Iftar at 25 Degrees North

I was invited to visit 25 Degrees North for their Iftar buffet on a Thursday evening, and since I wanted to spend some time at the restaurant before Iftar, we reached there a bit early. What I expected was to enter a crowded or, at least, a partially crowded place, but surprisingly, we were the only ones present. Upon inquiring, I was told by the kind server that guests usually arrive after iftar. Fair enough.

Locating the restaurant was not a hard task, as it is located on the ground floor of Damac Executive Heights, Tecom. The interiors were beautiful. Though the place was limited, the atmosphere was comfortable and they had made proper use of space. From my table, I could see a crowded live kitchen. Something that I felt was odd, considering the mental notes I had made of the amount of food it would require.

DSCN0804

DSCN0803

As the place slowly started filling up, I could see that 25 Degrees has more of non-Indian guests.

Going to buffet part, we were presented with a five-course menu. The restaurant offered only Indian food, unlike its other counterparts that try to offer more cuisines for a buffet. The soup was a choice between chicken soup and a leek and potato soup. While my companion opted for the former, I decided to place my bets on the latter. To my surprise, my choice was the winner here. The leek and potato soup was creamy and could be easily placed in the comfort food department. The chicken soup, on the other hand, was a bit watery for our taste.

DSCN0799

Moving forward to the starters, we had aloo chop, onion bhaji, chicken lollipop, assorted vegetable kebab, banno kebab, mutton seekh kebab and achari fish tikka.

Out of these, I loved the vegetable kebab and mutton seekh kebab. The kebabs, something that I’m quite fond of, were perfection. Though it wasn’t on the spicy side, it provided flavors that might bring me back again.

A special mention to the achari fish tikka. This was a delight! I usually don’t prefer fish, and only have a bite or so due to my reviews. But, this had me going back to the table for more!

DSCN0764

About the dishes I didn’t prefer, aloo chop and chicken lollipop ( surprised? ) The Aloo chop had a flavor that didn’t agree with my taste buds. We were later told by our server that the ingredient was mustard, and was a Chef specialty apparently. The chicken lollipop was seriously a fail. What could have been a delicious, juicy, fried chicken was found to be a dry, overly fried piece of meat.

The main course had some good options. I liked the butter chicken, mutton biryani, peas pulao, paneer pasanda and pan fry fish.

DSCN0766

The butter chicken was a bit too sweet for my liking, but I found myself liking its sweetness. The mutton biryani was delectable! The pieces of meat were tender and easy to cut through.

DSCN0769

DSCN0779

DSCN0791

For dessert, we had Ras Malai. This was my favorite dish of the day! I love desserts, so I am being a bit biased here, but I have also tasted so many versions and found this one of the best! I couldn’t help myself from indulging them. ( No, I’m not telling how many I had 😛 )

DSCN0794

The service here is warm and welcoming, the manager even took the time to ask us how the food is, from time to time. One certainly feels like royalty here! 😀

Overall, 25 Degrees North aims to provide quality food, more specifically Indian cuisine and are quite good at it. I personally found the flavors a bit diminished, but that might be as I love food with a lot of flavor and spiciness. But, judging from the crowd it caters to, it might be keeping in mind their guests’ preferences.

Disclaimer: Though I was a guest at 25 Degrees North, my reviews remain unbiased.

Click to add a blog post for 25 Degrees North on Zomato

A Taste Of Wafi

I recently visited the food festival held in Wafi Mall ( located in Umm Hurair, Dubai ), called Taste of Wafi, which was held every Saturday from the 18th of April to the 13th of June. Since I was quite busy, I could only attend on its last day. 🙁

11124908_1671601359739793_1084361827_n

Continue reading “A Taste Of Wafi”

Not “Just” Salads!

What do you do when you’re on a diet and are looking for healthy options? You pop into Just Salad of course! Or, you’re feeling too full after dinner last night and want something that’s low in calories? Just Salad again!

And mind you, this restaurant does not just offer salads, they have other delicious dishes like wraps, soups and smoothies! If you’re a picky eater, you get to make your own salad or wrap! Now, isn’t that just great? 😀

Just Salad has three branches in Dubai. Located in Business Bay, Jumeirah Lake Towers and in Boxpark. The owner, Mr. Namir Hourani, was very kind to let me taste their new dishes. I was offered a salad, a wrap, soup and a smoothie of my choice.

