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Felicia Pasta in UAE – Product review – #ItalianCuisineCelebrationonMahiBlog

“I am on an happy diet.

I only eat things that

makes me happy and healthy”

While we are celebrating the Italian Cuisine theme on Mahi Blog, we brought in the introduction for the kind of Italian food i-e Pasta, we talk about our new found worthy product I-e Felicia.

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Look what has just arrived in a surprise box !

Felicia Bio -this tasty gluten-free pasta is the product of company “Molino Andriani” Srl was established in 2004. They are the only European company with a pasta factory and a mill dedicated exclusively to gluten-free food production serving in 16 nations around the world, their key export market includes USA, Canada, UK, Germany, Spain, Israel

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DSC_0088Certifications: Italian Celiac Association (Spike Crossed) – Certified gluten-free product SGS(Gluten content less than 10 ppm) – International Food Standard – British Retail Consortium – Aut.min. ai sensi del d.p.r. 111/92 e Reg. ce n°41 del 2009 – Ecogruppo Italia Certification – NOP (Organic) Certification – GFCO USA – Multiutility Green.

This Italian Organic/Gluten Free product line, started with Felicia Pasta which inspires creative chefs in preparing new plates & sauces.

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Felicia pasta is world known brand, sold through various pharmaceutical organizations across the world as dieting main ingredient and has shown excellent results in loss weight plans and is my favorite pasta, They have offered us sample box for mentioned four kinds of pasta and we have prepared penne so far and found it very delicious, and remarkably non-sticky while I strain them after boiling and mix into my sauce. Felicia has grown tremendously around the world with Gluten Free & Organic ingredients Felicia takes a leading position.

You will find them in 4 categories here in UAE,

Multigrain pasta – Tasty:

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With cereals such as corn, rice, buckwheat and quinoa and it features a mix of flours for a unique and tasty recipe. Quinoa is nutritious, it contains minerals and is high in proteins

Brown rice pasta – Digestible:

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It is ideal for those who love to eat and taste the whole grain cereals as it features Brown rice which is highly digestible and naturally contains minerals such as potassium and magnesium.

Buckwheat pasta – Ancient Flavor

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For those who love ancient flavors like Buckwheat, hence it is rich in protein and minerals such as manganese and magnesium. It is suitable when there is need of healthy energy and a general remineralization.

Corn-rice pasta – classic

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For someone like me who love the simplicity of corn and rice as these ingredients ensures naturalness and authenticity. It’s so digestible, thanks to the lightness of rice

Felicia Pasta is available in retail in UAE at following locations : DSC_0089

– Eataly Dubai Mall

– Jones the Grocer (All locations)

– The Farm (Al Barari)

Served in:

– Hilton Double Tree

– Armani Hotel

– Hilton JBR

– Gluten Free Kitchen

A little birdie gave us some inside info that the company is soon to be introducing more variety and range of pasta too including

– Red lentil pasta (attached photo) ante_aproteica redlentilgfpasta

– Low protein pasta ( attached photo)

– Diabetic pasta

You may follow them on below social media pages.

–          Twitter @FeliciaPasta

–          Instagram feliciapasta_glutenfree

–          Facebook www.facebook.com/FeliciaglutenfreeME

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Life is a combination of Magic and Pasta.

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4 Comments

Posted by on September 10, 2015 in Product Review

 

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Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi Hotel Review & Win ‘Wok with Me’ Friday Brunch for 2 at Urban Kitchen.

Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi Hotel Review & Win ‘Wok with Me’ Friday Brunch for 2 at Urban Kitchen.

WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT

Congratulations “link2reema” you are a winner for Friday Brunch for 2 at DUSIT THANI ABUDHABI – Urban Kitchen themed brunch “Wok with Me”. Send an email with your full name & contact details at mahiblog.ae@gmail.com within 2 days to claim you prize.

Enjoy the Brunch and lovely Friday !! 🙂

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“Luxury Thai Hospitality at Dusit Thani ABU DHABI” DSC_0185

Location:

Centrally located close to the city’s Eastern Mangroves habitat and a short drive from the Corniche, near to new business and government district, adjacent to the CERT Technology Park. The hotel is also an ideal choice for business and leisure travelers. It had perfect location from where you can explore the graceful capital of the United Arab Emirates. Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is close-by while Abu Dhabi International Airport is a mere 20 minutes drive from here. The hotel offers complimentary shuttle bus service to key points of interest / entertainment and shopping malls in Abu Dhabi.

Theme and Decor Inspiration:

Blending the best of both cultures, the hotel exudes Arabian opulence instill with strokes of Thai warmth with a well-known stature and unique architecture design. Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi Hotel has 402 rooms and suites combined. Each room has a wonderful mix of Thai influences and modern lifestyle and has been beautifully designed with the savvy traveller in mind, hotel is daunting with Skydome spanning extensive pre-function areas that can host up to 1,000 guests and is already a preferred location and home for many educational and Industrial seminars and Company hosted Events.

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Arrival and Check-in:

23773844You will reach the venue easily via markings of Muroor Street (4th Street), opposite the Mohammed Bin Zayed football stadium. The area is nested with business and government buildings, and there’s a convenient footbridge from infront of the stadium. If by car and coming from Bus Station toward stadium you will take a U-turn from signal and then 2nd exit will go on Ramp to arrive right infront of the Hotel’s main lobby entrance. The valet staff (I must mention very humble and greet you with smile) will take your car and luggage as you arrive in the beautiful lobby (which is impressive and by some means homely) from glass-fronted hotel tower, you can’t miss the soaring atrium which is indeed one of the best elevations (Art Structure) in UAE . To the left is the reception desk and to the right is Orchid lounge with a grand piano and a coffee bar.

F&B:

Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi offers an array of exquisite restaurants including Benjarong – award-wining Thai cuisine, The Capital Grill – offering steaks and Mediterranean specialties and Urban Kitchen – international all-day dining. The hotel’s signature restaurant is the Thai Benjarong.

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During our stay, we enjoyed our breakfast in Urban Kitchen and had attended “Wok With Me” theme based Friday brunch at the same venue. Aside from the all-day dining restaurant, the hotel also has The Capital Grill, a sophisticated New York-style steakhouse and bar.

