| | Nathalie's is located at:
Next to Park Rotana
Abu Dhabi For office & home deliveries and all your catering needs: Telephone:
02 - 4411330
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Nathalie's Facebook Page
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Healthy. Fresh. Handmade. Delicious.
I am not a breakfast person.
I am the type who when I'm working, dashes to the office hoping to get a cup of coffee before I sit on my chair or I'll just forget the most important meal of the day, altogether! BAD. When I'm not working, I'll prepare kids breakfast, have my coffee and do all the chores under the sun just with caffeine in my system. SUPER BAD.
Don't get me wrong, I love breakfast
but if I will prepare it for myself, I'd rather not have one. I have quite a diva taste when it comes to breakfast and I can't even impressed me. I feel like everything is the same. Eggs, sausage, roasted tomatoes, toast, jams, pastries. Sure they taste yum if done right but personally? I'm bored
with the concept. Sure I can prepare them with flair (have you not seen my awesomeness oozing from those selfie narcissistic shots of me kicking a$$ in the kitchen?) but I want someone else's flair on my plate! Then came Nathalie's Brunch. Brunch
at Nathalie's is like a meal with your favourite Grandma
(oh don't deny it, you have a favourite for sure!). It's healthy, filling and made with lots and lots of love. I say, I felt the warmth on every bite.
If they are located in Dubai, I and the whole fambam will be a regular. The prices are great, I tasted the quality ingredients they used on every single morsel of the dishes I dove into. Everything's done meticulously. I really can't find any fault. From the warm farmhouse décor or the Disneyland-like-smiling staff to the happy-tummy food. I am just bowled over.
What makes them special? Nathalie
. She's the kick-ass founder of leading Nutrition and Catering Provider, Rite Bite
, almost organic, that sounds clinical and boring
to the majority (I, included). In my head was The BLAND band
singing "bland, bland, bland"
. Yup, you guessed it, I'm not a healthy eater. I'm the fluke of nature who just won't gain weight. I yoyo between barely right weight to under-rexic-scary-weight. I stress eat, don't get me wrong, and a lot of things stress the bejesus out of me... but my body mass gets stress double time too so it doesn't matter if I eat a lot. And the bad in me won't stop reaching for that unhealthy over-processed salty or sweet food. I. Have. Very. Weak. Will. Power.
Sue me! Okay, maybe don't.
Stepping into Nathalie's with sis and may two boys in tow, I felt like a sinner
stepping into a place of worship
. My heart was getting the sizzling sensation from the glare of clean food. Right there and then I felt my weight departing. I was getting stressed that I will be eating healthy food! It's a great thing that their decor is so inviting and warm, I thought... "pretty sure this is what Hansel and Gretel felt" wondered what kind of sorcery was involved?
Still skeptical, I sat my skinny behind down. My two buggers (sons) happily distanced themselves from shutter addicts group, and settled at the next table. Smart boys, learned from experience, wanna eat in peace, stay away from MOM!
Then the array of carefully selected dishes wiped the smug off my face. They tasted light and clean but filling and oozing with awesomeness. Gorgeous. Beautiful. Think symphony of flavours playing in an arena built on real meadow. Not the CGI edited meadow "Bella and vampire Edward" shot the scene on. Nathalie's dishes are the real thing honest to goodness tasty. Can almost hear "Doug! They're in it to win it!" AI Jackson pointing it out loud
Dishes so real, it confused me. It was supposed to taste bland but I have not eaten any from them that is remotely bland. The bad in me was utterly disappointed that it can't manage to feel sad about eating healthy.
From the supposed to be naughty muffins to the normally oily omelettes, up to the sweet surrender which I had to their coffee. The whole thing was an experience, a very good one. Without a doubt, we left on a high.
The best part, my sons' fave breakfast are poached eggs and toast from a certain Meilleur Ouvrier de France, French Bakery in Media City. They both just won't stop telling me how great Nathalie's version is that it now made it to their top list, kicking the French Bakery to second place.
How about that? Nathalie's just made my life a little difficult. A visit to my parents, I used to only need to remember Sanine's Shawarma on our way home at night... now have to remember Nathalie's on our way over in the morning.
What can I say, my boys aren't shy to show how much they lurve the food at Nathalie's!
Their Saturday Brunch is so good, I might just make an excuse to drive down to Abu Dhabi. Plus I want to see more of Nathalie's cute touches like this mini garden cans and those messages all over the cafe, like a hidden treasure... adore!
Thanks Nathalie's for proving me wrong.
Granted that it's not an original concept, the execution I think is up there with the great ones. There are a lot of places who market their businesses as healthy and delicious but most than not, only delivers one of the two. This is the first time I really am impressed to witness both on a plate.
