Tag Archives: dinner

U Fork It Over with Hiba Zarour

Over the past two years I have received endless support from you concerning Fork It Over Dubai and for that I am thankful for. But now, I want to turn the spotlight on you! I know there is a foodie in each of you. Everyone has that One thing they do best or are known for in the Kitchen, a dish, a dessert or even a drink. Teach me your one thing, lets enjoy it together and I’ll feature you on Fork It Over Dubai. Show me what you got Dubai – I know I’m going to be impressed. This series will naturally be called You Fork It Over and will focus on REAL people showing REAL recipes that we can all enjoy. You Fork It Over will not only focus on your one thing but will be a portal showcasing the beautiful YOU. Hiba Zarour For my first You Fork It Over post, I couldn’t think of anyone more perfect then the gorgeous Hiba Zarour, my cousin, my sister and my biggest supporter. This is my heartfelt, public thank you to you Hiba! I don’t know how many times you have heard me explain Fork It Over Dubai or chronicle my Paris journey to friends and family. Regardless of the amount, pushing over 100 probably, you always smile and listen intently as if it was the first time you hear it. Thank you. Throughout all our dining experiences, you patiently wait until I get that perfect shot until you have a bite of your food.  Thank you. Whenever I am featured in a magazine you always call me with the most excited voice to congratulate me (which I love). Thank you. When you tell me how proud you are of me it means so much coming from a strong and intelligent woman like you. Thank you. <3 A Bit About My Cuz Hiba is the head interior designer at H&H Investment and Development and is the most talented designer I know. I have already locked her in to design my future bakery and house! Check out some of Hiba's work from her recent interview with Commercial Interior Design Magazine. Commercial Interior Design Article copy The above plan is a floor to ceiling shelving unit Hiba designed for my new room - it's currently being built! A Window into Hiba Zarour and Her Thing Thank you Hiba for cooking me a spectacular dinner and for all the laughs the whole way through. For the full recipe check out the printable version below. LAMB CHOPS I hope you enjoyed the first installment of You Fork It Over - there is plenty more to come and can't wait for all of them! Love, Tala  

Signature by Sanjeev Kapoor

It has become my weekly tradition to spend Friday on the beach. There is something about the grandness of the beach and the energy associated with it that makes everything seem OK. All your problems and worries of the week tend to wash aways with every wave that crashes onto the shore. By the end of the day you are left with a heart full of sunshine, a tan that makes any man do a double take and an appetite that knows no end. An appetite after the beach should be placed in a category of its own. It takes on a force similar to a child hopped up on sugar, an Italian man in love or a woman with a plan - there is no stopping any of them. To quench your after beach hunger, I would assume that your choice would be similar to mine, something rich - and what can be more rich than Indian food. It was only when Signature by Sanjeev Kapoor opened did I get to learn about who Sanjeev was or is more precisely. A celebrity chef with restaurants, cookbooks, a TV Food Channel and so on under his belt. Not particularly enamored by his background, celebrities don't appeal to me, but attracted more by the cuisine and newness of his restaurant, I lassoed in two of my friends and off we went to Signature. Taking a seat at our table, one of my dinner guests makes a comment that the over all feel of the restaurants reminds him of an eerie movie. I respond telling him not to be so dramatic, although after looking around and taking in the dimmed lights, the tentacle like fabric swaying left and right, the emptiness, the music and the color scheme of the restaurant my dramatic friend may actually have a point. Only after a good twenty minutes of going through our anthology of Indian dishes menus and a lengthy discussion with our waiter did we finally place our orders. Our amuse bouche arrives and its an Indian take on a falafel. Rather than a take on a falafel it's more of a please give it back to the chef. As though weary of our unhappiness of the amuse bouche, the chef throws his joker on the table, griled lobster, and rekindles our desire for Signature. Nothing can possibly go wrong while enjoying a well cooked buttery lobster. One of my favorite dishes in the Indian cuisine is Dal. Its silky texture and comforting flavors are a must when I dine Indian. Diving the fresh naan into the dal and scooping up the gorgeous lentils is a processes I enjoy repeating over and over again. It's the one time where I find routine to be A OK. Next come our Gada Lamb and Chicken Quorma both served with rice. Each have a distinct taste although both conform to having the most supple protein that I have had in a long time. The carefully selected spices used in our lamb and chicken convey a 3rd degree of flavors to our dishes which I am delighted to experience. Similar to those birthday candles that never turn off, my plate never seems to empty. As soon as I finish a couple of bites of my Gada Lamb for example, in a blink of an eye, my plate is topped up by my Neo like waiter. And finally the desserts, Kulfi and Phirnee. I believe one of the biggest acquired tastes of the Indian cuisine are their desserts. Unfortunately its one that I have yet to acquire. Walking out of Signature the draping tentacles wave me along to the exit of the empty restaurant as I bid adieu to Neo and thank him for his hospitality throughout the night. Before taking my final step out of the restaurant, I do a half turn back to Neo and tell him "The Blue pill is always the way to go." Will I be back to Signature? I would for the food I enjoyed, but I'd have to bring my ambiance with me in the form of ten friends to make the restaurant feel alive. If  you can round-up some friends by all means make the trip over to Signature order some wine and get the party started.
LOCATION Melia Dubai Hotel OPENING HRS. 12 - 3 pm 7 - 11 pm CUISINE Indian PRICE PER COUPLE AED 500 TELEPHONE # 04 386 8111 WEBSITE Melia Dubai
B-Y-O-A Restaurant (Bring Your Own Ambiance)

