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Monthly Archives: February 2015

Nando’s – King of Peri-Peri Chicken

It has been quite a while since I’ve been to or ordered from Nando’s, and visiting one of their unique branches was worth writing about. This branch is actually in a hotel, Novotel Suites – Al Barsha, which means they also serve alcohol with their delicious Peri-Peri chicken.

Nando’s always has lovely, warm and simple decor and this branch is no different. They have a range of booths and tables with lovely artwork and Nando’s scripts on the walls.

Nandos - Wall Art

The menu at Nando’s is pretty standard and hasn’t changed in quite a long time. It ranges from a few sandwiches, Peri-Peri chicken, and a few specialty dishes.

Walking in, we were greeted by the staff who were quite helpful and assisted us to a table. We later decided to go for a booth that had just opened and they were quick to respond, clean and show us to the booth. Clearly, they maintain a consistent level of service as commonly known of Nando’s.

Nandos - Sauces Table Setting and Water

Right after ordering, they quickly brought us our water, napkins, utensils and a few sauces (Mild and Hot Peri-Peri and Ketchup).

Nandos - Open Kitchen

One of the nice things about this branch is how the kitchen is actually open, right beside the bar. Definitely a delight being able to see all the properly marinated chicken smoke while being placed on the flame grill and if that doesn’t get you salivating, I do not know what will!

Nando’s is known for having delicious chicken, so I wanted to go for one of their specialties this time.

Nandos - Espetada

This vertical skewer of deliciousness is the Nando’s Espetada. It comes with two small sides and I went for Peri-Peri fries and spicy rice.

You can choose your chicken in a variety of spice levels; lemon and herb, mild, hot and extra hot. In my opinion, nothing beats the hot spice because it has tons of flavor, can still burn your mouth but you’re still enjoying the food. Extra-hot more or less just burns your taste-buds off.

The chicken with hot Peri-Peri sauce, dare I say it, was nearly perfect. It was moist, grilled all the way through to perfection and oozing with flavor. The fries were regular fries with Peri-Peri powder on top, which gave it nice flavor while the spicy rice was a tad bland but spicy – nothing a little hot Peri-Peri sauce couldn’t fix.

Overall, there was little to complain about Nando’s. I do wish there were more updates to the menu with a broader variety of chicken dishes, especially for regulars who probably have tried it all. Also, some menu items made no sense in terms of value, for instance, 3 pieces of chicken wings costs 23 Dhs while 1/4th a chicken costs 21 Dhs.

The Service: It was good. The staff were friendly, quite speedy and were glad to help. They were around and easy to call, especially since this branch wasn’t really big. I did feel they could have presented themselves a bit more friendlier, with more smiles and cater for people’s comfort a bit more as with repeated requests (genuine requests, not being a prick), they stopped smiling.

The Value: Nando’s is known for their pricing vs quantity, where some dishes make more sense in terms of value than others. Their pricing isn’t too far off from this range of restaurants and I think 64 Dhs for an Espetada is quite alright, especially when keeping taste, ambiance, service and quality in mind.

Ratings:
The Place: 6.5 / 10
The Service: 6 / 10
The Food: 7.5 / 10

Overall: 6.7 / 10

If you have not tried Nando’s, you’re missing out on one of the nicest places to have a casual Peri-Peri chicken lunch or dinner. Definitely Recommended.

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Posted by on February 23, 2015 in Dine In

 

Mooyah – Is it the best burger in the UAE?

Lets start by what got me to this place.. The sign, that says “Congratulations Mooyah for winning the Kris Fade Show’s Best Burger in the UAE” which is quite a big claim!

Mooyah - Award

The place is quite funky but in the end, it is a fast food place – full tables and booths. There was an ordering station with an open kitchen behind it to see where all the juicy burgers were being made! Yum!

Walking in, they were very welcoming and happy to assist us in making our order, making sure we knew the variety of buns and patties they offered.

Mooyah - Menu

They have an interesting menu with 8 signature burgers which can be prepared with:
– A single or double patty
– Beef (Certified Angus Beef), chicken or veggie patties
– Three types of bun; white, wheat or iceberg lettuce

They also have 3 signature hot-dogs, kids meals, fries and extras, salads, and milkshakes. Don’t fancy any of the signature burgers? You can build your own burger too!

I love a little smokiness in my burgers so I decided to go for the Texas Burger meal.

Mooyah - Texas Meal

A thing to highlight is their fries, they are trans-fat free. I didn’t mind them and certainly didn’t fall in love with them. Don’t get me wrong, they’re pretty nice, but definitely not the best. Ever tried fries that seemed a bit empty from the inside? These are similar.
The quantity was quite decent to satisfy a hungry person and came quite hot, ready to be consumed! Loved their little metal trays too, very.. rugged.

Mooyah - Texas Burger

So how was the burger itself? After all, this won the Kris Fade Show’s award.. Verdict? It was quite nice! I ordered the double beef patty texas burger with white bread. It had cheddar cheese, fried onion strings, grilled onions, BBQ sauce and pickles. All in all, it had very nice flavor, a bit of crisp and the beef patty itself was really good. It was a tad greasy, but what fresh burger isn’t, right? The bun was super soft too!

I certainly enjoyed my meal, loved the burger, and the overall place was very comforting. But the question remains, is it the best burger i’ve ever had?

Mooyah - Funny Cow Board

I’d probably say no. It was very good, but to claim it was the best burger i’ve ever had, would be an overstatement. I would definitely visit again, and recommend Mooyah without a doubt. They had a giant blackboard, which I thought would be super cool for the kids!

Overall, if you have not tried Mooyah, you should. It definitely has something to offer every burger lover, great flavors, freshly prepared and the brand itself is just cool!

The Service: The staff were very kind and assisted us with a smile at all times. When I asked for additional sauces and wet-wipes, they immediately served us with a smile. Great staff.

The Value: I believe there are a variety of “burger place types” which are fast food, better than fast food, freshly prepared burgers, and gourmet. Mooyah seem to fit in the “freshly prepared burgers” (among others in the segment like shake shack, burger fuel, etc) and it seems to be around the same price range as well. I would say the meal is a tad pricer than I would like to pay for a burger, fries and drink of this type – then again, price is always relative and I had a great meal.

Ratings:
The Place: 6 / 10
The Service: 7 / 10
The Food: 7 / 10

Overall: 6.7 / 10

I recommend trying Mooyah if you’re near any of their branches in Jumeirah Al Wasl Square or Ibn Battuta – a great addition to the list of awesome burger places in Dubai.

 
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Posted by on February 13, 2015 in Dine In

 

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Day at Tche Tche Downtown

A franchise that’s always busy, but is it any good?

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I have often come to Tche Tche but this is the first time to put it under the ihabdines microscope!

Tche Tche has a very nice atmosphere and a lot of people come here and spend the evening between chilling with friends and smoking shesha. On that front alone, the place is great. They have plenty of indoor and outdoor seating with dedicated areas for non smokers. The staff are average, greeting customers is optional to them and friendliness depends on how busy the restaurant is.

In this review I went on a lovely Saturday afternoon to chill have a light bite and enjoy time with friends. Their menu has a wide selection of starters, salads, sandwiches, and various main courses. Surely, the choices are plenty. Keeping it light, I started off with their Crunchy Panko Shrimp and Chicken Caesar Salad (no clue what Panko means..)

Let’s get started with the Shrimp shall we?

IMG_0032

Let’s just put it this way, it’s very average frozen shrimp. What gets to me is the fact that these are shrimps right? I don’t want to see straight shrimp! Bland.

Let’s move on to the Caesar Salad, looked better at least.

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Now I am already quite on edge with the experience here. The Ceasar Salad was quite alright. The lettuce was crunchy, the chicken was grilled quite nicely and was juicy but the salad was over seasoned. Also, I would have loved to see more green on the plate.

For the rest of the evening the seating was just great, the atmosphere was fabulous and the views are amazing as always.

Before leaving, I thought I’d try a sandwich for dinner..

IMG_0035

That is what they call a Chicken Zinger Sandwich.. Supposedly a delicious sandwich with turkey, cheese, pickles and spicy chicken tenders. The truth is, I could barely tell the difference between the chicken and the bread! Bland, dry, tasteless, not spicy enough, cold and a complete disappointment. The whole dish was cold enough that parts of cheese hadn’t melted – this also showed they just used regular cheese slices..

Overall, to keep this simple, Tche Tche is a hang out spot, and a good one too – the location is great, the seating is comfortable, the overall atmosphere is lovely and the staff, if in the right mood, are good too, just don’t expect a lot from the menu.

Keep in mind that there are some menu items that either offer more value (priced low for a large dish) and other items that generally taste better. No excuse for not having decent other dishes, though.

The service: ordinary sums it up pretty well. They are alright, some are helpful, some aren’t. When they get busy they do not put in effort for customer service, and if you joke around you may get treated better – which isn’t necessarily a good thing on their behalf

The value: keeping in mind this is Downtown – Emaar Boulevard, the price is quite alright. All three dishes, 2 small bottles of water (they do not serve large ones), one American coffee totaled to around 140 Dhs.

Ratings:
The place – 7/10
The service – 5/10
The food – 3/10

Overall – 5/10

Want a place to hang out with friends in Downtown? Tche Tche is a nice cafe, not a restaurant.

 
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Posted by on February 7, 2015 in Dine In

 

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