Wok with Me Brunch :

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I totally love the idea and concept of this food extravaganza. No need to book a flight ticket to indulge in Asia’s unsurpassed gastronomy. Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi has got his guest at Urban Kitchen covered with an exclusive Asian Wok with Me Brunch in Capital! Guests can create their own favourite Thai curry made-to-order, which we thoroughly loved, Mahi Blog Instagram Fans can enjoy the video HERE.

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In this month’s promotion you will find delight in a wide spread of Asian specialties from Thailand, Japan, China and India.  Live cooking stations include French raclette with an Asian twist (what a fine concept), tandoori, seafood bar, wok noodles, Pandan and coconut flavored crepes.

While doing brunch during our stay we even enjoyed at the Cheese counter and our drooling Instagram video has been featured on #SimplyAbuDhabi page too.. Have a look here, it might make you hungry! You can make it a cheese platter the way you like on the display where fruits and dry fruits as well to be accompanied by melted cheese.

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Staff & Services :

Majority of the staff we noticed in Hotel are from Thailand, always meet you with warm gesture and smile and carry themselves in a delicate, heartening and distinguished manner and will greet you in their traditional thai style by greeting “Sawasdee”. Check-in and check-out were fuss-free and prompt.

Stay:

Though I notice this hotel has more business than leisure guests in weekdays however the trend is totally mix during weekends and especially holidays and vacation breaks season. This is one of the best Staycation and is liked immensely amongst the families. I found the lobby and lounge areas filled largely by very elegantly-dressed Emiratis conducting meetings, while there is Salon and Gym being very famous in locally & near-by areas residing people and hotel guests.

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Rooms

dtad_accommodation_deluxe-room_1088x648My room, a one-bedroom suite, has an excellent view while floor-to-ceiling windows offering beautiful views of the Capital, but don’t forget to close them at night else the flashing airline warning lights attached to corner of the building might bother you. The large marble bathroom was an extravagance. The rooms and hanging art pieces in them and on floors alley are theme co-ordinate with carpets and furniture.

Other facilities:

A host of facilities and services, including Namm Spa and DFiT Fitness Centre, allow guests to cultivate their minds and bodies, they can enjoy a workout at the fully equipped state-of-the art gym, enjoy swimming in the outdoor swimming pool, relax in the Jacuzzi or indulge in a signature massage treatment in spa, where we had enjoyed our amazing treatment, see complete review of Namm Spa HERE.

Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi is an exciting and exclusive addition to a sophisticated global group where we had a complete Thai experience with luxury and astonishing eye-soothing designs. Standing at 37 storey’s, boasting the third highest hotel atrium in the world, it is well on its way to achieving landmark status. In short it is one of the best locations we stayed and reviewed. Mahi Blog will rate this stay 4.7 over 5 on likeness & comfort.

Find more info on there FB page here or go to their Website.

GIVEAWAY/ COMPETITION: 

Mahi Blog and Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi have teamed up to offer Mahi Blog readers “Wok with Me – Friday Brunch for 2 at Urban Kitchen”

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     How to win:

For your chance to win simply do the following: DSC_0143

1- Answer the following question in comments; Name any one of the restaurants at Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi?

2- Subscribe (via email id) on Mahi BlogShare this post on social widgets. (Use buttons below of FB, Twitter, IG etc)

3- Like, Follow, Share us on following:

To win you must do all the above steps. Winners will be announced on September 4th, 2015.  All UAE fans can take part.

Disclaimer & Notes: A huge Thank you to Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi Management, Gehan & Rami and our host staff at restaurant. We were guests there however it did not influence our thoughts and reviews, all opinions content are our own. Pictures are owned by Mahi Blog except few which are provided by the Hotel itself. You can not use any pics without prior permission.

 

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Iftar Review – “Layali al Baraka” at Jumeirah at Etihad Towers – #WIN Iftar Buffet for 2! (INSTANT GIVEAWAY)

Iftar Review – “Layali al Baraka” at Jumeirah at Etihad Towers – #WIN Iftar Buffet for 2! (INSTANT GIVEAWAY)

IFTAR AT “LAYALI AL BARAKA”

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Like each year Jumeirah at Etihad Towers have their special set-up of Ramadan “Layali al Baraka” in their diversified and multipurpose venue (Mezzoon Pre Function Area). You can Experience the joy of the season with friends and family in the lavishly decorated venue and  immerse yourself in the Ramadan spirit with your family and friends

It is predominantly Arabic food however non-Arabic dishes are also there and been chosen carefully as been best in the menu and also strike a great balance to par the taste of Ramadan menu. Jalab, Karkadh, Laban, Kamar Al Deen & Erk Sous all of these varieties of Ramadan Drinks are available however if you wish you may order for the soft drinks and fresh juices chargeable out of the Ramadan buffet menu.

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We loved the set-up of house Water, some juices, Nuts & Dates available on your table pre-arrival; as it’s much convenient you don’t have to rush to the main food area to find the glasses for juices or to start munch-in soon as you break the fast.

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This might be our last outdoor Iftar this  Ramadan in UAE, but we can’t get enough of our very favorite “Lentil Soup” with Lemon and Zaatar Crouton; oh yes the infusion of Zaatar added that extra zest to this great creation. There was soup of the day also however it’s was not been able to take our attention away from lentil one!

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Another reason I love food at Jumeirah at Etihad Towers is their Condiments; we loved the fact how keen observation and special care they gave it to the small portion of menu; we had noticed the same at our previous review of “ROSEWATER”. Cornichons, shaved Parmesan and marinated Mushroom with grilled Eggplants were tasty.

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There is a huge salad bar and of compound salad having Lollo Rosso and Oak leaves with complete range of dressings, balsamic being the best. We also loved Baba Ganoush, Mohamara and Warak Enab, in Cold Mezzah section.

We noticed a large presence of non-Arabs diners too at their Iftar Buffet. How they cater to that in menu, well to mention Thai Green Chicken Curry with Basil and Stir fried Vegetable Rice were indeed top-notch Asian items in “Layali al Baraka” menu and we were fond of it.

