I live in Dubai. I am passionate about traveling, food, reading, theatre, art, music, fashion, writing, tennis and photography. I love to explore new places, whether it is a new country, or a new restaurant or an art gallery or a play. I am always ready for adventure. This blog will mostly cover food, lifestyle, travel and books.
Indian vegetarian restaurant chain ‘Rajdhani’ is a well established and popular chain in India and UAE. Their wholesome and delicious ‘Thali’ is loved by not only Indians but foreigners too. I’ve visited them numerous times and this time when I heard about their new concept Rajdhani Street, I had to check it out.
Rajdhani Street is located in Platinum Tower of Cluster I in JLT. The restaurant has a cosy and colorful atmosphere with ample seating area. More than the decor the food does the talking here.
The difference between ‘Rajdhani’ and Rajdhani Street is that Rajdhani Street serves food beyond Thali. Their tastefully crafted menu comprises of Chaats, Combo meals, snacks, street food specialties, desserts and beverages along with Thali.
As we have had their Thali many times in Rajdhani, we didn’t order it in Rajdhani Street and ordered the other dishes. We started with raw mango based Kairi Panna and Masala Chaas to drink. Both the beverages were tasty and refreshing.
As our starter, we ordered Chilly Cheese Sev Puri from their chaat section. It was not spicy nor crispy. We should have given it a miss and ordered something else from their chaat section.
Next, from their quick bites section, we ordered Akhrot Shakarkand Tikki. It was a Tikki made with sweet potatoes and crushed peanuts. It was served with a creamy dip and papad. Akhrot Shakarkand Tikki was bursting with delicious flavor. This is one Tikki that you must definitely try.
As I love pav bhaji, I was excited to try their Pav Bhaji Fondue. And I was not disappointed, the presentation as well as the taste was fantastic.
Instead of ordering dishes from their mains, we ordered from their paratha and combo section of the menu. The Paneer Tikka Paratha was served in a cast iron tava with dal makhani, raita and pickle. It was oh-so-delightful.
The classic Pind De Chole Bhature had authentic and delicious taste and flavor. A must-try at Rajdhani Street.
Can’t think of ending our dinner without dessert and so we ordered Jalebi with Rabdi. It was presented in a martini glass with Jalebis dipped inside rich and creamy Rabdi. It was scrumptious but wish the Jalebis were thin and crisp.
Overall, we enjoyed our dining experience at Rajdhani Street. The food was not only delicious but presented beautifully too. The service was good. The pricing is very reasonable and affordable.
Last Friday, we were in the Dubai Marina neighborhood visiting some friends. And after that we wanted to have a quick dinner and head out to watch a movie. That’s how we discovered Itsu Sushi.
Itsu Sushi is one of the many restaurants that is located in Marina Walk in Dubai Marina. They also have an outlet in Palm Jumeirah. Itsu Sushi in Dubai is not related to the highly popular London sushi chain.
As the name suggests, Itsu Sushi is a sushi restaurant, in the middle of the restaurant is a conveyor-belt-sushi-bar. Apart from sushi, their menu offers many other dishes.
The decor of the restaurant is simple and minimalistic. The main highlight of the decor is the overhead hanging bamboo lights. Its a cozy place with comfortable seating area.
Their menu in extensive, but limited for vegetarians like me. Here is the list of few of the dishes that we ordered:
Started off with two of their drinks- Minty Lemon that was super refreshing and Pomegranate Soda that was extremely sweet.
As our appetizer, we ordered steamed Edamame with salt.
Kakiage Tempura was the next appetizer that we ordered. It had a medley of julienne cut veggies coated in tempura batter and deep fried. The tempura was crisp and delicious.
We ordered two of their Veg Maki Rolls– Cucumber and Avocado. Both the maki rolls were fresh and tasty.
Tofu Teppanyaki is the only vegetarian main course in their menu and naturally we ordered it. It was the stand-out dish of our meal at Itsu and it was served with stir fried veggies. The crunchy tofu was extremely tasty and addictive.
