A nostalgic trip with Chef Pradeep @ Jodhpur

A taxi trip drops us at Al Murooj Rotana, perhaps in the wrong spot, as we find ourselves walking through a car park, down some stairs, then through an outdoor garden setting before finally reaching Jodhpur. Flustered, we enter the premises and have time to cool down and start to relax as we walk down the spiral staircase to our table.
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The interiors are lavish although possibly a little out dated, however the service we received from start to finish made us feel like royalty.
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We were lucky enough to try 14 dishes from the menu and you can tell every dish was made with passion. The chaat macaron was such an incredible amuse-bouche touching on each of the five taste sensations and every dish following came with a story.
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This fruit cocktail we were served had hints of aniseed which I’m not a huge fan of but it sure does look pretty.
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I couldn’t choose my favorite from the 3 starters as they are all different and unique in their own way. Though being a carnivore and a sucker for tamarind sauce the short beef rib does lead the way.
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The unique laban & ricotta kabab
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There’s a decent break between each dish until you reach the mains which is when the portion sizes defeat us. Between two, we are already struggling. We jumped up to watch how the chef’s prepare the chicken & chestnut kulcha (pictured above).
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This is when our dining experience was briefly interrupted by famous Dubai Vlogger Mo who looks like he might of been lost and rolled through the restaurant with his entourage.
This mango, cranberry and kaffir lime sorbet palette cleanser was the perfect size and served in miniature pressure cookers, cute!
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The mains arrive and we are flabbergasted by how much food there is. The faux dal makhni substituted with moong dal was too hard to resist dipping the chur-chur kulcha in. Loved the mini garlic paos that come skewered on top of the batata vada too.
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Not one but 3 desserts came out sometime after we’d managed to make a dent into our main courses. The kesar malai kulfi, comes served as one giant popsicle and garnished with crushed nuts and freeze dried raspberries.
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The rasmalai was one of the best I’ve tasted in Dubai and for sure is my favorite Indian dessert. Irresistibly smooth, but also crunchy.
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The jalebi’s come hung on a tree and are too many for us to finish despite their light airy texture so the rest are packed away for us to take home.img_0246
Chef Pradeep Khullar has created something unique, with the modern take on his childhood classics, that you too are taken on his nostalgic culinary journey.
Whatever you decide choose at Jodhpur, you won’t be disappointed.

Jodhpur Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Iftar @ Signature by Sanjeev Kapoor

If your’re a foodie and you’ve never heard of Sanjeev Kapoor then you must of been living under a rock. He’s an Indian chef famously known for his role on Khana Khazana and has multiple cook books up his sleeve.

Unfortunately you won’t find the man himself cooking up a storm in the kitchen however I am reassured by the pleasant staff that all of his recipes and cooking tips and tricks have been passed down to the chefs to provide a signature experience.IMG_8889Firstly I’m here with a bunch, some 20-30 odd foodies to try this Iftar preview.

The ambiance as you enter Signature is sleek and chic complete with personalized crockery, obscure decor and wooden floor boards. As well as the indoor dining area they also have an al fresco dining area complete with a bar and is suitable for smoking shisha.IMG_8901Before the Iftar menu even arrives the table is set with dates, olives, fresh fruits including my fav choc dipped strawberries, baklava as well as salads and cold Arabic mezze.IMG_8872IMG_8873IMG_8875The server asks if we are after veg or non veg and that’s for the starter & main options. Before the starter even arrives, out comes a display of 5 varying chutneys (my favorite being the mango) along with papas and also a stand of pani puri. I’m told rather than pour the liquid inside the crisp shell to firstly crunch the shell then sip the liquid afterwards. Or was it vice versa. I can’t really remember all that I do know is that the flavors are intense and I’m hoping sets the tone for what’s ahead.IMG_8876IMG_8878The non-veg starters arrive and it’s a platter consisting of a juicy saffron scented king prawn, a slice of chicken roulade which has been stuffed with nuts, a grilled fish which has been spiked with sumac and a charcoal roasted lamb chop which melts in your mouth.IMG_8888The starter, so filling in itself, it’s lucky the mains, which is served directly onto your plate, is a controlled portion as don’t forget there’s a dessert tray still to come.

So the mains included a lalla mussa dal, a chicken biryani and a veggie pot which I must of missed along with some very greasy but moreish naan and paratha to soak it all up with. A little anti-climax after the starters being so good.IMG_8905After a slight breather, we are ready to try the desserts which are served as individual portions on a fancy display. There’s a mahalabia, phirnee, chenna angoori as well as malpua and gajar ka halwa. I’m not usually a fan of Indian desserts as I find them too sweet on my palette, however the mahalabia was quite enjoyable.IMG_8909The Iftar is priced at 149dhs per person and the restaurant opens from 7 til midnight. The service can be quite slow therefore you can break your fast at your table and then sit back, relax and enjoy shisha in the terrace until your heart desires.

A special shout out goes to Deepti for the invite and hosting such a great evening!

For reservations call 04 386 8111

Signature by Sanjeev Kapoor Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Swaadish – Delicious by name and delicious by nature

If you’ve heard about Swaadish then you probably know about their specialty. A Nutella Samosa which oozes with so much Nutella one would think a whole jar was inside. The twist is that the pastry outside is dry and not oily and also contains a dusting of spice which is unusually different but immensely enjoyable. Avoid wearing white when visiting.

Enough of the warnings though. If you haven’t heard about or seen the new mall, confusingly called “The Mall” in Jumeirah 3, then add it into your GPS as this is the place you need to visit as it’s cute little food court is home to Swaadish. The mall is brand spanking new. It’s a quiet mall which means the parking is plentiful and the experience, peaceful.IMG_9200The owner Raza greets us as he is one of the staff behind the counter, and he works around the clock to ensure the smooth running of this newly opened Pakistani fast food restaurant, a rarity to find inside a mall. Their delivery side of the business is the most popular with them covering Dubai Media City all the way up to J3.

The produce is all supplied by 3 local vendors and the owner Raza himself is previously a Thai trained Chef but decided to stick to his roots and open up this subcontinental kitchen.

As it was Ramadan when we visited they provided dates, a fruit salad and a sweet Rooh Afza (Strawberry flavored) Non-Alcoholic Margarita to help my friends break their fast.

We started with some traditional Dahi Bharray, a cool yoghurt mixture topped with crunchy salad slices and spices.IMG_9201We then munched on these crunchy pakoras; battered and deep fried onions with a mixture of herbs and spices.IMG_9203We then moved onto the mains with a Butter Chicken, a Daal Bukhara and a Mutton Peshawari, all rich in flavor but with their own identities, with the Mutton being a favorite among us.IMG_9204There’s nothing quite like a large, thick and fluffy buttery, garlic naan to soak up your curries with, so fresh n hot out the kitchen that R. Kelly would be jelly.IMG_9208We also tried Swaadish’s Chicken Tikka Biryani which was a little dry for me and personally I would of preferred chicken pieces rather than bone is as it makes it easier for eating and especially sharing.IMG_9206The Chicken Gola Kabab which I foolishly thought was “cola” kabab due to my poor eyesight was perfectly browned minced chicken pieces blended with a mixture of spices and yoghurt and served with magical Masala Fries.IMG_9205I say the fries are magical because they transport me to another place. They create an addiction like no other and I just can’t get enough that I have to order more.

But it’s not all about fried foods, for the health conscious they also have a fresh salad bar.IMG_9215And serve freshly squeezed OJ out of this cool contraption.IMG_9216So it’s safe to say I’ll be going back again to Swaadish as I HAVE to try the Doritos Chaana Chat and for more of these deliciously magically addictive Masala Fries.

Location: The Mall, Jumeirah Beach Rd, Opposite Burj Al Arab.

Parking available underneath.

Phone: 80079223

Swaadish Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tremendous Tresind

Having opened it’s doors back in October 2014, Tresind has got a name for itself. Ranked 4.9/5 on Zomato UAE it’s not hard to see why this fine dining Indian restaurant sits above all the rest.

The word “Tresind” is a breakdown of French “Tres Bien” meaning very good as well as an abbreviation of Indian. Although no short cuts are taken when it comes to impressing their guests.

Tresind is on the 2nd floor of the stunning Nasima Royal Hotel and the restaurant is classified as fine dining. We have an early reservation which sees only ourselves and a few others occupying tables at the time. However this increases as the night goes on.

