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

 

Fen Cafe and Restaurant, Sharjah

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This hidden gem can be found within the courtyard of the Sharjah Art Foundation Art Space. It has a creative fusion menu of Asian and European flavours.

I loved the setting of this place, the sand coloured traditional walls and beautifully carved wooden doors added an authentic Arabic touch. The name, Fen, can be translated as ‘art’ or ‘the art of …’, and I am sure from looking at the photo’s you will agree that the food lived up to the name as these stunning creations are like works of art on a plate.

For starters we had Vietnamese rolls, Gazpacho and a fish tartare. The Gazpacho was so beautiful to look at, we fussed over it for ages before we actually poured the tomato liquid into the beautiful garnish and drizzled the basil oil from the pipette onto the dish. This was my favourite starter, it looked beautiful and I liked the marriage of the flavours in my mouth. The tangy tomato was sweetened by the basil oil and the garnish added a nice bit of colour and texture. I found the fish too fishy for my tastes as I prefer quite subtle sweet fleshed fish like seabass, this was too pungent and overwhelming for me. The Vietnamese rolls were enjoyable with the peanut sauce but nothing to write home about.

The mains arrived and again they were a visual feast. The jumbo prawns lived up to their name as they were huge! They were succulent and had a nice flavour to them, I felt the lemon butter did not add much and they were nicer on their own. The Scallop risotto was delicious, the risotto was cooked to perfection as were the scallops and the amount of cheese was perfect so as not to overpower the delicate flavour of the scallops.

Now lets talk about the pièce de résistance…the miso sea bass was to die for! It literally melted in your mouth and had a beautiful salty sauce on it which complemented the sweetness of the fish perfectly. It was topped with delicious mushrooms and then garnished with some green leaves. I thought the flavours together were beautiful and we all agreed we would drive from Dubai again for that Sea bass!! The spots of sauce in different colours made the dish beautiful to look at and also added some exciting tangy flavours.

The dessert blew our minds, we were literally like paparazzi shooting non-stop as the waitress set it down on the table and we were cooing over how stunning it was. None of us wanted to eat it as we felt awful to destroy these works of art!

The most gorgeous to look at was the sorbet and ice cream dish which looked like a coral reef. It had these intricate leaves of coloured sugar wedged in the dish in sunset hues and it was just beautiful. It was nice to eat but the vanilla ice-cream was infused with truffle which I didn’t feel fit well together. The matcha, avocado and beetroot desserts were beautiful but just ok to eat…they were super healthy and had no sugar but unfortunately you could tell. The nicest dessert was by far the Ube Leche flan which was a purple yam cake accompanied with a caramel pudding topped with a beautiful solidified bangle of caramel. They really were works of art!

We tried quite an assortment of dishes and although there was room for improvement on some, when they got it right …they got it sooo right! Me and my foodie partner in crime, What Nossy Ate, are in agreement that we will be going back to have that Seabass again and discover more of their menu!

Fen Cafe & Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato