Sep 26, 2011

Are you stressed???

After interviewing the fabulous DJ Bliss at his debut performance in the Virgin Mega Store, I felt like I needed a little pick me up for a hard days work. 
 We walked into the the Social House at Dubai Mall and came across this cute little sign......
.......And now you do too!!!! 

There's nothing a little chocolate can't fix, I'm sure all my friends would agree!!

Sep 25, 2011

A Power House of Global Culinary Beauties

The Tavola Blogger Breakfast was held this past Saturday morning in Jumeirah and all the lovely ladies from the culinary scene were there.  In the picture below starting from the left are Suzanne Husseini, cook book author and Master of Modern Arabic cuisine, Ariana Bundy, cook book author, expert on alternative sweets and Modern Persian cuisine and me of course!
There were a variety of snacks served, compliments of Bateel.

 Raspberry Muffins
 Roasted Vegetable Bruschetta
 Cous Cous Salad
 In addition to the fabulous food there were a number of interesting topics being presented.  The First topic covered was the:
“The Use and Care of Kitchen Knives”

Second topic was:

 “MORITSUKE- Japanese plating presented By Wakami Saab, herself, the Tavola Retail Manager

 Last was my favorite, "How to style a plate" By Fiona Archibold, Food Stylist
None of this food was edible, but the beauty  behind food styling is to make it look scrumptious enough to eat!
 Oven Roasted Quail, look at the colors and textures in this dish....AMAZING!
 Beef Bourguignon, rich, meaty, and juicy
 Spinach Fettuccine with Grilled Prawns. Delicately layered pasta dripping with the creamy alfredo sauce.  Painted on with perfection!
I know I'm only showing you the end result, but the assembly of each dish was very interesting.  A  lot of work goes into food styling, I know from experience with the photo shoots I engaged in the past couple of weeks.  The food stylist claimed eating the food from a food photo shoot is taboo and considered bad luck.  OOPPPSSS....All of my food was edible, and every last bite was consumed!  These were on a completely different scale I guess.  What do you think?

Sep 24, 2011

Moe' Baker's 30th Birthday Bash!!!

Pre-Game with best party planner in town! 

 The Birthday Boy with adorable nephew gearing up for the yummy eats and treats.
  Baby Khalid is always styling and tonight he's even representing his home country!

 Beautiful centerpieces for the beautiful event
 A table setting fit for a KING!  Because it was such a royal feast, it only seemed appropriate:)

 The salad station was fully stocked with everything from Calamari to Asian Beef Salad, including all the traditional mezze and even a cheese platter.
 Desserts were also overwhelming, but in addition to this diverse arrangement were 4 Birthday cakes!
 HAPPY 30th BIRTHDAY Mohammed!!!!
 The cakes were from a variety of places.  Let's start in the back:
  • A beautifully rich Haagen Daz Chocolate Ice Cream Cake.  With layers of rich moist chocolate cake and sweet and creamy chocolate ice cream, you can't go wrong with this choice.  It was also covered in a hard chocolate shell.  This is a big step up from the Carvel ice cream cakes I grew up on back home.  Now I have to look for an excuse to celebrate to enjoy this yummy treat again!
  • To the right of that is the big bubble cake, also known as "Mimi's Cake" from the kitchens of Baker and Spice (Al Manzil Souk).  This is a light  cream and berry cake topped with rolled Marzipan and confectioner's sugar....One of my favorites!!!! You'll never go back to eating "normal" cake once you've had a taste of this beauty.
  • Next to that is a Peanut Butter pie from Magnolia Bakery (Bloomingdale's, Dubai Mall) with an oreo cookie crumb crust, it's a sugar high like you wouldn't believe!I think this would have been my go-to dessert when I was in University.  Sophisticated Junk Food at its best!
  • The last cake is a custard and fruit cake from the Hilton Abu Dhabi who actually catered the party.  This a traditional fruit and custard cake, beautifully presented, and a staple with any of the Hilton catered events.  Something about this cake is comforting, but I enjoy this cake as a light night snack or the day after the party when I'm having one of those nostaligic moments......