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Location: Trident Bayside Building, Dubai Marina
Basement Parking, valet available
Telephone: 800 43546
Opening Hours: from 1:00PM - 1:00AM daily, Friday-Sat from 11:00AM-01:00AM
Click above to visit their official page
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Helio Lounge is a new hip place in town where you can literally just turn up, dine in and hang out...
The atmosphere is so chill, the view is great, has a valet parking, what else should one need to relax?
Hubby and I chose to go al fresco a few weeks back since the weather was perfect. Helio does not have a slice of the marina view.... they have a PANORAMIC VIEW of the gorgeous skyscrapers and marina. Unobstructed beauty. We just sat there, smoked shisha while we chatted the night away with the buzzing crowd around us, a mellow music in the background, the yachts and dhow cruises going back and forth, makes you think, "what a wonderful life to just be there, stress free."
I used to be a heavy smoker but I stopped a year ago (yey to me!), and so I was hesitant to try shisha since some of the flavours are a bit strong for me. Luckily, hubby's there to the rescue and got me a mint shisha... light and pretty. I love it and I enjoyed it a lot!
The night was filled with canapés and drinks (non-alcoholic ones) which we enjoyed quite a bit. The fruit slices and cheeses are combinations that will always go down well.
Helio actually offers contemporary Egyptian Cuisine, updated to suit Dubai's discerning palate without losing that Egyptian flare. Honestly? I have not yet tried it. I did eat Fiteerssssssssssssssssss the following day, yum!
I'll just have to make it a point to come back and try some special Helio dishes and update this blog, watch this space then!
Chef Joe Barza, region's Celebrity Chef conducted Fiteer-making master class. Let me rephrase that, explained what the Fiteer expert was doing on each stage. I'm sure he can do it himself but he's wise enough to give the table to someone who's been doing it day-in-day-out for years. Honestly, he can do it with his eyes close, me thinks.
We watched in awe as he knead, rolled and stretched them pastries to just the right thinness and filled it with so many mouth watering gorgeousness. There were dessicated coconut and sugar combo, Sojouk Feta, Beef and Beans, Minced Beef and Labna and Choco Halawa. They have a total of eleven mouth watering fillings, a choice between Savoury or Sweet Helios for you to choose from. .
We couldn't wait to taste them, I literally burned my hand when I bit on a piece and greedy me won't let the fillings drop to the plate.
Fiteers were just beautiful. So delicious that I ended up taking home Coconut and sugar filled and Meat,,, BUT, when I opened the pack, it was half the size of what we saw made in the master class session. I was sorely disappointed to be honest. I wish it was the same size given the price.
It's AED 45 for one log, basically makes 6 good bite-sizes. A thin Fiteer is not what I was expecting. For the actual size that I took home, the price is pretty steep. I'm sure it was as delicious as the ones in the master class but I lost appetite when I saw it. Even my kids and hubby weren't interested to try them. Aside from it's really small, it was already cold when I reached home, so that's partially my fault.
I will still buy them when I go back to Helio but will definitely eat it at the venue. Fiteer are best eaten freshly baked.
Hubby is already planning to go back to Helio with his office colleagues. Shisha lovers, amazing view, relaxing ambiance and super friendly crew. I'm sure they'll enjoy.
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Rebel with a Cause...
The name says it all.... this food joint is a rebel in all sense of the word!
"Another burger joint!", one would say but this one believe me is SKIN DEEP.
I have not been to the area in awhile (which means a looooong time). Frankly speaking, I live quite a distance from it and there are so many foodie places in between, so when I received the invitation I thought, "it has to be a different experience", so different it was. I brought my two boys to the food tasting and it was very refreshing.
Foodies like me sometimes get too caught up with our own complicated expectations. My kids, however, still love the basics. Sure they appreciate the adult palate and presentations but they do know good and tasty food when they bit on one. Burger Rebel had them the minute we entered the place until the time we left.
The colourful sign, the hanging bicycle as a sort of art exhibit with its own story to be told and the corrugated steel for roofing used as a wall panel painted ala-DIY way. I had to think twice whether I'm entering an exhibit or a restaurant. It immediately hits you of how special it is.
*BTW if you have unused bikes which you would like to donate to be part of Burger Rebel installation, please let me know or contact them directly through their details below.
There I met Chef Adrian, a Mexican chap who's worked all over Europe for so many years before giving the land of sunshine, desert and malls a chance. He gave us a little tour of the place and explained the reason behind the eccentric, playful and inviting décor that I and the boys just can't help but get curious and be so awesomely entertained.
apologies for my gaunt appearance... I was plagued by severe and incessant case of tonsillitis and was not able to eat like I used to for more than a month... no worries... I'm stuffing my face every waking moment to gain all the weight I lost :)
The graffiti were created by students from different Universities, the winner was from University of Wollongong in Dubai.
