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Monthly Archives: November 2012

St Moritz for Dinner at Mall of the Emirates

St Moritz is one of those places that give you a feeling that it is winter in the middle of Switzerland and not at all in the Middle East’s desert. This does have something to do with the location… or else it wouldn’t have worked at all.

The motivation behind St Moritz’s design is a cabin up in the snowed up mountains, and being right next to Ski Dubai, they are quite spot on. The restaurant is fairly large and has big glass panels overlooking Sky Dubai, and on the other side, the mall seeing all the people pass by.

Walking in, I was greeted by the staff, welcomed and was offered a table or a booth. I selected a booth and I was told I could choose where ever I like, facing the Ski or the mall. I decided to face the Ski for the full on Mountain Cabin effect!

They do pull it off in a way! Especially with this little thing to my right

That is right! A Fireplace! Okay Okay I’ll admit, it isn’t a real Fireplace. It is a Television, but come on! Stone wall with pictures and a live fire is such a fitting effect. They did pull off the feeling they wanted people to have.

Realizing I was in a restaurant I am to focus on more than that.

As soon as I sat, the waiter had brought me the Menu. The tables are set up with Sugars, Salt and Pepper Shakers, and a little pictured sheet per customer. The menu did have quite a bit of Salads, Soups, Main Dishes and Desserts. I was concerned they might have taken things too far and offer Winter Dishes and ruin everything but they had not. They did maintain the influence but it was ordinary plain, easy and simple cuisine.

Right after I made my order, they had brought over the Water and a Plate with Utensils and various sized Tissues.

I was wondering about Tissues earlier but now I had the option of two sizes. So far I did not have almost any criticism, and if I were to be extremely picky, I would say the Stainless Steel Utensils had so many scratches and that made me feel they were a bit old. Not something that really mattered as long as they were really clean, which they were.

In a short while, my main course had arrived. I usually have a starter, and although they did have a good selection of Soups and Starters, I didn’t feel like it because I had something else in mind, more on that later.

For my main dish, I went with their Grilled Shrimps. Essentially, the menu stated that they were grilled with a special blend of herbs.
The Dish had Arugula on the side, a Partially Grilled Lemon and a Cup of Sauce which was basically Ketchup with some spices.
The main factor was obviously the Shrimp and I got to admit, it was really good! The Shrimps were Grilled perfectly, not stringy nor too soft. and they have applied a sauce of herbs along the back of the Shrimp for flavor. The Shell came off quite normally and the process wasn’t too tedious. The flavor really showed and I certainly wanted more than 4 pieces! But that is the thing with Shrimp Dishes, they usually serve around 4 pieces. You may need an Appetizer and/or a Soup. I really liked it.

The reason I didn’t go for a starter was because I was rooting for a dessert!

That is right, that is a Nutella Crepe! It looked absolutely beautiful, really appetizing!

The Crepe itself was done really well, very soft, not too thick, not too thin, and it was nice and warm. The Whipped Cream wasn’t really required, more like visual aid. There was Nutella in the Crepe and on top, but the only thing I really have to say was, it needed a little more Nutella! It wasn’t necessarily little, but I would have appreciated more Nutella. I really liked this too!

The Service: It was good. When I had arrived I was welcomed and greeted, upon sitting the menu was there with him. The food had arrived quickly, and taken away quite quickly as well. Waiters have been around going and coming so there was never a problem making any request or orders either. The only bump I had experienced was the waiter I had didn’t catch on to me as fast as I would expect, I had to slow down and be a bit clearer, but that isn’t something wrong with the service of course. In the end I got my right order and in good time.

The Value: 1 Large Bottle of Local Water, 1 Grilled Shrimp and the Nutella Crepe totaled to a little over 100 Dhs, which I think is very good value considering the quality of the food and place.

Ratings:
The Place: 7.5 / 10
The Service: 7 / 10
The Food: 7 / 10

Overall: 7.2 / 10

I’d really recommend St Moritz. Good Food, Good Service, Warm Decor and Lovely Views, Sweet.