To keep a mix they had few western dishes on menu too; Mediterranean Style baked Mahi Mahi, Tomato, Grilled Chicken Breast with creamy Mushroom Sauce, Potato Gratin with Celeriac and Buttered Peas with Lettuce and Shallots. On a side Indian note their Tandoori Jhinga is a must-try.

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Live station for Churros preparation. it was divine..

WOW Factor:

Guess what we found at Hot Mezzah Chicken Wings & Chicken Liver Pomegranate jus which was very well done and juicy too. Ouzi with Oriental Rice kept its soul along with Emirati Station having Lamb Harris, Vegetables Salona and Lamb Majbous.

The traditional Oud player sets a soothing ambience with his notations and you will enjoy the whole ambiance even louder.

Main Course consist of Arabic Mixed Grill (Shish Taouk, Lamb Kebab, Kofta Kebab), Laban Emmo, Dajaj Bel Batata (it has become our favorite potatoe dish now)

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Other main courses includes Samak Makli with Tarator sauce, the Kousa Mahshi (very simple in taste unlike its name), Yaknet Bazella with Lamb Stew and very popular Vermicelli Rice, very appetizing.

  • There is large variety of Arabic Sweets to name what we tasted were Koulaj, Kataif Ashta with nuts, Cheese Halwa, Aysh al Saraya and of course Umm Ali along with Tangy Lemon Meringue Tart and yummy Red Velvet sliced Cake.
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Tamar Hindi being served via Traditional Dallah Style.

Live station of Kunafa was also in progress. We rate it 4.5 out of 5 for being an exquisite buffet of regional delights including live cooking stations. From sumptuous seafood grills to a live Saj station and customary Ramadan beverages served with the traditional dallah, each appetising dish will enchant your palate.

In the spirit of the Holy Month of Ramadan, they will be donating AED 2, for every person attending their Iftar, to Emirates Red Crescent in support of children in need.

Location: Podium Level 4
Timings: As per Iftar timings
Price: AED 175* per person

For more information or reservations, please contact us:

FB, Twitter , IG

Telephone: +971 2 811 5666
Email:  JADrestaurants@jumeirah.com

GIVEAWAY/ COMPETITION: 

Mahi Blog and Jumeirah at Etihad Towers have teamed up to offer Mahi Blog readers“Iftar Buffet Voucher for 2”

How to win:

For your chance to win simply do the following:

1- Answer the following question in comments; Name any one of the restaurants at Jumeirah at Etihad Towers?

2- Subscribe (via email id) on Mahi BlogShare this post on social widgets. (Use buttons below of FB, Twitter, IG etc)

3- Like, Follow, Share us on following:

To win you must do all the above steps. Winners will be announced on July 14th, 2015.  All UAE fans can take part.

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Disclaimer & Notes: A huge Thank you to Jumeirah at Etihad Towers Management, Maria our lovely host staff at restaurant. We were guests there however it did not influence our thoughts and reviews, all opinions content are our own. You can not use any pics without prior permission.

 

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Iftar Review @ Channels-Media Rotana + #WIN Iftar Buffet Voucher for 2!

Iftar Review @ Channels-Media Rotana + #WIN Iftar Buffet Voucher for 2!

Winner:

Congratulations RABAB! (Comment no. 30) You are a winner !

Please send us your full name and contact details in an email to mahiblog.ae@gmail.com

Note: In case your email id doesn’t match to the one you are been registered on our blog, another winner will be chosen. You have 2 days to claim your prize.

 In our culture The Iftar meal is a significant solitary and is commonly shared with family and friends. In the UAE many restaurants have Iftar buffets that are fine worth for currency and also serve in getting friends and family together. It’s indeed a great platform for even non-Muslims and other culture / nationalities/ religion people and expats to understand the spirit of the holy month and enjoy a feast together along with their Muslim brothers and sisters. Last night I went to sample one of the finest and by far the most huge Iftar buffets at Channels in Media Rotana Dubai. As per the rising standards, hotel puts on a well sorted and well-balanced iftar menu. The menu keep rotating each day and offers delicacies from around the world reflecting all the delicious cuisines however oriental cuisine is in abundance being it’s major influence and strikes great taste up to perfection.

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The Iftar buffet consists of a variety Juices, Fruits and Nuts. Rose Water, Kamardine, Laban Eyran, Tamerhindi, Gellab my favourites. I didn’t mind shamelessly standing twice in the queue behind the kids just making sure to fetch 2/3 glass of Gellab as good as it was!

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Apricot, Prunes, Figs, Raisins, Walnuts, Almond, Pistachio, Hazelnuts along with variety of Dates were displayed to break your fast.

It was a colorful, elegant set up at Channels, while all of the food is top quality. The buffet is held in the centre of the hotel and is well decorated according to Ramadan theme. The buffet is divided into different sections after the dates and juices section. Selection of Arabic & Continental Cheeses was superb, kashkwal ,baladi, moushalala were at par I can’t decide which one is more better. The most stand out feature is the items sorting in Hot and cold mezzeh keeping the best of it’s selection they were committed to their true definition and attention. Batorosh eggplant, Rocca Salad were my fav in cold & chiken kebbeh, Spring Roll, cheese rakakat in hot side. Seafood On Ice was a great concept to oomph the International array with Mussels, King Crab & Prawns sitting on frozen slab, also to compliment assorted sushi was there and the-oh-very-huge International salad spread. Asian Chicken salad, Egg and beef pastrami salad with gherkins and pasta Salad with Tuna and Olives were delicious.

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Fried Fish was very crispy and tender at the same time Chicken Fajitas with Condiments is so yummy , Lyonnais Potato taste much desi and is a treat to find in that menu.

Live cooking stations were so prompt be it for Chicken Shawarma, Ouzie, with yogurt and daquoise sauce or Chickpeas fatteh.

