Tag Archives: Business Bay

Nine7One Street Art Brunch

Street Art Brunch Pic courtesy: The Oberoi's
Street Art Brunch
Pic courtesy: The Oberoi’s

Street walking was never fancier till one heard Michael Jackson release a song by that name. And then, the all-day-dining world restaurant Nine7One launched their Street Art Brunch last week.

Street Brunch Photo Wall Pic courtesy: The Oberoi's
Street Brunch Photo Wall
Pic courtesy: The Oberoi’s

The reception was colourful, breezy, street-artsy, guitar-strumming, thigh-high flashing, cycles and barrows where flip-flops and stilettos met over drool-worthy, lusty food. Here, we need to take in a moment. It is, perhaps, unfair to have so much food around that you will need 3 days to savour. So, starve yourself well or jog from the farthest Dubai corner to The Oberois, Business Bay for their vibrant Street Art Brunch.

Start eating with your eyes first
Start eating with your eyes first

Here, food does the talking. Right from the moment you step into the foyer, where a lavish charcuterie will hold your fascination while you sip on a chilled glass of prosecco. La dolce vita!

Thai High - street side broth of goodness
Thai High – street side broth of goodness

And now you can attack your gastronomic senses from the live Thai counter that simmers you a healthy ‘pulled’ broth of goodness that has everything of what you see in the picture.

Sushi Boat
Sushi Boat

Feast your eyes on the sushi boat and quietly populate your plate with one of every kind. Don’t make eye contact with anyone if you are embarrassed of the pile of food on the plate. Nobody will bother, because that is what all else is doing. Oh! and do not forget to easy on the wasabi. It is potent enough to blow your head off!

Make Your Own Taco Station
Make Your Own Taco Station

The Sexy Mexi (I call it that) counter is a live taco station where you can make the stuff of your drooly dreams. A young chef helped made me a sumptuous chicken that was finished off with chocolate, with the usual suspects – sour cream, cajun spice, guacamole, bell peppers and close your eyes when you pop it in your mouth. The only sounds that you will make are bedroom sounds.

I skipped the Indian table, although am told the salmon chat and gajar ka halwa was to die for.

Burgers Fish and Lamb
Burgers Fish and Lamb

What I savoured with relish, literally, was the burger. The fried chicken nestled with some fine emmental cheese, caramelised onions and sweet relish made me commit loyally till I had chomped off the last crumb of the sesame crusted burger bun! A small bucket of fish fingers and potato rings was plonked on each individual table. Then on, there was the Arabic section that emphasises SLOW cooking. To know more, read my post on SLOW food. Couldn’t say no to a crispy chicken shawarma that came wrapped like a love letter.

The Oyster Elite Co Girls
The Oyster Elite Co Girls

Two strapping young hostesses from Oyster Elite Co came by each table and offered oysters. They were quite the “Lady Rambos”, with the low strapped oyster buckets and armed with an oyster paring knife. They probably could do a cameo in the next Expendables!

Cheers

If you are not driving, then you might as well dive straight into the fancy, music-laden bar that whisks up just about anything that your tongue fancies!

The Land of Desserts
The Land of Desserts

And then you have the expansive dessert tables. a fondue fountain with milk and white chocolates, marshmallows, meringues and what-have-yous! A molecular section played with textures and flavours like a white chocolate peach treat that melted in contact with another syrup. Or the guava (bomb) that took me back to my school summer holidays.

Tiramisu with coffee dropper Picture: The Oberoi’s

Must try the tiramisu that comes with a small dropper of coffee concentrate that you can squeeze to make your tiramisu squishy and wet. I think I should stop writing. It seems to be taking a rather decadent dip!

For all this and more, head to Nine7One. Street walkin’ baby!

Endless Iftars But Who’s Complaining

Confession of a food lover – one of the main reasons I look forward to Ramadan is the endless invitations to Iftars. Of all those, here is a an emotion-drenched tale of the 2 most-beautiful and delicious Iftars I have been to. My partner in crime was friend and editor Anamika. We have both come back home as stuffed as balloons in a birthday party.

The Oberoi's, Business Bay
The Oberoi’s, Business Bay

The season started off with a warm Iftar invite at Al Majlis at the plush Oberoi’s, Business Bay. Here you will be treated to food that is cooked well,  ethically and SLOWly ie sustainable, local, organic and wholesome. They source foods from local farms that grows everything organically and this is The Oberoi’s way of giving back to society.

