Category Archives: Food

Friday Breakfast at Provedore – Sunset Mall

The weekend is the right time to explore the city and to try new restaurants and visit new places. This weekend we wanted a place by the beach, with a nice veranda and possibly good food options.

The summer is coming and it means soon we will be forced to stay indoor enjoying the A/C season.

This time we opted for a breakfast at Providore, a restaurant located in the Sunset Mall in Jumeirah 3 that seemed very interesting.

Provedore

The home page of Provedore website inspired us.

At late breakfast time the mall was almost deserted, making it very easy to find parking and find a nice seating at the restaurant.

The restaurant at first sight looked like a shop, having a wide section dedicated to retail sales of top quality food and kitchenware. Displayed on the other side of the restaurant were many kinds of bread and other baked products.

Provedore Shop

Provedore Shop

The staff welcomed us with a smile and showed us a table on the nice veranda facing the beach and the sea. The restaurant offers also indoor seating for those who prefer an air-conditioned area. The veranda is surrounded by two wings of private apartments that have balconies facing the restaurant. During the good season it is not unusual to see people having breakfast in their own balconies, creating a very nice atmosphere.

Provedore Veranda

A part of Provedore’s nice veranda with sea view

We were quite hungry and ordered a main breakfast item each and shared a cheese platter. The food required quite some time to be ready, but it didn’t bothered us since we enjoyed the nice and relaxing atmosphere. The staff was very attentive and polite and were very well coordinated by a person that looked like and was acting like a manager or the owner of the place.

The scrambled eggs came with spinach salad, half roasted mushroom, 1 grilled cherry tomato and 1 grilled potato cut in half and a tiny roll of salmon. They used at least three eggs, hence the plate was enough to fill a normally hungry person. The healthy egg’s white omelette was nice in terms of quality of food by a bit boring in taste. The cheese platter was amazing. Nice cheese selection with good crackers and great presentation.

Provedore Scrambled Eggs

Scrambled Eggs at Provedore

Provedore Helthy Omelette

Healthy Option at Provedore

Provedore Cheese Platter

Provedore’s Cheese Platter

Breakfast at Mozzo Centrale – Umm Suqeim 1 – Dubai

We have recently visited Mozzo Centrale, a nice Italian restaurant in Umm Suqeim, for a late breakfast.

It wasn’t the first time for us at Mozzo Centrale since we had lunch once before with a couple of friends and we remembered it to be decent.

When we arrived, we noticed the restaurant was unexpectedly empty. Other than the two of us, there were other 3 people sitting in the veranda. The waiter took quickly our order: a Londoner breakfast, a Salmon Benny, black coffee, a juice and a strawberry banana smoothie.

The drinks where quickly ready but for our surprise we saw the waiter going towards the only other table occupied. It was a hilarious scene with the waiter serving the drinks while the customers were saying “this isn’t our order”. The waiter replied “no, no this is your order, three people three drinks. Simple”.

We had to wave to the waiter to finally convince him that that was our order.

Mozzo Centrale Dubai

Mozzo Ristorante entrance view from the veranda.

 

The food arrived few instants later and was good in quantities and decent in quality. The salmon breakfast was alright and enjoyable. The Londoner one was instead not that great. I had issues with the beef bacon that was extremely fatty and hardly enjoyable.

Mozzo Centrale Londoner Breakfast

The Londoner breakfast in good in quantity but not really in quality. The beef bacon was very fatty and hardly enjoyable.

Salmon Benny at Mozzo Centrale

The Salmon breakfast was alright. Salmon in good quantity and quality.

 

Once we completed breakfast, we ordered a tiramisu to indulge our sweet tooth. It was really good, even though it would have been better with less cream, but however really enjoyable.

Tiramisu at Mozzo Centrale

Tiramisu was a good option. Too much cream for a tiramisu expert but not bad at all.

 

We paid 160 AED for two people for a decent breakfast. Reasonable price considering the quantity and quality of food received.

Next time we will try the pizza’s that looked inviting.

 

Noire: dining in the dark! at Fairmont Dubai

I have recently dined at Noire, a new concept restaurant at The Fairmont Hotel Sheik Zayed Road.

As the website states ”from pitch-black settings, night vision equipped waiters or the thrill of experiencing 5-star gourmet cuisine sight unseen, Noire brings you a culinary adventure unlike anything else in town and one of the top experiences in Dubai”, the restaurant offers a very peculiar dining experience.

Noire Dubai

The original idea came to Mr. Edouard De Broglie, an entrepreneur who founded an ethic investment company where 50% of the staff were people with vision impairment. The main goal is to put people in a position to understand other people’s life experience by “putting yourself in the others shoes to better understand” and possibly to raise some funds for charitable organizations.

Even though it lasts just the time of a dinner, it proved to be very touching and instructive.