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Posted by on November 9, 2012 in Dine In

 

Biella for Dinner at Mall of the Emirates

I have often passed by Biella in more than one mall but have never really tried them. Its weird because their decor and ambiance is all calm and relaxing, something I really like actually. So, while at the Mall of the Emirates, I thought I should give them a try.

We walked in and were greeted at the door and welcomed. The waitress asked if we would like to sit outside or inside. They have two seating areas, one on the outside where you can see all the mall goers pass by and have a view of a big fountain, and a more calmer and classier inside. Certainly went with a table inside!

Everything looked very nice and calm on the inside. Lovely colors, plenty of space and they do have a good number of tables both inside and outside, it is a fairly big restaurant.

They have booths and tables, all with nice lighting. There is reading material for people who I guess come alone or… aren’t speaking to who they are with perhaps… It is really calm in there.


The simple beauty continues with the table settings, with white table sheets, white plates, white salt and pepper shakers, glasses, tissues and a candle. Lovely.

Alright, I am impressed by the place, the layout, the decor and all, but all that is meaningless if they don’t do great food! So time to get down to business!

The waiter came and gave us the Menus, and going through the menu they have a big selection of Pastas, Pizzas, Specialty dishes and much more! The thing I did not really enjoy was everything had a heading that is in Italian. Which means, I have to read the description for every entry in the menu to have a clue of what is going on. I found that annoying. I understand their view and where they are coming from, but certainly not my thing. I do not want a menu filled with entries I cannot understand and having to read every single description to find out what it was, especially with a big menu.

After quite some time figuring out what to order, we were ready to order. It did take quite a bit to get someone’s attention, which is weird since there are a lot of people going and coming in the Restaurant, but everyone seemed a tad too busy.

When we did get to order, the waiter was polite and knew all the Italian dish names, which was a nice thing to know.

A little bit after ordering Water, Drinks and the food, they had brought over the Bread Basket (apologies for the blurry shot)

I was sitting in supposedly a classy nice place, I would expect more than one type of bread, and expect it to be warm. It wasn’t. It had a touch of “just throw it together” to it.

Moving on… I ordered the “Contro filetto di manzo”

yes, it is a Grilled Steak. The menu describes the dish as follows:

“Grilled rib eye steak accompanied by rocket salad and shaved Parmesan, served with balsamic hollandaise”

Pretty straight forward I believe. I had ordered it Medium Well. At this point things started to take my attention away from the lovely place. The food had arrived but the Water and Drinks had not! Maybe I had indulged in conversation not to notice but when the food came and the drinks didn’t I was surprised.
I called a waiter and told him that the Water and Drinks had not come and he said he will check on it right away. I few minutes later, the Drinks came but the Water didn’t. I had to point that out again and then they brought over the water.

So putting that beside me, I dug into the steak. First of all, the temperature wasn’t perfect. It was more close to Medium than the Medium well I asked for. The Steak itself, as a component in the dish, was good. It wasn’t amazing, and I have had much nicer steak before. The rest were not bad on their own. The Rocket Salad was alright, except I did not really like the fact there were long stems. At least cut off as much stem as possible. The Balsamic Hollandaise sauce was nice, but I just didn’t feel it went perfectly with the steak.

I do not really care about it being a flop or not, as much as the fact that I really wanted to love Biella. It didn’t make me fall in love with them.

The Service: It is hard to put a finger on a decision of good or bad because there were moments where the service was really good, like when interacting with the waitress while walking in, or the waiter who brought on the menus or the manager that took the order. They were all polite, listened and were willing to help and explain. On the other hand, having to find someone to call for a few minutes even though people are going and coming does show a little lack in attentiveness and secondly, the whole incident that the Drinks didn’t automatically show up right after ordering was a bit of a confusing factor, which became alarming after I had to remind them even after the food came! Upon leaving again, things switched back, they were very polite and very welcoming. I just think they do have good standards of service, but there are important factors that drop from them, like attentiveness, an expected scenario where drinks should leave right after the order is made, etc

The Value: 1 Large bottle of water, 1 Soft drink, 2 Main dishes (Cost near similar) came to just under 200 Dhs. I was not happy with that, I don’t feel the experience was worth it. They have the right looks, the right feel, but the  overall experience and food didn’t cut it for me.

In no means am I doing a comparison, but I did take a look back at my More Dining Experience Review after I finished this review and I really see why I was not happy with the Dining Experience.

Ratings:
The Place:    7  / 10
The Service: 5.5 / 10
The Food:    5.5 / 10

Overall: 6 / 10

I would usually recommend a restaurant with an explanation in their defense if the rating was over 5, and recommend a restaurant if they get a 6, and really recommend a restaurant if it gets 7 or more. but with so many restaurants so close that serve similar cuisine much better… I am not sure I will recommend it this time…

 
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Posted by on November 6, 2012 in Dine In

 

Man2ooshe & Co

Man2ooshe & Co is one of the famous places for Manakeesh (Mana2eesh, Manakish, how ever you want to read it) so it was about time I give them a review. They do have several branches and thankfully one near where I live.

They have a good selections of Wraps, Pizzas, Manakish and Mini-kish. For all who may not know, Manakish is essentially a dough that is put in the oven and could have several toppings from Cheese to Meat. The dough once out of the oven can be served face open like a Pizza or folded. There is also a nice little story written about how they started up and reached where they are, all good and interesting but I rather the food do the talking.

I selected a few things off their menu and let it rip! First of all, I tried their Pizza!

I really do like their Cartoon character logo guy, and the whole Pizza box is fairly modernized and interesting. I had ordered the Chicken Pizza, it had arrived quite hot.

The thing that bugged me though, was they provided no utensils at all. Sure, I do not need a fork and knife for a Manakish and a Pizza but Tissues? Ketchup? Other Sauces? Anything?

I started off with the Pizza so let me start it off here as well

The main ingredients that I could identify were Chicken, Olives, Corn, Cheese and Tomato Sauce.

So how did I find it? Missing something was exactly my reaction… First of all, the Chicken, it was overcooked and dry, so that on it’s own was a downfall, but putting that aside there was something different, or should I even say odd about this Pizza.. It wasn’t bad, just something felt missing. The Sauce did not have a rich enough flavor, and the quantity put was very little, the Cheese wasn’t as delicious as I would expect and with the dry Chicken it just didn’t turn out too well. On top they gracefully seasoned the Pizza with Black pepper, for some reason I really liked that!

Had a few slices of the Pizza, and enjoyed nibbling on the corn bits that seemed to not be a part of the Pizza but just fall off so I thought i’d move on to the Manakish.

I ordered two to give a comparison and try more off their menu. I went with the Hot Dog with Cheese and an original kind of Manakish, a Cheese Manakish. They came in their own individual wrappers inside the Brown Paper bag shown above, also with their Cartoon Character dude.

First of all, unwrapping them showed me that they both looked the same so there will be just one picture!

I started off with the Hotdog. I got to say, it tasted quite nice. There was plenty of Hotdog inside but a little lesser Cheese than I would like. The Dough was soft except for the edges where it was a little hard and without any Hotdog or Cheese with the edges it was a little dry. Overall, a not bad Man2ooshe.

As for the Cheese, it was better. Same Bread, same problem with the edges being a little hard and tasteless without the main ingredient, but the rest was very good. There was sufficient Cheese that was really nice, thick and yummy. Not the best I have had, but quite good indeed.

The thing is that they have all the necessary elements to be outstanding, but they need a little more effort, maybe a little creativity, a little more emphasis to be special and they could do it, with ease!

Value:

The Medium Sized Chicken Pizza was for 30 Dhs, the Hotdog Manakish was 13 Dhs while the Cheese Manakish was for 10 Dhs, including a 2 Dhs delivery fee the total was 55 Dhs. Which is quite good value for the amount of food ordered.

Ratings:
The Packaging:  6   / 10
The Food:         5.5 / 10

Overall: 5.75 / 10

I’d Recommend Man2ooshe & Co for a change of tastes as they do have nice Manakish, but I’d prefer dine in so things might be a bit better than they did in the review.

 
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Posted by on November 3, 2012 in Delivery

 
 
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