Looking through the rather large variety, I was left confused. After much consideration, I settled for a Chipotle Cowboy Salad with Chipotle Vinaigrette dressing, Smokehouse Steak Wrap, their weekly special soup and a Strawberry Banana Smoothie.

11638859_1672932876273308_145742184_o11535401_1672931166273479_1252315546_o

I first tried the Chipotle Cowboy Salad ( priced at AED 45 ) without its dressing, to get the actual taste. And to be honest, I preferred it that way. I found the salad dressing a bit too sour for my taste. The salad, on its own, was good. It had grilled chicken, avocado, romaine lettuce, chunks of cheddar cheese, black beans, sprinkled with crunchy onions.

11640598_1672931152940147_561893242_o

Coming to my favorite, the Smokehouse Steak Wrap. This wrap was quite huge. Priced at AED 44, you wouldn’t expect anything less from it. Upon opening its wrapper, I was delighted to find that it was cut in two halves. This made it easier to eat. Containing romaine lettuce, charbroiled chicken, black beans, corn and feta cheese, all wrapped together, the Smokehouse Steak Wrap expects a very hungry customer, and that I was. But due to it being rather generous in size, I couldn’t finish it.

11639934_1672931296273466_1931171627_o

I’m not really a soup lover, hence, this soup didn’t quite amaze me. My weekly special soup ( AED 15 for small, and 22 for large ) was liked by dad, though.

To finish off with my huge meal, I had a Strawberry Banana Smoothie ( AED 24 ). Now, this is a great drink to beat the heat. It’s sweet, but not in an overpowering way. Sipping from it, I could taste the seeds of strawberries with a hint of banana. The smoothie is large but healthy.

11426695_1672931149606814_2066681865_n

A special mention to the service of Just Salad. They have a very polite and helpful staff. Mr. Krishna, the operations manager, was very kind to help us with our delivery needs.

Just Salad is a great place to come to when you want something light. A perfect place for the fitness conscious people! They also provide home and office deliveries close to their branches. This restaurant definitely deserves a 4.5/5!

I will be coming back soon for their wraps and smoothies! 😀

11639888_1672931189606810_664282409_o

11638610_1672932862939976_801528213_o

Disclaimer: Though I was a guest at Just Salad, my reviews remain unbiased.

Until then, happy eating! xx

Click to add a blog post for Just Salad on Zomato

Chin Chin – An Unfortunate Chinese Affair

I’ve been to Chin Chin a few times before writing this review. My recent visit shocked me, well, disappointed me actually. Chin Chin has a branch in Sharjah, specifically located in Al Majaz. I visited on a Friday night, and the service might have been poor due to the crowded place.

11537774_1671602109739718_1941109445_o11541490_1671602026406393_573966511_o

Upon entering I was asked to wait for a table for around 10 mins. This was acceptable considering the crowd. Our server apologized for the wait and was kind enough to make us feel comfortable.

We ordered a Chinese Chop suey (From our usual American one), Crispy Beef, Chicken Chilli, Chicken Hakka Noodles and a Veg. Fried Rice. Needless to say, the Crispy beef, being one of their star dishes, was the best! The beef would just melt in your mouth and you could have as much as you want, and still not be satisfied! 😀 This one is highly recommended! They also have a chicken option for those who don’t prefer beef.

11347598_1671602016406394_156153092_o

The vegetable fried rice and Chicken noodles were good, the usual type. Coming to our chicken dishes, the Chicken chilli was a gravy dish. The chicken was well cooked, but topped with a lot of cornflour. All in all, the dish was good, but didn’t justify it’s name as it lacked the spicy flavor. Since I am a fan of spiciness, I really expected so much from this dish, but it failed to deliver.

11414954_1671602079739721_942339196_o11416757_1671601946406401_1847087845_o

11420105_1671601983073064_1531326026_o

The Chinese chop suey was something that is best forgotten. When we asked the waiter previously about the difference between this and it’s American version, we were said that it’s just the red sauce.

