Tag Archives: Lunch

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 Farm

The Farm
To reach The Farm I would suggest Google Maps. Actually make that Google Maps + someone who knows how to use Google Maps. Within 3 seconds of holding my iPhone and giving out directions, I wideyed-edly begin to see the blue dot (which is us) move further and further away from our intended corse. After a quick passing off of the Iphone to one of my ladies, and a route reconfiguration, we were back on track. Entering into the Barari Villas is like viewing a very poorly executed scene change in a movie. One second we are in the dusty bowls of Emirates Road and another we're in a lush, green "where did this come from" Oasis. Wow and Oh My are repeated over and over as we drive along the compound. After two wrong turns and a question to a security guard we finally park outside the Farm, emerge from our car and enjoy the sign - take a look a it, its worth a 5 second pause! (Loving the Arabic Translation) Entering the Farm I see sunlight, while linen, greenery, windows and a space I would like to call my own. Kudos to the designer - they hit the sprit of fresh design on the mark. As we don't have a reservation, which they previously said we didn't need, we are told the only tables available are outside, which is made acceptable by desert coolers and mist dispensers attached to the ceiling. Our beautifully colored complementary dried veggies are put on the table for us to nimble on while we select our meals from an iPad. The pink beetroots are your best pick. Initially we are excited about our iPads because they provide us with  pictures and extended descriptions of the dishes they offer, although when we realize we can't take our orders on them, we felt the idea fell short of its true potential. And as a friend poignantly noted, there is nothing like the tactile-ness of a paper menu. We then sinfully enjoy one of the best bread baskets to be offered in Dubai.  An assortment of full bodied breads that don't assault the roof of your mouth because they are actually, wait for it… edibly soft - a rarity in Dubai. Our starters of tomato tart tatin, arugula fennel feta cheese salad, grilled eggplant rolls and lemon grass strip salad arrive. I start with the arugula and fennel salad because its the prettiest one! The mix of the spicy fennel, sweet pomegranate and citrusy grapefruit is one to celebrate. Though the tomato tart tatin came highly recommended, it was quickly forgotten after completing a full lap around the starters we ordered such as the thinly sliced, smoky eggplant rolls loving wrapping itself around the white tangy cheese. My new favorite combination of flavors for the past couple of weeks has been shrimps and lemongrass whether grilled, backed or sauteed, therefore the lemon grass and shrimp salad is very welcomed by my tastebuds. The fresh greens and oranges of the the salad complement the refreshingly zesty salad. Pleased with our starters we inform our waiter that we're ready and looking forward to our mains. Its a friday afternoon and I'm surrounded by my favorite girls so you should know that conversation keep flowing, work, family, summer plans, boyfriends and more… 40 minutes into our conversation we realize that our mains are no where to be found. After a complaint to the waiter and an apology from another our mains of chicken galantine, hamour and rib eye steak arrive. Galantine is a French dish of deboned stuffed meat. In this case it is deboned cornfed chicken, stuffed with cheese and wrapped in puff pastry with a side of truffle risotto sprinkled with pumpkin seeds. Though a beautiful dish, the highlight was the truffle risotto, the too soft texture of the chicken and its strong flavor doesn't sit too well with me. My ribeye steak on a bed of baby carrots is exactly what I expect it to be. My bites go something this, well cooked meat, drizzled with sauce, baby carrots, onions and spectacular roasted sweet potatoes - also the highlight of my dish. Interesting how the sides are the true highlights of our dishes. The grilled hamour is the star of our mains, fresh white fish with a side of citrusy wheat matched the style of the location the most - light and fresh. Our dessert of cheesecake, ice cream and a brownie arrive at full speed - I guess to make up for the lack of speed of our mains.  My favorite, the brownie that most resembled a fudge dark chocolate brownie - mm mm mmmmm I lovingly confess to the brownie "I'll come back just for a bite of you." Closing my eyes and reflecting on our meal I clearly remember our starters and desserts while the mains seem to disappear from my memory. The most priceless and profound item on the menu is clearly the location of the Farm. The the lush, beautiful setting is the major pull factor for its customers. Their food offerings are fresh, organic, competitively priced and a convenient complement to the location. Will I be back? Yes - I promise my fudge brownie that I would be!
THE DETAILS
LOCATION Barari Villas OPENING HRS. 7:30 am - 11 pm CUISINE Contemporary PRICE PER COUPLE AED 300 TELEPHONE # 04 329 5660 WEBSITE http://www.thefarmdubai.com/
THE FORK-O-METER
A Destination Restaurant
                                 

Jones the Grocer

Jones
When someone asks me “I wanna go out for a really nice dinner – where do I go?” a symphony of restaurants pours out of my lips. When someone asks me “I wanna go out for a light lunch – where do I go?” A symphony of crickets plays in the background. Yes its true, dare I say, at times, I am at a slight loss of restaurant recommendations. Enter Jones the Grocer and my symphony of crickets is shewed away and replaced by, “Why don’t you try Jones the Grocer”. Walking up to Jones the Grocer I feel the beginnings of a standalone restaurant renaissance. The days of casual restaurants only opening in malls is gently declining – and for that I am thankful. The engulfing humid heat is banished as the sliding doors shut behind us and we are welcomed into a foodie’s playground. Retail goods, dining tables, open kitchens and a buzz of a new restaurant. We take our seats and our orders and I gracefully excuse myself to embark on a shameless spending spree in their retail section. My willpower is absolutely too weak to resist any form of cookbooks or kitchenware. I end up walking away with a mini butter board. Can’t continue living without one of those… Looking at the dips and fresh bread, I have an instant flash of postpartum ordering depression. The sauces, including an eggplant dip and two other forgettable flavors, are not juicy enough to counter the thick slices of dry bread. The pumpkin and feta salad acts as a handsome gentleman redeeming all that has been disappointing by gently kissing the top of my hand – and magically, all is forgiven. The fresh citrus sauce, crunchy rocket leaves, smoked pumpkin chunks and sharp feta cheese make up a stimulating summer salad. Our risotto is a gooey mess (in a good way) of rice, broth, juicy mushrooms and herbs. On the side, is an example of one of Dubai’s best garlic bread, fluffy yet crispy and fully doused in a garlic herbed sauce. The ultimate bite: dunking the garlic bread in the risotto – I don’t know how it works but it does. I’m always scared of ordering sandwiches in Dubai. Actually to be more specific the “roof” of my mouth is always scared. The usually hard and rough bread in Dubai is no match for me. Biting into my sandwich I hear a delicious crunch and surprisingly suffer no internal bruising from the bread. The horseradish paste in the pastrami & gruyere cheese sandwich makes all the difference. The char grilled chicken – good – my biggest pet peeve is using the word good – but somehow it’s perfectly applicable in this situation – enjoyable dish, but wouldn’t order it again. Sliding my fork down through the cheese cake, I hear my friend saying that they are known for cheese cake. Swirling the bite in my mouth, I can taste an overly sweet and borderline box like cheese cake. I can understand its general appeal but to me - not the most appealing. Would I be back? Yes. I would have a risotto, salad and sandwich – a perfect Friday restaurant. They also serve breakfast until 3 pm.
THE DETAILS
LOCATION: SZ Road OPENING HRS: 10 am - 10 pm CUISINE: International PRICE PER COUPLE: AED 260  
THE FORK-O-METER
Ur Casual Friday Lunch Spot