Category Archives: Love Ur Lunch

Krush Burger

Krush Burger
I feel like I’ve watched Krush Burger grow up. I was there when her first board was hung in her Murooj Rotana Location. Several months later, I was there when her sign was installed and then that first light bulb glimmered in her space. She took a snooze for another handful of weeks and finally I hear word that her doors have opened. I walk into Krush Burger and am greeted with metal, cement and wood tones, an interesting take on a burger venue. Unfortunately, the space has a feeling of emptiness that's not successfully tackled. I proceed to the counter and order an original combo, meaning two mini burgers and fries. Next, I order a soda. You would think a combo would include a drink as well, right? After my order I’m handed a buzzer, how lovely. Several aggressive vibrations later, I’m back at the counter to pick up my tray. Two beautiful mini burgers, very well sized, perched on their sides with come hither lettuce extending outward. There are two teams when it comes to burger buns, brioche or potato burger buns. The prior has more of a bread-like consistency while the latter has a pillow-like consistency. I a fan of the latter because it does a good job of supporting rather than drying, while Krush Burger uses the prior. I cocoon the burger in my hands and take a generous bite. Neither disappointed nor excited, I pick a fry to complete my bite. Lacking a certain acidity or punch to the burger, I finish the remaining silently and devoid of any Oos and Aas. Doing my due diligence I look through some photos of Krush Burger on the net to be surprised with some very creative options. Unfortunately they seemed to have miss the flight over from California. Hoping they catch the next flight over on Emirates, I’ll pay her another visit in the far future.
THE DETAILS
LOCATION Murooj Rotana OPENING HRS. 10 - 11 CUISINE Burger PRICE PER COUPLE AED 120 WEBSITE Krush Burger
THE FORK-O-METER
Wait till they Catch their Flight

The Hamptons Cafe

The Hamptons Cafe
Having just booked a flight to New York in October, my subsequent booking is a convertible for the mandatory drive to the Hamptons. After enjoying Barefoot Contessa’s cookbooks and philosophy of simple yet comforting food inspired by the Hamptons, the drive is well overdue. Alas, as October is a handful of months away, I make do with a short drive to Jumeirah for the newly opened Hamptons Café. The first attempt is shot down by a fully booked space and an impatiently empty stomach. On the second attempt, a reservation is made prior and a table secured for myself and 5 friends. Walking in we’re welcomed by beige tones, anchors here and there, sea shells and that beachfront feel. We all swipe away, on our Ipad menus, a personal pet peeve of mine, and make our selections. The menu ranges from breakfast including eggs and pastry, lunch, soups and salads. Sipping on our tea, the eggs in tomato arrive, a close cousin to the shakshuka. The dish suffers from a heavy dose of under seasoning and makes me long to be in Baker and Spice. And next, buttermilk fried chicken, oh yes with a side of coleslaw, oh yes. The batter slightly over seasoned, but the chicken so juicy. After experiencing a seesaw of seasoning we decide on dessert, a carrot cake and rose croissant. Biting into the rose croissant an air of rose mist is released something that makes me smile. We finish our meal with beautiful conversation that lasts for hours, the highlight of the experience. I say goodbye to the Hamptons and wonder if I’ll see her again, I think yes, but only in October in my rented convertible.
THE DETAILS
LOCATION Jumeirah 1 OPENING HRS. 8 pm - 9 pm CUISINE American PRICE PER COUPLE AED 220 TELEPHONE # 04 331 5118
THE FORK-O-METER
Have some Fried Chicken