I was so intrigued by each design trying to get into the artists' heads thinking what was going on in there when they were creating these pieces. What did they envision? Very curious indeed.
The interior exhibits gorgeous re-purposed furnitures,,, genius stroke a couple of times at Burger Rebel. Used banners, building metal I-beams, window louvers palettes, it's really something. Witnessing true commitment to preserving the environment, not just through their interior decoration but the whole place breathes around the concept of conservation. The iPad instead of printed menu, recycled take-away bags, the Naked Bar (because it's kept organically designed)... it's very inspiring. Makes me want to look at Pinterest and see other ways to re-purpose throw away items.
We sat down and gawked and drooled over their menu. Of course my boys checked their dessert's list first... and also checked if there's an internet connection in those iPad beauties.
I wanted to taste all but given my current throat situation, I know I couldn't really munch much without tearing up so I have decided to focus on sliders. To be honest... they have amazing sliders selections. Throat pain or now, I will not let anything ruin a foodie treat with my kids.
I ordered for myself dishes that I will probably not find in the usual burger places. Ceviche, Duck Confit and Burger Rebel Sliders, not to mention Beetroot Chips. My boys chose Burger Club with extra serving of chips.
For drinks, I took the usual soda, my youngest went for the ever undying Vanilla Smoothie while my oldest opted for fresh juice.
We were delightfully informed that everything was home-made, from the buns up to the tomato ketchup in the bottle. We felt super special.
Oh we are coming back!
It's a distance but it's not Abu Dhabi. I like the Ceviche although a bit soupy. The mango bits made the flavour rounder. In between citrus bites were kick of spice and a soothing tart sweetness.
Beetroot crisps were fun. Salty, sweet, dunk it in their home made mayo and ketchup and you're set to finish it all off! I'd prolly buy more next time, to-go. I can see myself just polishing the whole packet off while watching telly. I'm sure there are beetroot crisps in packets from supermarkets but home-made fresh ones are of a different level altogether. Yumminess through and through!
My best bites were spent on Duck Confit Sliders which I love sooo very much. My youngest ended up eating some of my sliders as it was just darn soft and tasty. I really enjoyed it. I am the type who would buy those duck confit spread from supermarkets and slather it on crackers and just sit in one corner and eat at my leisure until I feel stuffed to last me a lifetime.
I still have to taste their other dishes the next time I visit but definitely Duck Confit and Beetroot chips will be a staple.
My oldest boy ate everything in his plate! He said he loved everything. Sure I have to cut the whole Club into pieces as the bread, being home-made, doesn't hold quite well, but I couldn't care less,,, my boy finished off a man-burger all by himself!
He even had a bite of my Burger Rebel Slider (how awesome is he?). I thought he'll be squeamish as it is beef tongue, even I had to prepare myself mentally, I was a beef tongue virgin eater, he took it on a stride. He said, "mom, why wouldn't people eat it? It's still part of the beef, what's the difference between that and tenderloin or rib-eye part",,, hmmm the boy has a point.
If I didn't know it was tongue, I wouldn't have guessed it... it was so tender that I felt more pain (bad case of throat condition) eating some of my boy's club burger than the sliders
The last act of the whole production were desserts... although I ended up stealing some of my boys' Warm Chocolate Fondant, I think Burger Rebel's intention of Ginger Glazed Fruit Kebab did not hit my palate where I expected it to. It's a polarizing dessert, I predict. It will either be a total hit to someone or a miss.... which in my case was a miss, just because I think I would have preferred fresh ones. I personally think fruits are at its best when served fresh... but hey, that's just me. I know of some people who'd probably enjoy that piece of creativity.
I personally look forward to hearing more of Burger Rebel and it's wonderful mission to get the community (youth in particular) involved in meaningful activities such as arts, exhibits and competitions.
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This is my second post about Oushe... they are indeed one of my fave but mostly because they offer something no one should ever, ever, ever miss.
Moist Fruit Cake, Festive Legendaries and Gingerbread cookies for everyone to decorate... now tell me that's not enticing enough!
It's like moist Turkey, this was my first fruit cake that I didn't hate... it definitely was not dry, hard as rock and it didn't have alcohol! It was just a glorious piece of art and love from Reem to everyone.
Festive Legendaries which I hope will be a staple, served me from insanity couple of times. Just a pop of it made me literally happy and so I must drop by and get my supply before crazy meeeh appears again. That and hot coffee... aahhhh feet up, relax and enjoy the flavour.