The veg Ramen with mixed veggies, broth and Udon noodles was a bit disappointing as it had no flavor or taste.
As a matcha lover I had to order Matcha Waffle as my dessert. It was too soft and not crisp at all, but tasted great.
My overall experience at Itsu Sushi was okay. The service was a bit slow, though they were fully staffed.
Its surprising for a vegetarian like me to land up at the doorstep of a seafood restaurant like Crab Market. Their Cauliflower Carpaccio is to be blamed for this. All my seafood loving friends were raving about their Cauliflower Carpaccio and posted about it on social media. So I had to pay them a visit and find out for myself.
Crab Market is situated in the 15th Floor of Emirates Financial Towers in the business hub of DIFC. As a frequent visitor to DIFC, it was easy to locate the restaurant.
The Concept according to the team of Crab Market:
A new benchmark for a laid-back seafood dining that offers guests an exceptional selection of Crab which is easy on the pocket.
Focusing on fresh seafood, live crab will be kept in large tanks of sea water within the restaurant. The diverse menu has been curated by award-winning Chef Vladimir Mukhin, who is #23 in the World’s 50 Best, and most recently the subject of a one-hour episode of the popular Netflix series, Chef’s Table. With specialities like Kamchatka Crab from Russia directly from the suppliers, as well as a extensive selection of crab dishes on the menu, guests can enjoy a range of tantalizing delicacies.
Crab Market Restaurant and Lounge is a spacious and inviting venue with a nautical setting. This chic, trendy and sublime place offers a spectacular view of Dubai and the magnificent Burj Khalifa.
After being seated, I had a look at the menu, they had a few good vegetarian options, so it was not a bad idea to visit after all. As an amuse bouche we were served Cubes of Watermelon in a bed of crushed ice.
Their beverage menu is impressive with a range of signature cocktails, classic cocktails, mocktails, wines and other spirits. We tried 3 of their signature cocktails- The Tiki Sour, Bisou Vert and Smokey Contessa. All our cocktails were mixed well and handcrafted to perfection. The presentation was avant-garde.
Yes, the first dish that we ordered was Cauliflower Carpaccio. It had a delicious combination of Parmesan cheese, truffle and finely chopped purple cauliflower. It is a simple dish but the taste is beyond amazing. Their Cauliflower Carpaccio is reason enough to visit.
Next we had the Cucumber Salad that was light and refreshing. We also ordered Avocado & Tomato Bruschetta which was bursting with garden fresh flavor.
For our mains we ordered Ravioli with burrata & black truffle and two side dishes- Grilled Avocado and Pumpkin with pesto. We were also offered toasted Bread.
The Ravioli was delicate and creamy, but it was not extraordinary and the portion size was very small. Loved the grilled avocado and pumpkin with pesto is a simple dish and you cannot go wrong with that.
To satisfy our sweet cravings, we ordered Honey Cake, Sour Cream Ice Cream & Cherry and Mango Panna Cotta with Lychee granite. The Honey Cake, sour cream ice cream and cherry is a moreish dessert, that you won’t stop eating. A definite must-try at Crab Market. We liked the Mango Panna Cotta too, it had a nice texture.
Overall, we had a lovely experience at Crab Market Restaurant. The food, the drinks, the service and the atmosphere was good.
Now coming back to my question, whether a vegetarian can get a decent meal in Crab Market Restaurant- the answer is YES!
Ramadan Kareem from Dubai, UAE. Its that time of the year, where I look forward to every evening after sunset to visit a Ramadan tent or a restaurant for Iftar. Yesterday, we visited Jodhpur Royal Dining, an Indian fine dining restaurant for Iftar.
Jodhpur is a popular Indian restaurant that is located in the sprawling property of Roda Al Murooj. We have been to Jodhpur many times as we love the food, but for the very first time we tried their Iftar.