( The Chinese chop suey is pictured below. I usually order my noodles as a separate )

11422336_1671601936406402_1407181784_o11280499_1671601986406397_457740110_o

I was very disappointed with this dish in particular. Mainly, because it looked appetizing but did not taste so. It seems like Chin Chin prefers serving bland food to its customers. Our server agreed to request the chef to add in some spices. Mainly, some ginger or garlic, for some flavor. But even then, it was distasteful. ( The updated one is pictured below )

11414892_1671601956406400_2130522100_o

Place wise, the restaurant is pretty small and dimly lit. Taking pictures proved quite difficult due to direct overhead lighting 🙁

It was quite nice to watch the chefs at work though. They provide a see through glass through which you can see your meals being prepared in front of you. If you plan for a quite dinner, do not visit on a weekend, as they are filled with large groups of family with crying kids running all over the place.

11417017_1671601939739735_146049164_o

Will I be coming back? I really don’t think so. Unless they change their recipes or their menu altogether. Have you ever had an experience where your taste buds just don’t agree, however pleasing the dish might look? Let me know in the comments below! 🙂

Till then, happy eating! xx

Click to add a blog post for Chin Chin on Zomato

A Taste Of Punjab! – New Sind Punjab

Tucked away in the old side of Dubai, what you see from the outside is entirely different from the inside. The saying, “don’t judge a book by it’s cover”, stands true here. New Sind Punjab has two locations in Dubai. The branch I visited was in Al Karama. From the exteriors, you’d think that this is a basic restaurant, but when you enter you’re actually surprised. The restaurant has two floors, the lower one serves bachelors mostly. ( I’m assuming this as there were just men having lunch downstairs ). We were taken to the upper floor which is usually reserved for family. The top floor is spacious and comfortable, with dim lights. It had a pleasant and soothing ambiance, again this might be as we were the only ones present at the time.

744697b3f35e517db666794ff914d031

As we scanned the menu, I noticed that the prices here are very affordable and are quite light on the pocket. We ordered a butter chicken, reshmi kebab, chole bathure, with butter naans and parathas. A special mention to the server here, he was very helpful and suggested us what to order. Also, Chole Bathure is a breakfast meal, but he requested the chef to prepare it for us since we asked for it.

11258502_1670325229867406_1475831870_o11347814_1670327069867222_1326468583_o

Coming to the food, the butter chicken, upon arriving, seemed average. The butter chicken is supposed to have a tinge of sweet flavoring to it, which was missing. When pointed out to our server, he immediately brought us a newly prepared one! This one tasted creamy, tasty and also had the right amount of sweetness!

11414930_1670325913200671_530531135_o

The Reshmi Kebab was not as expected and came off as a little dry, which proved difficult in having it. The Chole Bathure is a combination of pooris and chickpeas curry. While the pooris were soft, and not too oily, the curry was equally good to have. It also reminded me of the times I’ve had chole bathure in my childhood.

11428902_1670326226533973_1176575324_o11422229_1670326666533929_818731237_o

11428919_1670326933200569_2133182137_o

The parathas were good. Nothing much to rave about, they are like the ones you’d get in any household of an Indian family. The butter naans, on the other hand, were delicious. In this case, the more butter, the merrier. 😉  They were served with a good amount of butter, which will have me gaining a few of those inessential calories…

Overall, Sind Punjab provides a good competition to most of the high end Indian restaurants out there, which might be appealing to the eyes, but not too good taste-wise. It also is quite pocket friendly and can be rightly known a true hidden gem of Dubai. I know I will be coming back soon to try their famous biryani and chicken tikka!

Click to add a blog post for New Sind Punjab on Zomato

Your Ultimate Stop – The Bake Stop

With so many new patisseries opening up every other day in Dubai, it becomes almost impossible to make your mark on the audience in this city. Battling with the current leading confectioneries, is this home based bake shop. The Bake Stop is managed by Ms. Aliya Khatri, who not only is a sweet girl ( did I mention she’s just 17? ), but also really knows her stuff! I was happy enough to try her bakes and share my experience with them. 🙂 Continue reading “Your Ultimate Stop – The Bake Stop”

A Tasty and Healthy Alternative: Soulfull

I was recently invited to Soulfull for a meetup organised by Zomato. Soulfull is located in the Emirates Financial Towers, DIFC. It also has another branch in Abu Dhabi. What I loved about the restaurant, is that it promotes a healthy concept, while also being socially responsible by contributing unsold items to charity.

