Two BFF’s uncover a profound love for bagels on a trip to the Big Apple, and decide to recreate the experience right here in the UAE. Fast-forward a decade of decadence, and they have an entire chain of restaurants spread across the UAE and KSA.
The very name of the cafe is derived from the shape of the New York bagels they so fell in love with, and till today the bagels at Circle Cafe are imported all the way from NYC. I visited the branch at The Dubai Mall last week; ironically I didn’t have a bagel! I was there for lunch with fellow blogger Rafael from DubaiFoodie.com and my lovely colleague Nisha, and we had quite a spread of globally inspired dishes.
Circle Cafe at The Dubai Mall is situated on the Ground Floor, right next to the Dubai Waterfalls. You can hear the powerful gush of water from every corner of the cafe, and this might prove to be rather zen if you are choosing to dine here alone, nose hooked into one of the many books on their cosy shelves. However, the noise can be a little overpowering when you are trying to socialize (or answer a phone call for that matter). The staff tell us they are working on getting the area closed off with a noise-proof glass wall.
Fridays are brunch days! I’ve been MIA from the brunching scene of late. A change of jobs, a hectic lineup of weekdays and I find myself snoozing well into the first day of the weekend.
I decided it was time to get back into the foodie groove last Friday, and found myself at The Garden Grille. Located in the lobby level of Hilton Garden Inn (just a 5 minute walk from Mall of the Emirates), this is the hotel’s all-day dining restaurant catering to a wide variety of cuisines from around the world.
The Friday brunch runs from 12 to 4 pm, costing AED 175 per person, and goes up to AED 220 with the addition of unlimited house beverages and cocktails.
Chef Glady has a huge fan following, yet he is too humble to notice. His impeccable plating skills at Per Te saw his creations going viral across social media, and his artsy retakes on Italian classics have made native chefs go green with envy.
I featured Chef Glady in my food blogger column in Ahlan Masala! magazine, and was eagerly awaiting a chance to visit him at his newest venture; 24 Karat at the Marriot (Al Jaddaf, Dubai).
The brand new restaurant opened its gilded doors to the public only a few weeks ago, and looks every bit the fine-dining Italian restaurant that befits the works of this genius chef.I loved the deep brown wooden finishing, the plush seating and the very European-style chandeliers that lined the counters, exuding a magical hue of gold across.
Na3Na3 (pronounced ‘Nana’), is a well-established all-day dining restaurant located on the lobby level of The Address – Dubai Mall. Essentially a Lebanese restaurant, the theme here keeps changing on a daily basis.
We were at Na3Na3 the Thursday before last, just when Dubai was experiencing its freakish rains. I was indulging in a bout of retail therapy in The Dubai Mall, and discovered a shortcut to Na3Na3 through Bloomingdales! You can park in the mall, or use the hotel’s valet service.
Urban Seafood, one of Dubai’s most popular eateries for quick and casual bites of delectible seafood, has opened a brand new branch in the heart of The Beach, JBR. Under a week old, this branch has a condensed version of the menu that is available at its predecessors (located in Ibn Battuta Mall, Outlet Village and Last Exit).
I don’t know about you, but after a leisurely day at the beach, I always tend to crave good old fish & chips! This was my very first visit to an Urban Seafood branch, and I was looking forward to a greasily satiating F&S combo, but what we ended up having was a far more ‘urbanized’, posher alternative, loaded with lobster!
If you were to open a fusion Asian restaurant, what would you name it? Most of us would probably venture in the food labels realm, but who would have thought of Smoking Doll?! Such a uniquely clever name! Love it and love the logo showcasing the the tattooed, fan-bearing Asian doll oozing so much oomph. I was intrigued to know if their food was as good as the name itself.
Smoking Doll currently only has branches in Abu Dhabi (at Galleria Mall and Boutik Mall). As we were at the capital for our staycation at Capital Centre Arjaan by Rotana, we decided to try out Smoking Doll at the Boutik Mall branch.
Le Meridien Hotel & Conference Centre (conveniently located near Dubai International Airport), is one of the oldest hospitality institutions of the city and also happens to be a treasure trove of foodie finds.
One such gem is Casa Mia. Aptly translating to ‘my home’, I absolutely love the cottage-inspired interiors of this space. The service is topnotch, the wine selection immaculate and above all, the food here is incredibly ‘delizioso’.
A young boy, on a visit to his mother’s ancestral home in Meerut (North Western India), is left fascinated by a bright yellow find. So contrastingly different from the usual fiery reds and deep greens, this prized yellow chili happened to fall in the hands of a boy destined to be arguably India’s most celebrated chefs, Sanjeev Kapoor himself.
So cherished was this find that many decades later, Sanjeev Kapoor opened up a whole chain of restaurants called Yellow Chili. Where Signature and Options are the chef’s ode to Indian fine-dining, Yellow Chili aims to be your cushy neighbourhood retreat for some seriously good, home-style Indian dishes.
Aseelah is Dubai’s newest Emirati fine-dining restaurant, and is located in one of the city’s oldest hotel establishments; Radisson Blue – Deira, Dubai. With dazzling gilded interiors paying homage to the intricate architecture of the region, the restaurant is a spacious, welcoming abode for diners who are eager to get a taste of both traditional and contemporary Emirati cuisine.
My family and I dined at Aseelah a couple of weeks ago, and I have to say I was blown away by the talent of Chef Rabeh Adel Amer. My palette preference lean towards spicy, robust combinations, and I have often found regional dishes to be a little bland for my liking. Not the case here at all!
Manhattan Fish Market is Dubai’s newest seafood chain to be imported from the United States. The restaurant concept may be new to our city, but it already has a huge fan following from across the globe, with more than 67 chains spread across Asia and the Middle East, including Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Oman, India, Bangladesh and Qatar.
Inspired by the fish markets of Fulton Street that served up the freshest catch of the day right under Manhattan’s iconic Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan Fish Market is a restaurant concept with over 180 years of history in the making!
Dubai’s very first branch is located in Festival City Mall, and I had the pleasure of trying out quite a few of their iconic, ‘fin-tastic’ dishes last week.