You don’t have to queue up in a line for buffet, Jodhpur offers a sit-down Iftar. So you can relax and enjoy your meal at your own pace.
Jodhpur’s new chef Dhan Singh has curated their Ramadan menu which is an amalgamation of cultures. Staying true to its roots, it offers a world of flavors with Indian twists.
As soon as we were seated, we were served their refreshing and fruity Mocktails along with Khari Biscuit and Yogurt Dip.
Their Ramadan menu has vegetarian and non vegetarian set menu options, being vegetarians we went for the veg option.
Both vegetarians and non vegetarians are offered Texture of Dates and Macaroon ke Chaat as a pre starter. The dates were presented in a dramatic fashion and their Macaroon ke Chaat is legendary and a dining experience at Jodhpur is incomplete without it.
After the pre starter is the cold starter where we were served Gul Gul ke Chaat, a molecular gastronomy creation with lentil dumplings with crispy vermicelli nest that is topped with tangy chutney and yogurt. I’ve never been a fan of these nitrogen infused chaat trolleys, I would definitely go for a simple cold chaat option than something like this.
I liked their other cold starter option- Falooda Badam Milk, a delicious blend of falooda and badam milk. You can choose between their chaat or falooda badam milk.
Next is the hot starter and there are three options and you can choose one from Curd ke Kabab, Portobello Mushroom Masala Poha or Paneer Barrels. As we were three of us, we chose three different hot starters.
Each one of the hot starters was deliciously different and bursting with flavors. Hands down our favorite was Paneer Barrels that was made with paneer and had a filling of spinach and saag. It was garnished with pineapple chutney. I am sure even a hardcore meat lover won’t be able to resist their Paneer Barrel and they should also introduce it in their regular a la carte menu after Ramadan.
Main course again has three choices to choose-Italian inspired Black Gram and Mint Risotto or Bocconcini Makhani or Gatta Curry Nadru Masala Chips. All the three dishes were distinctly different and had one thing in common- they were packed with great taste and flavor. It is difficult to choose one single favorite.
The side dishes were spicy and perfectly cooked Vegetable Biryani, traditional and thick dal from the state of Andhra Pradesh in India called the Dal Tadka Pappu which was superb. Simple Chestnut and Cucumber Raita and assorted Bread Basket.
For dessert there were two choices and we ordered the Gulab Jamun Mango Mousse, Gulkand Ice Cream. It was beautifully presented. The warm gulab jamun just melted in our mouth, the mousse had a fresh mango flavor and gulkand ice cream with its rich rose flavor and creamy texture was exceptionally good.
Excellent food, avant-garde plating, innovative and refreshing drinks, impeccable service and beautiful ambience that sums up our experience at Jodhpur Royal Dining.
Their amazing Iftar is a must-try and comes highly recommended.
Just before the holy month of Ramadan starts in UAE, we wanted to go to a Friday brunch as the brunch season will end when Ramadan starts. We didn’t want to go to just another restaurant, we wanted to visit a special restaurant with good food.
From the hustle and bustle of city life in Dubai, we drove down to Ajman, the northern Emirate of UAE. The destination of our Friday brunch was Sabella’s Organic Italian Restaurant in the iconic Ajman Hotel.
Sabella’s is an authentic organic Italian restaurant headed by Italian chef Zampriglio Massimiliano and his team. You can expect delicious Italian food made with fresh and high quality ingredients.
The restaurant is spacious with minimalistic and clean decor. The venue also features a private terrace that offers a spectacular sea view and lush garden. There is a live band that plays during the Friday brunch.
For the Friday brunch, Sabella’s not only offers Italian specialities, it also features a variety of international cuisine. They’ve live cooking stations where you can get your pizza and pasta customized according to your taste.
While we adults were enjoying the live music over a glass of wine, our little girl got her face painted by their talented artist and balloon maker. She also loved the kids buffet as it had all her favorites.
Their buffet had so many dishes, we didn’t know where to start. We started with their soup and then helped ourselves to their refreshing salads. Liked the selection of cheese, bread, starters, mains and desserts.
