Tag Archives: Paris

Parisienne Brunch at La Cantine du Fauborg

La Cantine du Fauborg at Emirates Towers
La Cantine du Fauborg at Emirates Towers

Will take time to get this name on your tongue. Meanwhile La Cantine du Fauborg is trying to put Paris closer to your tongue, for you fine connoisseurs.

Brush up on your French when you go here, specially since they boast of a Française brunch (the zillionth brunch in Dubai). Reservations preferred. And despite how you may want to roll over for a brunch, this one will need dressing up. Caution there.

The joie de vivre is the cheese platter. It was like paying hommage to frômmage! From Blue to Gouda to Goat and several encrusted cheese were accompanied by fruits, chocolate chips, crusty bread et al. A few were direct lifts from the supermarket, although I would have preferred some rustic French stuff.

The airy, roomy lounge at La Cantine
The airy, roomy lounge at La Cantine

The other offerings were cold cuts, salads, gateaux and ah, yes, the delightful french toast!

Sit down, get pampered by the team there. Sip a chilled rosé (or the wine of your choice), nibble on your cheese and enjoy the live music. If you want some more food, ask for eggs done your style. The benedict was very fine.

Want more food? Upgrade your brunch for a dirhams more and enjoy main course.

#BurpAndBelch meter: 4 classy rot (burp in French)
#5WordFoodReview: C’est La Vie, Ma Cherie

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The restaurant is open 7 days a week: weekdays from noon to 2am
and weekends from noon to 3am. For bookings, call: + 971 43 527 105 or write to book@lacantine.ae .
La Cantine du Faubourg
Emirates Towers Hotel
P.O. Box 504904
Dubai – UAE
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Ramadan Treats at Spontiphoria

a warm, friendly concept store at Wasl Square, Jumeirah
a warm, friendly concept store at Wasl Square, Jumeirah

Imagine naming your shop after your email ID! The first thought races that the ID better be usable. And then came about Spontiphoria, opposite the erstwhile Safa Park at Wasl Square, Jumeirah, where I was invited to preview their pre-Ramadan menu.

Munch on the thought of the day
Munch on the thought of the day

While I was wrestling with the name and what perhaps it meant, I walked inside this unique concept store that is both a bakery and a boutique. I found the store very Parisian. Chalk board messages, quaint curios everywhere interspersed with very artistic looking food items.

Their bakery believes in making it all the exact same way as one would do at home.  And you can tell from the rich and fresh flavours of the rose and lychee cake slice. Their display had a salivating line-up of cakes, cookies, cupcakes, muffins, tray-bakes, and other desserts. I was walking around with my piping hot cup of coffee and enjoying some traditional Ramadan treats.

I met the vivacious and attentive hostess and owner of Spontiphoria, Sidiqa Sohail who named her store after her MSN user that she had since she was 13. The name is concoction of spontaneous and euphoria, both equal descriptives of her. We got talking and I asked her whether baking is something she studied in detail; to which she answered in the negative. She studied ‘conflict prevention and peace building’ at the University of Durham, UK!

The only conflict you could have is on deciding which cake to attack and what dress to take home.

 

Master Class with the Master Chefs

It is a tough act to get me out of my personal space on a weekend. But when the subjects are ‘Kings of Kitchen’ and sources of inspiration, it is certainly worth the trouble. And so, on a weekend, 4 boys met up whose lives are ruled by the “F-word” – FOOD.

Moi, Ranveer Brar, Vicky and Vikas Khanna
Moi, Ranveer Brar, Vicky and Vikas Khanna

My colleague and I were delighted to welcome master chefs Ranveer Brar and Michelin-starred Vikas Khanna. Both, tall, dark and handsome with brooding looks. Do not be fooled by that tough, stern exterior; for lurking behind those piercing eyes, bubbles some serious wit and Punjabi humour. Greeting everybody with a Cheshire cat grin was Chef Ranveer Brar, looking very dapper in his ochre trousers and jacket.

Vikas Khanna - working in 2 different time zones
Vikas Khanna – working in 2 different time zones

Vikas walked in clutching his Macbook, almost as if we would confiscate it. He confessed his commitments on both sides of the Atlantic. A stickler for deadlines, Vikas is known to spend a lot of time on his laptop so that he can stay connected with his team, publishers and others that matter.

Vikas Khanna - 2 books in the offing
Vikas Khanna – 2 books in the offing

Of his myriad projects, Vikas is working on 2 books. One, he claims to be the costliest book ever that encapsulates 12 years of his work. And the other is a book that is dedicated to his inspiration, His Holiness The Dalai Lama. As the world leader of peace turns 80, Vikas has posed 80 questions to The Dalai Lama that his fans routed through the chef. Vikas has met His Holiness 16 times.

Because he is Vikas Khanna
Because he is Vikas Khanna

Chef Vikas Khanna is extremely popular on social media. Blame it on his meteoric rise, being labelled the ‘sexiest man’ or the ‘hottest chef’ or the fact that at 43, he still retains his boyish charms and can be called a ‘beeba munda’ in Punjabi. Women swoon at the mere mention of Vikas Khanna. His colleague, Chef Ranveer Brar was quick to point out that the

Ranveer Brar teasing Vikas Khanna
Ranveer Brar teasing Vikas Khanna

number of women on Twitter with Vikas as their display picture is perhaps more than that of Brad Pitt. And their staunch following can only be believed when you try it. Write out a tweet @TheVikasKhanna and watch it go viral! While Ranveer took jabs, Vikas only kept smiling coyly! Here are some quick takes:

Chef Ranveer Brar
Chef Ranveer Brar

Chef Ranveer Brar started a Franco-Asian restaurant in Boston called ‘Banq’. A clever name, if you ask me! Ranveer’s only regret is that he could not cook for his grandmother. As a boy, Ranveer used to ask his sister to hold a make-believe microphone as he would practice ‘hosting’ his TV show watching Chef Sanjeev Kapoor’s TV shows.

Michelin-starred Chef Vikas Khanna
Michelin-starred Chef Vikas Khanna

Vikas Khanna was once asked to smile several times by a 70-year-old woman who thought his smile was similar to her deceased son’s. She lost her son in a car crash. Vikas, thereafter, promised to always smile. If possible, Vikas would love to open up a Tibetan food stall in Dubai. His obvious inspiration comes the land and people that gave him refuge when he lost all his restaurants. Vikas always wanted to open a restaurant in Paris but the process is rather back-breaking. Now with his NY restaurant Junoon opening a branch in Dubai, he seems to have happily settled for ‘marhaba’ than ‘merci’!

The master chefs had us in splits with their witty humour
The master chefs had us in splits with their witty humour

Vikas and Ranveer are happy that a chef is now readily accepted as a profession. Otherwise, people only cared to ask for the chef on 2 occasions – either to complain of excessive salt or to ask where the bathroom is! To hear the madness that enfolded in the studio, listen to the interview podcast here: http://www.suno1024.com/podcast-list/albums/69