I and my kids enjoyed decorating our gingerbread cookies.... I have never attempted to make one and so it was the first for me and the kids... such fun! I tell you if you have kids, nephews, neighbors (which all of us has)... you must buy them in boxes!
It's the 23rd.... go run to Oushe or call them quick!
It is sad that of all my kitchen adventures and my own version of epicurean journey that I have never had a Roasted Turkey that is not dry and over roasted and tasting like either cardboard or paper.
When I got invited to a festive tasting at Lafayette Gourmet, I knew I'm one lucky gal!
Every single dish tasted soooo good that it makes me salivate right about now just thinking about all the yumminess I put in my mouth that night... for which I'm definitely looking forward for a repeat as I, yes I, will be feasting on them again this Christmas!
I'd like to think I'm the kitchen goddess and all, but to be honest,,, I couldn't be bothered to roast a whole bird for just two adults and two kids and I'm still undecided if we want to dine out on Christmas eve so it is the safe zone then.
Order in .... but make sure it's from Lafayette Gourmet... because that Roasted Turkey and Beef Wellington with all the stuffing and veggies that it will come with... why eat hurrily, why rush, why not stay in, in the comfort of our own house ,,, put our feet up and indulge ourselves with some additional inches on that sacred waist.
That moist, tasty and just unbelievably succulent meats were soooo memorable. Just like my first bicycle ride, first realization that ice cream is actually delicious and first everything.... my very first PERFECT festive meat will forever be remembered in my palate's memory chip.
Don't take my word for it! Prove me right! Order in and make everyone happy, you definitely included.
Enjoy my humble shots... I tell yah, the shots didn't do the dishes much justice as the skills, great produce they used, art and patience it required can never be captured... enjoy it nevertheless!
Selection of festive mini plates:
- ‘Scotch egg’ with duck confit and quail egg, piccalilli
- Duck and chestnut ‘chipolata’, spiced blueberries
- Turkey and foie gras ‘sausage roll’cranberry dip
The starters – served Family style
Maple cured Scottish smoked salmon platter with traditional garnish
Canadian lobster and poached prawn ‘cocktail’, gem lettuce, heirloom tomatoes and Lafayette cocktail sauceMain Course, Carved Table sideClassic whole Roasted TurkeyServed with Cranberry sauce, Bread sauce, Turkey gravy, Chipolatas, chestnut stuffing, festive seasonal vegetables
AndCanadian Heritage Roast Prime Rib of beef with Yorkshire puddingServed with duck fat roasted potatoes and seasonal vegetablesTo FinishFestive dessert platter
Mini Christmas pudding, warm Puff mince pie, seasonal Berry Trifle
Well,,,, don't think about it too long! Start dialing! Happy Festive Season y'all!
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Phone: +971 4 339 9933
Mexican flavour is a taste that I enjoy, a lot. Not sure if it's the lineage or because I have some weird affinity to anything and anyone related to Español.
When I heard that a new Mexican foodie joint has just opened, I got very excited. The other fave Mex place that I adore is currently under renovation and so it's a blessing in disguise for me to have a new one to try out.
With high hopes, I, hubby and kids marched down to Mall of the Emirates salivating over the thought of Mexican flavour explosion (mostly me on the salivating part).
The Sad Story (... but continue on and you'll get to the happy ending... I promise)
Safe to say that the first time around we tried Taqado, it was pretty eventful or lacking thereof.
I ordered Burrito with barbacoa beef and pinto rice while my husband ordered tacos. Kids got their lunch dishes somewhere else.
Tacos were filled to the brim with the filling soaking wet and so it fell apart even before my husband got his hands on them. So that's flop 1. They replaced it but forgot to add tomatoes and cheese. Flop 2. The third time, it was still soaking wet... and so, he's able to hurriedly eat the first taco intact while the rest broke into pieces. I'm sure you know how to count.
I was holding the 2nd broken taco in my hand to get a picture of the watery residue.
My barbacoa wasn't bad but it's just missing the Mexican character I was so craving for. I was expecting more oomph from it... sadly it bored me.
We really looked very disappointed and the good thing about Taqado team was they knew they are on teething stage and have to be very aware of how happy customers are with their food and service. A very nice Mexican gentleman name Isaac came over to our table and asked how the meal was was. And so we told him ... everything. No bars hold. At the end of the day, it's for their benefit.
He did try to find us something that we perhaps might like. Brought us Churros con Chocolate, Chili con Carne, Nachos con salsa y guacamole.
