#BuffetsAreGoodForHealth – Iftar at Manzil Downtown Dubai

Iftars in Dubai during the month of Ramadan are a common affair. While some may be with humble offerings, some choose to offer a rather lavish spread. One such place was the Manzil Downtown Dubai by Vida Resorts. I was invited there for Iftar last week, and I’m glad I accepted. The hotel, upon entering was beautiful. Inspired by Arabic interiors, they have gorgeous chandeliers and an entrance that one just can’t miss! Continue reading “#BuffetsAreGoodForHealth – Iftar at Manzil Downtown Dubai”

An Italian Heaven at Per Te

Per Te, meaning “for you” in Italian is a cozy little restaurant tucked away in Jumeirah, Dubai. Villa no. 54 to be exact. From the interiors, I was reminded of the countless pictures I’ve seen of Italy. Though I haven’t been there personally, I’ve had quite an experience with its food. I was recently invited for iftar by a very kind, Ms. Kaye Capistrano, to sample their Iftar set menu.

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The place is quite beautifully done. With French windows on the outside, and comfortable interiors, it provides a homely atmosphere. Spread over 3000 sq ft, the restaurant offers a cafe, a dining area with an open kitchen, a store that sells their pasta, espresso and chocolate while also providing an alfresco terrace seating.

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Moving on to the food, the Ramadan menu consisted of Jallab, Rose Milk or Rooh Afza for drinks. We chose a Jallab (An Arabic drink made with dates, grape mollases and rose water) and a Rose Milk. Though I enjoyed the latter, the Jallab was a disappointment. Mainly, as there was a lot of crushed ice which made the drink watery.

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We were also served a fruit platter with dates, that I enjoyed thoroughly. Nothing is better than some drinks and fruits to break your fast. Soon enough, we were served their bread platter with three dips. Namely, Hummus, Muhammara sauce (my favorite among the three) and Arriabetta sauce. The breads were freshly made and soft. I even saved up some for the soup that was served next – A comforting lentil soup with mushroom tortellini.

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Next, up, we had the Antipasti. This had a few hits and misses from me, mainly as I personally did not prefer some of its contents. To name a few, it consisted of burratta cheese, Arancini stuffed with spinach and Feta cheese, fried mozzarella, grilled prawns with turkey bacon, lamb liver skew, wine leaves stuffed with rice, caponata alla siciliana, and stuffed chicken supreme.While I wasn’t a big fan of the bresaola, chicken liver pate and the lamb liver skew, I enjoyed the rest. 🙂

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For mains, I ordered a Grilled Beef Tournedos Steak with creamy mushroom sauce and traditional jarjir salad, while my companion chose a Sicilian style Seafood Stew served with Tunisian Couscous. My food palette consisted of four pieces of well-done steak, with an amazing creamy mushroom sauce and a salad that complemented it well. The meat could have been better cooked according to me since it was a bit chewy.

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Coming to the other main course, we opted for shrimps and fish in our seafood stew. This dish deserves a ten on ten! The shrimps tasted good and the fish wasn’t bad either. The couscous also contained bits of potatoes, tomatoes, and asparagus.

The main course also consists of other options such as lamb and chicken.

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While we were already too full with all the delicious food we were served with, we HAD to have dessert. How could we not? And when I saw my dessert arrive, I was beyond ecstatic! I loved the way it was arranged. It was one of those things that’s just too pretty to eat. The Dates Semifreddo consisted of layers of the half frozen ice cream, made with gelato produced in-house, topped with a dates syrup. The decos on the side were wonderfully carved meringues! I would visit Per Te surely for this one again! 😀

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Coming to the service of the restaurant, it was impeccable! The servers were friendly and welcomed us warmly. The manager, Mr. Anushka Pradeep assisted us well and even asked us for our feedback from time to time.

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Great atmosphere, friendly staff, a talented kitchen team, what more can you ask for when you want to kick back your shoes and relax in an Italian heaven?

For details, contact: +97143446455

Disclaimer: Though I was a guest at Per Te, my opinions remain unbiased.

Until next time. xx

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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 😛 )

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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.

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