The dinner takes place in the dark. A pitch black where you cannot see anything apart the red dot on the infrared googles used by the waiters. Listen to the noises in the dark, touch to understand and learn what you have on the table or in the plate, recognize the scents and discover the taste of the proposed foods. Yes, because the chef won’t tell you what you are eating until the dinner is over and you have tried to guess the various ingredients.

We can summarize the dinner as “an experience to learn to see beyond the appearance“.

You will be surprised in discovering that your brain might be deceived by your taste buds if not supported by your eyes. And you will ended up feeling different textures and aromas than the one you would have expected by looking at the plate.

We arrived at Fairmont Hotel by metro, the nearest station is World Trade Center few meters from the hotel, and went to the 9th floor where the restaurant is located. We got lost since there was no one and couldn’t find anything looking like a restaurant. We finally understood that the restaurant is adjacent to the shisha cafe available on the terrace that serves the purpose of meeting points for the restaurant guests.

We were offered a welcome drink and then had to wait some 40 minutes!! before being allowed to enter the restaurant.

The waiters are very well trained and after having escorted us to our table, they helped us understanding what was on the table: on the right spoons and two glasses, on the left forks and bread, in the center the napkin.

After few minutes the appetizer was served. It is difficult to dig into the meal without seeing anything, but not impossible after some practice. After few failures, I eventually managed to get a full spoon of food and bring it to the mouth.

Something fried was tasting like fish. There was salad. Maybe berries and fois gras. It was a continue murmuring and mumbling “taste like fish”, “mine got hazelnuts”, “s..t I spilled the wine”. It is difficult to talk to your partner because you don’t what they are doing, if they understand you, how far are they.

In the main course I found some beef, maybe cabbage, some kind of fish and potatoes. The dessert was formed by a cake, an ice cream and something like a pudding. Soft and creamy one bite and poppy and crunchy the other one.

We all felt the burning taste of chilly since there were many “oh gosh it’s spicy!!”. In reality was pepper.

I was there celebrating my birthday and I was amazingly celebrated by the staff  that invited all the guests to sing for me. It was really a great sensation because almost everybody sang. Something I doubt would have been happened if with the lights were on.

Once we were safely guided outside, we found the chef waiting for us with a display of the food we had.

Dinner at Noire Fairmont Dubai

Left: starterLeft: starter with battered oysters, salad, strawberries, foie gras, avocado and hazelnut. Center: main course with bbq eel, wagyu beef, salad, fries and caw flower. Left: dessert with panna cotta, red velvet cake and oreo ice cream and pepper.

Business Lunch at Al Erzal, Oud Metha – Dubai

Our office is conveniently located close to Oud Metha Metro station, allowing me to use the public transportation to daily commute and avoid the stress of driving during peak hours for half a hour. Oud Metha is a quiet neighborhood where schools, offices and cultural centers find an ideal location where to settle their businesses but it lacks a fundamental thing: sufficient dining options at a walk-able distance.

From my office, I can easily walk to two Indian restaurant (and I am not such a big fan of Indian cuisine), a little kiosk in the metro station, Subways and Modern Bakery shop.  since the last three offer just sandwiches and salads (and sometimes not of the best quality), it took just few weeks to have us sick and tired of the usual routine.

While sometimes I bring my food from home, most of the days I prefer to leave the office and relax with some freshly made, preferably hot, meals. After some research, we found a recently opened lebanese/levantine restaurant that offers good deals for lunch. The offer includes lentil soup, fresh vegetables and a daily dish for a modest 35 AED that rises to 50 AED if shisha is included.

The management is super friendly and attentive and the food is generally of decent quality. The only problem we usually encounter is linked with the slow service and long waiting time for the food to be prepared and served if ordered ‘a la carte’.

We overcame the problem by ordering our meal by phone 15 minutes before actually going to the restaurant. In this way the meal is quickly served as soon as we sit at the table. Shisha is also good.

Al Erzal borgoul

This chickpeas and wheat meal was excellent.

Al Erzal Chicken with Rice

One of the most common daily dish at Al Erzal is chicken with rice. This time it came with eggplants topping.

Al Erzal green beans and meat

The green beans and meat sauce is excellent if combined with rice.

The meat balls and tomato sauce are alright even though not really wow.

The meat balls and tomato sauce are alright even though not really wow.

Al Erzal wine leaves and meat

This Levantine cuisine dish was superb. Stuffed wine leaves with meat.

Japanese breakfast at Sukiya Takeshiba – Minato, Tokyo

During our stay in Japan we tried each and every traditional dish we encountered on our way. We haven’t limited our exploration to the most popular ramen and sushi options and we included rice cakes, dried fish, matcha tea products and so on. In order to do so, we booked the hotel without any meal included to avoid the usual “international breakfast” you might find all over the world.