Over the next 3 hours we embark on a exploration of senses through Tresind’s Summer menu.

The plush leather high back seats are extremely comfortable. You know you’re in a fine dining restaurant when there is a full white linen table cloths. The background music matches the formal ambiance.IMG_6770The welcome scroll from the co-founder including a personalized note was such a touching gesture. I’ve never experienced such 5 star service before.IMG_6773When I saw the way the deconstructed pani puri shot was made with a solution of sodium algenate, I knew we were in for a great evening. The creativeness of Chef Himanshu Saini had already started to shine through as well as the attention to detail.

We enjoyed some fruity beverages during the evening. The ice berry blast was presented in a box like a treasure chest and another was a bubbling science project in a yard glass. Unfortunately I didn’t have the best lighting for the drink photos.IMG_6789This unusual looking salad served like a pot plant had stiff cos leaves poked into a bombay kachumber cream, with an olive crumble and crispy shards of ciabatta. Tasty!IMG_6797The chicken tikka carpaccio came resting on cling film, when pierced the smell of applewood smoke came wafting from underneath. I loved the sweetness against the acidic tamarind sauce brought out by the pomegranate seeds and lychees. A recommended dish.IMG_6798The tandoori style lamb chop served with a rosemary reduction and ghee roast potato was so soft that I bet it was cooked in a sous vide. Superb!IMG_6802This chicken, garlic, parsley and black pepper dish was so flavorful and served in a giant pestle. Don’t let the color of the dish put your off as it’s so tasty you’ll be begging for more.IMG_6806I got excited every time the trolley is wheeled to my table, as I wondered what type of masterpiece I will get to visually then literally get to sink my teeth into. This time it’s a 5oz blackmore wagyu which is cooked perfectly to my specification but I ask to have the extra fat removed. It’s sliced in front of us and placed on a bed of sauteed veg and served with a variation of Indian pickles, each with their own varying flavor.IMG_6811The sea bass recheado is also prepared at the table with the finishing touches as per the image below. Served in a very  cute and quirky way.IMG_6815The modernist chaat trolley is like a work of art. The waiter improvises his way around the trolley making an effortless masterpiece which I did not want to eat because it looked so damn pretty but at the same time I’m glad I did as there was such a flavor explosion in my mouth that I’ve been craving this ever since.IMG_6819The Australian lamb shank was my favorite dish of the evening served as a lamb biriyani. The chunks of meat just fell off the bone and the portion size is very large so would be the perfect dish for sharing.IMG_6826The channa bhatura is a Moroccan style chickpea dish cooked in an authentic tajine. The garnishes bring the dish to life with additional color and flavor.IMG_6828The first of three desserts to arrive was an icy pop made from tender coconut payasam, lavender honey and lemon sorbet.IMG_6832The daulat ki chaat was by far my favorite dish served with sohn papdi crumble and sprinkled with an edible 24 carat gold dust and decorated with rose petals.IMG_6833Unlike Farzi Cafe, I felt the service at Tresind was at a much more relaxed pace and I didn’t feel rushed. In fact we dined there for around 3 hours. Akash our server was ever so helpful in explaining everything to us and making sure we had a pleasant dining experience.

As the evening concludes I am content but also sad that this whole experience has come to an end. But the good news is there is loads of deals on to keep you and me going back again.

Tresind offers lunch deals
An exclusive 4-course lunch menu, perfect for those quick corporate lunches, starting from AED 145, Sunday to Thursday, every week.

This Ramadan Tresind is offering the following deal:
Enjoy the choicest selection of biryanis, curries, tajines and traditional Arabian inspired delicacies, with the unique Tresind twist for Iftar and Suhoor during the holy month of Ramadan. Priced at AED 200

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They also have a new branch of restaurant opening called Carnival by Tresind due to open in DIFC this July. Watch this space.

For reservations, call 043080440 OR 0564209754.

Tresind 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

Chawlas2 – Punjabi cuisine

I’ll be the first to admit that Indian cuisine never crosses my mind when it comes to eating out or ordering in. I’ve always found it too heavy or too spicy or just never known what to order. That was until I tried Chawlas ² in JLT.

