Tag Archives: food lovers

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.

 

ItaliAsian Fusion: Edamame & Black Beans spaghetti with salmon and seaweeds

In my most recent ItaliAsian Fusion I have combined the already known Edamame Spaghetti with Organic Black Bean Spaghetti I have picked up at Choithram shop in Al Wasl Road and seasoned them with smoked salmon and seaweeds.

Black Bean Spaghetti

I am a huge fan of pasta and I was nervous for the texture and the taste of this black beans spaghetti but I have to admit they turned out to be amazing. I dared to try this new line of “pasta” because of some astonishing benefits:

  • High in fibres: 22 grams per 100 grams of product
  • High in proteins: 46 grams per 100 grams of product
  • Low in sugars: just 5 grams per 100 grams
  • Rich in Iron and other minerals

Since this kind of pasta reminded me of  Japanese like flavours, I decided to add some of the Nori seaweed sheets I had at home (the ones usually used for sushi) to the recipe.

They taste like sea (of course) and are particularly rich in fibres and minerals.

I heated some olive oil in a pan, I added some garlic and parsley and let them brown a bit. Meanwhile I chopped the salmon and cut the Nori sheets in long stripes almost resembling thick spaghetti or fettuccine. I added the salmon first and once it had changed colour, I added the seaweeds.

The seaweeds are dry but highly hygroscopic, hence they absorb water from the other ingredients and become tender. Once the spaghetti were cooked (4 to 6 minutes the time required), I dried them and added them to the pan.

Mix all the ingredients together paying particular attention to the seaweeds that have the tendency to stick together instead of spreading around. Once mixed properly,  I served the spaghetti with salmon and seaweeds together with a generous amount of grated Grana Padano.

Black Bean Spaghetti with Salmon and Seaweed

Edamame & Black Bean Spaghetti with Nori seaweed, smoked salmon and Grana Padano

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.

Mythos Kouzina & Grill – JLT Cluster P – Dubai

I have recently visited Mythos, a new licensed Greek restaurant that recently opened in JLT, cluster P at Armada Blue Bay hotel.

If you want to reach the restaurant by car, be ready to get a headache. Find parking in JLT might be challenging and most of the time it is time limited: 3 hours free parking and then you have to leave. The hotel valet parking charges you 50 AED, hence better to get a taxi or the metro and walk a bit.

Once you enter the hotel, get the elevator and go to the basement. You have to walk in the parking and then in a narrow corridor appositely built that escorts you to the restaurant.

We booked our table well in advance since a friend recommended us to do so, but we found the 6 of us squeezed in a table for 4!! However, we managed to sit and order. With great surprise we discovered that the Greek beer and house wines were unavailable (at 8pm on a Thursday night!!!) so we ended up drinking Belgian beer at the Greek restaurant.

We ordered some appetizers like the grilled octopus and calamari. We ordered 4 appetizers and we got 3 at the same time and the 4th one 10 minutes later!!

Note that the restaurant provides you with some fresh bread and olives once you place your order but you have to pay 5 AED extra if you want the famous Greek pita bread.

The octopus was very minimal and definitely not worth 72 AED.

Grilled Octopus at Mythos

As main I ordered a pork souvlaki, one of the favorite meals I had while in Cyprus. Unfortunately, I received an almost cold meal meaning that either the souvlaki was cooked in advance and reheated later or that was cooked on the spot but then left in the plate for quite a long time before reaching our table. The fries were alright and the pork skewers came with tatziki sauce, onions and pita bread.

Pork Souvlaki at Mythos

The service wasn’t really the best. Many staff members seemed quite confused, especially those taking our order. Moreover, we waited 20 minutes and we had to ask to 5 different people before getting the bill.

The restaurant has good potentials but needs some improvements.

Ronda Locatelli – One of the best Italian Restaurant in Dubai

I’ve been several times to Ronda Locatelli, an Italian restaurant chain founded the 14th February 2002 in Seymour Street in London by Giorgio Locatelli and soon after awarded with one Michelin Star which has been retained every year since. After the success obtained in the UK, luckily enough for us living in Dubai, Mr. Locatelli decided to open a similar restaurant in the luxurious Atlantis the Palm hotel.

The restaurant ambiance is great, with a big pizza oven at the center of the restaurant and dimmed lights to create the perfect dining atmosphere.

Ronda Locatelli Dubai

A view of Ronda Locatelli taken from TimeOut Duba

At Ronda Locatelli the staff is very well trained and from the moment to step into the restaurant until you leave satisfied with the delicacies provided by the chef, it is a continuous flow of smiles and politeness that increase the enjoyment of the dinner.

I usually visit Ronda Locatelli for the excellent pizza, my favorite is the speck, Gorgonzola and porcini mushrooms one but this time the chef caught my attention with a very particular set menu exploring the culinary traditions of the Italian Region Veneto.

Our waiter was very nice and able to satisfy our requests. The special menu consisted in a 4 courses: 1 of two starter options (polenta with stracchino cheese or sardines Venetian style); 1 of two pasta/soup options (beetroot ravioli or spelt soup); 1 of two main course options (baccala’ that is cod fish the Vicenza’s way or rabbit) and 1 desert. We asked for two set menus and told the waiter to bring us both options where available so to taste the entire menu. He was so proactive that he managed to serve the dishes already split in two for maximum comfort.

The starters very really good even though simple as the Italian cuisine dictates. The sardines with onions and the crunchy fried polenta with stracchino cheese were delicate and yummi.

Starters at Ronda Locatelli

On the left the cold sardines with onions; on the right the grilled polenta with stracchino cheese and onions.

The spelt soup was enriched by some pumpkin made gnocchi that well combined with the delicate taste of the spelt. The beetroot ravioli were delicious. I wish I could have an additional portion or may be two.

Soup and Ravioli at Ronda Locatelli

Left: beetroot ravioli; Right: spelt soup with pumpkin gnocchi and crunchy Parmesan

The main course was superlative. Cod fish with tomato sauce and rabbit are two of the main traditional dishes in Liguria, the region where I come from. It was really enjoyable to try them in this different fashion.

Main Course at Ronda Locatelli

The cod fish in tomato sauce and olives was really yummy

The dessert is very particular. As admitted by the chef himself, not everybody likes it but it is the traditional recipe as every grandma in Veneto would do.

Dessert at Ronda Locatelli

At the end of the meal, chef Salvo visited our table and with a bright smile he genuinely asked an opinion on the menu and the food provided. He informed us that he is going to explore the traditional delicacies of each and every Italian region in an attempt to make the menu more interesting and challenging also for the team in the kitchen.

At the moment of the bill we didn’t have any bad surprise since the prices are in line with the competitors and met our expectations considering the quality and quantity of the food.

To be honest, 195 AED for the amazing menu offered is a really convenient bargain. 

Casual Dining at PQ Marina Mall – Dubai Marina

The abbreviation PQ stands for Le Pain Quotidien (Daily Bread), a famous chain that offers freshly baked bread and pastries other than breakfast and other dining options.

We were at Marina Mall for some shopping and decided to have dinner in one of the many restaurants available. Among the various options, we decided to stop at PQ, one of our favorite breakfast places.

We were famished and ordered what sounded like a massive Italian appetizer, a quiche Lorraine and some chicken with veggies.

The staff quickly brought us the appetizer, a cheese and bresaola platter with yogurt, olives and olive paste, sweet melon and focaccia bread. Unfortunately, what we have received was completely different from our expectations. We had only one thick slice of bresaola (that generally shall be served in thin portions otherwise it is tough) and some minimal parmesan shavings.  Way too little to be called a bresaola and cheese platter.

Tuscany Platter at PQ

The Tuscany platter was alright. One thick slice of bresaola beef and some parmesan shavings weren’t really enough

Focaccia bread and olives were good as well as the slive of melon and the yogurt/spreadable cheese. We run out bread quickly and asked for some more. The waitress was prompt in satisfying our requests but the bread we received was dry and tough; a clear indication that wasn’t freshly backed or cut but ready on the plate since morning.

The quiche wasn’t bad. It came with some salad and roasted potatoes that actually were superb.

Quiche Lorraine at PQ

The Quiche was alright. It came with some salad and roasted potatoes

The chicken options chosen by my partner was nice as well. Unfortunately the photo I took is so blurry that I felt ashamed in posting it and decided to not do it.

PQ remains a superb option for eggs and omelettes, pastries and many other dishes but definitely I won’t order again the bresaola and cheese platter.

warm salmon miso soba

Alternative Lunch at Tom & Serg, Al Quoz – Dubai    

I have been many times at Tom&Serg for breakfast and enjoyed the eggs options and wraps.

The menu doesn’t offer many options as in other restaurants but I have always found something nice to have. The short menu has a positive side though. You are sure that your meal is prepared with the freshest ingredients available since the turnover is so high that the salad leaf in your plate had not time to wither in the restaurant refrigerator.

This time we went there for lunch, at around 1.30 pm and had to wait 10 minutes before getting a table. The restaurant, as usual, was packed with people. The furniture is very basic with visible HVAC ducts and other services pipelines visible and a warehouse look like style. Not that much effort to put together the shop I guess, not like other fancy restaurants that spent a fortune in decorating walls and ceilings, but it seems working well.

Tom & Serg minimal furniture

Tom & Serg Style is very minimal. A warehouse concept restaurant that is very popular.

Two of my friends took the soup of the day, a huge plate filled with a carrot and lentil soup served with a slice of toasted bread. They said it was good even though they struggled to finish it because the portion was very abundant.

I didn’t want to eat the usual things like wraps or eggs and I opted for something unusual: warm salmon miso soba with boiled eggs, bok choy, tofu, edamame, garlic, soy dressing, wakame and other green stuff.

warm salmon miso soba

Excellent combination of flavors in this Japanese style recipe. I’d had removed the boiled eggs though.

The meal was excellently balanced. The right amount of soy sauce and a great mix of edamame and seaweed gives to the soba noodles dish the right Japanese touch. I know that the boiled eggs look like out of place in that mix of ingredients but it wasn’t that terrible. Just pay attention to the coriander leafs if you don’t particularly like its taste. Luckily it is added at the top of the plate and it can be easily removed.