Churros con chocolate was a hit especially to my kids, it's just how we want it. And the cacao they use to create their chocolate es muy buena. It reminded me of our Cacao tree back home which we pick, dry, roast, grind and mold to medallón de chocolate. To put it mildly, HOME RUN!!!!
I was prepared to be disappointed with the Chili con Carne because one of their staff said it's not that spicy and I thought well, "why is it called chili if it's not going to be spicy?". Apparently, it wasn't crazy spicy. It was warm and comforting that the heat tickles your throat just enough for those cold weather. It was really lovely.
Another enjoyable snacks are their Nachos. It went well with guacamole but its at its best when eaten with their spicy salsa. Those cinema nachos should be very, very ashamed.
We tucked in to whatever was on the table while telling him which we like, what's missing and some suggestions we think will help. Isaac was very receptive and all the while everyone's just nice and super friendly.
Hubby and I swear it definitely felt like we were back in Disneyland where everyone's just smiling... even when we complained and pointed out the flaws with really irritated faces and tones, they were just ALL SMILES! It was crazy nice,,, too-out of this (Dubai) world. Usually it will feel fake and condescending but surprisingly, it didn't. They're just genuinely nice group of people! Whoever hired them definitely ace job-fit.
It's not the food that impressed us the first time, it was the fantastic attitude that is missing in other places. They might be located in the food court with other fast food chains but their service is definitely up there with the many stars.
So I made the decision to give them another try, when they're on more stable footing and less stressed out with the opening.
Happy Ending! (I told you we'll get there)
After a month, we came back and it was a totally different story.
I ordered Tacos the way Isaac will enjoy Tacos. I call it Tacos-the-Isaac-way... And so it came with a kick that made me enjoy it more than I have ever expected. I finished all three in a jif, it was that tasty. Definitely not boring, full of ooomph, and not soaking wet. I ate every single bit that fell off my hand onto the serving box.
The kids went for the usual. Nachos con salsa, guacamole y crema agria or sour cream and Churros con chocolate.
We were so happy that we even lingered a bit, took funny shots of our 'taches. That's the TaqadoMo initiative supporting last month's Movember. We had so much fun. Defo looking forward to next year and what awesomeness they'll come up with.
The other plus that Taqado does is strive to serve their dishes in recyclable items, from spoons, forks, cups, to boxes and tissues. I think that earns some awesome points, don't you?
Taqado makes their own salsa, guacamole, churros and chocolate dips. Guacamole is made from Spanish Haas avocados.
Other vegetables they use are produced within the region. They're also trying to find a local supplier for their Roma tomatoes which at the moment is coming all the way from Brussels.
One of my faves, the Chili con Carne is made with grass fed beef from New Zealand.
Now you see it.... then you don't!
Digo... indulge your curiosity ... satisfy your cravings and run (or drive) to MOE and feel the warmth of Mexican hospitality via TAQADO Mexican Kitchen. You will be deliciously happy (Usted será deliciosamente feliz!)
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Surprisingly I'm not really a chocoholics. I'd like to eat and enjoy a bar or two once in awhile but because I bake a lot for my little family... chocolate as it is isn't that a big deal for me. But when it's incorporated in cookies or... like the Chocolate Presentation that was held at Novotel... in drinks?
I AM IN!
We got the recipes of all the drinks but unforch it's not to be shared... it's like our chocolatey sticky secret... enjoy the photos though. Will upload one vids (out of the many) just to tease you more and show you how the magic happens :)
Of course we won't be allowed to leave without our goodie bags and I got these yumminess... thoroughly enjoyed Chocolate Coated Almond and the Milk Chocolate with fleur de sel which amazingly melts oozingly when required... ;)
One thing I enjoyed the most with Monbana is the pretty awesome prices they have. I actually thought they'll be expensive but yey for chocoholics,,, they're not!
You can have your own Monbana treats delivered to wherever you are for a small fee... free delivery for orders AED 150 and above.
Go to CLICK CUISINE
for all your gourmet ingredient cravings!
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Let me start with AWESOMENESS FACTOR! 25% off total bill, Sunday - Thursday via Round Menu!
I used to love Ping Pong,,, the sports. It's a part of my younger years which I cherish. I remember family fun, neighbors competing, high school intra-sports. I remember being the best in it. That was then. Now when I watch the Olympics, I watch my other interests, gymnastics, ice skating and those hunks swimming like a fish. Ping Pong, not so much anymore. I still like to play it once in awhile but I'm over the hype now.
Then I learned about the other one! An Asian foodie joint that will actually make your eyes play the sports. Mine literally went gaga over the number of Dim Sums they offer. It's not the type of craziness that makes me whine and rant endlessly about quantity over quality. THIS IS DIM SUM! Bite size. Teasers. Now-you-see-it-now-you-don't magic parcels. DIM SUM joints are the only one excused from that rant. To be honest I don't know of any other Dim Sum dedicated foodie joint in town. If you know of any, leave me a comment.