We were presented with an extensive menu. And by that, I mean a six course meal! We were taken to the kitchen upon entering, where the owner, Mr. Tamer Ali and the head chef demonstrated a tutorial of their best selling salads! A very informative show it was, where we got to learn the different types of greens! Something that I don’t usually pay attention to.

11358838_1669062066660389_2085329249_n

Prior to our grand meal, we were served a Mango Ginger Limonata. This cocktail was a delight! As much as I love mango, I wasn’t too sure of the ginger. But this one blew me off! Especially since it was so hot outside. A perfect refreshing drink, I must say!

  Our first course was an option between a lentil soup or a pumpkin with ginger soup. I decided to go for the latter ( as it is something I haven’t tried before ). I don’t usually prefer pumpkin, but this was made into a creamy soup that had a hint of ginger. The best part is, the ginger did not overpower the soup.

For starters, we were served Grilled Mushroom stuffed with artichokes and Quinoa Bruschetta. First, I would love to appreciate how beautiful these dishes looked. Soulfull certainly deserves a 10/10 for presentation.Coming to the taste, the mushrooms were perfect, the artichokes placed on top were perfectly grilled. The cheese with sauce on the top most layer did the trick, by giving it a wonderful flavor. The bruschettas, on the other hand, were topped with tomatoes and quinoa. I didn’t like them as much as I liked the former dish, as I felt there was just to much of tomato here. They could probably try to add another vegetable or a sauce to balance the tomatoes.

11324030_1669062056660390_485511344_n11421531_1669062046660391_1407362624_n

11324053_1669062006660395_1234751664_n

We, then had our salads placed in front of us. And, I must admit, we were spoilt for choice here, as there were not two or three, but five salads to try! Kale Halloumi and Chicken Salad, Steak Salad with dry fig and Blue Cheese, Pumpkin Feta Salad ( these were the ones demonstrated to us ) with Mediterranean Quinoa and Fattouchna.

11291964_1669061669993762_900211269_n11354702_1669061703327092_1333403459_n

My favorite was, the Kale Halloumi and Chicken Salad. I’m not a fan of salads as such, but this one was an exception. The others didn’t do much for me, so I chose to eat their toppings that were much better. Namely, the steak and quinoa. A special mention to the Fattouchna here. The presentation was super cute! With spiral toasted pita as toppings.

11118326_1669061656660430_731917679_n

Coming to the fourth course, which was REAL food. Finally! We had wraps and sandwiches brought to us. These were Halloumi, Charcoal Chicken, Steak Sandwich and Roast Beef with Frittata. The Charcoal chicken was a clear winner here, it had grilled chicken, parmesan cheese and guacamole. About the roast beef with frittata, there was just something about it that I did not enjoy.

10501497_1669061616660434_58170766_n11311881_1669061526660443_481478857_n

The Mains and Grills! This was the part I was looking forward to, but sadly I was already too full 🙁

11121383_1669061066660489_988215007_n

We were served Fussili with Shrimps, Yakisoba, Mix Grill, Peri-peri Chicken and Grilled Salmon. The fussili was a let down, the shrimps did not complement it well. Also, it tasted too bland, a sauce would be good. The chicken was shaped in a heart, with peri peri sauce served on the side, this also was mediocre. The chicken was good as a separate, but the sauce had a sweetish flavor. Some spices would do good.

1980629_1669061499993779_139520214_n11425288_1669061163327146_2004660084_n

What I liked from this course, was the Yakisoba. It was a joy to have! The beef with the sauce and noodles, was perfect! And I can’t believe it is healthy!

11334309_1669061523327110_820863713_n

Lastly, for desert, we had the sweet energy bites and raspberry cake. The energy bites were in three flavors ( matcha, cranberry and dark chocolate ) I, obviously loved the chocolate one. The cranberry was chewy and filled with oats and dates, and I quite liked that. The matcha ( Green tea ), on the contrary, was filled with coconut. I quite didn’t like that. This again, is my personal opinion.

1

After all that we had eaten, it was just to hard to have more food. But, being the glutton I am, I devoured the cake almost immediately. The Raspberry cake was topped with bread crumbs and had alternative layers of yogurt and raspberry underneath. A perfect alternative to cheesecake! And a healthier one too!

11208727_1669061003327162_654472876_n

The service at this place is impeccable, with the servers always being there when needed. Also, from the demo class, I could see that the chefs here are passionate about what they create and they rightfully impress their customers.

