Crisol Restaurant and Lounge

Lets talk about Sharjah… I can’t deny the traffic is horrendous but this Emirate retains something that Dubai doesn’t…culture, heritage, art, history and so much more. I like the rawness, the feeling of being somewhere foreign where they retain their heritage and in a Shariah abiding country you actually feel the presence of Islam unlike Dubai. Anyways I could write a whole other blog on that but I recently discovered one more reason to go to Sharjah and that’s what I’m here to tell you about.

I was recently taken to Crisol Restaurant and Lounge for work purposes, while weaving through the industrial district with cranes overhead and building sites all over I never imagined that such a beautiful restaurant could exist there. The wooden exterior with gold geometric panels caught my attention and I was surprised to see such a place there. I went in and I was enamored by the interiors, it had this contrast of styles that just married perfectly, a secret garden combined with a geometric jungle. Your gonna have to go there to understand what I am saying but it really is a beautiful space designed by Bersun who has a very unique style and ability to bring things together. I asked for a green tea and fell in love with the marble printed mug and oval saucer. Details are everything to me and when I dined there I loved every piece of crockery and cutlery.

The food arrived and again the attention to detail was immaculate. The food was so beautifully presented and considering the reasonable price-point (AED 150 for two), the portions were mammoth! The Rocket Shrimps were everything, a tower of crunchy root vegetable crisps with rice noodles drizzled in a generous helping of their special rocket sauce. Trust me after you try this dish you will never crave P.F Chang’s again! The dangerous sliders were delicious, served in a red beetroot bun with a crispy chicken patty with lettuce and jalapenos topped with pepper and jack cheese and a dollop of aioli, this is the best chicken burger I have ever had! I would go back for these two dishes alone but everything was good. I also tried the taco’s, sand blaster burger, trash can nachos, matchstick fries, crispy fried chicken, watermelon salad and cuban salad (yes I left the healthiest till last!).

The desserts were out of this world, again some of the best desserts I have ever had and it really was all in the details. The Crisol hit was theatrical, if like me you eat for the insta then this was a totally insta-worthy dessert. They pour a hot chocolate sauce on a chocolate coated ice-cream which eventually melts and you hit it with your spoon and the ice-cream bursts out! It was amazing! I am not sure exactly what was in it, I think a layer of chocolate cake and then it had these crunchy hazelnut pieces at the bottom which gave it a crunch. The lotus pancakes were also really good, super-fluffy and there was no scrimping on the lotus. There were berries to break up the sweetness and it was a delicious combo. The milk cake surprised me the most because it looked really average but the flavour and textures were really interesting. The cake soaked up the milk at the bottom so it was a cake texture on top and a really sweet gooey texture underneath. Picking a favourite is too hard!

In conclusion, Crisol Restaurant and Lounge is a must-see. Even if you do spend an hour or two sitting in traffic you will not regret it once you eat there!

Crisol Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

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Waka Dubai

Waka Dubai

Waka DubaiWaka Dubai

Waka Dubai
As we entered we were warmly greeted by the staff and our waiter came over shortly to explain the ladies night deal at Waka Dubai which was 3 free drinks and 50% off food! He asked us if he should explain the menu and we asked him some questions which he was well equipped to answer.Most of my friends know I lived in Peru and loved the cuisine so I always get told about any new Peruvian joints in town. I had heard a lot about Waka Dubai before I had the chance to go. All good things so expectations were very high!

We ordered a Chimera Ceviche and the mushroom ceviche to start. They both came presented totally different to any ceviche I had ever had. The seafood ceviche had a tigre de leche foam underneath which the seafood was in. The foam was adorned with flowers and garnishes and was impressive to look at. Had the waiter not explained that the ceviche should be poured into the bowl and eaten with a spoon as it is particularly juicy, I would have probably said that it had a bit too much juice. The taste was divine though, zesty, infused with herbs and onions and the seafood melted in your mouth just as a ceviche should.