S’wich

S'wich
This past year has been a period of Renaissance, a renewed interest if you will, for the Arab Cuisine. No longer a product of street food or something reserved for the home, but rather a cuisine that has been heightened to the trendy and the fine dining. Starting with Qbara, now S’wich and I foresee many more to come. Newly opened in Dubai Marina, S’wich is redefining the classic Shawerma and conveniently delivering it to your doorstep. Stepping into their humble space, a delivery outlet with two tables, I luckily catch a seat while another diner departs. Looking through the build-your-own-menu, possibilities range from the ultra gourmet, truffles and veal, to the classic pickles and chicken. Leaving nothing to chance, rather than building my own, I opt for S’wich’s signature duck Shawerma to objectively test their strength. A combination of duck, lettuce, garlic and fig paste warped in homemade saj bread. I take a bite, sweet sauce is left at the corner of my mouth which I happy lick away. Not the greatest admirer of duck, though this duck is different. It’s not duck-y, but light and the fig sauce makes everything splendid. I take a bite of the Cucumber and Cabbage Salad and am left under whelmed. Swiftly S’wiched (did you catch that…) with the Quinoa Clementine salad, my taste buds are again appeased.  The Clementine, onion, tomato and cranberry make for an energetic salad. Don’t forget your sweet potato fries! I’ve heard a friend comment that they enjoyed the Shawermas prepared at S’wich but confessed that he felt they were not Shawermas but wraps. That’s the underlying matter why it took the Arab Cuisine so long to get trendy. Arabs enjoy tradition and food prepared the way their mother did. Altering the status quo would just be a question of “But Why?” I on the other hand, love what S’wich has created, a modern take on classic favorites and it’s about time. And here’s to a more modern take on other pressing aspects of our lives in the region. Currently delivering to New Dubai, soon to Down Town and later as a dine-in outlet. Looking forward to ordering many more Shawermas when they land in my part of town.
THE DETAILS
LOCATION Marina Views Tower OPENING HRS. 11 am to 11 pm CUISINE Modern Shawerma PRICE PER COUPLE AED 100 TELEPHONE # 800 79424 WEBSITE S'wich
THE FORK-O-METER
A Craving Fix
 

Dhow and Anchor

5T0B2788
A place for the beach but not to eat. But there’s La Parrilla you say, but I say it’s remarkably overrated and peppered with bad service and dated dishes. Expectations for lunch are low, but high for post lunch, oil bathed relaxation on the shorefront. I push open the doors of JBH which take me back to the 80s, a then vs now charm. I walk up to Dhow and Anchor which swiftly brings me back to the present. Well designed with black metal and wood tones, it’s apparent that every inch of the space has been attentively used up. We take our seats by the window as we stroll through the menu. On par with Friday traditions, I order the chicken roast for an internal hug. The bread, so worth commenting on, arrives crispy on the outside and awfully fluffy on in the inside. The kind of fluffy you’d want to fall and fall into. The service, attentive. On more than one occasion, our waitress approaches the table to take our drinks order. Each instance we respond with, “No drinks for today, thank you.”  and receive an amusingly dumfounded reaction. The fresh green salad arrives, shiny and youthful. With one taste, a hint of garlic shows through, perhaps in the sauce. Alas with evening plans already secured, the garlic infused salad was set aside. And so to the roast, a well cooked chicken cocooning deliciously mashed potatoes in a pool of gravy. Every bite is indeed a hug. Based on the waitress’s recommendation, we order the apple tart for dessert. A step down from the main course, but not disappointing, but also not exciting. Having beautiful roast chicken at D&A, I summoned my mother to give the restaurant a try, a hard woman to please she is. Happy with her grilled fish, but unhappy with the soggy fish and chips my father ordered she returns with mixed reviews. Contrary to recent reports, the fish and chips seem to be a hit and miss for the classic British restaurant. And now a place for the beach and potentially to eat. Also relatively newly opened in JBH is Jamie’s Italian. Well done to them for giving their F&B offerings a well needed rejuvenation. Will I return, yes! I was very happy with the experience of the space and the dish I ordered. When will I return exactly, I’m not quite sure, on what occasion or what time of day, again, I’m not so sure…
THE DETAILS
LOCATION Jumeirah Beach Hotel OPENING HRS. 12 - 11:30 CUISINE British PRICE PER COUPLE AED 250 TELEPHONE # type 04 4068999 WEBSITE D&A
THE FORK-O-METER
Because I Don't Have a 3.5 Image