We were thoroughly impressed by the well greeted gesture of whole restaurant team along with their Restaurant Manager, Maurice who has been so interactive and reaches out to guests table with his kind gesture to ask if they are keeping well and enjoying their iftar, we have even observed the Chef been so active on Live counters and reaching out to nearby guests providing the freshly prepared Ouzi and we did take few minutes to chat and ask few question to Oriental Chef Ali Siblini from Lebanon and has been connected and serving the same group for a long time now.

With attentive service and very nice furnishings, there’s great sense of quality food at decent buffer at Media Rotana. It just serves best Oriental dishes with International items in their Iftar Buffet.

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How’s is Ramadan turn up for people in the region for such buffet?

Oh its immense its crowded, they love sharing the spirit of Ramadan and having Iftar with family and friends, you will stand in long queues over the buffet.

Is the menu remain same throughout Ramadan?

No, it’s changed everyday ! you won’t find the same dish for eight days, that counter over there for salad will be thoroughly different next day, we keep a rotation and very keenly select a menu to cater the needs and likeness of the customers and wish to produce the quality menu so they can enjoy their Iftar as much myself and like preparing for them.

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Let’s talk about Iftar Menu features?

We have live cooking, we also have arrangements for the banquets and we have regular functions there. Ramadan is the month for Oriental and that is the best feature we want to present here.

How about the readiness and likeness of oriental food to other nationalities and particularly for the customers you have in this specific month?

True, we have mix nationalities and as you can witness lots of European and non-arab Expats here who actually love to spend time and having iftar meals with their Muslim friends and equally enjoy this cuisine, as it’s not very spicy but rich in taste in flavors they all love it even its different taste as they are keen to witness the Arab hospitality.

Do you find this kind of cooking difficult than Mediterranean?

Well Oriental cooking is not so easy , however I love cooking I enjoy specialty dishes too. Oriental cuisine is always a challenge but as you see we have a touch of even Mediterranean dishes along with pure local , Jordanian , Syrian, Italian and Lebanese dishes. So I believe this is the selection which makes our buffet a success.

You biggest challenge in Ramadan buffet?

It’s the crowd and we take in pride in providing them with most alert service we can. Ramadan Iftar timings are firm , we have to be on our toes literally to re-filling the dishes and at Live station well equipped and rapid with the deliveries as it’s almost an hour in which the consumption peak is there. We have whole team of back kitchen preparing mix grill while you are enjoying the food and for Sajj at live station is non-stop! It’s the time versus perfection and we are committed to deliver quality with promptness.

What is the biggest strength of Oriental Cuisine?

Spices and Flavors, the combination of Hot and Cold Mezzeh, their preparation to its excellence.

Any Ramadan Cook & Eat tip you want to share with my readers?

I like cooking and eating and wish to keep balance. You have to know what you eat and how you eat !

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IFTAR BUFFET VOUCHER GIVEAWAY/ COMPETITION:

Mahi Blog and Media Rotana have teamed up to offer Mahi Blog readers “Iftar Buffet Voucher for 2 at Channels – Media Rotana

How to win: 

For your chance to win simply do the following:

1- Answer the following question in comments; Name any one of the restaurant in Media Rotana?

2- Subscribe (via email id) on Mahi Blog, Share this post on social widgets. (Use buttons below of FB, Twitter, IG etc)

3- Like, Follow, Share us on following:

To win you must do all the above steps. Winners will be announced on July 4th, 2015.  All UAE fans can take part.

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The details

Channels – Media Rotana

Price – AED 175* per person

Contact – To Book a table call +971 (4) 4350201

Email – fb.media@rotana.com

Website – www.rotanatimes.com/mediarotana/offers/12172

Disclaimer & Notes: A huge Thank you to Media Rotana Management, Sahil Gour, our host Marketing team and Hotel Staff at ChannelsWe were guests there however it did not influence our thoughts and reviews, all opinions content are our own. You can not use any pics without prior permission.

 

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Here comes the Pizza – Grand Launch of Russo’s NY Pizzeria!

Here comes the Pizza – Grand Launch of Russo’s NY Pizzeria!

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“Mangia bene! “ [Eat well] -Chef Anthony Russo. The Russo’s Dalma Mall “Grand Launch” was a private event, as guests are welcomed by CEO himself along with Marketing team and during the event there is a free flow on Pizza and appetizers via attentive hostesses. You won’t miss the store at this location in mall because it is located right near the Cinemas. This restaurant displayed a Russo’s board at the entrance and there is a strong aroma indication to guide to further !

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Had an incredible time at the festive cooking demo at Russo’s by none other than the man himself, founder and Chef Anothony Russo. The variety and colors are so fresh and yummy. It can literally turn an adult into a child in a pizza world. Today, you can find Russo’s New York Pizzeria all around the world. Yet, it is no typical franchise. No matter which location it is, almost everything is made in-house, from the pizza dough to the gnocchi and mainly handpicked and exported from their sorted locations.