The mushroom ceviche had a totally different consistency, it was more dry served with pureed sauces and it was also delicious. The table voted the mushroom ceviche the better dish of the 2 starters although I preferred the traditional flavours in the seafood ceviche and the fact that it was different.

For mains we had Lamb chops, Salmon altitude and Roasted baby chicken. The plates at Waka Dubai were so beautifully presented! The lamb chops were jewelled with flowers and served with spicy pickles which was actually just a bowl full of chillies! The chops were divine and I would get them again but I would request they add something to the chillies to make it more of a relish/pickle as it was too hot to eat it all. The salmon was by far the best looking plate, if you love salmon you can’t go wrong! It was crusted with quinoa and had beautiful ricoto and cauliflour puree to accompany it. The baby chicken came served on a grill and was a pretty simple dish. Nice but I would not order it again, more for the unadventurous diner as it was just chicken and roasties and there are far more interesting flavours on the menu.

We had the cheesecake for dessert which was absolutely delicious and looked so pretty you wouldn’t wanna destroy it…but we did! The ambience was fab, they were playing old-school R&B music and the cool blue tones just gave the place a great vibe. The service really was impecabble, the attentive staff really want you to have the perfect experience and I couldn’t fault it. I want to try so many more dishes and have already booked to go back to Waka Dubai next week.

Waka Dubai is located in the Oberoi Hotel in Business Bay and definitely a place I will be frequenting often! You can check out their menu here and make reservations by calling  +9714 444 1455 / +971 54 445 4792.

Waka Restaurant & Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Eshak Restaurant, City Walk

Last night I had the chance to review Eshak Restaurant which is located in City Walk 2. I expected it to be Arabic grilled food but I was surprised when I  learned the menu was a fusion of Uzbek, Georgian and Middle Eastern Food with many freshly baked items.

The interior of Eshak was mystical with a combination of gold and dark hues of purple with paintings that looked like warrior princesses from another realm. The restaurant is quite long and has a huge bar and kitchen area. The weather was beautiful so we sat outside to enjoy the breezy night air. I noticed a row of baskets full of fruit and curiosity got the best of me so I went to take a look. I realized it was a market, the hostess explained that the fruits and vegetables were from all over the world and as she said it I feasted my eyes on the bright pink dragon fruit. They get new fruit every few days and it was a lovely idea.

After reading the menu I felt quite excited as there were many dishes I had never tried before! In fact I had never had Uzbeki or Georgian cuisine so I was excited for the culinary experience. They brought out hoummos, tabbouleh, muhammara (chilli paste, walnuts, breadcrumbs and olive oil blended into a paste), warak enab bil zet (stuffed vine leaves) and baklajan rolls (rolled eggplant stuffed with cream cheese, tomatoes and pesto).

I loved the muhammara which I had never had before, the nuts gave it a sweetness and the spice from the chilli added a kick. I could not stop dipping my fresh tandoor bread in there which was hot from the oven! I also loved the baklajan rolls, they were bursting with flavour and unlike anything I had tried before yet so simple. You could taste how fresh all the ingredients were, everything was fragrant, vibrant and tasty. Vine leaves never impress me, they are cold and a weird texture…not for me!

The waiter brought out Megrel Khachapuri which is a Georgian puff pastry with cheese. It was steaming hot out of the oven and was like a pizza on puff pastry, it was gooey and delicious! Definitely one to order again. A Chicken Kutab arrived which was a crepe with a chicken filling served with tahini, it was also very good! Then came my dish of the day, the lamb pilaf. It is a traditional dish from Uzbekistan but one bite in and I could taste my grandmothers cooking. It was a spiced fragrant rice embellished with pieces of slow cooked lamb. This was a cheat day that I did not feel bad about, every bite of that rice was worth and I would go back to eat it again!
I was not overly keen on the dessert which was 3 pieces of cream cheese swimming in a berry jam but once I tried it I was converted. I expected it to be sharp and tart but it was sweet and tasted like cheesecake topping and the cheese cut through the sugar giving it a lovely balance.

