Tag Archives: Healthy Food

Sophie’s Cafe

Sophie's Cafe
The What’s On Awards are out! The Oscars of the Restaurant World in Dubai. Cell phone in one hand, to gossip about the results and tea in the other, to contemplate the results, I race to my computer to retrieve the list of winners. A finger dance on the keyboard, double click on the mouse and there they are, the results, I bend in closer and take it all in. Running my curser across the categories and winners, I think, that’s expected, good for them, not sure if I agree, expected, expected, until I reach the Best Café Category. I stop and highlight the winner‘s name, Sophie’s Café, and wonder why I haven’t heard of them before? Intrigued, I grab my phone and rather than gossip, I speed dial a friend to secure a date for Sophie’s café. Driving up to Shoreline Apartments on the Palm, I waive over a dashing security guard and ask where Sophie’s café is. Pointing to an underground parking, my guard replies, “It’s at the end of the parking.” Confused I respond, “No, I know where to park, where is the café?” “Straight to the end” he reaffirms. Parking my car at the end of the parking, lo and behold, I see the entrance of Sophie’s Café. Convenient… I guess… Walking into the Sophie’s the overpowering grey of the parking lot is abolished by the fresh green accents of the café interior. We approach the counter and are welcomed by a large blackboard menu – one of my favorite things! The knowledgeable and excited staff explained that a main and two sides is the deal. Roasted chicken, beetroot salad and penne pasta for me and chicken cacciat, quinoa and pumpkin salad for my date. As we make our juice selection, our sides are carefully placed on serving plates while our mains are forced into a microwave / miniature oven for reheating. I’m guessing the previous dinner guests had salmon because reheated salmon is an odor my sensitive nose can catch from a mile away. Taking our seats, the rustic and generous portion of food welcomes us. I go through my beetroot salad like a rabbit on speed. The citrus of the dressing and the earthiness of the beetroot make a beautiful combination. Alas the reheating of the microwave / miniature oven has taken its toll on my roasted chicken, dry and a tad chicken-y, I leave it to the side and continue feasting on my date’s plate. My fresh juice cocktail arrives and it’s a beautiful rhubarb red. Taking in the juice and waiting to be deeply refreshed, my lips are greeted with not room temperature but warm juice. Similar to spending a good hour on a Dubai beach, mid July mind you, and running into the water in a hopeless and laughable bid to cool down. The chicken cacciat proves to be a better chicken option as the country red sauce retains the juiciness of the chicken. As for the pumpkin feta salad, I do wish the pumpkins were roasted a touch longer to really bring out the caramelized, roasted flavors of the pumpkin. We finally end our meal with a pleasant banana cake. Approaching the counter to pay my bill, there it is, the What’s On award, Sophie’s Café for the Best Café in Dubai. Hmmm.... A homegrown concept with knowledgeable staff, which I commend, Sophie’s is a quintessential Since Your in the Area Restaurant that tailors to the Shoreline resident’s quick fix healthy needs.
LOCATION Shoreline App Palm OPENING HRS. 10 am - 8pm CUISINE International PRICE PER COUPLE AED 170 TELEPHONE # 04 430 9466  
A Since Ur in the Area Restaurant

Does the Best Tabouleh Exist in Dubai?

As the self professed QUEEN of Tabouleh (I have had Tabouleh every night of my life for as long as I could remember) I thought it would be my duty to uncover Dubai’s best Tabouleh. Nominees:
  1. Khan Murjan – In Waffi Mall
  2. Waffi Gourmet – In Dubai Mall
  3. Burj Al Hamam- On Jumeirah Beach Road
Three Tests to Pass to be the Best Tabouleh -        Bowl Tip Test: Tip the bowl to one side and you should see some sauce at the bottom of the bowl. -        The Secret: No not the book, but the overly generous amount of ripe juicy red tomatoes. -        Spice Up Your Life: Seasoning of salt and sweet pepper is a must. Khan Murjan
Bowl Tip Test PASSED
The Secret FAILED
Spice Up Your Life FAILED
The Tabouleh did have sauce, but it was just lemon. It tasted like lemon parsley salad. My taste buds had to question if it was freshly squeezed lemon or bottled lemon juice. Bottled/fake anything is my worst nightmare. Waffi Gourmet
Bowl Tip Test FAILED
The Secret FAILED
Spice Up Your Life FAILED
I was the most disappointed with Waffi Gourmet. I actually thought it would be the top contender, but from what I tasted I would say Fork It Over to the trash. It was so dry I felt like a goat eating a wad of parsley grass. Burj Al Hamam
Bowl Tip Test PASSED
The Secret FAILED
Spice Up Your Life ½ PASSED
Even though Burj Al Hamam did not pass the Secret test and half passed the Spice Up Your Life Test, I think it is one of the better restaurant Tabouleh’s in Dubai. ____________ Entering my house I had an uneasy feeling of recommending something that I value so much that is not 100%, while knowing exactly where you can get a Tabouleh that is beyond 100%. Where you ask? My House! As my house is not big enough to feed all of you, I’m going to teach you how to make the best Tabouleh in Dubai. A ‘recipe’ that has been passed down from my great grandmother to my grandmother to my mother and then to me and now to you. What you Will Need (Feeds 4)
  1. 2 Bundles of Parsley
  2. ½ a Bundle of Mint
  3. 3 Large Ripe Red Tomatoes
  4. ½ a Cucumber
  5. 1 Spring Onion
  6. 2 Table Spoons of Burgul (Cracked Wheat)
  7. 2 ½ Teaspoon Salt
  8. 2 ½ Teaspoon Sweet Pepper
  9. 5 Table Spoons Olive Oil
  10. 2 Large Lemons
-        Parsley and Mint: First, pick the leaves off the parsley and mint stems. Roll the leaves up like a cigar and chop them into thin slices as seen in the picture. Wash the leaves AFTER you cute them not before! Once you’re done this part everything else is a synch. -        Tomatoes: Cut the tomatoes into thin slices then dice them as seen in the picture. -        Onion and Cucumber: Finley dice. -        Burgul: Soak the burgul in water for 1-2 minutes. -        Lemon: Squeeze the two lemons. -        Add all the ingredients together vegetables, salt, pepper, burgul, olive oil and lemon in a bowl and serve immediately. Do Not -        Substitute sweet pepper with black pepper. -        Substitute olive oil with vegetable oil. -        Substitute red onions instead of spring onions. Do -        Have some lettuce or petta bread with the Tabouleh. -        Go the extra mile by pealing the tomoatoes and buying organic parsley. The Result
Bowl Tip Test PASSED Plenty of juicy sauce.
The Secret PASSED Equal to more red than green.
Spice Up Your Life PASSED The sauce is a darker shade from the pepper.
It may seem like a lot of work but trust me it is WORTH every second. If you do end up making it, I hope it would give you as much Taste Joy that it gives me every evening.

Gourmet Lafayette

Finally!! A restaurant I can enjoy at the Dubai Mall. There is something about the plethora of Lebanese grills, heavy fast food and indifferent restaurants that put me off of dining at the Dubai Mall. Don’t get me wrong, I have to give them credit for their large selection of restaurants, surpassed by none in Dubai, that tailor to a wide spectrum of restaurant goers. Although to this date, I still didn’t feel that they were tailoring to me. I was yet to find a dining experience that I didn’t have to be convinced or too-hungry-to-reach-my-car-to-go-home-and-eat, to dine at. That is until I stumbled upon Gourmet Lafayette; a market style gourmet outlet that offers a wide range of cuisines. Cuisines include Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Indian, Arabic and European. Exceptional for pleasing a large group of friends. Rather than rabbiting on (Is that actually a real word? Rabbiting? I got that from my British colleague - aka blabbering on) about my experience at Gourmet Lafayette, I’m going to fall back on the oh-so-true saying that pictures are worth a thousand words and let your eyes make the verdict rather than your patience to read my words… The only danger about the multitude of choices available to customers at Gourmet Lafayette can be seen through my dinner selection. Fresh salad, spaghetti Bolognese, falafel sandwich (not pictured spinach triangle and a selection of cheeses) and finally some beautiful chocolate truffles. True it is a mish mash of worldly cuisines but it’s a selection of everything my tummy desires at this moment. It’s the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory of Gourmet food. Everything I’m eating can be characterized as fresh, Quality (with a capital Q) food. My spaghetti Bolognese is made of fresh pasta, my salad was selected and mixed on the spot and my falafel sandwich was cooked and prepared before my eyes. What I like about Gourmet Lafayette is that it delivers on what it stands for. Is it a Michelin starred, show stopping gastronomic experience? No, but it is a solid, quality driven, great tasting, healthy and fresh dining experience that the Dubai Mall was lacking.  And to top it all off my bill was AED 100 – unheard of. They also have an excellent retail section in terms of fruits, veggies, seafood, meats, cheeses and packaged goods.
LOCATION: Dubai Mall OPENING HRS: Mall Timings CUISINE: International PRICE PER COUPLE: AED 200    
A Since we are in Dubai Mall Restaurant