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Monthly Archives: July 2013

Al Tawasol

A while back I tried Mandi (A traditional dish from Yemen, more on it here) and I really found the concept to taste really good, and then I was introduced to Muzbi, where the chicken was not cooked in the rice but grilled. This tasted even better! I had tried a few places with Muzbi and the search for the best Muzbi had begun.

I heard about a place, near Al Riqqa street on the road towards the Clock Round-about in Dubai, and even though it didn’t look like much I wanted to try it, I believe looks in food can be seriously deceiving.
I called them up and made an order for two Muzbi.

Al Tawasol - Delivery Bag

The delivery did take a while, but then again it was Ramadan and we were near Iftar time. They had an ordinary plastic back with their logo and all their dishes.

Al Tawasol - Unpackaged

Unpacking the bag revealed two aluminium plates (the two Muzbi we ordered), 6 small cups of their tomato sauce, two cups of lentil soup and two plates of salad (which is essentially just one piece of a few types of veges)

They did not bring anything other than two spoons. I have had Muzbi/Mandi places that sent tissues and even thin plastic table cover (the same plastic cover they used to put food on when eating on the floor in their sitting area in the restaurant)

On the plus side of things, Al Tawasol are quite generous in another way. We had asked for hot sauce, they brought a new small bottle and they had not added any charges, and in other scenarios, asking for additional lemons or onions, etc are actually given free with no additional cost. That is quite good.

Al Tawasol - Muzbi Plate

So the Muzbi itself, before anything it was really good. The rice is plentiful, certainly can satisfy a hungry person. It has herbs and spices inside which is important to look out for. I really never liked to chew on a whole black pepper seed or a cardamom, but there weren’t many in there though. The rice is two colors and tasted quite nice. The chicken has was quite red, and indeed, this redness was from the spices. It wasn’t really spicy or anything but certainly well spiced. The taste is quite nice actually.

The only thing I have to say about this is, I have had better grilled chicken in Muzbi dishes, but they weren’t spiced. This was spiced but wasn’t grilled as well as other places I have tried. So a bit of a give and take.

Al Tawasol - Tomato Sauce and Lentil Soup

On the side of every Muzbi/Mandi they provide a small cup of Lentil soup. It is a bit watery and certainly not the best lentil soup, but it does give a little change of taste to the palette and it isn’t bad.

The Sauce they provide is rather interesting. The tomato sauce is diced tomatoes, green peppers, red peppers and chili peppers. It doesn’t taste as good as I would have expected it to, and did have a little weird flavor to it. it works, just not perfectly.

Overall, certainly a very good dish to have considering they are generous to your needs, and the dish actually tastes good.

The Value: Here is the part where the trade off comes into play, other places that had better chicken or had more rice or so, cost more. Each Muzbi cost 24 Dhs, without any delivery cost. Keeping in mind they offer a cup of soup included in the 24 Dhs does give it more value. Additional Hot Sauce or Onions or so, are free. I think that is very good value for a large plate of rice with half a chicken.

Ratings:
The Packaging:  5   / 10
The Food:         6.5 / 10

Overall: 5.75 / 10

I’d recommend Al Tawasol for Mandi/Muzbi lovers. They are quite cheap and the food quite good. Certainly a good experience.

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Posted by on July 29, 2013 in Delivery

 

Texas Chicken For Dinner

After a drive around several nice restaurants in the area for Iftar nothing really caught my attention. While filling petrol though at a station near festival city I saw Texas Chicken. They really expanded over the past year and they are a place trying to gain some market share of the Fried Chicken fast food business.

The branch at the petrol station was quite big, and typically of a decent modern fast food place, they had different seating arrangements and color schemes
.
Texas Chicken Restaurant Interior
I do like restaurants that are clean and have a nice decor.

Walking in, we were greeted and welcomed quite loudly. For the meal, I wasn’t sure if I wanted a sandwich or actual chicken but in the end I went with their meal of Chicken Strips.

Texas Chicken 4 Piece Chickn Strips
The meal comes with a soft drink, their own zig-zag style fries, a tray of 4 pieces of chicken strips, a bun (cut in half), a medium sized (compared to other places) cup of coleslaw and two cups of sauces; Herbed Mayonnaise, and a sauce called “Purple Sauce” which is essentially a delicious sauce that is sweet & spicy.

First of all, I love their fries. Sure, it isn’t really the best fries in the world or the most special, but it is unique to them. It this thick, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. They were well salted too.

The coleslaw was nice, and it had about 4-5 big spoonfuls. The branch wasn’t busy so everything was provided on the tray, I didn’t expect any spoon, straw or tissues to be missing and they weren’t.

For the chicken itself, it was quite pleasing. I ordered it spicy but it was a light mild spice. The chicken was crispy, hot and was quite nice. I liked it and again, surely there are many alternatives in the market, some being more famous but this is a nice change, especially with the fries, sauces and all.

The Service: There isn’t much to talk about in terms of service, but when I had asked for extra sauce cups which were not ready they offered to bring it, which they did with a big smile.

The Value: The good thing about Texas Chicken is that its a decent value, it is on par with other brands in the range. This meal (without upsizing it) is 22 Dhs. Extra sauce cups are at 1 Dhs each.

Ratings:
The Place:    6  / 10
The Service:  6  / 10
The Food:    6.5 / 10

Overall: 6.2 / 10

It’s another fast food restaurant, as good as the rest of the big names available here. I’d recommend it for a change.

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2013 in Dine In

 
 
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