Saturday, January 19, 2008

gastronomic escapades

hubby, if i may say so, is one of the most adventurous people in the world when it comes to eating. he likes trying out new restaurants and even dares to taste exotic food. but personally, i think he is most fond of the idea of compelling me to try something i’ve never tasted before. i have to admit that i am a picky eater. there, i’ve shamelessly confessed that! not that i’m downplaying, but i don’t think it’s that bad…promise! i’m just not the type who’s gonna eat anything that i find, if i would mildly put it, too gooey and/or a bit unsightly looking. to overcome this, hubby makes me taste stuff that he thinks i should be able to eat in the main so i would look cultured and not appear too fussy in the company of other people. so as not to offend my better half’s feelings, i normally give in…but only for a bite.

he was the one who introduced me to pesto, sushi, isaw and ginataang langka, just to name a few. for some reason, i don’t trust his initial judgment whenever he says a dish tastes delicious. despite the proven fact that he turns out right whenever he says something tastes good, i still have my fears reservations. seriously, it’s rather embarrassing! it’s like questioning the official chef in the house! geez, i should really learn to accept that his palate is more scrupulous than mine.

anyway, while i’m holidaying as a pretend-tourist in Dubai for three weeks, we had a few encounters with a number of cafes and restaurants in town, save for one where i spent an evening with friends. here’s a list of the cafes and restaurants we visited till last Saturday. to appease my hubby, i tried to be a little more open to other food choices, so i made it a point to order something new to my taste.

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Sugoi

Ryan is never a fan of mall food courts. he’s got one major reason, and that is the crowd. no, it’s not that he’s snob or anything of that sort. he just hates big crowds…you know, the kind wherein you’d find it difficult to grab a decent table to have your meal. well, i’m all hands down to Sugoi for slightly changing his mind about food courts. since we discovered this Japanese fast food (which reminds us of Tokyo, Tokyo back home) in City Centre Deira, we have been going to the food court more frequently than ever. we love their Prawn Pangko, Yakisoba, Chicken & Beef Teppanyaki & fried rice. and their Salmon Sashimi are guaranteed fresh - you can actually see the chef slicing the portions in front of you. and yes, hubby did convince me that Tuna Sashimi is tasty, too. well, let’s just say i’m happy with my salmon.

“sugoi” truly lives up to its name, which literally translates to great. we love Sugoi and we keep coming back!

Blue Elephant Royal Thai Cuisine

at Al Bustan Rotana’s Thai infamous resto is where we celebrated our anniversary last 27th December. it fell on a Thursday so we were lucky to experience their Sawasdee Siam Night for a buffet of only AED 159 net per person, inclusive of drinks. we were in the mood to eat Thai food, and we must say for its price, it was sulit! i don’t have any food allergies so i didn’t dare check the names of the dishes because otherwise, i would’ve felt intimidated and scrammed to the nextdoor Italian restaurant for dinner. the food was incredibly sumptuous we kept coming back to the buffet table!

no wonder Blue Elephant was once voted as Best Thai Restaurant in Dubai – everything was absolutely good! and since it was our anniversary, we were seated in a corner table where we had a nice view of the koi carp swimming lazily by the flower bordered waterway. it really pays when you make reservations ahead of time J i’ve never been to a buffet in ages, and this experience had me craving for more smorgasbord feasts. mmmmm, yum!

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

we made a little trip to the Jumeirah Beach Road one lazy Saturday afternoon to visit the Sports Market to for some beanies and socks, until we realized we haven’t had our lunch yet. just across the shop was The Coffee Bean, so we decided to troop there as my body was screaming for a caffeine break, too. lunch was a serving of Caesar Salad, Mushroom Fusilli and Roast Chicken sandwich. food was good, but the service could’ve been better. the passion fruit iced tea was a real winner for hubby, while coffee for me was so so. oh well, better than none for a coffee lover like me.

Mugg & Bean

we were in Uptown Mirdiff one weekend to drop off some goodies to a friend. we were supposed to go home after checking out a couple of stores, but decided to have a quick bite first before heading home. Mugg & Bean was right in front of us so we decided to get in and have a bite. hubby picked the M&B Grill, while i went for the Alabama Stacker. seriously, the sandwich tasted Arabic for me, but since i was trying to please hubby, i mightily finished it, but not without giving him a number of bites. i pretended i was sharing my food. hihi!

Casper & Gambini's

hubby & i checked this out while we were malling at Dubai Festival City one weekend. so brave of us even to dine al fresco, despite the chills we were getting because the restaurant was situated in the Canal Walk. well, taste-wise, i learned one thing from my dining encounter in this restaurant: the best pesto ever is from a Veneto Pizzeria Ristorante in Manila. nothing could top that! the next time i find myself sitting in this restaurant, i will make sure i order their bestseller to be on the safe side. hubby was lucky with his order of philly’s - it was yummy. so is the potato crispy skins with its sour cream dip, which was my idea to order :D the banana strawberry freezes and lemonade with mint were refreshing, too, so i guess i just wasn’t lucky with the choice i made on my food.

Dome Cafe

you wouldn’t believe which branch Beth, Cleng and i went to for our get together last week! where else but in the DIFC. yep, right smack in the perimeter of my office. not that i missed going to work because i am enjoying my holiday, thank you very much. it’s just that we were thinking of a quiet place to talk and enjoy a nice dinner, and considering where Cleng would come from (she works in Jebel Ali) and where she lives, Sheikh Zayed was the most convenient venue for us all to meet. i suggested Shakespeare, but The Dome won. good thing we also ended up at The Dome because we had the place to ourselves. it was a Thursday and there were very few patrons around the area. this time, since hubby wasn’t around, i didn’t play adventurous and went straight to ordering my favorite – Grilled Garlic Chicken with a glass of lemon mint to go with it. it was soooo good that even with all the chitchatting, i was able to finish my food in no time!

Kiku

have i told you that my hubby’s favorite dish is Japanese? he can live his lifetime eating all sorts of Japanese food, and would probably never miss eating Filipino food…ever! :D with the cravings for Japanese food these days, we opted to celebrate our 2nd civil wedding anniversary at Kiku in Le Meridien Dubai. we had servings of Salmon Nigiri, Maruboshi Iwashi, Ika No Tsukeyaki, Tempura Moriawas, Sushi Gozen and Chicken Teriyaki Don. yeah, we were so hungry we had 4 appetizers before our main dish! and i did dare taste EVERYTHING. hubby was so proud! food was sumptuous, no wonder they’re multi-awarded. check out Time Out Magazine’s review…you’ll read nothing but praises for this authentic Japanese resto.

Baitong Thai Restaurant

we’ve heard so much about this Thai restaurant located in Karama that’s frequented by Filipinos, but it was our first time last Saturday to check it out. Baitong’s choices are limited, but food is quite ok for the price, so we really can’t complain. their Pad Thai was a huge serving, and thankfully it was because it was soooo good we quickly gobbled it up, along with each of our orders, which i now don’t recall. all i could vaguely remember is that there wasn’t even a morsel of food left on our plates.


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so there, that was a brief (??) recap of my escapades with food. i did a li’l bit of exploring on most of the menus and i’m quite happy that i did. next to shopping, eating out de-stresses me, so the next time we dine out, i’d try to be more open to other cuisines and not restrict myself to what i am familiar of.

tomorrow’s another day for errands, and for sure we will be out the whole day. as early as now, I wonder where our hunger will take us. hmmm, we’ll see.

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