I asked my hubby what he thinks of Ping Pong Dim Sum experience, the location, the price, the setting... to which he replied...
'bottom line is... they have GOOD FOOD'
Right he is! We've been to a lot of fancy places in our lifetime and not all of them met our expectation when it comes to comforting, filling, tasty food. Our Ping Pong dinner was filled with it. Yes of course there will be some dishes that doesn't quite make it, either a square peg in a round hole or missing a little on the flavour, it's not a mood dampener because there are gajillions to choose from.
We started the evening with surprise drinks. It's like a gift waiting to unfold.
Lemon Grass and Lime drink was a sight! Adorned with hard to miss fresh lemon grass in it... what a beauty. Taste yum too according to my foodie pal.
Next amazing drink was the Flowering Dragon Eye Tea. They got us on "dragon eye". It starts as a bud and really blooms as it infuses the hot water with its flavour. Very theatrical.
I got the adorable enjoyable Blackcurrant Bubble Tea. I enjoyed that a lot, a lot, a lot. I love 'sago' or tapioca pearls. I can see my kids loving this, drinking and giggling at the same time. It will be music to my ears!
Hubby ordered his usual drink wherever we go, Ping Pong's version is Lemon and Vanilla. It is fresh lemon, vanilla sugar and lemonade. He liked it but also couldn't contain his curiosity and ordered Flowering Dragon Eye Tea for his after meal. We enjoyed how it blossomed and he enjoyed drinking it too.
Hubby ordered Chicken Wonton Soup while I settled with Mix Mushroom Soup. Mine was the winner of course, it was creamy with a hint of acidity in it. It has depth and definitely has full of characters. I wouldn't mind catching a flu once in awhile if it means an excuse to take refuge in this mushroom's soup.
I love almost everything but definitely will come back for Chicken Char Siu Bun or what I normally call "bao". I make Siu Bao myself but their bao is so fabulous that I just have to have it again. It was light and fluffy it was unbelievable. Definitely hate them for having waaay better bao than I can ever muster (not fair!).
Sticky rice was yum too... surprise filling inside makes it a complete meal on its own. King prawn, scallop and sticky rice, steamed in a lotus leaf, it was lovely.
Lamb is one of my weak spots in cooking. Unfortunately, hubby has a soft spot for it, though he's not a big fan of lamb with sauce. He prefers it grilled or pan-fried. But when one of the guests ordered Braised Lamb Claypot and offered hubby a taste, he ended up stealing few spoonfuls. We could see how much it has taken him by surprise. For sure it will be in his "must eat again" list.
The one that didn't stand out for us were the Puff Pastry looking treats. European dish in the midst of an Asian theme they were going for. It fails in comparison to the other treats they have. It's not of the same level of flavour as the others.
I'm also not a big fun of their Sesame Prawn on Toast with fish sauce as a dipping sauce just because I make mean chunky prawn on toasts. Yup, no humbleness here, I'm going to do a mighty brag, mine is waaay better ....:P #PingPongPlsDontSueME #PingPongDon'tBanMeFromYourResto
my chunky prawn on toast :))
By the time it's dessert time, we were full to the brim but munch away we must. Tough job eh?
I enjoyed the Coconut Bun. It certainly reminded me of childhood snacks from our school canteen. Chocolate Banana Roll is similar to our "turon" but theirs is missing on the sweet side of dessert life. Frankly, I like our turon over their roll. It has to be the banana they used since the method is the same. If they use the "saba" banana from Philippines and add a little brown sugar, it will taste hundred times better. I say they should make it for their test kitchen and compare.
The awesomelicious night ended with a delectable note still lingering our palates and a grin still plastered on our faces.
It was relaxed, surrounded by food jam packed with flavours. Add never ending chat about foodie joints, laughter about foodies ultimate disorder - paparazziness. That's paparazi mixed with craziness. How our spouses or family members have to endure every meal as a photo op. Family members usual line is:
"Are you done? Can we eat now?"
Shame I have not had the chance to see their outside seating. I got so distracted. I heard it has a very good view of the Dancing Fountain. With the weather so ideal now, it should be fun to come back with our kids.
If I may sum up what Ping Pong's customer consideration is all about? It will be "every gesture, big or small, counts".
The benches with no back rest - a person can only sit so upright for so long. Dim Sum eating needs time, lots of time. It's like having yoga while having a meal. It's like a version of reflection by foodies. You want to be grounded yet relaxed.
