Tag Archives: Celebrity Chef

Wheeler’s

Wheeler's
9:00 pm… Six FIODTuesdays guests confirmed. Table booked. Seafood appetite gaged. Marco, here I come. Three months before…. Walking along DIFC I see Mr. Marco Pierre White’s intense image splashed over a billboard across from Roberto’s. On the billboard, Wheeler’s is coming soon, the best seafood experience in Dubai.  Locking my eyes to Marco (we're on a first name basis) I say “I’ll see you in a couple of months, lets see what you got!” One Tuesday Evening…. When introduced to any DIFC restaurant such as Zuma, LPM or Roberto’s you are instantly struck by the grand decore, your in DIFC after all. Walking towards the newly opened Wheelers, I’m greeted with a beautiful entrance made up of wood cladding, fresh plants and the symbolic Wheelers sign, so far so good. Stepping into Wheeler’s, waiting for my breath to be taken away, (I’m a romantic at heart) I’m left with my breath held at the tip of my throat. A hotel lobby is how I can describe the décor, rather than a DIFC restaurant. Yes I know, that’s not the most important part of a restaurant, but when you’ve got enormous competition two footsteps away to the left, right and center of you its time to bring out the big guns. Taking my seat at the table closest to the Kitchen my design doubts are somewhat appeased by a clear view into the open kitchen through mirrored columns.  Peaking through I see the head Chef manning his kitchen, it’s a stunning sight. With all 6 of my FIODTuesdays guests present, dinner can now being. Looking through the menu is a delight. It’s one page, all be it quite a large page, of their very well presented offerings.  Many restaurants under estimate the power of a well-designed menu. Menus should hold your hand through what the restaurant has to offer, not overwhelm you with too many options. As I am in the mood of a citrus kick, I order the obsiblue shrimp ceviche with aloe vera and shaved artichokes. When my dish arrives, it’s a beautiful creation to take in. Taking a bite of the shrimp ceviche my taste buds are surprised not to feel the tingle of something citrus based. Thinking I didn’t delve deep enough into my dish, I take another bite leaning more towards the center, but still, no citrus. Rather than a ceviche the dish is prepared more as a carpaccio. Though the aloe vera is an interesting combination, it's not the one I was craving. Benefiting from the company of my gorgeous guests, a bite from each of their dishes is in order. Picking up an Irish crab claw with my fingers, at times it’s the only way to eat, the garlic and white whine sauce is a delight, I end up liking it off my fingers. Although, I would make a comment that the crabmeat was a bit tough. A combination of flavors which I was introduced to in Paris this summer and which I fell in love with is beetroot, orange and raspberry. I couldn’t have been happier to taste the same flavors in the beetroot salad, perfect. Again with my fingers I dip my hand into the pot of mussels, grab one, wiggle it around the white garlic infused sauce and drop it in my mouth. Large, juicy, sea breeze inspired and one of the best I’ve tasted in Dubai. My main of oven baked code with black lentils and capers arrives. Taking a bit of the soft white meat, I realize I have a classic case of Zuma Black Code syndrome. Any code dish, irrespective of cuisine, I have had or will ever have after Zuma’s smoky perfection seems to fall short. As one of the Wheeler’s specialty the beer battered fish and chips with mint mushy peas, triple cooked chips and tartar sauce is something special. Taking a bite of the seafood bouillabaisse with tomato broth, my FIODTuesdays guest remarks that it needs a touch more seasoning. A bite from the poached and roasted loin of lam with sun-choke and malbec jus is a full-bodied and rich choice. And finally a bite of the Dover sole with nut brown butter capers, almond and lemon is my pick for a main dish as the nuttiness of the dish comes through. And for desserts, chocolate fondant, cheesecake and lemon tart. Craving my citrus fix from the start of the meal, the lemon tart indulges my need. Remembering your eyes Marco’s as I passed the billboard for Wheelers three months ago, I’ll speak directly to you. I respect you for your pricing, something that is always abused with high-end restaurants in Dubai. You can order a starter and main for AED 250, which is not bad. (Not including alcohol)  Your menu selection is diverse with veggie, seafood and meat options, but then I think, I can add a couple more dirham to that and enjoy a dinner at one of the DIFC greats. You do fill a gap in the restaurant scene in Dubai, but your Wheeler’s classics may have been too classic for me. As for your drinks and live music, lovely. If I were to return to Wheeler’s I would order cocktails, the beetroot salad and muscles as starters, continue with the dover sole and finish with lemon pie, nice and neat.
THE DETAILS
LOCATION DIFC OPENING HRS. 12 - 3:30 7 - 11:30 CUISINE Seafood PRICE PER COUPLE AED 850 TELEPHONE # 04 386 0899 WEBSITE http://wheelersdubai.com
THE FORK-O-METER
Tired of the gym? Come for a mussel fix.
     

Jamie’s Italian Kitchen

Jamies

No food lover can resist a celebrity chef food outlet.  When it comes to Jamie Oliver, I doubly can’t resist – he is just too cute! (Am I right ladies?) But I promise that his cuteness factor will in no way have an effect on the verdict of his restaurant. Consciously speaking I’m saying it won’t but subconsciously who knows… Let The Plate by Plate Run-Down Begin Pumpkin Bruschetta I think pumpkins are one of the most underrated vegetables (though scientifically a fruit) out there. When we see a pumpkin Bruschetta it’s a definite order. The pumpkin topping is generous to say the least, thick and creamy. The Bruschetta bread though, is hard as rock I think a product of heating and reheating. A Globe of Fried Rice Stuffed with Parmesan and Mushrooms Aka the carb bomb. It’s a crunchy mass of friend rice stuffed with soft cheese and mushrooms and to top it off a spicy salsa. My reaction, everyone back off – these balls are mine! The Mushroom Dish Beautiful – rustic – love the mushrooms – Yum. Pumpkin Risotto Again with the pumpkin? Yes, when it comes to my dinner date if pumpkin is on the menu – it’s gonna be on the table.  The risotto has more sauce than the usual risottos but it made it all the more enjoyable. Comfort food to the max with excellent flavor. Chicken Breast Usually this is how it goes. Chicken dish = boring. But when you add Jamie’s Italian Kitchen it goes more like Chicken dish + Jamie = Burst of Flavor. Just by looking at the photo you can tell the Tuscan inspired chicken is full of flavors of Italy from the tomato sauce, herbs, olives and greenery. My Pasta Dish I have to take some responsibility for this dish. It is made up of pasta, baby potato, parmesan, herbs and string beans.  While placing my order I think let me try something different. Conclusion never let my brain think while ordering – let my appetite guide the way. The dish proved to be a little mundane – every bit tasted exactly the same. Posh Fries The posh fries are named as so because they have a drizzle of truffle oil on them. Unfortunately I only know this because it said it on the menu – don’t taste it on the fries. Outcome – just get the normal fries and save a couple of AEDs. Lemon Dessert While making my order I think that the lemon dessert would be my least enjoyable dessert but surprisingly it is my favorite. It is a fresh burst of favors with lemon, raspberry and mint contrasted with a dollop of fresh cream. Brownie It’s your standard brownie – Nothing to write home (blog) about. Cheese Cake Topping the cheese cake is a paper thin layer of layer of caramel. The texture and flavor are both spot on. Warning, it has an undertone of lemon zest which was slightly unexpected. Personally I like my cheese cake to be simple cheese cake not lemon/fruit cake. The Verdict Sitting back I think, this definitely warrants that oh-so-relaxing unfastening of the first button of your jeans. The winners for the meal are the rice balls, the chicken dish, the pumpkin risotto and the lemon dessert. Was I expecting mind blowing Italian cuisine? No. I was expecting a casual rustic Italian eatery that had fresh, interesting flavors – which is what I got. Would I actively change my plans to incorporate Jamie’s Italian Kitchen into it – maybe not. But if I was in Dubai Festival City my restaurant choice would be as follows:  Do I feel like Italian or Steak and Fries? If it was Italian I would pick Jamie’s Italian Kitchen and if it was steak and fries I would pick Le Relais de L’Entrecote.
THE DETAILS
LOCATION: Festival City OPENING HRS: 12 pm - 12 am CUISINE: Italian PRICE PER COUPLE: AED 500  
THE FORK-O-METER
A Since we are in the Area Restaurant