100 entrements to be ready in a night. Personally I found the bout of sudden confidence in our strange deliverance truly a bit peculiar, but I held on to my tongue as I whisked, stirred, piped and filled.
Obviously I survived the night to tell the tale.
Not without paying a price evidently. Feeling slightly under the weather now, my body experiencing a tender tug to succumb to a deep slumber. If only I could sleep all day...
well, as to the pictures of the fluffy pancakes. Just thought this blog needed a bit of personal touch after all the dining out posts in the run. Hot pancakes from our own kitchen, sloshed with honey and topped with fresh bananas. Comfort food for the exhausted soul.
On a seperate note, I'll be back in Singapore for a good 4 days from sunday onwards. And seriously, I can't contain my excitement at the notion of seeing you again. *you, you and you!*
Apple of my eye
Don't know when and I don't know why
You're the only reason I keep on coming home
Blogging about the various foods I've come across in the course of travel and work ain't exactly my normal cup of tea, but during my one month stay here in Dubai, I've flirted with too many delectable eats and interesting dining concepts to let that go unrecognized. Therefore, in the name of the various travellers with plans to stop over in Dubai, this is for you.
Le Pain Quotidien, in short PQ was our destination for a quick dash lunch stop whilst bashing thru the insane crowds of the Mall of the Emirates. Known for it's 'ORGANIC' approach to food, it offers diners a rustic and country home style type of ambience. Sturdy wooden chairs accompanied by dainty linens were a common sight, the long cherry wood table occupying the centre of the lounge was a showstopper in all its rights. And as we settled at the head of the table, ready to order, my gaze was stolen by the charming little 'specials' blackboards, looking ever so comfortable in its laid-back jungle.
With good knowledge that the bread here was probably going to be at the very least, decent, we ordered the smoked salmon and dill tartine and another hot sandwich which I conveniently forgot the name of. Think it was turkey melts or something.. Anyway, they both were excellent. The hot main being of greater interest to me since cold sandwiches got on my nerves most of the time. The smoked salmon tartine however was almost devoid of cream cheese as promised on the menu, hence with a swift flick of the wrist, a bowl with a whole swizzle of cream cheese was summoned to the table. OMG. and what am I supposed to do with this defiant piece of rock? We shook our heads in dismay and slurped on our soups instead.
The pea soup.. a major let down as well. To be honest, it had more potatoes in it than peas.. which makes you wonder. Are peas really that expensive? That said.. I would give them brownie points for the fact that hot soup was just perfect for the bizzarely cold shopping mall.
Chocolate ganache tart for the girl who couldn't resist laying her hands on a sweet ending. The almighty buttery crust with a deep dark chocolate finish enough to bring a devilish smile to my lips.
Le Pain Quotidien
Mall of the Emirates
+971 4 3410041
Getting in tune with the abstract and somewhat unconventional decor of the restaurant was a rather perplexing affair to begin with. We settled down into our chairs, the rough white linen so reminiscent of the humble table cloths we had back in the olden days. A quick scan around the restaurant; we spotted a Hong Kong triad leader look-alike with freshly ironed white pants and striking white leather shoes to match and a caucasian father with 4 impish little girls in tow. Strange combination of diners.. check! Now.. our doubts perhaps rose a bar higher. Could this establishment possibly serve up a good dim sum meal?
At the very least, the presence of China-bred waitresses adorned in festive vietnamese inspired wrap-round uniforms serving us were are only form of consolation, till the food was served of course. Whilst waiting for the tardy procession of food to begin, we toyed with the exquisite cutlery placed on the table top. Admiring the sleekness of the fine instruments.
I'll spare you the details of us plodding thru the extremely unhurried meal. With an array of steamed and fried dim sum, main courses and desserts chosen from a prescribed menu for AED 108 per person, I must admit that this proved to be quite a decent deal for a yum cha buffet, or rather a pseudo one considering that you were limited to a choice of 3 steamed dim sum, 2 fried dim sum, 4 main courses and 2 desserts. Accompanied with superb ambience but pityingly sleepy spa music, it might be a place you could consider to go if you desired a quiet location for a professional meeting of sorts. Food standards wise, two thumbs up; all the dishes were wonderfully executed with the fried yam puffs and the fried prawns flavored with milk and oats being one of highlights of the crawling afternoon.
Our crystal dumplings with seafood and bamboo shoots. A master piece with its translucent skin with its melt in the mouth texture.
the piece de resistance.. the beautiful fried yam puffs featuring an almost buttery and glorious outer shell that yields very so graciously to reveal a slightly sweetened yam filling. A perfect score for this one.
and another shot of the fried turnip cake with mushroom and XO sauce. oh. so good. But still far off compared to the heftier versions in Singapore. Snipping thru the crisp exterior of the carrot cake with a scalpel of a knife just adds to the delicateness of the dish.
Overall, the experience at Hukama left me drained, physically and mentally exhausted from the stuttered periods of long waits between courses. Feeling more tired than entertained and enthralled doesn't do too well for a reputable hotel restaurant. That said, the food is worth you making a trip down. Just cross your fingers and wish the chef isn't in a swaggering mood at that point of time.
The Address, Downtown Burj Dubai
Phone +971 (0) 44368928
Fax +971 (0) 44368880
The menu featured the usual poolside fare. All around the table, repeated orders of fish and chips were called out, along with my less conventional, grilled tiger prawns plus a hoegarden on the side. As quickly as we ordered, the food reached the tables at lightning speed. Everyone gave a quizzical look at the outstanding fish and chips.. didn't that look more like frozen fish sticks served in a bento box more than anything else? oh well.. the tiger prawns however fared much better apart from the measly serving and lack of creativity with the side dishes. I... wasn't entertained. Then I said a silent prayer of gratitude for my hoegarden. *phew*
After some heated debates at the table, we adjourned to the dinner host's hotel room at the address for a some after drinks and fruits. Note to self, the chardonnay from the art series by Leeuwin Esatate is just brilliant! light, with that touch of floral notes... thanks Auntie Gina for the wonderful recommendation!
With 3 weeks of living in Dubai under my swollen belt, my living quarters (literally portion of the living room) has become quite a disaster zone. On certain days, I sleep with my cupcakes; on better days, I retire on a bed spotted with crumbs that have accidentally blown off the kitchen counter top. Well, I've got my dream.. it's almost as if I'm living in a kitchen. Waking up every morning, a new battle to fight, including the powerful z monster who usually strikes in the afternoon along with the tormenting blows of sunlight instilling a major headache on the drive by. Shrouded in a cloud of flour, our creations, bundts, cupcakes and dreamy chocolate confections find their way around the city. We enter humongous villas, listen to the droning advice of local women who admire our 'clean' and 'strange' dream. Advice, suggestions and more orders later... it all seems to be a bit mystified. Catering large scale now and opening a cafe later, how exactly does that work out to be consistent? Confusion reigns but I know we'll get it sorted someway or another. encountering a bundt crisis now... Can't seem to find out the problem.. *sigh*
Making plans just to stop the aching
Chasing thoughts from a million miles away
Hypnotized as another dawn is breaking
I rehearse the words I want to say
There's one love in a lifetime
Our two hearts of a kind
These three reasons you'll be mine
For when five and six are through
Seven days without you, Seven days without you
Ping pong dim sum was our weapon of choice. Lame name in check. Sounds more like a gimmick than anything else. Stepping into the dimly lit facade, I was taken aback by the cold and stark surroundings. A suppresed warmness usually provided by the company of delicious dim sum. With a modern approach on chinese decor and black furniture filling the empty spaces, I loathed it. Feeling ever the bit out of place in the empty restaurant, vacanted even at lunch time. The presence of ang mohs trodding out of the kitchen didn't help to elevate the situation either...
Taking our seats at the back of the restaurant where the large windows allowed us to bask a little in the sun, whilst in the frigid cold of the mall, we quickly peruse the menu and ordered. The menu, with the usual dim sum items not printed in chinese made it all a little tedious to comprehend; but we made do.
The food, was nothing more than mediocre. With lamb being a inferior replacement to the staple of pork in many of the items. Yet I do admit that chomping down on lamb buns did have a certain novelty factor to it. Coupled with stickers on each basket, perhaps for most of the non-chinese staff in service, I thought that was a brilliant and fun idea initially, only to ditch that thought after turning the corner later on my way out and noticing the anal structuring of the kitchen; each stove and each burner labeled with similar tags to restrict the cooking of each item to a certain area.
To cut to the chase, aside from the soft shell crab and the prawn on toast, the other items fell a mile shot of expectations. *ouch* The tea was amazing.. served in a rather unconventional long glass that did nothing to cool down the voracious liquid to a drinkable temperature.Still, it's presentation made for a rather interesting entrance. Kept me amused... for awhile, till my thirst got the better of me.
So much for dim sum in the middle east huh? well.. stay tuned cause I've got a much better recommendation install!
Dubai Mall, Food Court
Telephone: +971 (0) 43399088
to the bear who holds a solo picture of us in his wallet,
i miss you.
several amendments and slight decision makings later, we derieved a little name for our holding corporation.
with our first show on the roads this saturday, hoping to score more public awareness amongst a group of high flying ladies.
Meantime, many more absorption of skittish conversations over dinners, empty glasses of liquor. Elaborate dinner menus headed by pea soup with homemade onion bread and completed with humble chai latte from our own pots and a slice of freshly baked carrot cake. Many revelations made along the way, mostly about faith and my christian belief.
To my dearest cousin: don't struggle any longer, the fight with logic is long waged, and in the end, the winner is evident. You may have many questions that are left hanging, and in actual fact, there are no answers to them, mainly because God doesn't have to. He answers to no man.
Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. John 14;1-3
How did I realize this? I'm stranded in the most exciting adventure with no words to describe it.
Why? easy, left my darned camera cable back home.
Talk about escapism...
Now I wish that darned blister infection would just go away. To my dearest Auntie, whom I didn't manage to catch online just now. here's the low down on the little bacteria infestation that have decidingly taken a liking to my God-forsaken foot. So it began with a simple blister that grew and grew forming another boil that combined forces over the course of 2 days. Before you knew it, the welt puffed up with an amazing amount of juices that we happily squeezed out before clipping the dead skin away. Just when we thought all things are well, the whelt protested, evolving a buzzing red tinge akin to the buttocks of Japanese Macque; Now, I was in serious pain by then. Chuffing down a painkiller at night, I winced and whined myself to sleep. Finally, I gave in and saw a pharmacist the next evening after a insane day out and running around the dubai flea market. "Many infected", he said, with a knowing sway of his head from side to side. 'Like I didn't knew that already,' I thought to myself. Now, my bactroban cream and antibiotics are my best friends. haha.
On a random note, I think I am in love with french toast. *beams*