Showing posts with label Arabic Food. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Arabic Food. Show all posts

Zaroob Comes to Sharjah

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Zaroob is that colorful, eye-catching and unique restaurant along Sheikh Zayed Road somewhere around the DIFC area. It is a owned by Zuhour Group, Zaroob specializes and famous for their authentic and traditional Levantine street-food inspired dishes.

It has been in my radar for a while now but never had to chance to check them out.

The best thing, they are now in Sharjah along Khaled Lagoon (Sharjah Corniche) after the Central Park and just a stone throw away from our place. Since the weather is still pleasant, the kids and I just walked our way to it to check them out on their opening day

We were seated al fresco with the best view of the Khaled Lagoon.

and later joined by a friend and blogger - Ion of Boy Dubai.

So many people came down during the opening day and all were giddy to have Zaroob as an addition to the growing food scene in this area.

The restaurant opening set menu

Our friend here poured us cups of free flowing and very refreshing tamarind juice. The kids are new to it and did not drink it but I liked it, it brings back good memories.

Back home in Bulacan - the province where I grew up, I remember my dad making tamarind juice for us when it is in season. It is sweet, sour and very refreshing.

There was hoummus, tabouleh, fatoush, arabic bread, falafel, warm foul, wrapped turkey ham Man'oushe and chicken shawarma for sharing.

I haven't eaten foul before even if it was always available in most restaurants I've been to that serves Arabic food, I tried it this time and I'm glad I did as it was delicious.

I still haven't tried the koushari that day as I am already full giving me an excuse to visit Zaroob again.

After brunch, the kids and I walked back home feeling extra happy.

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Al Maeda: Levantine and North African Cuisine

Finding a parking space in The Walk JBR sucks big time and the twenty dirham per hour in the paid mall parking is hefty while the chic hotel valet serves guest only. Surprisingly Al Maeda Arabic Restaurant and DoubleTree by Hilton The Walk has a complimentary self parking with ample spaces. Having said this, please note that Al Maeda offers its guest a valet service as well.

Arriving at the venue, lovely and smiling ladies and gents greeted us and ushered to the terrace where we met the Food and Beverage Manager Angelikos who talk us through the property. Al Maeda and DoubleTree by Hilton is already at a premiere location. Al Maeda terrace is overlooking a breathtaking seaview and in front of it will soon rise the Dubai Eye, something like the London Eye but tree times larger than that, can you imagine?

Al Maeda or "the dining table" presents a pairing concept of Arabic cuisine, Levant and North African to be exact. The menu consist of variety of carefully selected special Arabic dishes from across the Arab world. Traditional Arabic dishes from cold mezze to main course and desserts are serve in this stylish restaurant.

The restaurant includes a full service bar, an open kitchen, a private dining area for families or large group and an outdoor terrace where guests can enjoy the breathtaking sea view, shisha is available.

I must say the star of the night was the harira soup and the lamb tagine. The soup was warm, light, and homey. You know that feeling that you reminisce when you drink this soup, that is precious. If you have seen the cartoon film ratatouille when France top food critic Anton Ego tasted his ratatouille cooked by Remy, that kind of feeling. (yes you can Google that). It simply brings back good old childhood memories.

On the other hand, the tagine lamb dish was sweet and savory with the meat so tender and flavorful. I like how Moroccan dishes uses fruits in their dishes to balance the flavor and the use of spices such as cinnamon for that extra aroma. If it was me, I would have it serve with the lid on and then the waiter removes it in front of you to add some drama. (ang arte :D)

We also had grilled halloumi and the cheese lover in me was jumping for joy and smiling from ear to ear.

mix grill (lamb chops, shish tawouk and kebab lahabi)

This Mediterranean Prawn which is a pan fried prawn with artichoke ragout lemon coriander sauce in a bed of dill rice is also a winner, anything prawn bring it on.

Desserts came nice and warn on our table and well presented, it would have been flawless if a warm and goouey cheese kunafe was serve in the very same plate, there on that space, yeah there! :D. The pretty mint tea cup isn't suppose to be there, I just used it for photography purposes.

All savored of course in the company of wonderful people I met at the event from BBC Good Food and Gulf News TV.

DoubleTree by Hilton has a service culture built around the idea of CARE, which stands for 'Create A Rewarding Experience "where the ‘little things mean everything" quoting General Manager Hassan El Wahidi

Al Maeda has an open kitchen concept headed by Chef Maher Akwan himself, who specialized in Arabic food. Chef Akwan commented “We want them to see what is being cooked, how it is prepared and then brought to their dining table which is an experience similar to what they have at home.”

with Chef Maher Akwan
Al Maeda is open for lunch and dinner from Monday to Saturday 12:30 pm to 11:30 pm

Al Maeda 

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Cheap Eats in Dubai: Shawarma

Shawarma in Dubai cost between 3-5 AED or 1-1.5 USD per sandwich. One is enough to fill you or two if with a bigger appetite. Usually shawarma are sold at cafeterias you can find around the city. You can also have shawarma in restaurants but if you want an authentic experience I bet you will enjoy it most street style, the way it should be. It is dubbed as the city's best snack. One can never really call oneself a true blue Dubai resident if you haven't eaten shawarma coz it is a staple food over here. If you're a tourist, then it is a must try.

Shawarma stalls in Dubai opens at night only except of course those in the mall or the restaurants. Shawarma comes with slowly roasted beef or chicken, with some lettuce or cabbage and parsley, then drizzled with tahina sauce before it is wrapped in pita bread (kubus) or with flat bread. I like mine wrapped in flatbread persian style just like what you see in this picture.

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Al Marhabani Mandi and Tradition Food is Back!!!

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Our favorite restaurant is back! It used to be me and my colleagues in Goldas eating out for lunch in this Arabian inspired restaurant located near our office until I introduced it to my husband. It was a hit not only to him but to friends whom I have recommended it but then one day we learned that it had close down and we were left clueless whether it has relocated or went bankrupt. There was an Arabic note on the door but who can read?

But yes their back and bigger with another branch in Jumeirah. The staff I asked told me that there was a big fire in the old restaurant that's why it close down. The new restaurant is still in Al Mamzar next to Al Mamzar Center. There are two sitting areas, one at the lower ground where usually men sits and the other is at the first floor mainly for groups and families. The stairs to the majlis is on the right corner of the restaurant, there is always a staff to direct the diners.

When we came, the majlis were full and we were offered a table, the kids are hungry so we took it otherwise we would have love to be seated in Arabic style. The majlis are so comfortable and private, ideal for friends and families to have lunch or dinner. Majlis by the way is a salon or place for sitting.

The main reason why we keep on coming back here is because the food of course and the majlis too. Bukharee with chicken is our favorite dish with red rice and very soft chicken that the chicken meat is literally falling off from the bones. The rice for some is bland but for us who eat steamed rice all our lives, this flavored rice is absolutely yummy. It is served with pureed tomatoes as dipping sauce mild and spicy and a platter of uber fresh vegetables that consist of romaine lettuce, carrots, sliced tomatoes, onions and chili. All of what you see in the photo above cost AED 50. An order of bukharee with chicken is AED 25. We ordered two in one dish plate. The rest of the menu is priced lower than 50 except for the banquet. The specials are mandi rice, mandi-bukharee, kabsa rice and biryani rice with options of meat, fish, shrimps or chicken. We haven't tried the appetizers yet but some say that the yogurt cucumber is a winner.

As always, the place is clean and fresh, the service is fast and the staff are friendly. We are planning to come back but maybe we will try the Jumeirah branch next time.

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The Date Fruit


Have you ever tasted a fresh date fruit? Normally we see processed date fruit at local supermarkets dipped in chocolates or stuffed with almonds and other nuts, they are all tasty but having to taste the fresh ones that does not contain anything on it but just pure riped date is the best. It is naturally sweet and soft and the almost riped ones are crunchy and a bit bitter sweet on the taste buds just the way I liked it. To some it is an aquired taste.

They look like our lanzones isn't it?  Date trees lined every road and high way in Dubai and it's an eye pleaser to locals, residents and tourist alike.

Ramadan is just right around the corner, it is said to start on August 1 and the date fruits on the date palm trees have ripened and tonnes have been harvested, in the supermarkets there is a designated area only for dates as it is a must to have it in every ones household during the holy month. Locals and Arabs eat dates to break the fast-just like their Prophet Muhammad used to do, followed by a prayer called Maghrib (the fifth prayer of the day) it's the same time Iftar meals are served.
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Falafel & Hummus are made from garbanzos?

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I only knew chickpea or garbanzo as sweets served along with sumang malagkit (rice cake), leche flan (custard) and ube (purple yum) during fiestas in the Philippines. I didn't know that half way around the globe here in the middle east and in other parts of Asia, chickpea is used to prepare several dishes. One of them is the tasty falafel and another is my favorite meze the hummus. Chickpeas are high in protein and considered as one of the earliest cultivated vegetable.

Falafel is a good substitute to rice and sometimes when I don't want to eat rice I order some falafel from the nearby Safadi restaurant. It is very filling.

Hummus is a meze that I love the most, I can finish a whole plate of it. It is very nutritious, it is a good source of protein and dietary fiber, it is mixed with tahini that is made of sesame seeds making it rich in amino acids and olive oil and lemon. It is mostly eaten with Arabic bread or you can also dip you falafel in it.
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