Obviously, the first morning we woke up in the Asian Country, we rushed to the nearest breakfast restaurant and ordered one of the “special” breakfast options (the menu was only in Japanese but luckily was provided with photos of the meals).

If you are used to western food and taste, you might find the Japanese breakfast weird. We have got steamed rice, miso soup (made with green onions, seaweed, tofu and fermented soy beans paste), nori (dried seaweed), tsukemono (pickles) and natto (fermented soy beans) and a raw egg.

The Japanese Break Fast

Japanese breakfast in a common restaurant in Tokyo. Natto (the fermented soy beans) can be disgusting for someone.

Since I didn’t know what to do or how to combine the food together, considering that no one was speaking English in the restaurant, I had to learn from another customer how to deal with the food I had in front of me.

so I added some soy sauce to the natto, I had the miso soup with the spring onions and some rice with the nori. I was enjoying my breakfast when I saw the other customer breaking the raw egg on top of the rice and enjoying it. My partner stopped eating while I managed to have the unusual mix. But the worst moment was when we had to eat natto. 

The taste itself is not bad, but the consistency and texture of the mix is weird. The fermented soybeans are covered by a filamentous and sticky jelly that resembles something really unpleasant. Again, my partner gave up at the first bite, I struggled to have a second. I had to drink an entire glass of iced barely tea to cancel the fastidious sensation from my mouth.

Needless to say that we have opted for a somehow more suitable breakfast option during the rest of our holiday.The service was nice and the food came quick because precooked and ready to eat. Even though it is based on a fast-food philosophy, the quality of the food was good enough.

Funny start of our holiday.

Restaurant Review: Freiche Cafe & Bistro, JLT Cluster Y – Dubai

Weekends in Dubai are synonyms of Friday and/or Saturday breakfasts with friends. There are so many options to explore that it could be considered as a tough job to visit all of them.  However, from time to time we decide to visit the same restaurant because it is conveniently located close to home or because we have positive memories about it.

One of the last weekends we decided to visit once again Freiche, in Cluster Y in Jumeirah Lake Towers, on the ground level of Swiss Tower. I had a very unpleasant breakfast few months ago in that place and momentarily banned it from my wishlist. However, some friends insisted to go and hence I forced myself to be think positive.

The restaurant looked different. I mean, the furniture were the same with dark wood decor and full wall windows, but the food items were displayed differently and the restaurant was full!!

We were warmly welcomed by the manager of the place (I think she was the owner) and immediately realized that something had changed in the past months. The staff was well trained and polite and managed our order without troubles even with personal requests of variations like: more salmon, less pepper and the like.

The food came quickly and it was way much better than I remembered it.

Fraiche Eggs Benedict

The eggs Benedict were really good with the right amount of sauce and slamon/spinach.

I have asked my eggs medium and I received them as requested, however, my partner received quite soft ones. Not a big deal, since we have exchanged the plates (i don’t mind soft eggs) but it is disappointing and can sometimes ruin your happy mood.

They have a all you can eat breakfast deal if you want to take advantage of some cakes and biscuits and enjoy some complimentary drinks.

Prices are normal and comparable with major competitors in the area.

A surprisingly good and cheap breakfast at IKEA Dubai

We have recently moved into a new flat and needed to buy some new pieces of furniture for the new apartment. Since we did not want to spend a fortune, we decided to pay a visit to IKEA Dubai where we have already found a good quality/cost compromise furniture in the past.

There is only one problem with going to IKEA on a weekend: it is usually packed of people, especially in the afternoon. Therefore, we decided to go there early in the morning, have breakfast there, at the famous IKEA Restaurant, and be done with the shopping session by early afternoon.

When we arrived at IKEA at 10.30 in the morning, we noticed that the car park was already full and started being concerned. We walked fast through the  mall and gained access to IKEA store and directed towards the restaurant. The view of it was astonishing since the place was “assaulted” by hundreds of people. We struggled to find the end of the line in the bustling restaurant and to gain access to the food displays. We were wondering why the place was so popular and we eventually understood the reason: a full breakfast was charged just 14 AED (3.8 USD), nothing compared to many cafes and bars.

IKEA Breakfast

IKEA breakfast is of good quality and quantity and super cheap.

The main breakfast is composed by eggs, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, chicken sausages and hash brown. I do not like backed beans, hence I did not order them, but they are available. To the eggs main, I added some butter bread with cheese, a cinnamon roll and a black coffee. Everything for as little as 20 AED. 

Let’s be objective, the mushroom could have been better sauteed and the tomatoes weren’t grilled, but for 20 AED the ration quality/price was more than satisfactory. I had similar breakfasts in other places where I have spent 4 times more and got a slightly better meal than IKEA one.