The Counter Burger

The Counter Burger
What is it with women and loyalty? Women have an exceptional ability, inclination rather, to be loyal and in most cases when it’s not due. Whether to her man, her Company or even her favorite restaurant. An inherent gene that seems to have been overlooked in her counterpart. A weakness? As first glance, yes. But it makes our passion for that perfect dish, that deal we just secured or that spot, that couch we love so much more deep. There’s nothing more honorable then loving with depth. I am loyal. When the clock strikes 12 am I know there is only one place I’d want to be, always. And that’s Elevation Burger. With the surge of burger joints around the city, I pass most of them off as not good enough to even sample. Although with the hype of The Counter Burger and in the name of restaurant reviewing, I find myself seated at a booth ticking my way through building my own burger. Side order of fries, chilly and guilt – tick. An interesting selection of both classic and unique toppings ranging from blue cheese, guacamole and onion rings. They arrive plump and looking their best for first impressions. That first bite is new and by default exciting. Stacked too high I would say and the bread beautifully shiny but doesn’t melt how I like it to. And at the end a portion of the burger is left uneaten. Not because it isn’t appetizing but because it isn’t that perfect size. The chili and onion rings are spot on. I thank the Counter Burger for a delicious first date. But then say it’s not you but it’s me and we could never be, we just didn’t click. The clock strikes 12 am, and I’m in his arms again, on that couch [booth], having my usual favorite Elevation burger and I couldn’t be happier. Yes, I am woman, I am loyal, hear me roar.
THE DETAILS
LOCATION The Beach JBR OPENING HRS. 10 am to 12 am CUISINE Burger PRICE PER COUPLE AED 110 WEBSITE The Counter Burger
THE FORK-O-METER
The Beach Burger Spot

Sapori di Bice

Sapori di Bice
One of the trickiest things a high-end restaurant can do is successfully open a casual dining spin off. Why? Two reasons really… Positioning the casual restaurant in a way that wouldn’t cannibalize the high-end restaurant’s business, i.e. offering a more casual experience at a more casual price tag. And second, the price tag can’t be too casual or else people will start to question the sensibility of margins at the high-end restaurant. It’s a fine balance that I believe Sapori di Bice has hit. Sapori di Bice, as the name indicates, is a casual restaurant from the Bice restaurant group. Bice, once a staple in the fine dining restaurant scene in Dubai, saw an unfortunately decline from the expatriation of heavy weight talent from them to Roberto’s. Bice seems to have faded away like red lipstick after a bowl of spaghetti Bolognese. A remanence is there, a pink shade if you will, but nothing compared to the bold red in it’s heyday. Its Friday afternoon and a friend and I are walking around City Walk on Wasel Road, investigating the mushrooming of newly opened shops and restaurants. Shisha, pass, more shisha for heavens sakes, pass, desserts, pass, soul-less, pass, pass and pass. And then a flutter of Italian being spoken around the corner, I pear my head over and the white space draws me in. After working up an appetite and spending a healthy amount on a new skirt in Sauce in the Hood, comfort food is in order. Beef Carpaccio, spaghetti bolognaise and a café gelato for dessert please. My surprisingly cute Italian waiter (attention, cute waiter in Dubai translates into an oxymoron) responds with, “Right away Miss, the spaghetti Bolognese is not on the menu but I will ask the chef to prepare something special for you.” Could it be, I ordered something off the menu and wasn’t greeted with a deer caught in the headlights expression from my waiter? The result, a smile and a thank you. My beef Carpaccio arrives with a drizzle of truffle oil and slices of mushroom, both of which I feel there is no need for. My specially prepared spaghetti arrives, I push away the Carpaccio to make room. Swirling my fork in the pasta, I create the perfect tightly wrapped bite sprinkle some Parmesan and take it all in. El dente, well seasoned and comfortable, everything a bolognaise should be. Extra sprinkles please I say… A café gelato, maybe one of the best flavors created by man. Velvet-ty and lovely and with each spoonful my troubles and spending woes wash away. A casual Italian that is not in a mall or in a Hotel, how lovely… Would I make a trip to City Walk for a meal at Sapori Di Bice? I’m not sure, but if I’m shopping or walking around that area, that’s the only place I’d sit down for a bite. The next dish to try, freshly roasted chicken. But if we’re speaking take away, I did make my way over to Sapori Di Bice just to pick up a couple of scoops of café gelato for a dinner date. How sweet it is.
THE DETAILS
LOCATION City Walk Wasel Road OPENING HRS. 8am - 11 pm  CUISINE Italian PRICE PER COUPLE AED 250 TELEPHONE # 04 344 2550  WEBSITE Sapori
THE FORK-O-METER
A Casual Hit the Spot Place

