Tag Archives: Foodaholic

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

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. 

Pasta alla Norma: a classic of Italian cuisine

Yesterday I was craving for some nice pasta and was thinking about the best condiment to prepare when I found a top quality eggplants at a very competitive price. “Great, let’s make some Pasta alla Norma” I thought and bought few aubergines. Preparing the sauce is very simple even though it takes quite some time.

You just need eggplants, some chopped or peeled tomatoes cans, garlic, parsley and basil. The tradition wants you to put some dried/smoked ricotta cheese on top of your pasta but some grated Grana Padano is fine.

Pasta alla Norma

Pasta alla Norma is excellent when freshly made but they are even better the day after reheated in the oven or pan..

Just slice the eggplants and put a pinch of salt on the top side of the slices. Leave them with the salt some 10/15 minutes, until they release the bitter water that usually is brownish. Wash carefully the slices in order to remove both the bitter water and the excess salt and then dry them with kitchen paper. Chop the slices in smaller pieces, any shape is fine, and put them in a pot where you had preheated some olive oil together with crushed garlic and parsley.

Cook the eggplants at a moderate heat, adding from time to time little water or some white wine to enrich the taste. The addition of some water makes the eggplants tenderer and reduces the cooking time. Once the eggplants are almost completely cooked (they reduce in size and become tender), add the tomatoes and cook ad a low heat for 30 minutes. Add little sugar or bicarbonate to reduce the tomatoes acidity.

Serve the pasta with your tomatoes and eggplant sauce with a sprinkle of Grana Padano on top.

Clinton Street Pancakes

Scrumptious cakes at Clinton Street . . . superb!

One of the best way to start the weekend in Dubai is to have a scrumptious breakfast somewhere around, possibly in a new restaurant or neighborhood. The last weekend a friend warmly recommended Clinton Street Baking Company and Restaurant in Downtown Dubai and since we haven’t been there yet, we decided to give it a try.

The restaurant is at the Burj View Towers, a building complex were a friend of mine used to live and that offers a stunning view of Burj Khalifa and Downtown. The place however is somehow anonymous since it is in a corner and not really visible from the main road. Inside it is much better: a cozy place packed with people enjoying their meals and time together. At 11 a.m. when we arrived, there was only one table available, just to have an idea of how busy it was.

Clinton Street Dubai

The restaurant is simply arranged but very functional. The kitchen and chefs can be seen from the tables.

Since we were there for breakfast, we ordered some eggs. I have got the Farmer’s Plate and my partner a beef chorizo omelette also called Spanish Scramble. I was expecting something wow since my partner’s colleague was enthusiastic of the place and instead we received two very regular plates with little to be enthusiastic for.

Clinton Street Chorizo Omelette

The Spanish Omelette with Chorizo was alright

Clinton Street Farmer Plate

The Farmer’s Plate came with two pieces of cheese and 2 chicken sausages with cumin and tomatoes

We were a bit disappointed, especially considering the 75 AED paid for the Farmer’s Plate and the 66 AED for the Spanish Scramble. The bottomless coffee, moreover, that comes endlessly for just 20 AED, wasn’t really satisfying my Italian taste.

We were still hungry but didn’t want to order anything else from the eggs menu to avoid any further disappointment. My partner decided, together with a friend of ours, to switch to the desserts: the best idea ever.

The desserts are scrumptious! We had a peanut and chocolate cake that was literally mouth-watering in the aspect and superb in the taste.

Clinton Street peanut and chocolate cake

The peanut and chocolate cake at Clinton Street is superb!

We shared this slice of cake and couldn’t resist to order another one. This time we chose a simple pancake that actually consisted in a tower of three pancakes, fluffy and delicious pancakes, with melting chocolate cubes on top.

Clinton Street Pancakes

Once the chocolate melts completely, the pancake is something irresistible!!

Mind that the pancakes are a big portion and can easily substitute your meal in case you are not a big eater. The maple syrup on the side was the perfect match with the dark melted chocolate. So yummy, but pay attention . . .I had way too many sugars because of the exquisite taste of the cakes and had to force myself to stop eating other baked sugary stuff!!!

The bakery side of the restaurant is definitely recommended!!

Pasta Carbonara Personal Recipe

Spaghetti alla Carbonara with 4 cheese with love!

Every time I post a photo or I discuss about the perfect “pasta alla carbonara” recipe with friends, it ends up in a fight and a general scorn. Should I use the whole egg or just the yolk? Should I put pepper or nutmeg? Should I use sliced “pancetta” (bacon) or the cubes one? And many more.

Once a chef friend told me that the carbonara should be creamy, hence I should use only the yolk with a little cream avoiding to cook the mixture in the pan and adding an handful of parmigiano on top. I don’t like to waste the egg white and therefore I usually use the entire egg. I do not have a fix recipe since I adapt it in relation to the food I have available in the fridge.

What is sure is that we are going to use eggsbacon (preferably smoked) and parmesan cheese. Remember that you shall not use onions in the carbonara pasta.

Pasta Carbonara Recipe

Pancetta (bacon) has to slowly fry in its fat. Do not add any oil or butter for an unaltered bacon taste.

Yesterday I was craving for a deliciously creamy ‘spaghetti alla carbonara’ and opted for one of my favourite invented recipes. I used sliced bacon, not smoked but natural, spaghetti, parmesan cheese, kashkaval, brie cheese and another soft cheese I had in the fridge.

I chopped the 100g ‘pancetta’ I have found in Waitrose supermarket and warmed it up in a pan without oil or butter until crispy.

From time to time I added little water from the pot where the pasta was cooking. It helps extracting and distributing the bacon flavour in the pan. You can sprinkle it with little wine if you prefer, like a dry white wine for instance.

Pasta Carbonara Personal Recipe

My Spaghetti alla Carbonara with four cheese are a bit heavy, not really Italian but super good.

While the bacon is frying and the pasta is cooking, you should put in a cup one egg every 150g of pasta, some olive oil, salt, a pinch of pepper or nutmeg, grated parmesan and cubes of easy-to-melt-cheeses. You shall mix everything together even  though you won’t obtain a perfect mix. Once the spaghetti are cooked, you shall dry them and toss them in the pan with the bacon. Toss with the heat on medium. This operation will help the pasta to absorb the bacon fragrance. After you have tossed the pasta few times, add the eggs mix and toss again until the cheese is melted and the pasta evenly covered by the right proportion of eggs, cheese and bacon. Mmmm . . .yummy.