinary immersion tour was Graze gastro grill. It’s a hip venue playing some upbeat tunes with an impressive ceiling. Another reason for you to Look Up. This was the location for our final stop on the culinary immersion and we enjoyed dinner over this gorgeously lit table.

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First up we had a pre dessert made up of a blueberry and balsamic sorbet topped with a virgin mojito cream and a sprig of mint. A tangy palette cleanser that wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Followed by a smoked vanilla ice cream, a Japanese cotton cheesecake, a dark chocolate missipi pie and a white chocolate zabaglione. My favorite out of all the desserts by far was the Japanese cotton cheesecake. It was fluffy and light served with a sour wild berry coulis.

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The hotel is still in soft opening but you can expect a grand opening next month. I’m looking forward to my next visit and trying out the Grape Skin Wine Bar which will be starting Ladies nights soon.

As always it was a pleasure dining with my fellow foodies Monica, Nairuz, Rachel, Meghana, Javeria, Mark and Rohit.

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Next time you’re in the area, don’t forget to pay La Ville a visit. There’s plenty of options which are sure to tickle your tastebuds.

Chival Global Social Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Recipe – Nutty choc butter cups

Let’s just be honest. I’ve never been a fan of peanut butter in saying that though I don’t mind the odd peanut here or there. However walnuts and almonds are my favorite nut these days. So having a Choithrams down the road from me which sells freshly made almond butter from raw almonds has definitely changed the way I look at nut butters. Although I’m still not into slathering nut butters on to toast as I find the sensation of having a thick paste stuck to the roof of your mouth unpleasant, I don’t mind dipping sliced red gala apple pieces into a container of almond butter. Delish!

Below is a recipe I used to make back in Sydney and is borrowed from The Balanced Blonde.

I recommend finding and buying yourself some mini silicone cups. These will make your life a hell of a lot easier.

Mini silicone cups
Ingredients:

Prep time: 10 minutes
Wait time: 30 mins

Firstly, for the nutty layer, mix in a bowl 1/2 a cup of natural peanut butter and 1/2 cup of raw almond butter, along with 2 tablespoons of organic coconut oil and a tablespoon of agave or maple syrup. I’ve decided to use this which is the best of both worlds.

Mix well then spoon the mixture into the mini silicone cups until 3/4 of the way full. Transfer them into the freezer to set. (Approx 15 mins).IMG_9595While the base is setting, in a new bowl, mix up 1/2 a cup of raw cacao powder, one tablespoon of the agave/maple syrup with a 1/3 of a cup of coconut oil until completely mixed in and entirely smooth.

Remove the cups from the freezer and top with the chocolate mixture and return to the freezer for setting. (Approx 15 minutes).

And voila! There you have it. Bite size raw treats that everyone will love and a healthy alternative to Reeses.NBCThe best part is you can leave them in the freezer for as long as you want and just grab one anytime you feel like a chocolaty nutty treat!

Gourmet by Kcal – A gluten free restaurant

The 18th May 2016, saw  Gourmet by Kcal open it’s doors to the public inside the well known Le Meridien Mina Seyahi Hotel in Dubai Marina. It replaces a Japanese restaurant and has been totally transformed with a new earthy look with a full sized 70 year old olive tree taking centre stage, as well as the use of recycled coffee sacks which is used to upholster the furniture and not to mention the potted herbs lining the entrance.IMG_8674Gourmet was a collaboration between the Le Meridien Mina Seyahi and the Kcal brand which brings together a more upscale dining experience rather than your regular Kcal takeaway which you might find in a shopping centre food court. Head Chef Aung Kyaw Swar has come up with an impressive guilt free menu.IMG_8662Their kitchen and menu is completely gluten free and preservative free. Not many Dubai establishments can say that. They use mostly organic ingredients where possible and all of their fruits, vegetables and honey are sourced locally provided by Ripe Market. They use Raw Coffee which is a fair trade coffee company with beans from Columbia and Ethiopia. IMG_8668There’s a separate bar area for that after work tipple or a fresh juice or smoothie and for those wondering, yes they are fully licensed with some organic wine options also on the beverage list.IMG_8664Our BME evening started with some smoothie shots, beach bliss (pineapple, mango,coconut water and grated ginger) and a super greens smoothie (green apple, fresh spinach, lemon, mint, cucumber, celery, kiwi and organic honey). Both tasty in their own right with the former surprisingly containing less calories, fat, and carbs per serving.IMG_8677This was followed by some healthier style spring rolls, the Vietnamese kind, not the deep fried, soggy with oil you might find at a Chinese take-away shop. This means you can enjoy them without any guilt. They serve prawn, chicken, beef and vegetarian options.IMG_8683The carrot cups below were also a hit with the bloggers. Each carrot cup was crunchy with a warm filling of spinach and roasted balsamic onions sprinkled with parmesan cheese.

You can see first hand a range of the fresh ingredients they use to make the dishes. IMG_8659The menu is brilliant for those counting calories as it has the breakdown on each meal as well as the macros. It even includes some very healthy and vegetarian style pizzas made with a dough free base made from carrots. Perfect for those gluten free people who struggle to find places to eat pizza.IMG_8692This version below of a chicken biryani contains less calories than one you might find from an Indian restaurant but still has as much flavor. It’s served here with black and brown rice and has yoghurt marinated smoked chicken.IMG_8697My favorite main from the evening had to be the chilli con carne without a doubt. It’s completely vegetarian with slow cooked Mexican beans and quinoa so it’s packed full of protein and it’s served with crispy polenta chips. Only 235.4 Kcal. Winning!IMG_8699

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Havanna Chicken

We tried a few of their desserts with my two favorites being the ones pictured below. A coconut caramel cheesecake as well as a caramel almond tart made from 85% dark chocolate. Guilt free dessert has never tasted better!IMG_8708I’ve been told their apple crumble cup is just as good, if not better! I’ll be trying that next time.