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All in all it was great evening I simple loved the menu of the night in Starters my favorite were Caprese Salad, Pomodora Brushetta and Fried Portobello Mushrooms. Of course you can’t beat their originals Cheese and Chicken Rustica Pizzas !! DSC_0392 DSC_0352 DSC_0342 DSC_0343 DSC_0345 IMG_20150610_193945 Lasagna Al forno was indeed a great touch and how can I not mention very tempting Panna Cotta & Tiramisu. I am not a huge fan of Risotto however did taste their Porcini one with drizzled Truffle Oil and it is indeed very delicious! DSC_0377 One could smell the oven baked pizza while you are just passing near cine royal on the same floor. I’m normally not a fan of the thin crust, but this is the right blend of crisp and juicy with each slice covered with fresh toppings. Russo’s is worth a visit. The quality of food and service definitely won’t disappoint! DSC_0400 DSC_0362 DSC_0340 DSC_0433 IMG_20150611_105124 Russo is the story of a chef with immense dreams and have done it in grace, someone who was able to take a winning perception and wrap up it in a way that, in the hands of the right people, can be replicated over and over again. Anthony Russo has developed one of the first New York-style pizzeria concept in Houston, after Mastering his family’s recipes for his own restaurants, he took the idea and started franchising it. That concept was Russo’s New York Pizzeria. I loved the opportunity to taste some of the finest Russo’s creation customized that day and to know about him and chat over some desserts in late evening on same day. We break it down our cluster conversation with him into below main Q & A: Where do you source your ingredients from? Some from Italy and some from US. What about the local market, do you think it’s readily available or is it the procedures and policy of the company/ management decision? It involves a lot of items about 60-70 and in most of the cases we usually bring it from abroad. You have a lot of Arab based and UAE restaurants? Do you adjust/alter your recipes  to meet the demand of the customers in this region? The recipes do not change much, except recipes where it’s pertaining to the nature of ingredients and meat (halal) to be replaced others which do not involve any such obligations remain same and as healthy and full of taste as I have inherited and created some hence It’s a family recipes which we are making for years. What sort of R&D is involved, as you have to make sure it shall be liked by the residents here and matches to their taste buds? Indeed. We want clients & foodies in every market to suit the liking for our food, whether locally or internationally, to enjoy their experience at Russo’s. A big part of that is integrating local gastronomy and ingredients into dishes. Luckily in case of UAE it’s quite Mediterranean and this is a plus for us and a lot of material like egg-plant, veggies  cheese and sauces are rich in such tastes and help us win over the hearts of locals and other nationalities in the region. DSC_0390 DSC_0386 DSC_0385 DSC_0381 What about the chefs at different outlets of Russo’s , are the only from particular region? No, they vary however all of them are being trained for one month to six weeks under an extensive program, even in some locations I’d come in to train them and show them how to do it. I teach them how to cook and carry on the family recipe, I won’t mind doing it as I love my family recipes and treasure them. I wanted to make sure when I handed it off to someone who pizza was going to taste really like New York-style pizza. We make sure that the recipes are ideal. That, no matter who maneuvers the restaurant, the food is going to taste the same as I would make it from our family recipe. What is the reason behind Russo’s being distinctive? It’s the ingredients that you use. Also the simplicity which goes in making this Italian cuisine, the beauty of compatibility and adaptability of its taste by different customs and regions. It has to be high-quality and you need to know what kind of flour to use, back home I pick all the ingredients from flour till veggies on my own. I use high-gluten flour with the highest protein. It’s milled in a certain part of Illinois. The flour, the cheese and the sauce is significant. DSC_0422 DSC_0411 How many branches in region? We have 6 units in total, and are planning to have 10 more in the coming year. However, in the next month we will be opening a branch in Riyadh. What is the biggest challenge you face here in this region? To maintain the quality, as I have been to some place here in UAE and it was really different from the US, in terms of quality, I found it that it is quite challenging to keep the same level of quality that we find in the US, although it is improved over the years, as you can find the best category of Parmesan over here due to export. We also have to bring in ingredients from abroad to maintain the quality of food and that is the only challenge we face. What is the biggest strength you have and what advice you want to give to my readers? My biggest strength is food off course, cause if not, we would not be successful. The only food advice I can give to your readers is if they require pizza and pasta, only go to russo’s 😉 Disclaimer & Notes: A huge Thank you to CEO, host Marketing team at Russo’s, Prime Hospitality, Mutaz (for coordination), charming Layal, Suzzane & most Importantly my favorite Chef Anthony RUSSO! from NY PizzeriaWe were guests there however it did not influence our thoughts and reviews, all opinions content are our own. You can not use any pics without prior permission.

 
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Posted by on June 28, 2015 in Events, OUT AND ABOUT, PLACES, Restaurants

 

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CITY WALK – Guylian Chocolates R Here! – Rich in Creativity, Style & Cocoa butter!

CITY WALK  – Guylian Chocolates R Here! – Rich in Creativity, Style & Cocoa butter!

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 We were invited at the launch event of Guylian Belgian Chocolate Café, at YAS mall (Yas Island) – AbuDhabi. In it’s Unique Sea shell creativity, this Chocolate Café offers Original Belgian Chocolate Sea Shells which are sure to deliver you the ultimate chocolate experience. It is so rich and creamy from outside and have this oh-so-yummy  famous Guylian hazelnut flavor.

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The open-air cafe location was classy, and the evening was startling with Chocolate truffles, desserts, snacks and coffee served in a modern Art Deco setting, we surely had enjoyed the beautiful array of delights and pander to our passion for the premium Belgian chocolates, exquisite cakes and decadent desserts.

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While the cafe focused on Guylian’s signature chocolate that made them a recognized global brand, the eatery also sell sandwiches, pastries, coffee, cakes and more. I simply loved the fact how soft and creamy these chocolates are, they simply melts in your mouth simultaneously giving you this delectable taste of signature hazelnut praliné filling with in.

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We had a privilege of greeting the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium to the UAE and a meeting and interview with an Ever-smiling Mieke Callebaut, Marketing & Sales Director Europe/USA of the brand Guylian. She has briefed us about the origin of the World’s Favorite Belgian Sea Shells, of how the Chocolatier Guy Foubert become the first to come up with the idea of making chocolates in this shape, while returning home, thinking of bringing gifts to friends and family and passing along the coastline and getting his inspiration from the seashells.

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A Story of Love and Chocolate:

She also narrates how the whole journey of Guylian begans, Guylian, the romantic combination of the founders’ names, the Belgian couple Guy and Liliane. Guylian was started in 1958 by a Guy Foubert, a Belgian chocolatier who specialised in artisanal handmade chocolate truffles. The chocolates are now sold in more than 120 destinations around the world, but the company’s signature truffle recipe is still made in small-batch copper kettles exclusively by Guylian’s master chocolatiers in Sint-Niklaas, Belgium. The chocolates are available in hypermarkets, department stores and duty-free shops at major airports around the world.

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Inspiration for Outlet in UAE:

It lovely to know the similarities and fondness Brand Owners find in the culture of UAE, they love the culture and tradition of giving and sharing in this region which inspires them to have Guylian Belgian Chocolate Café established here and the products be part on national and traditional festivities, Giveaways and Warm Gifts giving activities which is a part of our rich culture in UAE.

Some interesting fact:

  • Every Sea Shell is marked with a Guylian “G” stamp, the sign of a genuine Guylian chocolate & a mark of an artist.

  • The shape of the Guylian chocolate seahorse is distinctive. It has its tail coiling the other way around than seahorses in life.

  • They serve a gourmet range too.

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It is an exclusive and classy location at Luxury Court on the ground level in Yas Mall. to indulge in all the luscious Guylian pleasures. it’s open from Saturday to Wednesday: 10:00am – 10:00pm and Thursday to Friday until midnight.

All in all it was a great event, very well coordinated and organized by TohPR, with goody bags and unlimited flow of Guylian famous chocolates and Canapés, we surely had some coddle chocolate moments there! We are going back there very soon 😉

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Images Courtesy: Kaby Klick

 
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Posted by on May 22, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Brunching at 18 Degrees – Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi

Brunching at 18 Degrees – Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi

Featured Brunch:

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From Jazz brunches to lavish brunch buffets, Mahi Blog declare 18° as one of the best weekend brunches available in #UAE. It was startling & an indulgent experience itself to brunch at Worlds Furthest Leaning Man-Made Tower.  Venue stars as the winner of the “Best Modern European Restaurant”, however their Friday buffet also includes cuisine from Italy, Turkey, Greece and Lebanon. Its ambiance and structure is surely manifest. It is so modern in sophistication yet so simple & family oriented, as I believe Brunch is all about the most relax and cozy time you ought to spend with family and friends catering to variety of choices and yet keeping a balance to its theme. To make that perfect menu is an art itself and a lovely presentation and set-up has indeed made our experience at 18 degree brunch Exclusive and Exciting.

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Let’s TALK ABOUT Food Menu:

 Arabic cold mezze, Fattoush & Muhammara dip stands out; Quinoa salad is very distinctive in cold dishes. Soup Section’s variety didn’t impress us a lot, though their cheese Counter is ample and diverse with some tasty chutneys and pickles.

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Ostensibly the Modern Counters and cooking stations tells the story of Huge pantry loud out. Their Raw bar (seafood section) may appear to have a lot in common with other European style brunch buffet however Dil marinated Salmon and Local Blue Crabs are must-try items. The Roasted juicy Corn fed Chicken, Striplion Beef meat and Wood baked whole Stuffed Fish is so rich in its taste & display and was beyond par, Béarnaise sauce made of clarified butter emulsified in egg yolks was there to complement the roasted item and we love strong Herbs flavor in case you are not fan of this taste than veal jus reduction comes to rescue as it adds to the richness of the dish, grilled veggies was our favorite side along with fish Yorkshire pudding.

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Keep enjoying the elegant view of Abu Dhabi city while brunching and efficient services and decorum stands on its hold merits.

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WOW Factor:

  • Antipasti – (Missed giving special attention to minor items !?!? often happens to big buffet) Guess what It’s definitely not the case here we loved the Grilled eggplant, zucchini, Roasted Mushrooms and deep fried Artichokes (I never tasted them so well if fried; before).
  • Their Beetroot Mutabel is their tastiest and good-looking shooter you will love and enjoy.
  • Kids loved their Sujuk (Sojouck – Spicy Sausage) and Margarita Pizza.
  • There is fair attentive communication involved if you wish to customized any of the item from the spreaded menu counters, rest assure they will make sure to get your exact requirements and bring your dish to table exactly how you need, we loved our steak with mashed creamy potatoes and pomegranate.
  • Don’t forget to ask ever-smiling staff for your Bread basket, Rye & Panini Roll were delicious with seasoned butters. Smoked paprika & Garlic give us a face-off judging moment there.

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Wait – It’s Not yet Done !

A visit to the dessert counter is a decadent must as it finished off our meal really well. You have an array of items to choose from, we loved Passion Fruit and Banana Meringue, Banoffie Pie, Tiramisu, Poached Strawberry with Vanilla Cream and Hot Chocolate Pudding !

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Winding Up:

It definitely promises an elite and impressive experience where diners can enjoy a wide array of Eastern Mediterranean fare, inspiration is drawn from the restaurant’s à la carte menu, their hot dishes also presents Saffron Rice, chicken curry and Homemade Pasta in case you have fussy little humans along with you. Worth knowing that all their ingredients are sourced from the freshest local produce to not only produce sumptuous food, but commit to sustainable practices as well. If you are not in hurry for home when brunch ends you may enjoy a sundowner on The Terrace of 18° – 80 meters up, with panoramic views of City coastline, at their Sunset Cocktails while watching the ebbing sun.

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Ratings: We rate this brunch 4.5 stars out of 5.

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Classic Brunch – AED 250 ++ – brunch with soft beverages and juices

Sky Brunch – AED 300 ++ – brunch with hops, grapes and sparkling

Bookings are essential for the Sky Brunch and Sunset Cocktails.  Please call 02 596 1440 to make a reservation, or visit www.abudhabi.capitalgate.hyatt.com for more information.

FB: http://www.facebook.com/HyattCapitalGate

Disclaimer: Special Thanks to Ms. Fernandez, Mr. Villacanas and the staff team. Mahi Blog were guest at 18° – Hyatt Capital Gate, however it does not influence our opinion and all the views and thoughts including the pictures captured on the Brunch day are our own.

 
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Posted by on April 6, 2015 in Best Brunches In Town, hotels, Restaurants

 

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Winner Announced: “Life is a combination of magic and pasta” – 400 Dhs voucher, SACCI (Westin AbuDhabi) Reviewed !

Winner Announced: “Life is a combination of magic and pasta” – 400 Dhs voucher, SACCI (Westin AbuDhabi) Reviewed !

Congratulations, And the winner is:

1) TAYEBAHUSAIN

Please send us your full name and contact details on mahiblog.ae@gmail.com

SACCI AL FRESCO SACCI FOR TTWO We visited L’Abbuffata – The Italian Brunch during Gourmet Abu Dhabi promotion. The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa as one of the hotel partners of event has hosted it At Sacci, we thoroughly loved it and headed back to enjoy their Classic Italian treat on a fine weekend over the huge and refined set spread Buffet . DSC_0770 SACCI CAPRESE Standings:  It is the number 1 rated Italian restaurant in Trip advisor. DSC_0866DSC_0869Meeting with Chef de Cuisine Sacci – Stefano Micocci, he is from south Italy, and is here in UAE for past 3 yrs, He is fond of Asian, Indian & French food. He is associated with Westin chain for quite some time now. As per him Italian is the tastiest food yet with variety, he has also mentioned that most ingredients they used in Buffet at Sacci are from Italy. He enjoyed the mix of customers in this region and recommends Italian for being most flexible cuisine. DSC_0854 SACCI DININGWOW factor: Out of many buffet I have attended during my blog reviews I never get to spend so much of family time I had that day, it is because you can indulge in a Family table style brunch the Italian way at Sacci! Yes, it’s a cozy buffet where the ever smiling and well-informed waiters will serve each item to your table hence non-stop family time and memories revival and uninterrupted story sessions with friends and family.SACCI RISOTTO DSC_0830 Sacci indeed brings alive the aromas of the Italian cuisine. Their menu takes you on a culinary journey including a delightful selection of antipasti, Pastas, Pizzas, Main dishes and Desserts. Their welcome antipasto is so delicious with soft and crunchy Focaccia with par-balanced taste of Rosemary & tomato , They also served Panini with braised beef which is not as good as the former one. DSC_0824DSC_0849In starters we began with their Cold Antipasti a tavola: Marinated Zucchini with anchovies was a knock-out on your taste buds so moist and full of taste, fior di latte mozzarella was of stamdard liking however their calamari and prawns salad will burst the flavor streams in your mouth, panzanella , pinzimonio, beef carpaccio accompanies other Antipasti. (Caution: though some of it seems like mini bites but they are so filling hence till here keep yourself light as a trail of Italian treats is about to begin 😉 At first the combination of Hot and Cold items seems difficult to blend it but giving out totally unique range and balance, I can undoubtedly say this is one reason why it’s ranked 1. You simply cants decide which of the Antipasti is better than the other as both are flavorsome. DSC_0777Hot Antipasti a tavola: Baby octopus with potatoes, parmigianna, i-e basically Eggplant Parmigiana covered with quality cheese which surely augment the dish above your customary Abu Dhabi Italian cost. I tried the same at other places too but trust me now I can relate why it is so global- popular. Bellpepper scapese is more of a grandmamma recipe which is so simple and will definetly reminds of those times where in home you have eaten stuffed veggies with assorted fillings. DSC_0803Well I must confess I haven’t had such a big variety of pasta and all at its crest in taste and cooked at precision. Timings indeed matters a lot when it come to Italian Cooking and you can tell by aroma and tang how much love is involved in this cuisine and cooking at Sacci. DSC_0792 DSC_0781Crespella filled with mushroom in cheese béchamel sauce and Cannelloni Ricotta on Spinach bed were my favorites in the menu. Mezze Tagliatelle all’aglione was kid’s glee and staple appetite for them. After reaching to this mark we were so full to enjoy our Mains, we took a mini break and enjoyed outdoor view of pool and lush green terrace for a while unfortunately it’s a sandy day and couldn’t sit out for long due to dusty weather. I bet this place is amazing to sit outdoor and enjoy in good weather days. DSC_0796 DSC_0773 Main Course has arrived to the table in splendid manner, I must say I love the co-ordination and diners- psyche awareness level of the staff, they will bring the food on your table with full bang and will update you about each detail, you can check on the spice levels with them. We enjoyed our Carne e Pesce includes Picanha, it’s a prime cut of top sirloin and one of the very famous Brazilian Steak, Chef has done great justice to their roasted marination, harmonizing the savor of it with Cherry Tomatoes and parmesan, Slow Cooked Beef Ribs were also tender and well done. Grilled Prawns are king sized and yummy, Fish Fillet is of Mediterrean flavored and brought variety to this complete meat affair. Rabbit in Cacciatora Style is also served. It’s a famous choice for diners having low-cholesterol and leaner meat preferences. DSC_0806 DSC_0854 DSC_0846 DSC_0787 Contorni or the Sides includes Roasted Vegetables (I wish if more veggies are there and with some extra crisp), Spinach Gratin , Mashed and Baked Potatoes (has big serving, which I will rate 5/5 as I did not find it greasy) , Mixed Green Salad was OK. DSC_0822Desserts, most cheerful part of Sacci meal and was in abundance. You can’t just say No, even if you are not a huge fan of sweets. Lovely presentation and master patissier skills results in mouth-watering Dolci: Selection of Italian sweet mignardises, there is a world to choose from, though I am guilty of tasting from each on them. Believe me you will not at all feel sad to see a great meal come to a close, as you can count on the arrival of mignardises, to lift your mood and leave happy (OR)as my bubby Misha quoted “ Happily ever after” SACCI TIRAMISU DSC_0837 copy DSC_0838 SACCI CHEFS TABLE ADD ON: You may also enjoy their Formaggi range which is basically selection of Italian cheeses and variation of jams and crackers presented in cheese trolley and entice any cheese lover. Need a perfect ending try their Mocha coffee and cookies, you have indeed all reason to smile at SACCI. For More information on click Sacci & Westin AbuDhabi Facebook, Twitter, IG.

There is a famous Italian proverb. “A tavola non si invecchia.” Translation: At the table with good friends and family you do not become old.

GIVEAWAY / COMPETITION:

Guess what!!! they were so generous to offer Mahi Blog Readers more reason to smile, hence in collaboration we are having a #giveaway of Sacci dining voucher worth 400 dhs. How to win:20150327_203613_HDR 1- Subscribe (via email id) on maheenabbas.wordpress.com 2- Share this post on as many social widgets, Like, Follow, Share & Tag friends on following: Facebook (facebook.com/mahiblog ) Twitter (twitter.com/mahiblog) Instagram: www.instagram.com/mahiblog 3- Comment below name of any one dish we tasted at Sacci. To win you must do all the above steps. Winners will be announced on APRIL 01, 2015. The more you share Mahi Blog on social widgets and this post, better the chance to win! All UAE fans can take part.

Scrumptiously yours,

Mahi.

Disclaimer : All feedback and observations are MB hold as are the Kaby Klicks (logo) photographs.