My personal favorites were the freshly made bruschetta, panini, pizza and pasta.
Their brunch offers something for everyone, whether you are a vegetarian, meat eater or a seafood lover. They’ve a separate grill section which was very popular with all the guests.
I have to specially mention about their amazing desserts, there was a good variety of Italian desserts as well as international flavors. We were spoilt for choice. For the health conscious, there was seasonal fruits that were sliced and kept inside a refrigerator.
To round off our brunch, we had a cup of freshly brewed cappuccino.
We loved the laid back and relaxed Friday brunch at Sabella’s. The food, the drinks, the service, the entertainment and the atmosphere was fabulous. Certainly want to visit Sabella’s again.
Thursday evenings are for exploring new places in town and this Thursday we drove a long distance to check out the new Mexican Cantina and Lounge- Luchador. As I love Mexican cuisine, I was super thrilled to visit this place.
Located in the Aloft Palm Jumeirah, Luchador is inspired by Lucha Libre, Mexico’s wrestling sport. The entrance to the restaurant is adorned with colorful wrestling masks. The venue vibrates the energy of the sport.
Its easy to fall in love with the vibrant decor of Luchador. The Mexican inspired decor looks beautiful. We loved the Aztec tiles and art, colorful furniture and the outdoor terrace that offers a spectacular view.
They’ve a live Mexican band and a resident DJ. So you can expect a lively atmosphere.
The concept of Luchador according to their team:
Our cantina serves authentic Mexican food with a modern touch using key ingredients all imported from Mexico. Like the Luchador’s our beverage menu combines traditional margarita’s and tequila’s but will be famous for its flamboyant and outrageous mixology.
After we were seated, we were served a complimentary bowl of Tortilla Chips and Salsa. We ditched their wines and beer, and ordered the cocktails. We tried their Classic Margarita, spicy Stingray and Antorita. All our cocktails were well mixed and tasted refreshing.
Their menu isn’t too big, so choosing is easy. For a vegetarian like me, the menu is limited. Upon request, they do serve vegetarian dishes that is not in their menu.
To begin with, we ordered the Traditional Guacamole. It was served with tortilla chips. The guacamole was fresh, simple and utterly delicious. They make the best guacamole in town.
Huitlacoche was the next dish that we ordered. It had a delectable combo of corn truffle, mixed mushrooms, truffle oil, rosemary mayo and crispy zucchini. Huitlacoche was served with their signature homemade sauce. The dish was different, but in a nice way.
As our main course, we had the Mushroom Quesidilla. The quesadilla was crisp and tasty. It was served with salsa, sour cream and guacamole.
For dessert, we ordered the divine tasting Churros with rich and velvety chocolate sauce and Cajeta Brûlée. The Cajeta Brûlée was awesome and it consisted of banana, corn candy and corn ice cream.
Luchador offers authentic and delicious Mexican food, great cocktails, friendly and helpful service, amazing music and gorgeous ambience. Your Mexican food experience in Dubai is incomplete without visiting Luchador.
The Chinese restaurant scene is growing in Dubai and the latest addition to this is New Shanghai, an international casual dining restaurant chain. A Chinese restaurant established in 1992 by the Chen family in Sydney, Australia.
New Shanghai now has outlets in China, Australia and the Middle East. In fact, the Dubai outlet is their first foray in the Middle East. We visited them for lunch recently.
Located in the Lower Ground Floor of The Dubai Mall, New Shanghai offers a taste of traditional Shanghainese cuisine with a contemporary flair.
The interiors of New Shanghai will take you to the bustling and vibrant streets of Shanghai. The paintings of the Chinese women all over the restaurant looks spectacular. The lovely furniture and tableware adds to the overall beautiful atmosphere of the place.
The unique dumplings theatre is the outstanding feature of the restaurant. We loved watching the art of making dumplings.