While flicking through the menu I spotted some incredible breakfast options so I will be going back for those too!! If you are looking for some simple but hearty food then Eshak is the place for you!

Eshak Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Dusty’s Lazy Saturday Brunch

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Dusty’s Dubai has recently launched its Dusty’s Lazy Saturday Brunch. If your looking for a super chilled brunch with live music and a delicious a la carte menu then Dusty’s is what you need. Most brunches in Dubai are from a buffet and a bit too messy with the focus being on drinks rather then good food but Dusty’s lazy Saturday Brunch is a really nice one to end your weekend. You don’t have to stand in queues to get your food, you can just enjoy the entertainment while it is brought to your table.

Dusty’s Lazy Saturday Brunch is family friendly with a dedicated kids area. The best part is that kids eat free! The live musicians are amazing and they perform around your tables while you dine. The location is beautiful, a little piece of tranquillity in the heart of DIFC. As you sit on the wooden decking you are surrounded by pretty water features. There is no dress code, in fact the waiters are all in their pyjamas so you can dress comfortably with no judgement.

The menu has a good range of options. I love the lobster taco’s, the crispy taco shell is filled with fresh lobster, mango, avocado and coriander and served with fresh guacamole. The Rib-eye steak is delicious for mains as is the creamy mushroom pasta. You must try the truffle fries with parmesan, they are to die for! The dessert candy station is amazing and has a huge choice of ice creams, brownie lollipops, fondue with fruit and marshmallows and plenty of other little treats. The french toast is amazing, crispy, sweet and delicious, I would definitely get it again.

The brunch costs 299AED and is well worth it, I cannot fault the food, it was delicious! My only tip would be to have a snack before-hand as we showed up ravenous and the service can be a little slow.

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Al Serkal Avenue Iftar

 

The pop-up restaurant is called #thisisnotabuffet which already prepares you for a culinary experience. Our booking was for 6.45 and we made it in good time however it was not easy to find the pop-up venue. There were no signs but a security guard directed us to warehouse 90 which is by the yard.

I loved the venue, as expected in Al Serkal, they had transformed a warehouse into a restaurant and they had done a good job. The majority of the furnishings were recycled from the tables to the menus and for decoration they just had pieces of paper hanging from the ceiling but it all worked and it was pretty chic.

I was fasting so they took my order first and my appetizer arrived just before iftar which is when they took the rest of the groups order (there were 10 of us). My 3 courses came out seamlessly however the rest of the group had major issues…some had finished mains while others had not even had starters and it was all a bit of a mess. I thought my second course would sync with everyone else’s but we all ended up eating as our food came and half the group had not even had their mains by 9pm (2 hours later).

On the plus side the food was unbelievable, it was really delicious, small plates made up of elements that were magical together. I had the lobster tacos which were to die for! For mains I had the lamb which was cooked to perfection with a beautiful pink like through the middle and a delicious herb and pistachio crust. Then I finished with the kheer cheesecake which was very interesting, it came with a strong saffron sauce which was a little overwhelming but I loved all the other elements on the plate, a crumble, a dark chocolate truffle, edible flowers amongst other things.

Due to the time delays we got quite a few free plates to sample and the crab was divine, I would definitely order it next time…yes I am actually still quite happy to go back despite the service, they were very apologetic but mainly because the food was off the chain! It was only the second day of the pop-up so it must be really difficult to get into the flow of things with such a sophisticated menu. You could choose either 2 course for 90, 5 courses for 210 or a range of small plates which were about 40dhs each (way better value) but I think these caused havoc in the kitchen.