The stand alone wash basin - dim sum eating can easily be 'finger food' style dining. Why settle for just towelettes when you can freely wash your hands before and after your meal.
Different choices of dining table arrangement - options, a luxury they offer guests which are not too frequently given to us.
Partial open kitchen - tastes are heightened when you think that your presence is a part of your dish's preparation. I love seeing stacks of bamboo steaming pans in action.
Online booking - a lot of people now prefers emails over phone calls just because the latter option has time limit and it does not necessarily creates records for future reference. Online booking is really the way to go nowadays.
Nutritional information - if you click on the dish via their website, Nutritional Information will pop up to give you a chance to prepare and know what you will be munching on or avoid any if you have allergies.
As I wander about taking shots of the restaurant, I noticed the writings on the .... ceiling. Chinese characters that says...
Love at first sight. Extravaganza. Opportunity comes but once. Straight to the point.
LOOK UP! It's written on their ceiling...
Sounds very Ping Pong.
Lazy Fridays Promotion
Dim Sums are morish? then go for their ALL YOU CAN EAT DIM SUM. AED 135 for adults and kids under 12 years old can enjoy them for only AED 65.
Also have Monday Mocktails and Sunday Funday, check them all out in www.pingpongdimsum.ae
Ping Pong Dim Sum is located at Dubai Mall's Lower Ground Floor, close to the food court.
If you still prefer calling over online facility, their number is +971 4 339 9088
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I won this via Channel 4 FM early last year. Fun times then, Vicky White and Rob were still hosting the morning show.
What a treat! Looking at this photo collage still makes me smile.... big, like Joker BIG mouth smile. It was something I did not expect at all. This is the kind of treat that under promised but definitely without a doubt, over delivered. A year after and my heart still swells of joy.
Up there, looking at how beautiful this place is, through a different perspective, really just incredible. This tour holds a special place in my heart, it was that memorable.
I know nothing about taking nice pictures then. I even took lots of shots of just tips of my hair, the button of my nose, some even just seat's headrest. It was basically a hit and miss.
I just took as many as possible and hope some are clear enough. I did know how to work with the camera. Didn't know anything about adjusting lens. Clueless about lighting too... so bear with the photos.
Everyone in the plane was too busy taking pictures of the view and themselves. It was an odd yet funny visual. Imagine a plane-ful of people holding camera with the lens facing themselves because they were too shy to ask other passengers to take a picture of each them when the view outside will disappear at any moment. It was a frenzy of trigger happy tourists.
One spectacular view gets replaced by an equally mesmerizing one and for at least 30 to 45 minutes, we were all in awe. A trance that we really did not want to get out of.
Dubai up there is an ABSOLUTE beauty.
If you have a chance to grab a trip through Seawings. Do so. I know Cobone sometimes offers Seawings Tour with Afternoon Tea and other great deals, take it.
I promise you, you will not be disappointed. Even if you buy a tour on its regular price, it is sooooo worth it.
Of course if you are scared of heights, might not be the best deal for you, stay on the ground then. :)
SEAWINGS: DUBAI +971 4 807 0708
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yup... this is how I look like when I'm not impressed....
Moons and moons ago, I distinctly remember a lovely Soup on Bread Bowl which hubby and I enjoyed at Coco's Deira City Centre. Trying to remember what else we had seems to be quite an effort. It was as if it fell into the abyss of my food memory, not that memorable then. Indeed it wasn't.
I, hubby, our two boys and their nanny arrived at Coco's barely filled restaurant at Sheikh Zayed Road on a mid Saturday. Granted it's past the usual lunch time, it still looked odd. Then again, Dubai is saturated with gajillions of dining choices that they really have to be on top of their game to convert curious diners into patrons.
Based on our experience, I don't know how many converts they have made, we definitely are not.
We sat down in one of the the booths and received a thick menu. We are pretty surprised at the number of dishes that is in it.
Thirty-eight (38) options for breakfast. One hundred thirty-seven (137) for lunch/dinner. Seventeen (17) desserts and the remaining Twenty-three (23) are for drinks. Too many to create at its best and for diners like myself, it was confusing for my appetite. Nevertheless since we are already there, we thought we might as well try to enjoy the meal. I had a feeling though that mediocrity is inevitable. It was quantity over quality and it's never a great thing. I'd rather go to a small place that offers ten outstanding dishes than infinite forgettable ones.