IMG_6859The JLT branch is a franchise with the first restaurant being opened in India some 56 years ago. It’s a family run business which has been passed down three generations. Back then their signature dish; cream chicken, was the only thing they sold and they would sell it by the bucket load, literally. You had to bring your own take away containers. The rest is history.

Fast forward to 2016 and things have changed immensely. The menu has expanded as has the branches with locations in Australia, Canada and even the U.S. This branch in JLT, Dubai is small but modern with exposed brick work and light bulbs that might make one think they are in a hipster restaurant in East London. Although the vibe here is totally the opposite, a completely casual and relaxed dining environment. We are lucky enough to be greeted by a third generation Chawla himself as well as the restaurant’s owner. We are here for a BME run by the lovely Monica from doindubai.com

As we sat down with some fellow bloggers, we were offered a sweet or salty lassi to start. I opt for the sweet kind. It’s thick but enjoyable and I try not to drink it all as I need to leave space for dinner.IMG_6864Instead of breaking bread, we broke papadum and topped them with various sauces and spicy onions. IMG_6866We were allowed to enter the kitchen (hairnets and all) to see where all the magic happens. They have a traditional clay oven where all the kebabs get cooked as well boxes of multiple spices used in their dishes. The kitchen team have worked together for over 10 years so have all of the Chawlas recipes down pat.

When we sat back down we were brought some appetizers of Peshawari Tikka, Fish Irani and stuffed tandoori aloo. The Peshawari tikka is a chicken kebab stick which is cooked in the clay oven. I found the flavor to be nice but some pieces of the chicken for me were a little too undercooked.

The stuffed tandoori aloo is a potato stuffed with a mix of vegetables and cheese. The texture didn’t hold together well and I wasn’t overly fond of the flavor although the cooking method meant it was still perfectly crisp on the outside. An interesting dish to try.

The fish Irani was a master in disguise. It very much looked like chicken and I was surprised when they told me it was fish. They use Kingfish which is fleshy and was perfectly cooked. I went back for seconds and again for thirds.

When it was time for mains they brought out a bread basket full of mixed parathas, naans and rotis lathered in butter. However you can opt/ask for a naan without butter which is a lighter more health conscious version. Easier on the stomach.IMG_6890The 4 mains we tried were the fish curry, a paneer dhaniya adraki, a dal makhani and Chawla’s signature dish the cream chicken curry.IMG_6907The cream chicken curry had quite a thin consistency so we also asked for some steamed rice to enjoy it with. It has a nice subtle flavor, not too spicy with larger than expected slices of chicken breast inside.

The dal makhani was delightful and easy to eat. I soaked it up with a piece of yellow missi roti which is made from chickpea flour. The paneer was my favorite of the four as the gravy was thick and delicious, again not too spicy on the palette. The fish curry was my least favorite tasting main as the fish flavor was too overpowering for me.

There was also a kachumbar salad and a raita served with the mains which helps to balance out the spice which can be found in some of the mains.IMG_6899Just when you think you’ve eaten too much is usually the time the tables are cleared and the desserts arrive. Luckily for us there is just 3 kinds of dessert which are served in small ramekins for us to share. I avoided the gulab jamun as i’ve tried them before and they are too sweet for my palette. Instead I tried the kheer kesari, although found the saffron a little overpowering therefore leaving my favorite dessert of the evening to…

The moong dal halwa. A mix of moong dal, ghee, nuts, cardamon and raisins, this deliciously buttery gem was definitely a favorite of mine as well as the table guests.

If you don’t live or work in JLT, Chawlas also offer a delivery service with a minimum of 50dhs per order and a maximum of 15dhs for a delivery charge. Their menu is very affordable and if you are interested they can also provide catering for events.

Thank you to my fellow dining buddies for being great company as always. Click on the hyperlinks to read their reviews. Dubai Food Diaries Baggage and Dish  The Tezzy Files Being Random Rachael

Happy Foodies at Chawlas2 DoinDubai .jpg

NB: This blog post was sponsored by Doindubai.

Location: Lakefront, Icon 1 Building, Cluster M, JLT, Dubai

Phone: 050 850 2483

Nossy x

Chawlas2 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato