Tag Archives: BurpAndBelch

Man vs Lobster @ Zheng He

TheCalmDev @ Zheng He - Man vs Lobster
TheCalmDev @ Zheng He – Man vs Lobster

Unfair fight. Lobster alive or on the plate, notwithstanding.

Little did I know that I was going in for combat when I walked in with my dearest friend at Zheng He by the waterfront at Mina’a Salaam. Priority seating, with uninterrupted views of the Burj Al Arab changing gels in the evening, was quite the highlight. And then the food started rolling out.

The Dragon Boat Festival @ Zheng He
The Dragon Boat Festival @ Zheng He

To celebrate the dragon boat festival, there was a special dimsum menu. Truth is, whatever the festival, I am always up for dimsums. Chicken, prawn and mushrooms, tempered, and stuffed inside delicate translucent steamed bags is something I can do on repeat mode every evening.  The only thing that beat it was a crispy golden king prawn in Chinese mustard and spicy mango. Our kind hostess from the Orient, oriented us and patiently answered our questions. Spicy mango, not spiced mango, said she. This appetizer is highly recommended. In fact, I do not mind having it as a main course.

And then on followed a kingly sight of soups, duck, shrimps, octopus and scallops. My co-eater asked for the whole Canadian lobster in black pepper sauce. It didn’t alarm me, as I thought it would be an equal share of the crustacean. When it arrived, I was left to wrestle it all by myself. Understand this, I had half the Tasmanian Sea marine life inside my stomach and then I had to eat the entire lobster! (Ideally this line would have sounded better with an expletive.)

The lobster on the far right. What I ate was bigger!
The lobster on the far right. What I ate was bigger!

And so, I set out for the impossible. The head and the tail shells on the plate taunted me as I slowly reached out my chopsticks for the chunks of juicy lobster meat flavoured with the essence of the Sichuan area. The taste was incredible, as was the texture. My hands picked up momentum, picking and delivering piece after piece until my mouth was unable to keep up. Chewing and swallowing on an almost-full stomach is not an easy task. I was thinking of greater glories like my name on Zheng He’s aesthetic walls discussing my superhuman feat; or comforting things like eating in my loosest pyjama in front of TV. I wasn’t prepared to give up easily on this deliciousness on my plate. I was about 7 pieces more to go before fame and glory would throw their garlands around my neck. I wasn’t looking at the Burj, or at the table next to me with 5 gorgeous girls daintily eating their Chinese food. And then there were 3, left. Lobster pieces. I felt like Achilles in the siege of Troy. To destroy a 1.5 kilo lobster all by myself is no less satisfying. With my plate polished off clean, I stood up akimbo, much to the surprise of my bemused friend, the 5 beautiful co-diners and our Chinese stewardess. I told her stoically that I was adjusting the lobster inside my stomach and she did have a strange look on her face. Hah! You should have seen mine – it was like Po with his mouth filled with buns.

Ni hao! And how!

#BurpAndBelch Meter: 5 buuuuuurps (sorry, was I too loud?)

#5WordFoodReview: Eat Pray Eat! Then Repeat!

Zheng He's - Mina A' Salam Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Carter’s – for English grub and King Tut

BurpAndBelch @ Carter's
BurpAndBelch @ Carter’s

When you have a mall in Dubai, in the shape of a pyramid, with walls adorned with hieroglyphs, Ramasses II greeting you at the gate along with Anubis, then little wonder that there will be a pub called Carter’s.

The Englishman who shot to unprecedented fame when he ‘stumbled’ upon the untouched tomb of boy-king Tutankhamen, was celebrated for opening up the preparatory after-life of the ancient Egyptians to the whole world. That was just the history appetiser. For those that want to know about more Howard Carter or King Tut, read up. If you want to know about the ‘meteoric’ iron used for King Tut’s dagger, read this: MeteoriteIronForKingTutsDagger

Carter’s is a lively, charming, colonial gastro pub (and sports bar), Carter’s features some English favourites and gourmet newness that one can enjoy without the starched formality.

The menu was rather square, something I would have personally designed if I was running the show here (with a few tweaks here and there). Luckily the staff was friendly enough for you to come back a second time. Well, I have seen this for the last 10 years, so this felt like old times.

When in an English pub, eat Stilton. This beautiful salad could be my best friend for a long, long time. Oven roasted beetroots, with a drizzle of Stilton blue cheese, baby gem lettuce and macadamia nuts for crunch was simply delish. It was too dark for me to behave like typical food bloggers and whip out my phone camera and shoot the food a zillion times before eating it! So, I just ate it in peace!

Right after this got over, the live rock music took over. That meant, the abrupt end of conversation as the drummer was within earshot and a careless flick of the Stilton could have soiled the guitarist’s shiny black leather waistcoat. I stuck to my crispy calamari for comfort.

Peppered steak - demonstrative picture
Peppered steak – demonstrative picture

For mains, I ordered the peppered filet with hash and buttered spinach. Do not miss the peppercorn sauce. Eating this sauce is like listening to your favourite tune on the radio. My dinner mate settled for Carter’s Cod and Chips. Now the thing about fish and chips is that there is nothing new that can be done to a classic. It’s like a vintage car. You can just rub the chrome 4 times extra for value add. There was mushy peas and tartar sauce. Home run. Although I am a little blah to the bland batter the fish gets coated in. So, instead of helping my friend out when he couldn’t finish it, I chose to relish on the perfectly done, medium well, steak with handsome grill marks et al. What the dish lacked was the crunch of steamed veggies which the wilted spinach could not perform.

We washed the food down with our beer. While on that, make sure to ask for the Summer Sale where you get pints and selected grapes for very cheap. Will certainly come in handy for the rock night.

All in all, Cater’s is a great place to unwind with family and friends. Use the terrace when the weather isn’t that muggy. Or else just sit indoors and crane your neck to see the inquisitive Carter bent over the sarcophagus of Tutankhamen. Should do the trick!

#BurpAndBelch meter: 3.5 out of 5 burps

#5WordRestaurantReview: Not What King Tut Ate!

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

Mundo – World of Seafood

Sea of Seafood at Mundo
Sea of Seafood at Mundo

The mere mention of seafood brings up images of all things that can poetically be called “fruits of the sea” and Mundo (at Jumeirah Emirates Towers) had exactly that. Sea of seafood for the eyes and the belly at the seafood dinner at Mundo

Sea of Sea Food at Mundo
Mundo – for all the seafood you need

The restaurant, running almost-full for a weekday early dinner,  welcomed me and my chowdown partner to plush interiors and counters and islands of seafood. We invested in surveying the spread, mentally noting the stations to stop at and counters to give a miss. You possibly cannot eat all that is on display.

Sea of Seafood at Mundo
See Food – oysters, scallops and prawns

We started with cold oysters that were shucked in front of us. For accompaniments, I usually avoid the creamy sorts, as I feel it numbs down the taste of the sea. They go best with lemon juice and pepper. I also tried the tomato salsa and a pineapple salsa that certainly brightened up my palette.

Sea of Seafood at Mundo
Salsa Verde & Chimichurri

Moved on to prawns and scallops, followed them with ceviches and stopped over at the cheese and fruits counter. I was very happy to have the British Stilton present there along with the usual suspects. I spied the winning avocado salsa verde (nobody would penalise if one were to call it the guacamole) and next to it sat my current favourite the Chimichurri sauce. Those led me to overeat a little more before stopping over to the paella and grilled fish stations.

Funnily, I spied a quiet corner that served Indian cuisine. However, I was sad to see that Indian seafood preparations were completely missing from the table. I would certainly recommend scouring the western (and eastern) parts of India to source out some excellent seafood varieties that would add some geographical and gastronomic weightage to the Mundo of seafood.

Sea of Sea food at Mundo
Eel Sushi with Green Eggs of Flying Fish on top

Special mention of the sushi counter that served an eel sushi with green eggs of flying fish on top. It was delicious. The flying fish certainly excited me since I had read about them in my childhood and seen ample documentaries.

With perhaps a huge haul of the Mediterranean in our bellies, we settled down with sticky toffee pudding and a selection of desserts to end this world tour of sea food at Mundo.

Mundo offers a global gourmet journey through the Mediterranean, Middle East, India and Asia other than the seafood dinner from Sunday to Thursday.

BurpAndBelch meter: 3 burps out of 5

5WordFoodReview: Seven Seas On Your Plate

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

Brunch Fit For Superheroes

Superhero Brunch at Mazina
Superhero Brunch at Mazina

My friend asked, “Why is this brunch on a Saturday?”

“Because all other brunches in Dubai happen on a Friday.”

The Bat behind the Bar
The Bat behind the Bar

And with this attitude, Mazina, the multi-cuisine restaurant at Address Dubai Marina hosted the first Superhero Brunch on a Saturday. Lovely meeting Spidergirl, who greeted us and deposited us in the safe hands of Ironman who welcomed us in. Spiderman was stuck to a corner as he wished us a healthy appetite. Man of Steel whizzed past with a serving tray as Batman smiled making a drink behind the bar! This is like having a lavish brunch while in Comicon!

Make Your Own Salad
Make Your Own Salad

Our smiling hostess took us from counter-to-counter, highlighting various cuisines and taste profiles. Started out healthy from the salad corner, where you could tuck into prepared salads or make your own with greens and condiments provided. The basil pesto and horseradish relish was to my liking.

The seafood counter had fresh prawns, mussels and king crabs that sat next to the sushi counter.

I moved on the “Jamon Jamon” counter – loading up on parma ham and smoked ham along. Went beautifully with creamy and hard cheese, walnuts, pine nuts, date compote and crackers.

Ideally I should have stopped after this. But Supergirl flew along and chatted us up. I headed to the South Asian counter. The chef prepared a simple Peking Duck roll with shredded cucumbers and leeks over a sweet sauce. Those that want to bunk the duck could have mushrooms and bokchoy, dimsums of all varieties and satays of choice. Try the mango fish with a melon ball on top. One could marry it!

Story in Pictures
Story in Pictures

I had to skip the roast counter that had smoked turkey and made a beeline for the dessert. Fondant fountains welcomes us but I went straight for the toffee pudding. Must confess that I have had better, but the mango chocolate mousse and other desserts could heal up a love-lorn heart.

#BurpAndBelch meter : 5 buuuurps

#5WordFoodReview : You Need A Superhero Appetite!

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TheCalmDev and a friend were invited for the Superhero Brunch at Mazina in Dubai Address Marina.

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

Mozzo Centrale – for homey food

Mozzo Centrale
Mozzo Centrale

I have been frequenting this quaint neighbourhood on Umm Al Sheif that lies spot in the middle of Jumeirah. This stretch has about 5 restaurants shoulder-to-shoulder and is my favourite place to sit down with a book and not get distracted by the hustle-bustle around.

OMG! Loaded Stuffy French Toast
Mozzo Centrale

Of all Mozzo Centrale is my favourite. A cozy, laid-back Italian ristorante, Mozzo Centrale has introduced extended breakfast timings until 6PM on weekends. And the menu sure is appetizing. The Salmon Benny (eggs benedict over salmon), Chilli Al (eggs and bacon in brioche bun) and the Lobster Benny are some favourites to pick from. The fully loaded French Toast is not be missed at Mozzo Centrale.

Mushroom Bruschetta
Mozzo Centrale

However, my eating partner-in-crime and I decided to go by the menu. I ordered a big bowl of pumpkin soup that was the kinds that blankets you on a chilly night. We followed that with the away-from-the-traditional mushroom bruschetta. I am partial to mushrooms and when they have parmesan on them, I don’t judge them, I eat them!

Tagliatelle Alfredo
Mozzo Centrale

For the mains, we ordered for Gnocchi Al Forno and Tagliatelle Alfredo. When warm morsels of flavourful Italian food goes down your gullet, you know life is good. The portions were excellent and more than fills you. Ask for extra parmesan if you like to load up your plate with cheesy goodness.

We had to skip dessert. These are times I wished I had a portable stomach or an extendable one!