Flavourful Lamb Ouzi
Flavourful Lamb Ouzi

I must admit, I was happy with the hommos and babaganoush and olives, till we trolled the buffet tables and came back with our plates stashed with some flavourful lamb ouzi, grills, koftas, dolma (rice wrapped in vine leaves) and other delectables that included sushi. I am a wasabi enthusiast and this one sure had a Mohammad Ali-kind-of-punch!

The dessert station will leave you wondering what you want on your plate; totally spoilt for choices. Do not miss the dessert station that makes the most delicious traditional sweets with a molecular twist.

In short, this luxury Iftar will make you want to come back daily just so you are able to savour all the goodies put out there to eat! Paradise!

BurpAndBelch meter: 5.0

#5WordFoodReview: Oberois Knows Their Food Period

Yalumba - vast seafood array
Yalumba – vast seafood array

The other place we swung to was Yalumba at Meridien Vilage, Garhoud, Dubai. Just when you are wondering what is it that they are doing different, you come face-to-face with the most amazing array of seafood – octopus, shrimps, lobster salad, smoked king fish, salmon and mussels. Right next to it you shall find a selection of cheese and accompaniments to go with it. There is a healthy and refreshing warm seafood soup that you wish to have in light winters with a soft blanket around your ankles! Sigh!

Main course included the traditional favourites – ouzi, koftas, kebabs with a sprinking of Indian dishes like butter chicken. I skipped the fried sections of kibbeh and fritters but piled on the mildly flavoured Moroccan chicken.

Unfortunately, we were so stuffed that we had to skip the dessert section of fruits and custards and creams and I cannot even begin to tell you how much that pains us!

BurpAndBelch meter: 5.0

#5WordFoodReview: Soup And Seafood Makes Happiness

Dining At 25 Degrees North

25 Degrees North Facade
25 Degrees North Facade

Longitudinally speaking, Dubai is situated on 25 degrees north and that is why this restaurant adopts it as its name. However, to locate the swanky restaurant in Business Bay will take you a good GPS. This Business Bay outlet is the second establishment to open its doors, after the first outlet in Tecom. Plush interiors and  warm staff will make you feel welcome to this ‘north Indian delicacy-serving’ restaurant.

Dahi Bhalla
Dahi Bhalla

My friend Shyam and I submitted to the gastronomic assault that started with some refreshing Jal Zeera (popular Indian summer drink made with cumin, mint and black salts with a descriptor from Wikipedia) and Dahi Bhalla (lentil dumplings in cold yoghurt and sweet tamarind chutney). Good start.

Watermelon Chaat
Watermelon Chaat
Scrumptious Palak Chaat
Scrumptious Palak Chaat

It was followed up by some Watermelon Chat. They need to change the serving plate from the current flat one, as watermelon juice spilled on the table. Also enticing us was the scrumptious spinach fritters or Palak (Pakodey) Chat.  This was definitely the star!

Non-traditional looking Dahi Kebab
Non-traditional looking Dahi Kebab

Next up was Dahi Kebab (made with hung curd). They looked more like spring roles, as opposed to the traditional medallions, and were a little too ‘bready’.

Mutton Seekh Kebab
Mutton Seekh Kebab

Chef Ravinder then had some smooth mutton seekh kebabs and chicken malai kebabs sent our way. Those were demolished. With it came Amritsari Fish Tikka. I would have preferred the marinade to be a bit more spicy and not bordering on bland.

Kadhai Prawn
Kadhai Prawn
Nalli Nihari
Nalli Nihari

Main course featured Dal Palak (lentils with spinach), Kurkurey Bhindi (crispy okra), Paneer Makhni (cottage cheese in sweet buttery tomato gravy), Nalli Nihari (slow cooked lamb / mutton stew) and Kadai Prawns. Am afraid the Kurkurey Bhindi turned out to be Bhindi Pakodey (each okra was batter coated and not fried-till-crisp) and so, totally disappointing. The Kadai Prawns did not match up to the description in the menu. It was rather sweet as opposed to the under-cutting sense of heat. Maybe the sweetness of the red onions were up to foul play. What hit the mark was the Paneer Makhni and to some extent, Nalli Nihari.

Chicken Dumpukht Biryani
Chicken Dumpukht Biryani

I discussed the type of mutton being used with the restaurant manager, who graciously promised to look into it. All this was accompanied with a typical bread basket and some Kashmiri Pulao (replete with pomegranate seeds and dry fruits). There was some piping hot chicken dumpukht biryani served in a seal-able bottle.