I would like to thank Zomato for inviting me try Soulfull. This restaurant breaks the misconception that healthy food is boring and bland. Instead, it can be made tasty if cooked with the right ingredients. Also, I would like to thank Pallavi for inviting me, and help me meet foodies who share my passion! Looking forward to more meetups in the future!

Discaimer: I was invited here as a guest, but my reviews remain unbiased.

Click to add a blog post for Soulfull on Zomato

Flavor of the Month – EGG!

So, I’ve decided that I’m going to post a recipe of a chosen flavor on the first Saturday of every month. The flavor of this month happens to be…Eggs! Continue reading “Flavor of the Month – EGG!”

Leibster Award

libster-award

My first nomination! And it hasn’t even been a month since I started blogging! And this has all been due to Ms. Anjali Dhawan, thank you so much 😀 You’ve made my day! (Follow her blog, she has amazing recipes)

Anjali, you inspire me to cook. I haven’t cooked anything in my life yet ( I don’t know whether coffee and toast counts 😛 ), though my mom keeps telling me to do so. But, your recipes are so easy to follow, and I’ve even tried some of them! Thank you so much again 😀

Here are the Award Rules:

1. Once you are nominated, make a post thanking and linking the person who nominated you

2. Include the Liebster award sticker in the post too

3. Nominate 10 other bloggers who you think are worthy of this award. Let them know they have been nominated by commenting on one of their posts. You can also nominate the person who nominated you.

4. Answer the ten questions asked to you by the person who nominated you and make ten questions of your own for your nominees.

5. Lastly, copy these rules in the post.

Here are the answers to the questions Anjali asked me: 

  1. Complete this sentence “Life is ….”

Life is a roller coaster, with ups and downs. And we must chose to love both of them, as they have their own thrills and frills 😉

2. If not a blogger, which other platform would you choose to display your talent?

Well, if I was allowed to, I would sing for the world. I wouldn’t want them to turn deaf though! So, keeping my songs to my self, I’ll stick to blogging 😛

3. If you were granted 3 wishes, what would you wish for?

First, I would wish for a world where every woman had her own rights and could voice her opinions freely. Second, to make my parents proud! And third, I would wish for all my wishes to come true! (We all want that, don’t we? :D)

4. Do you believe in Karma, Why?

I do. I strongly believe in what goes around, comes around. I’ve always been taught by my parents that if you do good, it will come back to you someday. And I’ve seen that work. Hard work always pays, dishonesty leads to failure.

5. The best thing about you?

I don’t really want to brag about this, but I feel I’m a good listener. A very important characteristic. Something that many people fail to do nowadays. Listening to the other person, paying attention to them, helps you understand the person better and avoids arguments.

6. One thing about you that you could improve?

I’d like to improve in my blogging and make my posts more frequent (*fingers crossed*)

7. What’s your definition for a balanced life?

A balanced life for me would be to focus on work, while keeping constant touch with family and friends.

8. Your dream destination?

Rome! I’ve wanted to go there like forever! 😀

9. What do you love the most about the city in which you live?

I live in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. I love how this city is always buzzing with activities. There are so many new people to meet and get to know, and so many things to learn.  🙂

10. What’s your favourite colour and why?

Pink! Anyone who knows me personally would get this right. I’ve loved pink from childhood for no apparent reason. Everything I own is pink! 😀 (Yes, I’m a bit weird that way :P)

I further nominate these awesome bloggers for the award! 

1. Oh My Glai!

2. Food Scientist Bakery

3. Memoirs of a Taste Bud

4. Ezrani

5. The Deija Diaries

6. Pebubbles

7. Middle Eats

8. The Cookie Crumbles

9. Bethie’s Place

10. Cookin’ five square meters

And my 10 questions for you are: 

1. What inspired you to take up blogging?

2. What is your pet peeve?

3. What is your ultimate goal in life?

4. It’s a Saturday afternoon, what would you be doing?

5. What is your favorite food?

6. How do you see yourself in the next 10 years?

7. If you had a superpower, what would you want it to be?

8. What does a normal day in your life look like?

9. What is your hobby? (Apart from your blogging interest)

10. And lastly, if you could move to any part of the world, where would it be? Why?

Looking forward to your answers! Until we meet next time. xx