Bu Qtair

Bu Qtair
By virtue of coincidence and by my obsessive compulsiveness towards daylight, my friends and I experienced a seamless Bu Qtair evening. It’s 3:58 pm on a sunny Friday afternoon on the shores of Dubai. My eyes closed, I lie on my towel with my toes in the sand and enjoy the sounds of the waves crashing onto the shore. Sublime, nothing could be more relaxing. The clock strikes 4:00 pm and my beach bum persona washes away with the earlier wave as the general in me kicks in. “Alright everyone up… to Bu Qtair we go!” With two hours left till sundown, I hastily herd my friends over to their cars in order to capture our Bu Qtair experience in daylight. Upon our arrival at 4:10 pm, the fishermen are weaving their nets, the cats are taking a snooze but no one is in site. Inquiring with someone in the cabin, we are informed to return at 6 pm when the first order is made at 6:30 pm and no exceptions are made… not even if you say please… not even if you explain that you want to take photos… not even…. Anything. After a leisurely stroll around Jumeirah, we return at sunset and already notice a queue starting in the cabin. As customer number 5, our male friend (hero) selflessly volunteers himself to stand in the ordering queue as we graciously and happily accept while we wait outside. Fatigued from the beach and the walk around Jumeirah, my friend and I pop a squat on plastics stools. “Serene… I need to put my camera down somewhere, lets just grab that table over there…” As we move our stools over and make ourselves comfortable on the table, we notice in that short laps of time, the queue extending out the cabin and onto the road, with not a free stool or table in sight.  Phew… good timing! After enjoying the outdoor breeze and watching people from all walks of life join in, Arab, French, Pilipino, English and more our fish and shrimp arrive along with our side orders of rice, salad, sauce and bread. Breaking into the dark crusted fish which reveals the ever so white and juicy meat is beautiful. As juicy as possible and yet not as fishy as anticipated each bite, though on plastic chairs and tables, is as luxurious as can be. I adore fried everything, fried squash flowers to fried potatoes and fried dumplings, but I believe, one ingredient that should never touch the fryer is shrimp. Their meat is too delicate for harsh oils.  And so, my attention is subsequently set on the fish. The bread is extra fresh and warm. My bite, enclosing the juicy fish with the warm bread and drizzling the spicy tomato sauce on top… and repeat. Though I prefer a fresh tomato sauce to the cooked version… this version will do just fine. By the end of the evening my friends and I can easily count around 250 people, which is incredible. Bu Qtair symbolizes something I love, if you offer quality food consistently, everyone will come. Is it the best combination of flavors I have tasted? I’m not sure, I’ve had delicious fish at an Abu Dhabi fish market that I dream of, but I know that Bu Qtair delivers on one of the best food experiences in Dubai. Eating along side the beach, in open air, a stone throw away from the fishermen themselves, on a sand pit mind you, makes it surreally on some level and an experience I wouldn’t mind frequenting when ever possible. Oh and they’re happy to wrap up anything you haven’t finished, so don’t be shy and order as you please. The Plan of Action:
  1. Arrive at 6 pm sharp.
  2. Ordering starts at 6:30 pm although you should start queuing at 6:00 pm.
  3. Have one person order and the others wait outside wile securing a spot to eat.
  4. Order your choice of fish and shrimp.
  5. Pop a squat on some stools even before the tables are set up.
  6. Once the tables are out, grab your stool and claim a table.
  7. When you’re seated and have ordered your fish, a waiter will approach your table to make the order of sides being salad, bread and rice.
  8. Have fun, get your hands dirty and enjoy the fresh air and sunset.
THE DETAILS
LOCATION Jumeirah OPENING HRS. 10:30-3 6:30-12 CUISINE Indian Seafood PRICE PER COUPLE AED 100 TELEPHONE # 055 7052130
THE FORK-O-METER
An Experience to Remember

Tom and Serg

Tom and Serg
There has been a tremendous outbreak of new restaurants throughout Dubai. And rightfully so, it’s ‘fall’ in the city after all, the couple of months that make the blazing summer heat all worthwhile. I use the word restaurant loosely because the majority of openings go to the multipurpose lounge/bar/restaurant/live band/ international award winner/slash/slash/slash larger then life venues. That’s lovely and hurrah to the owners for raising big money to accommodate their grandiose nature, but I’m a simple girl, who yearns for the simple yet perfect things. I just want a restaurant, tables and chairs and that’s it. My eyebrow arches when I read that Tom and Serg has opening in Al Quoz. I have to admit, a hint of jealousy ran through my heart because it was always a location at the back of my mind for a café, if I’d ever open one. I remember asking my cousin if she would go to Al Quoz if I opened something there, she responded with Really?, which made me think so contrary to the norm and hence so perfect. Chapeau bas for the choice of location. Stepping into Tom and Serg the word exposed comes to mind, exposed kitchen, exposed walls and exposed ceiling, everything is stripped bare and what lies beneath is something rare, a real space. Manning the kitchen Mr. Tom himself and managing the floor Mr. Serg him self, all hands on deck. I like that, if your name is on the door then you should be. Parking my behind on the table next to the door for the sole unashamed purpose of people watching, gazing rather, proves to be fruitful. For the people who stroll in and out of Tom & Serge are your city hipsters, my favorite type of people.  Creative, grungy and a tall drink of OJ. Sipping my flat white, coffee I have just been introduced to, may prove to be my segway into the world of coffee from one of tea. Extra milk mind you, the strength of their baristas, are made clear. My broad shouldered rye bread and butter arrives. I slather on some butter and then some more, me like butter, and have a bite. Beautiful bread but the butter is too subtle for my taste. Have my taste buds been calibrated to French butter? Perhaps… My confident poached eggs, plump and firm are placed on my table. Running my fork through the first, the yolk dribbles through and paints my plate a sunny yellow. Eggs, avocado, dressed beans and rye bread in one bite proves to be sublime. So much action in one dish I would recommend it to kick start your day. I have issues with beef bacon, is never like bacon and its more to the leathery then crispy side. The clock strikes 12 pm and I am blessed with the option of ordering lunch. But you just had the eggs you say, but the roast chicken has been on my mind since I held the menu I say, love at first sight. Roasted leg of chicken on a bed of corn infused mash, roasted fennel and slices of fresh celery. Taking a bite of the chicken, it’s uncharacteristically soft, the sweet corn and peppery celery make for beautiful compliments. And to end, dessert is a must, banana éclair and chocolate tart. I believe bananas should stay on banana trees, end of discussion. And I believe the chocolate, citrusy and caramel infused tart should continuously stay within reach of me! Walking up the stairs to the mezzanine level, I do feel that the ceiling is a touch low, which by default will always make my seat selection down stairs aka the table next to the door. To end, I love Tom and Serg, in one meal it has shot itself to my favorites list. It does everything that I have preached so how can I not. Independent, home grown, stand alone, creative, service oriented and delicious clean food. The pair have really set the bar high for all independent restaurants to come and for that I am grateful for. PS: Please stay open later then 4:00 pm. PSS: They have Wifi!
THE DETAILS
LOCATION Al Quoz Nxt to Ace OPENING HRS. 8 am to 4 pm CUISINE Australian PRICE PER COUPLE AED 85 TELEPHONE # 04 338 8934 WEBSITE www.tomandserg.com
THE FORK-O-METER
A Love At First Site Restaurant