Gulab Jamun & Ice Cream
Gulab Jamun & Ice Cream

Before desserts, we took a small walk, just to rearrange everything. Full marks for crispy jalebis and rabdi! Heavenly! And the rabdi (condensed milk with pitachios and cardamom) was thick and smooth. This was followed by a cocktail glass filled with ice-cream, chocolate sauce and tiny gulab jamuns swimming in them.

On my #BurpAndBelch meter: 2.5

#5WordFoodReview: Go For Starters And Desserts Map of 25 Degrees North Business Bay

ANANTA – never ending saga of delightful Indian cuisine

This is the story of a young child who would sit and watch his grandfather make a special spices mix at his ancestral home in the south Indian state of Kerala. His grandfather worked with eye-estimation and no fancy marked ladles. He could tell, at a glance, if a certain spice was in excess or short. This young child saw it all while inhaling the aroma of the spices.

Ananta welcomes you at Oberoi, Business Bay
Ananta welcomes you at Oberoi, Business Bay

This is not a published story or a famous one. But when you dine at the award-winning modern Indian restaurant, Ananta, at the plush Oberoi Hotel in Business Bay, Dubai, you get to understand the story of spices and how well that little child imbibed what he saw his grandfather do. That little child, not little anymore now, is head chef Saneesh Verghese, at Ananta. Little wonder that this restaurant picked up the 2014 BBC Good Food Award as the Best Indian Restaurant – Fine Dine.

Ananta puts down all the states of India on the diner’s plate. In rich hues of burgundy and warm caramel lighting, Ananta offers a generous view of the ‘tandoor’ section for all its guests to see how the tiger prawns and Indian breads come through.

I have known and savoured the Oberoi Group’s hospitality while in India. It felt like home in the warm hospitality and careful hosting of the staff. You will not forget the smiling face of the restaurant manager Ricardo who pays a fine eye to all detailing while service is on.

On my plate was the famed Dinner Thali and my wife opted for the Art of Ananta Degustation.

Tandoori Salmon
Tandoori Salmon

Chef Saneesh had me with the mild Kerala spiced tandoori salmon, served with a saffron chutney and mint. Have had variations of this in other restaurants but I am going to remember this one because of its flavouring.

5 Chutney Tandoori Platter - it's half empty coz I ate it before the photo got taken
5 Chutney Tandoori Platter – it’s half empty coz I ate it before the photo got taken

The other star dishes that stuck out on basis of imagination and assimilation of flavours was the 5 chutney and grills. The meats were tandoori tiger prawns, chettinad chicken tikka and mutton seekh kabab. Those were served on artistic strokes of 5 different chutneys namely the black garlic and truffle (I licked that till the plate shone), Kumquat orange and curry leave caviar (the green dots in the picture), apple and pomegranate jam, mint and tamarind.

IMG_4757

The Ananta Thali
The Ananta Thali

The ‘thali’ came to my table after several rounds of savoury eats and a few that I stole from my wife’s tasting plate. When it sat in front of me, I was tussling up with myself as it looked no different from any other. There is only so much that you can do with a traditional ‘thali’. Therefore the real test lay in the taste. The silky planton leaf had a shaped lump of fragrant basmati rice with clarified butter and the accompaniments were butter chicken, Amritsari bhuna gosht, prawn Malabari curry, lauki ki sabzi (veggie of the day) and dal makhni. The thali took me from North to South India with every morsel of butter chicken and prawn Malabari curry. In my head, the Amritsari bhuna gosht made me drag out a few bragging restaurateurs to tell them ‘this is how it is made’! The masalas were rare and the mutton was soft as mash. Those that know me personally, know that I judge eateries on the dal they make. Oberois knew that trick for years. This dal makhni healed my heart for missing out on traditional dal makhni in India.

Magician Saneesh got us ‘wowed’ with his pista sesame naan and the very ‘un-put-down-able’ cheese ‘n’ truffle naan! I was almost asking for a lifetime supply of the latter.

Chocolate Chilly Dosa
Chocolate Chilly Dosa

A fancy palette cleanser was a mini dosa with the ancient recipe of chocolate with chilly.

The Artistic Dessert Palette
The Artistic Dessert Palette

Piece de resistance was dessert that did a fine impression of an artist’s colour palette. The colours had ras-malai, gulab jamun and kulfi. The finale is high-point of fine culinary aesthetics.

Ananta is one place to indulge, recurrently – till infinitum.