They are soon to start a breakfast service too from the 10th June so for those who aren’t fasting it might be worth the visit if you fancy a healthy start.

Many thanks to Monica from Do in Dubai for hosting this BME event and also to my lovely dining companions Dubai Food Diaries Baggage and Dish  The Tezzy Files Megs Blogged Dine Out Dubai

NB: This blog post was sponsored by Doindubai.

Location: Ground Floor, Le Meridien Mina Seyahi, Dubai Marina

Phone: 045117139

Website: Gourmet by Kcal

Gourmet by Kcal Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

Brunch with Superheros @ Mazina

Don’t put away your comic con costume just yet. Mazina in the Address Hotel Dubai Marina have recently launched a Saturday Superhero themed brunch. Aimed at the kiddies with a dedicated kids’ room complete with jumping castle, magician and self serve food. No one will judge you if you rock up as Super woman, in fact it’s encouraged.

The staff are welcoming upon arrival and show us to our table. There’s the option of also eating on the outside balcony too whilst the weather is still nice. It’s actually more peaceful out there too.

I take a wander around to see what’s on offer before grabbing a plate and tucking in. I notice a cereal station. I’m not sure why anyone would eat this considering the brunch starts at 12:30pm and most people would of had breakfast at home.

I always like to start a brunch with seafood. There was a nice selection of fresh seafood as well as four types of sushi, raw octopus and also salmon and tuna sashimi.

There was no signs on some of the food, which is OK as most stations are manned so you could just ask the friendly staff however signage on all of the food would definitely help especially for the unmanned stations.

The amuse bouche served on ceramic spoons were delightful each with their own mix of flavors.IMG_5723Mocktails – The virgin pina colada and mojito were okay but we preferred the taste of the Summer fizz.IMG_5722There was a pork charcuterie station, a cheese station and a healthy station consisting of fresh salads and juice shots.IMG_5685There was also Indian & Chinese cuisines on offer with one my favorites – dumplings.IMG_5694Although the braised chicken in black bean sauce stole the show. IMG_5739Brunch isn’t complete with a selection of hot roasts. Mazina’s selection includes: Roast Beef, Roast Turkey, Roast Chicken and Roast Pork complete with vegetables and of course Yorkshire puddings. Don’t forget to add the lashings of gravy. However after trying the Roast Pork and the Pork Loin they were both a little too dry for me. The Turkey was the highlight.IMG_5700You could also choose from super tender lamb shanks, pan cooked salmon or seafood paella.

IMG_5699IMG_5702Our tables were cleared quite quickly most of the time with only once we reached back to find a plate still there. That’s quite good considering we went through 5 rounds.

For desserts there was plenty of options but I limited myself to just a few as I was seriously struggling by this point to fit any more in.IMG_5715IMG_5710IMG_5712You can choose from individual portions of desserts, a slice of a full sized cake or tart, a spoonful of hot puddings like Um Ali or drizzle some fruit pieces in the chocolate fountains. The choice is endless and totally yours. I stuck with a choc brownie dipped in more chocolate (totally guilt worthy but worth it), a scoop of bread & butter pudding, a mango pudding and a date and caramel pudding as well as a latte to help me digest it all.IMG_5748The vibe is a very relaxed with a family friendly casual dining atmosphere. More of a buffet lunch than your typical boozy brunch that you might find elsewhere. That’s not to say alcohol isn’t available. There’s a fully stocked bar.

Overall for the price it’s quite reasonable and has a decent variety although not OTT. It’s not overly crowded either so you’ll face zero queues at the buffet. What’s great is the soft package brunch includes water, soft drinks, mocktails and tea and coffee! Not bad at all.

315AED soft package

440AED alcohol package

Don’t forget to sign up to the U by Emaar card to start earning rewards on all your purchases.

Location: Lobby Level, The Address Hotel, Dubai Marina

Phone: 04 4371652

Mazina 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

What Nossy made

If you’re like me, you’re generally time poor but still want something that’s quick, healthy and delicious to eat. Here are some ideas for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks to whip up in no time. They are simple ideas that do not require you to be a master chef in the kitchen but will still leave you with a full and happy tummy.

Breakfasts:

What a berry nice breakfast #strawberry #blackberry #blueberry #greekyoghurt #yum #brekky #foodie #🍓

A post shared by What Nossy Ate (@whatnossyate) on

Lunches:

Early lunch #turkey #babyspinach #tomato #mayo #blackpepper #crunchyroll #whatnossyate

A post shared by What Nossy Ate (@whatnossyate) on

Lunch be like #salad #healthkick #youdontmakefriendswithsalad #imstillhungry #😭

A post shared by What Nossy Ate (@whatnossyate) on

 

Dinners:

#bonappetite #homecooking #salmon #dinner #hungry #yum #tasty #brownrice #broccoli #zucchini

A post shared by What Nossy Ate (@whatnossyate) on

Snacks:

Smoothies:

Cakes:

#watermelon #cake #fruit #healthy #birthday #yum #foodie #yum #tbt #regram #whatnossyate #🍉 #battleatbloomies

A post shared by What Nossy Ate (@whatnossyate) on

Until next time,

Eat well

Nossy x

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