I loved the vibe, we sat on a taller table with stools which got uncomfortable after the first course but the majority were low tables which I would request in future. I think its a great concept and they had a live Oud player which was nice. They have themed nights so Saturday they have a boardgame space, Sunday is games night, Monday is trivia night, Tuesday is live music and Wednesday is gallery tours from 8.30pm. 5% of all proceeds go to charity and I would highly recommend an iftar at #thisisnotabuffet. You can find plenty of parking inside Al Serkal Avenue and remember to book in advance.

Al Maeda Iftar

Zizzle went down to the Al Maeda restaurant at DoubleTree by Hilton Dubai to try the delicious Iftar Buffet.

The dishes were traditionally inspired and included an array of the most delectable North African and Levant dishes. We were spoilt for choice with Chef Lawrence crafting over 20 dishes to choose from. The Emirati Artist Ahmed Al Muhairi is showcasing his work throughout the month which also adds to the authentic cultural and traditional experience of this iftar. For every 100dhs spent you will be entered into a draw to win a Mussandam Dhow Cruise for two.

A Ramadan room package is available for travellers planning to visit Dubai during Ramadan. Prices for a one bedroom suite inclusive of Iftar and Sohour start at AED440 per person (rates are subject to 10% tourism fee, 10% service charge and AED15 tourism dirham per bedroom per night) and can be booked at DoubleTree by Hilton Dubai – Jumeirah Beach website.

Al Maeda restaurant will be offering Iftar buffet and Sohour every day during the month of Ramadan with live cooking station, live entertainment during Iftar, boarding games available upon request, TV screens and shisha offered in the terrace. The iftar buffet will be served every day from sunset to 9:00pm, Sohour will be available from 9:00pm to 2:00am. It is inclusive of Ramadan drinks AED 139. Sohour A-la-carte menu offers Standard Platter AED 69 and Premium Platter AED 89.

A special rate of AED119 will be offered to guests booking before 6th of May and to all guest dining during the first week of Ramadan. Special Group Iftars rates are also available.

Often buffets lack quality but the dishes were well seasoned and cooked to perfection with a great selection. You definitely need more then one visit to sample all the dishes, the ambience was spot on and we will definitely be going back for more!

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The Little Big Co.

Since last year I have been trying to eat better and be more conscious of what I put into my body so I was thrilled when I heard about the Little Big Co. It’s a new website that sells healthy and organic products. If you don’t already know organic products are cultivated in natural ways so not only are you limiting the pesticides and toxins in your body, you are also helping the environment. I find organic shops in Dubai to be overpriced and also the majority are not easy for me to get to. The Little Big Co is a godsend because not only do they deliver, their products are amazing AND their prices are reasonable.

They sell everything, from tea and coffee, honey to protein packs and even natural beauty products. I tried their honeys, teas and protein and enjoyed all of them. They also share healthy recipes and have lots of interesting info so you can make better eating decisions. I will definitely be grocery shopping at http://www.thelittlebigco.com and can’t wait to try more of their delicious products.

Nola Eatery and Social House

 

We had an incredible feast at Nola Eatery and Social House, with a New Orleans inspired menu, my taste-buds were prepared for some serious soul food and they were not disappointed!

The Cajun Prawn Salad was amazing! It had the perfect balance of flavours and the prawns were cooked and seasoned to perfection. All the starters finished and the Spinach and cheese dip definitely got the most “mmmmmm’s”. The chicken and waffles were divine with a perfect marriage of sweetness, savoury and a crunch to top it off. There is nothing I ate that I wouldn’t recommend although the lamb shank was a little on the salty side.

Despite being stuffed, the desserts were destroyed with the favourite being the Mississippi mud pie. I loved the vibe and will definitely be frequenting Nola. You can find it in JLT Cluster P hidden away on the B1 level (access through car park).

Nola Eatery & Social House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Signature by Sanjeev Kapoor

16meliadubai-signaturelivekitchen 11798141_10153083222501794_483752377_nLast night I dined at Sanjeev Kapoors Signature restaurant, for those who don’t know him he is the most famous indian celebrity chef and judges Master-chef India. I suppose knowing this fact arouses high expectations and I was expecting an exceptional culinary experience. I suppose Indian cuisine is the one that I am most critical of as nobody is ever going to be able to cook a curry like my grandmother and I have always found in the past that the fancier an Indian restaurant, the less I enjoy the food. I suppose the cheaper hole-in-the-wall style restaurants cater to the working class and make food using simple street food and home recipes, for example Ravi’s in Dubai is my favourite no frills Indian restaurant. I feel that the more decadent restaurants always manage to lose this authenticity by over catering to a more sophisticated palate. There are too many alterations and fusions to try to please the foodies and travellers of the world but honestly Indian food is beautiful when it is left the way it is. I also find they over-spice food, they think Western people love the spiciness of Indian food to the point where they add so much spice you lose all the delicacy of the flavours.

We ordered potatoes that were just so spicy you couldn’t taste them. The Patthar ke Kebab was beautifully presented, lamb kebabs served on hot stones with a pot of haleem as a sauce, it was random to use such a heavy staple food as a sauce but it was interesting. The flavours were fine but they didn’t leave me wanting any more. For mains we had a black lentil dhaal which was nice and also a ground chicken and aubergine curry served in a pot which had a piece of charcoal in it to smoke the food. I could really taste that smokiness and it was a nice touch. Everything was nice but nothing made me want to go back to have it again or recommend it, it was very average food, it wasn’t bad just not what you pay for and you would never think it was the recipes of a celebrity chef. I think Mr Kapoor needs to make a visit to Dubai and give his chefs a little refresher as I am sure he too would be disappointed with the standard of food.The restaurant is beautiful, the food was well presented and the service was immaculate, the waiters were so attentive and were very helpful with making recommendations however the food was disappointing.

Soul Restaurant Review

Soul is a contemporary restaurant located in the Movenpick JBR which serves classic American dishes and is famed for its steaks. The decor style reminds me a lot of Tribeca, modern with classic touches, dining sections are separated by hanging chains and the walls are adorned with abstract bursts of art. We sat in the outside section so we could listen to the live Jazz singer, Al fresco dining by the pool with live music, what more could a girl ask for? Well maybe for the singer to be a little closer to us but it was actually nice to be able to talk and hear each other while she performed ambient background music.

We were served fresh warm bread with cute little packs of butter sealed with the tiniest clothes peg in the world. This was followed by a surprise canapé from the chef, it was an incredible braised lamb that just melted in your mouth. This was all building up to the most beautiful starters, they were so pretty, I spent longer taking pictures of them then eating them. The Grilled Asparagus with a Lobster croustillant, cecina ham, quail egg and hollandaise sauce tasted as good as it looked, the crab cakes were nice, I preferred the avocado to the red pepper beurre.

We ordered prime striploin steaks since steak was the speciality, unfortunately a little overcooked but still delicious especially with the sides. The meat was really fresh and well-seasoned, it had an incredible flavour. The parmesan truffle fries and sautéed root vegetables were delicious, in fact we loved all the sides, the creamy spinach and asparagus were also things I would order again. We were literally stuffed but they insisted we try dessert, the famous chocolate soufflé that takes half an hour to prepare and the salted caramel tiramisu was what we went for. OMG that tiramisu was amazing, I don’t why it’s called that because I don’t like Tiramisu and we almost didn’t order it but the waitress explained the caramel is a coffee substitute and it doesn’t have coffee in it. I would literally go back just for that because it was divine. The soufflé was also delicious and fluffy, like a HUGE chocolate cloud but it was really rich and definitely the kind of dessert you have if you are not eating anything else.

I would definitely recommend soul, the starters and desserts were my favourite courses and I loved the setting, decadent but it still had a very chilled out vibe.

 

Soul Restaurant And Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato