Tag Archives: homegrown

Chez Sushi

Chez Sushi
A couple of weeks ago I heard Chez Sushi, a casual sushi spot, opened in the new Wasel Square development across from Safa Park. As their tag name stipulates, by Sho Cho, Chez Sushi is brought to you by the same owners as Sho Cho, an institution in Dubai that offers mid to high end Japanese. Brought to you by Sho Cho is a powerful tagline that propels Chez Sushi to the front lines of its category, even though it’s a new restaurant. But alas, with all good things comes a catch, I expect a lot from Chez Sushi. After crisscrossing Wasel Square several times and after refusing to park in the empty sand lot, I luckily spot a leaving dinner guest walking towards his car.  In true stalker form, I deviously lurk behind him and pounce on his parking spot. Thanks to Dubai Mall Friday evening practice sessions, I have perfected my parking-stalker move. Walking towards Chez Sushi, I see its quirky orange and green neon signs that welcome me into the restaurant. With 11 FIODTuesdays dinner guests arriving and no reservation taken, (tables are on a first come first serve basis) I inform the waiter of my dilemma.  He quickly responds by telling me not to worry, two tables are about to finish along the back and we would be able to join three together once they’re free. Perfect timing. After assembling our table and my guests arriving, menus are handed out. Chez Sushi has a variety of offerings with classics such as salad, tempura, bento sets, sushi and teriyakis. The distinctive item on the menu is the DIY sushi, a 4-step process where customers can create their own sushi. You start with selecting your rice, brown or white, then main ingredients such as salmon or rock shrimp, veggies and finally dressing. The ordering process begins at the far left of the table, not my side, and slowly works its way towards the middle. Per the level of my huger, my focus is split between the conversation I’m having and the progress of the waitress. Half way through ordering, our waitress absconds our table. Ten minutes elapse and she returns to take the remaining orders as the first part of the table receives their starters. To appease my jealousy, I stroll over to the lucky side of the table, snap some photos and hustle some taster bites. As they finish off their starters ours finally arrive. My miso soup is earthy, salty and worth AED 15. I pluck one of my vegetable tempuras and enjoy its crunchy texture but long for more seasoning in the batter. The rock shrimp dish is a classic both in Chez Sushi and Sho Cho. My table polishes off a plate in an instant and orders a second. The shrimp nuggets are served with a drizzled of sauce over them but personally, I prefer my shrimp to stay crispy with the sauce served on the side. Our self-constructed sushi arrive and tasting what we have created is the high light of the night. As a die heart fan of white rice, I skeptically put the brown rice sushi in my mouth. What follows is the surprising I-didn’t-think-this-was-going-to-taste-good-but-it-does-taste-good Mmmm. Some of our self made sushi’s are a hit and others a miss. The experience makes me realize that the construction of a delicious maki roll is an art form that takes time to perfect. I would request that the dressings of spicy mayo and wasabi mayo have more kick to them. When I order wasabi anything I want to feel its power! The bento boxes arrive and prove to be the most economical of options, a work lunch maybe. Sampling bites of each bento box and each compartment of the bento boxes, I wouldn’t recommend the chicken but rather the beef or salmon. We finish our meals with quirky wasabi and green tea Kit-Kats. There is no doubt that Chez Sushi is a very intelligent concept. It hits the homegrown, casual sushi, dine in and take out notes that are all a recipe for a successful restaurant. I understand that they may have been overwhelmed with 11 dinner guests at one table, but with the operational experience and know how of a powerhouse like Sho Cho, I would expect better service. If the tag line by Sho Cho is there, I am going to hold it accountable. I guess it proves to be a blessing and a curse. Will I be back? If I’m in the area and in the mood to be creative, meaning build my own sushi. Constructing a signature Fork It Over Dubai maki roll is my ultimate goal.
THE DETAILS
LOCATION Wasel Square OPENING HRS. 12 to 11:30 pm CUISINE Japanese PRICE PER COUPLE AED 225 TELEPHONE # 800 78744 WEBSITE ChezSushi
THE FORK-O-METER
Bring Out ur Inner Sushi Chef
     

Best Burgers Forever

Best Burgers Forever
One of the most important initiatives Fork It Over Dubai has taken on is supporting home grown concepts in Dubai. As the majority of franchised restaurants in Dubai not only have international brand backing but also support from local heavy weight F&B companies, it is my responsibility to give local concepts a platform to demonstrate exactly what they are made of. My ultimate wish for the Dubai restaurant scene is a change from a predominantly international brand landscape to a home grown concept landscape. I want our restaurants to represent us, Dubai, rather than brands simply imported from abroad. That being said, I still hold local concepts up to the same standards as I do international brands. Why? Because I know we are that good! Is that fair? Yes its fair! Any concept that has the backing of true passion can in an instant trump an international brand that has a multi million-dollar backing. My favorite category for February’s Burger month is Home Grown Concepts which Best Burgers Forever was chosen for. After the confusion of which Marina Walk to go to and finally finding the infamous blue bridge at the end of the Marina, we land at Best Burger Forever's doorstep. Entering the restaurant, the first thought that comes to mind is how white the area is. Floor to ceiling white with bursts of red and an acid inspired B, which I have to admit, I love. To take advantage of the lovely weather and ‘water front views’ we take our seats outside on the terrace. As we settle into our chairs the waiter brings over a plate of onion rings. Is this complimentary I ask. The waiter responds with, “No this is your order Mss.”  Looking around the nearly empty restaurant, I explain that it’s probably the next table's order since we haven’t ordered yet. Menus in hand we make our order of hamburgers, making sure to include a camel burger, fries, onion rings which were teasingly brought to our table and apple pies. Our orders arrive and my burger bun cleverly has a B engraved into it. Taking a bite of my burger, I notice the sweet flavors of my brioche inspired bun. The toppings are classic and stay true to an original burger. The patty is cooked to well done as expected, although it does not fall apart as easily as I want it to. The beef may have been packed a touch too tightly before it was cooked.  Purely my opinion, I prefer a thinner meat patty. Taking a bite of my dinner guest’s camel burger, I was pleasantly surprised to taste a lean cut of meat. Could I have a whole camel burger? I’m not so sure, but it did prove to be lighter then the beef patty. An interesting take on localizing the burger. Our onion rings are the quintessential freezer bought rings, but still, who can ever resist those? Taking a bite of my fries, my favorite part of a burger meal, the textures I feel are warm, yet hard, yet a touch soggy. The creamy, crispy textures that I look for in fries are not present. We finish off our meal with a classic apple pie pocket and it is what it is. It’s a smart choice opening a burger concept in Dubai because everyone loves their burger. I would recommend that they work on their beef patty and fries and in the meantime Best Burger Forever will hit the spot as a neighborhood burger joint.
THE DETAILS
LOCATION Marina First Tower OPENING HRS. Sat - Wed 11am - 12am Thu Fri 11am - 5 am CUISINE Burger PRICE PER COUPLE AED 100 TELEPHONE # 04 458 1564
THE FORK-O-METER
A Neighborhood Burger Joint