I told the server I want to order fajita, which he immediately shut down with, "Oh, that's very spicy". And since he made the assumption that I couldn't handle spicy, I asked him how did it fair to him when he tried it, to which he replied, "it's one step milder from Indian spice". Duh? So I asked again, "yes, I heard yah but what do you think of it?" That's me showing him how assumptions sound, me hoping that he sees where I'm heading to. Knowing that his tolerance of spice has no bearing on mine, I'd like to push the button and assume away the way he was doing it. Like talking to a smart mouth wall he replied, "I DON'T KNOW since I don't know how much spice you can take". I would have enjoyed interrogating him until he realizes how arrogant and nonsensical he sounded but we're not in court and I'm trying my best to keep my excitement up for the soup.
I just wish F&B management train their staff up to the mark and consistently remind them of what standard service is, most especially what manners are.
I find it ridiculous sometimes that some staff take the lazy road or the subpar level expecting us to cut them a slack just because they're from the same country as where we came from. I really take offense and find it discriminatory. Why attend to customers differently based on nationality? At the end of the day, we are all paying customers. We don't want you to treat us special, we only asked fair.
Anywho, we proceeded and ordered Baked Potato and Cream of Broccoli Soups in Bread Bowls. Deep Fried Calamari. Mixed Fajita to share, one of the burgers for my hubby while our oldest boy chose Gone Fishing and Chips. The youngest decided for Champ's Chunky Chicken Strips.
Our soups arrived and we were very happy with it. Even my kids were impressed. The presentation, the taste, it really was a soup experience, one which I would like to re-create at home. Between the two soups? Baked potato was the clear winner. Broccoli was top notch too but just a tad lower than the potato.
Happy ever after however ended after the soups arrived.
The soup came, kid's meals, starters, main course... I guess what I'm trying to say is, they served every single dish we ordered all at the same time! The whole table was filled with food. While we were "trying" our best to enjoy the soup, we had to tuck into the calamari before it gets cold. Also keeping in mind the main dishes that's quickly losing its warmth.
So irritating that hubby had to say something. Clenched jaw and trying his best not to lose it, he told the server the right way to serve food. The difference between courses and the importance of enjoying the meal hot.
Server was apologetic a little too late. Damage was already done. Our meal felt like a disaster. Appetite disappearing fast. He retreated to the kitchen's entrance where somehow every single server retreats to.
What do we think of our meal?
Bread rolls with butter on the side was okay, tasted commercial as opposed to baked fresh in-house. Calamari was okay but I think they could have done better with the dip. There's nothing extra ordinary, we're not expecting it to be superb in the first place.
Since the server did not bother to ask how hubby wanted his burger patty done, it arrived well done of course. Seriously? If I wanted a template burger, I'll just go to MickeyD's or some other fast food chain. Assuming how a particular customer like their meat done, is total no-no. This server looked like his guide on how to attend to us was based on our nationality. Assumptions like that really irks me to no end. Lucky for him, hubby does like his burger well done, I like mine cooked medium and sometimes I even like mine medium rare. Had it been my order, it would have been a pretty interesting and entertaining discussion.
Burger verdict? Hubby said it was like any other burger, there's nothing special to it. There's nothing that separates them from other fast food chains. The chips that came with it were like every other too, from a huge packet, ready to be fried. Definitely not hand cut. His meal was ho-hum.
Moving on to my curious Fajita. Lackluster to say the least. The Mexican rice was uber spicy which overpowered everything else. Chicken strips were dry, so, honestly, this dish did not do it for me, at all. Not the beef strips which were also forgettable, not the onions or capsicums that came with it, nothing in the dish will ever make me order it again. Definitely, spicier than Indian food, I think they miss the mark on this dish altogether. Fajita is sooooo hard to do wrong... but they managed. Maybe it's time to revise their recipe? If the server felt the urge to jump in and warn customers, it only means he knows it's not a tasty dish to fork your dirhams over. Only problem is, he didn't really communicate well.
My kids enjoyed their meal which was puzzling. I tasted both their meals and it tasted like the ones that came out of a box. I think they will say the same thing had I fed them "Smiley Meals"... meaning, no difference in taste, just difference in price. Disappointing.
Will we ever come back to Coco's again? Maybe not. I think I'll just look for another place to get my soup in bread bowl fix. I'm not willing to pay for forgettable meals and endure disappointing service.
Don't take my word for it though... explore. Consistency has always been an issue in most F&B outlets, so there's a chance that our dining experience could be different from yours. If you do happen to dine at Coco's and find a dish that redeems them or had a better service than what we received, drop me a line via comments!
If Coco's team read this? I think it's time you overhaul your menu and have some focus. Under promise but over deliver. It certainly has better results than the other way around.
www.cocosme.ae seems to be under construction. Right now it's a static one pager.
Deira City Center - 042953777
Khalid Al Attar Tower, SZR - 043326333
Jumeirah Beach Residence - 044243740
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