My Saturday from Heaven

Saturday from Heaven
As I promised you in my previous post, Getting Started in Paris, after getting myself settled in, the first plan of action was going to be exploring Food! Lucky for me, I had a group of beautiful and very gracious locals to gear me in the right direction during the weekend. I can't wait until they come to Dubai so I can happily return the favor. This post could not be more rightfully named because I truly had a Saturday sent down from Heaven. All I did was please my taste buds from morning until evening. Lets Start With Breakfast For my first official breakfast in Paris, nothing would suffice other than a Bakery. And what bakery would be more poignant that one recommended by Chef Alain Ducasse? That's correct, none.  Therefore, off we went to Le Moulin De La Vierge. We selected a chocolate croissant, a mille-feuille, a baguette and strawberry jam. We parked ourselves on a bench and had our way with all the desserts. Ripping off a pice of the baguette and dunking it straight into the jam jar and biting into a mille-feuille like it was a sandwich is an experience I wish upon everyone. With a Couple of Kilometers Under Our Belt - Its Lunch Time As an institution in the Saint-Germain area and as the beautiful sun was out Bar De La Croix Rouge cafe was the lunchtime pick. Menus were not opened and choices were not made, as per strict instructions, what was to be ordered was the famous Saint-Germain dish with a plate of cheese. For once I was grateful for not making my menu selection because the Saint-Germain dish deliver on all aspects. Toasted brown baguette with a spread of buttery mustard under moist and tender roast beef , laid over a bed of mixed greens and sharp pickles. Pairing each bit with a slice of french cheese was key. To top up the meal, a decadent chocolate cake and a shot of espresso. From One to the Next In true Parisienne nature, after polishing off our meal we proceeded from one cafe (Bar de la Croix Rouge) to the next (La Palette). La Palette is chic, people watching cafe where I had my 6pm Rose wine while enjoying the sunshine. And Finally to Dinner  The Beef Club - a trendy new hotspot on the Paris scene where reservations are hard to come by. Our reservation was accepted by the manager only after agreeing that we would provide him with a written blow-by-blow rundown of the France Vs Spain game since he wouldn't be able to watch it. Props to my local friends who seem to have all the keys to the city. As the name stipulates, the main ingredient on the menu is Beef. We ordered a filet mignon steak with sides of mac and cheese, mushrooms and wedges and a hamburger. The Beef Club symbolizes a quintessential restaurant and exactly what is absent from the Dubai restaurant scene. A semi casual restaurant, with competitive pricing that deliveries creative and extraordinary food offerings. To End How did I sleep that night? If you must know, like a baby. Before I left to Paris, my mother worriedly advised me that I should eat well when I'm in Paris because of all the walking I would be doing. Mama - Don't worry, I'm eating more than well :) Love, Tala

The Exchange Grill

5 Steps to One of Those Epic Dinner Dates
  1. Reserve a table at the Exchange Grill
  2. Request the best seat in the house – the table next to the window
  3. First date? Special occasion? Let them know and they’ll take care of the rest, you’ll look like a superstar without moving an inch
  4. Ask the chef to tailor a special menu depending on what you both enjoy
  5. Relax, be yourself and please… no sleazy lines, we’re already impressed we accepted the date
The Exchange Grill  The Exchange Grill doors transport you to a meat lover’s heaven, complete with the best steaks in town, upscale chic interior and beautiful leather ‘thrones’. It is the land where “yes” is the law and “no” ceases to exist. Taking our seats, white napkins are placed on our laps. Have a darker shade of pants on? You have the option of a black napkin—interesting right? Granted I’m not coming back just for that black napkin, but to me, details make a difference. My Carpaccio starter arrives, and I’m hungry, but my fork doesn’t move, I can’t ,it’s too pretty, but I want to, but it’s too pretty but I’m hungry!… eventually I do. My dish is so delicately prepared that chewing is completely unnecessary and replaced by the process of pure melting in your mouth. My date’s Caesar’s Salad doesn’t offer the same enjoyment. Partly because it is in fact, a Caesar’s Salad (I personally don’t see their point in life) and partly because its design compensates the ease of eating it. At the Exchange Grill I like to go for the fillet steak— you may say boring, but nothing compares to a flawless piece of meat; how cavewoman like of me, but it’s true. My date orders a T-bone steak with his addition of grilled baby onions; ask and you shall receive here, “yes of course,” says the waiter. Our cuts of meat arrive and are cooked exactly as we requested. The tender meat glistens with juice and each bite is packed with an exquisite, rich meat flavor. The inside of my fillet is the most beautiful color that reminds me of a fresh pink rose. The steaks come with five delicious sauces including horseradish, my favorite; it gives each bite an extra kick. My favorite side dish is the onion rings which I must dwell on. They're not your typical soggy, oil dripping through the paper bag Hardees onion rings, rather they remind me of crispy, feather like puffs of perfection... must try, must have, must stop dreaming about. (A steak at the exchange grill is like a BMW X6 (your steak) with Hamann customization (your sides and sauces). Both are excellent on their own but put together—Spectacular.) We order the chocolate fondant for dessert and is perfectly cooked, a slight touch by our forks triggers a bobsled like rush of molten chocolate that swirls around our dessert plate and engulfs it warm chocolate. (Check out the water glasses, the one and only Riedel – amazing) I would definitely say: “Fork It Over; every last bite of it!”
LOCATION: Fairmont, Dubai OPENING HRS: 12:30-3,  7 - 12 pm CUISINE: Steak House PRICE PER COUPLE: AED 700 - 900 TELEPHONE #: 04 332 55 55
A Love At First Site Restaurant