Their menu features more than 80 dishes, including wontons, dumplings, Xiao Long Bao and a range of seafood and meat dishes. They’ve a limited selection of vegetarian dishes. Being a vegetarian, we only ordered their veg dishes.
What we ordered:
We started off with drinks first, their Spiced Mango had a blend of pineapple, mango and coconut juice with a hint of spice and garnished with banana leaf. Not only did it look great, tasted amazing too. I can’t recommend it enough.
Garlic Cucumber was our cold starter, it was simple and refreshing.
Mixed Vegetable Pot Stickers had veggies, dry tofu and shiitake mushrooms, chopped and tossed in glass noodles. It was packed with authentic flavor and taste.
Next we ordered the Mixed Vegetable Dumplings and it was served in the traditional bamboo steamer. It was good, but we had the same veggie filling as the pot stickers in dumplings too. In fact, all their veg options has the same filling. I would like to advise them to add different veg fillings.
Mapo Tofu was the highlight of our lunch, it was slightly spicy and oh-so-delicious. A definite must-try.
Shanghai Stir Fried Noodles is a simple Noodle dish and you cannot go wrong with that.
We ordered Mango Pudding and Fried Ice Cream. The Mango Pudding was utterly delicious and bursting with flavor. We didn’t enjoy the Fried Ice Cream as the shell wasn’t crispy enough.
We ended our lunch with a pot of Jasmine Tea. It had a delicate and exotic aroma.
We enjoyed our lunch experience at New Shanghai. Loved the taste of traditional and contemporary Chinese cuisine, only wish that they introduce more vegetarian dishes. The quantity is huge and the prices are reasonable. Good food and drinks were complemented by great service and spectacular ambience.
One of my favorite hotels in Dubai is Media One in Dubai Media City, it is a contemporary and creative venue. Media One, the urban lifestyle destination not only offers great rooms and event facilities, it also houses many eclectic dining options. Some of the most popular restaurants and bars are in the hotel.
I’ve visited most of the restaurants and bars in Media One. Last Tuesday for the first time, I visited CaféM which transforms into CaféW every evening when the clock strikes 6.
CaféW- A wine and cheese bar featuring an extensive selection of carefully chosen wines and a delicious new menu to accompany them.
The venue is cool, casual and very chic with comfortable seating space. Whether it is for after work drinks or for catching up with friends- CaféW is a great place.
Every evening from 6pm-8pm is happy hour where you can get 2-for-1 on house wines. On every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 7pm-10pm, they have Cheese & Wine night.
It is priced at AED 210 with a selection of wines and cheese. AED 230 with bubbly and AED 160 with soft drinks. We opted for the AED 210 offer.
We loved the selection of wines, we tried white, red and rose wine. They’ve a small but good selection of cheese, bread, crackers, salads, fruits, figs, nuts and chutneys in their buffet that goes incredibly well with the wines. We found it quite reasonable as we could try different kinds of wine as well as their buffet.
Their new menu includes hot and cold tapas, fondues, quiches, desserts bakes and boards. We couldn’t resist the temptation and ordered Potato & Pecorino au gratin, Spinach & Mushroom Quiche and Carrot & Zucchini Cake. It was comfort food at its best and we absolutely loved them. Only the dishes from the buffet is on offer with the drinks, for ordering from a la carte or new menu, you have pay separately per dish.
The ‘W’ in CaféW may stand for wine, but aside from the wines they also have a selection of signature cocktails, fresh juices and other spirits.
We had a wonderful and relaxed night. The wines, the food, the service and the atmosphere was fabulous. I don’t remember when was the last time that we had such an awesome Tuesday night. Their cheese and wine night comes totally recommended.
I love burgers, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t. Is there such a thing called healthy burgers? Apparently there is, and last week I got introduced to Bareburger, which is made with organic, non-GMO and natural ingredients. Guilt free burgers? Thanks, can I have more please.
I know I sound super excited, but I am happy that my favorite comfort food now has a healthy option. And last week for the very first time in UAE- Beyond Burger, a revolutionary plant-based burger that satisfies like beef was launched. I was one of the first ones to try it.
Currently there are 3 outlets of Bareburger in Dubai. I visited their La Mer outlet that has a cool beach vibe with vibrant and bright interiors.
Bareburger is dedicated to organic, non-GMO, all natural ingredients. It started in the USA with a little place on the corner of Astoria, quickly grew within New York, dotting the streets of Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. It then began to stretch further across America and Atlantic. There are many locations in the world right now.
On my visit, I tried the beyond burger, which is a meatless, and plant based vegan burger. I loved the fact that ingredients were applied in fresh ways. Peas provide the protein, beets lend a beefy red color, coconut oil and potato starch ensure juiciness. The result of this was a surprisingly delicious burger made directly from plants.
The newly introduced beyond burgers are – Classic, Vegan and Beyond Double. I especially loved the Vegan Burger that had a green wrap. Along with the burgers, we also tried their drinks, sides and dessert.
For drinks we ordered, Grapefruit Basil Spritzer and Cold Brew Coffee. Both our drinks were refreshing and energizing.
Their simple House Salad was light, fresh and tasty.
Rings & Sweet Fries that was served with special sauce and habanero mayo was oh-so-awesome and very addictive.
I also tried their organic veggie burger-Guadeloupe and American in their regular menu apart from their beyond burger. You can customize their burger in few steps:
Choose your patty.
Choose your bun.
Choose your cheese.
Choose your protein, veggies, sauces and spread.
Ended our meal with their decadent dessert- Chocolate Brownie with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce. It satisfied my sweet cravings.
I loved my experience at Bareburger and can’t wait to visit them again. All you burger fans, you have another burger joint to visit, where the burgers are not only delicious but healthy too.
Unique concepts always excites me. Last Thursday when I had to visit Stock Exchange, a financial themed restaurant, bar and pub, I was super excited as I had never visited a venue with this theme.
Located in the sprawling premises of Roda Al Murooj complex, it was a bit tricky to get there in the dark. We had to go up a winding path and climb up few steps. Its best to follow the signs, which we unfortunately missed.
When we finally reached the venue, the place was busy and buzzing with energy. It looked like the perfect venue to bring in the weekend. The venue is not very huge, but there is ample seating space, small but well stocked bar and a stage for live performance. The band playing on that day were fantastic.
Stock Exchange restaurant and bar is the first of its kind in UAE, the concept is simple- the prices of the beverages keep changing based on the demand and supply. So if a drink is popular and lots of people are ordering it then the price goes up and the prices for less popular drinks will become cheaper.
Every Thursdays and Fridays, they’ve a Bull & Bear offer- place an order for one and get the other drink for free. What an amazing offer and we took advantage of it.
For the drinks menu, we were given a tablet to choose. There were signature cocktails, mocktails, beers, wines and other spirits. We loved both their signature cocktails- gin based Dubai Sunset and Jack Daniel based Jacked Up. Later we also ordered bottled Beer and their house Wine.
Moving on to the food part, we were given a printed menu which had some great comfort food options. Being vegetarians, we ordered veg dishes like:
Delicious Aloo Tikki Chaat with kurkura matra and trio of chutney.
The best dish of the evening was Mushroom Kung Pao Sizzler. It was crisp and incredibly tasty.
Next we had the Chilly Cheese Baguette with peri peri sauce. It was simple dish and went well with our drinks.
As our main course, we had Desi Manchurian, Van Noodles that was served in a wooden dish shaped like iron box. It was delicious but would have been better if it was served in a broad bowl or dish, as it was difficult to serve and the food kept falling out when tried to serve ourselves.
For dessert we ordered the decadent Sizzling Lotus Tart with vanilla ice cream.
Our overall experience was good. The drinks, the food, the music and the atmosphere was amazing. The service was a bit slow. Stock Exchange is an interesting concept in Downtown Dubai which is worth visiting.
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