Taqado Mexican Kitchen

Taqado
Taqado opened several months ago and had always been on my mind to try. But I could never allow myself to set aside a meal to be consumed in a Mall, let alone MOE food court. Months following, when it opened in DIFC, my doorstep, I thought it was time to give it a taste. Walking into the land of men in Suits (DIFC) is constantly a pleasure. Although as I’m currently not dressed to greet any man in a suit and have 4 hungry friends waiting for me in the park I think a swift pick-up is in order. Greeted by the friendly staff, I place by broad stroking order of almost one of everything on the menu – I love doing that. And with each order a customization of rice, beans, salsa, sour cream, guacamole and cheese. Paying the bill, I most importantly collect my Snapp Points and with a team 2 Taqado staff, lug my order over to my car. Windows down and listening to Wicked Games by Para (my new play on repeated tune), I wonder why we don’t have more picnics in Dubai. With the weather nearing perfection, I make a pact to take advantage of the outdoor culture in Dubai. And with an entrance fee of AED 3, nothing could be sweeter then Safa Park. Throwing open my picnic rug, my friends arrive one by one hungry for some Mexican grub under the sun. Laying on the grass my hand reaches for the bean burrito, a meal I constantly had during my after school days. A bite into my burrito and memories of my girlfriends and I laughing come rushing through. Naively content with by bean burrito I take a bite of a special creation burrito, made of barbacoa Pulled beef, red Spanish rice, cheese, sour cream, salsa and guacamole and all other dishes fade to the background as I enjoy the flavors of Mexico. The nachos, salad, fajita and tacos all deliver on what they promise, although as a personal choice, nothing compares to a burrito. And for those crazy people who don’t eat carbs, you can get everything in a box, meaning no shell or wrapper, just the fillings in a box. A spoon full of soup in all its chunky glory and despite the 30-degree weather is a touch on the salty side but none-the-less satisfactory. Slipping out churros from its cone like a sword from its case, I drive it into the chocolate sauce and then into my mouth. Crunchy, yes, sweet, yes but after having a Maya churros my loyal taste buts don’t accept any other. With my tummy full, shades on, book in hand and toes on the grass, content is exactly the mood. Taqado does many things right, it’s a homegrown concept that offers casual and tasty Mexican food at a price that we can all enjoy. Their current locations of MOE and DIFC were a smart choice to build awareness for their brand, but for their next location, I would ask for something more inviting like Jumeirah so we can enjoy their dine-in experience.
THE DETAILS
LOCATION DIFC OPENING HRS. Sun-Thur 7-7 Fri-Sat 9-6 CUISINE Mexican PRICE PER COUPLE AED 140 TELEPHONE # 04 351 5210 WEBSITE www.taqado.com
THE FORK-O-METER
Ur Burrito Fix

La Serre Boulangerie

La Serre Boulangerie
Waking up, still cozied up in my beloved quilt cover, I think a reward is justified for pulling myself out of bed. And for me, a reward equates to a lovely meal in a lovely space. Walking into La Serre Boulangerie at 11 am, I worry if a table for two is available. With someone paying the check at that moment, I patiently wait, indicator turn on to the left and swiftly slide myself into the table as they pull out. In true French style, breakfast offerings include croissants, variations of eggs, fruits and more. Keeping with my reason to get out of bed, I begin with an order of truffle-topped scrambled eggs. My breakfast date arches his brow and comments, I wouldn’t feel comfortable paying AED 125 for a plate of eggs, regardless of the truffles. I respond by saying I wouldn’t feel comfortable paying X amount for Business class, regardless of the extra legroom. We all have our guilty pleasures and its no secret that food is mine. Making my way through the fluffy scrambled eggs, truffle shavings and beautiful bread, some of the best in Dubai, is a lovely experience. An extra crack of fresh pepper would do wonders. If waffles are not on the menu then I’m afraid its not breakfast. Piercing my fork into the sugar doused waffle, I feel its’ crispy crust. Immersing the bite into the berry compote and cream I prepare myself for delight. And rather unexpectedly, I get the flavor of orange zest in both the sauce and the waffle batter. A purely personal opinion, I don’t enjoy orange in ANY of my desserts because of its over powering flavor. To remedy the situation, I ask for honey, which gracefully expunges any trace of orange in my waffle, much better. And to end our breakfast on a healthy note, a can’t-go-wrong bowl of fruit salad. Apart from the bread, there is nothing that La Serre Boulangerie offers, which you wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else in Dubai. Although with the floor to ceiling windows and almost revolutionary street front positioning, stepping into its beautiful morning hustle and bustle is almost hard to match.
THE DETAILS
LOCATION Vida Hotel OPENING HRS. 6:30 am - 10:30pm CUISINE French PRICE PER COUPLE AED 220 TELEPHONE # 04 428 6969  
THE FORK-O-METER
Ur French Breakfast Spot