Angel Berry Triffle
Mozzo Centrale – on my next-to-eat list!

Nonetheless, Mozzo Centrale is doing things right, in a silent way. I guess saying “the test of the pudding is in its taste” sure goes a long way.

 

 

#BurpAndBelch meter: 3.5 burps

#5WordFoodReview: Have To Try Full Menu

Mozzo Centrale Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

5 Things To Do With Nutella on World Nutella Day

Nutella5 Feb is World Nutella Day. American blogger Sara Rosso liked Nutella so much that she ideated on dedicating a day to unite all Nutella fans together. I am a Nutella fan and know of crazier fans. So this post is dedicated to all who are nuts for Nutella.

Shaken And Stirred
Amp up the ordinary shake at home with a generous helping of Nutella. Goes best with banana shake with crushed walnuts thrown on top.

French Toast
I find French toasts rather versatile. A lot of variations are also served in restaurants across the world. Honey and syrups have been partners of choice for long. If in the mood for cheating, then dollop up a thick Nutella creme, with some dusted sugar on top. If you think it is not sinful enough, add more decadence with whipped cream and choco chips.

Mousse Trap
Don your pastry chef hat. Get some creme fraiche from the supermarket. Incorporate grated chocolate (better if bitter). Add some thick Nutella. Try and not salivate. Add a dash of crushed sea salt. And a thin slice of orange. Freeze. Eat. Repeat.
Bachelor’s Breakfast
Bachelor's Breakfast
Bachelor’s Breakfast

Don’t blame yourself for being lazy. It is a state of mind. This is why there is Nutella to bail out poor souls that feel hungry. Take a slice of bread. Slather up some salted butter. No need to go easy with this. For the other slice of bread, spread Nutella nice and slow. Make sure you cover every corner of the slice – it will add to the taste (!!). Slap them together and eat.

Spooning
Spooning and Swooning
Spooning and Swooning

Still remains the best way to have Nutella. Get a spoon. Open a bottle of Nutella. Spoon in a mouthful. Close your eyes. There, you are now in Nutella heaven.

 Have a wonderful #NutellaDay!

Calling All Denny-zens to Denny’s

The all American diner experience at Denny's
The all American diner experience at Denny’s

The most important meal of the day is breakfast. You hear parents, teachers, spouses and dolled-up nutritionists on TV say it all the time. Well, I say, if breakfast is such an important meal, then I want to have it all day. Looks like Denny’s heard me.

The second Dubai outlet opened recently on Al Manara, Shaikh Zayed Road, opposite Times Square Mall on SZR. When I walked in during lunch time, one sunny afternoon, I had breakfast on my mind. One look at the menu and I had my heart set on a hearty breakfast of steak, eggs, hash and toast. Yes, at Denny’s breakfast is all-day (as is everything else on the menu).

While breakfast was getting ready, my companion and I ordered some crisp mozzarella sticks. Biting into those crispy sticks filled with gooey, oozy mozzarella gives a feeling of happiness.

Oh this dark beauty!
Oh this dark beauty!

And then my eyes fell on this tall, slim, heavy-on-top, dark-complexioned, beauty. Totally seduced, I shamelessly asked for a big tall glass of thick, chocolate shake. You know it is good when you feel it resist the straw being dipped in. One good draw at it, and I was filled with cold, chocolatey joi de vivre! Unbeatable! One of nicest shakes I have had. This, at Denny’s, is a must-have!

Ah, yes! My breakfast arrived. Sour-dough toasted bread, with melted butter seeped in, 2 sunny-side-up eggs, warm hash on the side and a thick slab of steak – if this is not good, then what is! The rest of the time was spent trying out various combinations, like:

  • Steak and hash
  • Steak, runny eggs and hash
  • Toast, syrupy eggs and hash
  • Eggs
  • Steak
  • …it goes on.

Say hello to the friendly manager, if you meet him.

And remember, breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Ask Denny’s – they are open 24×7!

#BurpAndBelch meter : 3.5

#5WordFoodReview: Always Go Hungry To Denny’s

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