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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WINNERS :) Mughal Dynasty and Flavorsome Cuisine – Visiting India Palace + Competition (3 WINNERS)

WINNERS :) Mughal Dynasty and Flavorsome Cuisine – Visiting India Palace + Competition (3 WINNERS)

Congratulations, And the winners are:

1) NIPA GANDHI

2) NAZIA KAZIA

3) RIMPYMANISH GUPTA

– Thanks for sharing a lot – Please send us your full name and contact details on mahiblog.ae@gmail.com

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India Palace is not at all a new restaurant but as I keep a rolling list of new spots and try to vary according to cuisine, location and reader requests, I decided to review their yet the latest branch in Abudhabi i.e Dalma Mall. The place is also inviting, beautifully convoluted with red and green colored glass pieces and woodcarvings, the mughal darbaris/guards statues standing at the entrance and the wooden chambers cast their patterns from upper limit to flooring.

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There is also a small kiosk of inexpensive Indian Jewellery and souvenirs which surely has kept me engaged while my hubby waited. The most interesting part is they crafted the wax bangles on spot, yes my little girl has bought the handmade bangle. They are also selling inexpensive trinkets and souvenirs and bling items, you may wear them and dine in like royals in the Palace. Restaurant staff is so humble and well aware yet so prompt in suggesting to make your choices easier, they look very welcoming in their royal Indian Avatar and will surely greet you with smile and courtesy. I must say it is one of those few Indian Restaurants where you can find majesty & yet so economical on your pocket, hefty space & serene setting at the same time.

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Lets now talk about the main thing, Food.

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I loved the dishes we tasted, it included:

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BBQ platter which stands out the most in taste and I would surely recommend it, Jhinga (Prawns) was my favorite in the platters. Kebabs and chicken pieces were so tender and yet so full on taste and very well marinated. It came to table moist yet with tandoori crisp, sheathed in Onion rings, yoghurt and Green Chutni. The sizzler sound coming out from the platter just drifted about my senses with the amazing smoky magic of charcoal that is nowhere to be seen as adequate and flavorsome.

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Rogan Josh & Butter Chicken: Since I am not a great fan of Rogan Josh I was not keen on having it however I must admit it is something which tastes dissimilar than usual onion-tomato salan/gravy served in different Indian Restaurant under same label. Butter Chicken wins the choice award with its soft and creamy texture and best blend with Romali roti.

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Biryani: Oh so delicious and my 2nd favorite in the menu, When I peek under the dough cover, an intense aroma turns my sensory taps on to a full gushing speed. The savory smell of chicken blends with the urban gulp of air of Indian spices.

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I love the use of original spices in cooking and am sometimes thwarted when the spice level is bargained, luckily at Indian Palace the Chef was so confident to utilize spices authentically and mentioned to us that he tried to keep spice levels true to the dish rather than to temper them along for the sake of accurate savor. All in all the menu is each speck as refined and packed with Indian close-to-heart dishes. You must try their Mango Lassi, it’s delicious. I should also mention that the cocktail menu looks pretty fancy & innovative. This was the best value meal indeed with a freshly made romali/butter/naan rotis (Indian bread).

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For desserts I opted for gulab jaman and rasmalai, Gulab Jaman was so tasty that I can have again and again each time I visit them. I wish to give genuine feedback in terms of presentation, taste etc. hence I will share something I noticed at India Palace which is yet so unique and a good practice. Color-wise I found their biryani and butter paneer not too bright and dark when I enquire into, I was impressed to know that they don’t use artificial coloring at all and have very strict practices for it. I believe one must get to engage with the staff to the level that we did to clarify so many perceptions about food DSC_0212

DSC_0245 kk2 I may sound influenced as I am but all in all India Palace restaurants are no less than a satisfying and reliable option compare to lots of other Indian cuisines. For me, its on my list of places to return, with a famished tummy and with my IPhone and start diggin and clickin.

Special Thanks to Mr. Prashob, Mr. Sateesh, Chef Amit & Chef Javed & to ever smiling Staff of India Palace.

INDIA PALACE GIVEAWAY / CONTEST : We have 3 VOUCHERS worth AED 150 and we will announce 3 winners.

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How to win: 1- Subscribe (via email id) on maheenabbas.wordpress.com and comment below “Done”. 2- Share Mahi Blog & this post on as many social widgets, Like, Follow, Share & Tag friends on following: FB: facebook.com/mahiblog Twitter: twitter.com/mahiblog Instagram: instagram.com/mahiblog 3- Like www.facebook.com/indiapalacearabia & write on their wall “Mahi Blog has sent me here” (tag Mahiblog using @) To win you must do all the above steps. Winners will be announced on March 12th, 2015. The more you share Mahi Blog on social widgets and this post, better the chance to win! All UAE fans can take part.

Scrumptiously yours, Mahi.

Disclaimer : MB team were guests at India Palace, however all feedback and observations are our hold as are the photographs above which were taken on the day of my trip.

India Palace Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Brides Abu Dhabi – Elegant yet Chic

One of my favourite events of 2014 & Bride Abu Dhabi 2015 is on its way soon… Don’t miss it. http://www.thebrideshow.com/abudhabi/

Mahi Blog

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Under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Sheikha Bint SaifBRIDE Abu Dhabi 2014 – is been arranged which is the Middle East’s largest and most luxurious bridal and fashion event. It took place from 12 – 15 February 2014, and was a one stop wedding shop with everything you needed for your big day. This year’s showcased region’s top names in the world of bridal and fashion lifestyle.

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  • There were about 200exhibitors
  • Exhibitors from Romania, Turkey, Italy and the Gulf
  • catwalk shows with renowned designer, seminars teaching you everything you need to know about jewellery
  • International brands & Exclusive collections at the Jewellery Pavilion
  • Pampering treats for the Diva Lounge for VIP package visitors
  • Exciting raffle draws courtesy Dar Sara and Seychelles Tourism Board where visitors won Evening Dress & A five star Holiday package

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With over 200 exhibitors offering thousands of inspirational ideas for your…

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Posted by on January 6, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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