Sep 23, 2011

Afternoon Tea With Gary Rhodes at The Grosvenor House, Rhodes in Residence Launch

The selections of sandwiches and sweets was overwhelming, but I think we did so some serious damage!
Here is Gary himself, putting the finishing touches to the perfect display,  He's so hands on.....I was thoroughly impressed:)
 Amongst the tasty selection of savories was a thick cut Roast Beef sandwich with Horseradish Cream, Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese, Egg Salad, and Cucumber Watercress sandwiches.  A very traditional spread for an English Tea.  Amongst the hot selection of food were Prawn and Chicken Satay with a peanut dipping sauce, Fish Croquettes with Hollandaise, and Duck and Cranberry Turnovers.  

He even had time to pose for a picture with me.  Gary is very comfortable in the culinary and media scene in Dubai.  He has just launched his third venue, Rhodes in Residence, an all day dining concept with in the luxury hotel Grosvenor House, Tower Two.  He has also become synonymous with food festival known as Taste of Dubai which is set to launch in March 2012, and said, he couldn't imagine not being a part of it since Dubai has become his second home! 
 After the elaborate Tea, we were also served these cute little cones with Raspberry Sorbet plus Toffee and Chocolate Ice Cream!
Rhodes in Residence all day Dining Concept is located in The Grosvenor House, Tower Two

Gary Rhodes has two established restaurants in Dubai already, Rhodes Twenty10 in Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa as well as Rhodes Mezzanine in The Grosvenor House, Tower One.

Sep 20, 2011

The ToroToro launch at the Grosvenor House, Tower Two!

As we approached the entrance, I knew it was going to be a good night:) The lighting, music, and ambiance set the stage for a festive Pan-Latin themed evening....
Good friends + Good food = Happy Saba!

This is probably one of the biggest events in Dubai this season.  It was timely, classy, and very busy!  There were around 500 people on the "exclusive" guest list, with lots of familiar faces and smiles throughout the crowd.

 Every detail was attended to by the marketing geniuses at the Grosvenor House.....Well done Florance!  The trapeze artists were a brilliant touch...I felt like I was at Carnival in Rio!
 The only food photos I was able to obtain were through the glass into the kitchen.  I was too busy eating and catching up with people to snap pics of the decadent and delicious trays of passed Hors D'oeuvre throughout the evening.  However, I did manage to catch Executive Sous of the Grosvenor House, Chef Tom Egerton in action....he's in the background of this photo, can you spot him?
 Meat Galore!
 Being delicately plated on the serving tray
The only thing that upsets me about this evening is that I didn't snap a photo with the Culinary Mastermind behind the concept of this Pan-Latin restaurant, Chef Richard Sandoval:( Oh well, next time! I'm sure he will be back in town......

Check out more info on Toro Toro at the Grosvenor House website:

Sep 19, 2011

Preparations for Tomorrow Mornings Photo Shoot.

This is the before picture....stocked fridge, semi organized workspace, and all the excitement and anticipation for the BIG day!!!!

 All the dishes and table ware are courtesy of Tavola.  Thanks for all your help Wakami!
I even obtained some authentic Pakistani accents to compliment this special menu......

Sep 18, 2011

A decadent lunch at The World Famous IVY restaurant in Dubai

Enjoying a lovely summer mocktail in my cute sun dress on a hot and lazy Dubai afternoon.

Miss Mimi enjoying her berry cooler!  We take the term "Ladies who Lunch" to another level:)

Heirloom tomato and Onion salad, sweet, tangy, and fresh! The gorgeous textures and colors make this salad so appetizing even in its simplicity.

The IVY burger has developed quite a reputation around town, and after trying one for myself.......
I would have to say, it's nicely presented and has a lovely array of condiments including the delicately cut relish and the mustard ketchup concoction, but it was overcooked, which is a BIG deal in the burger world! Perhaps it was an off day...... 
The Salmon cake was rich, with the creamy sorrel sauce and sauteed spinach.  The texture was soft and seemed to just melt in my mouth.

This was definitely one of the heaviest lunches I've had in a while, and to top it off......Banana Sticky Toffee Pudding!  This has got to be one of my most favorite desserts in Dubai.  Sticky Toffee pudding on its own is divine, but with the added banana, its unreal! 

The food at the IVY is rich and tasty.  It's one of those places you should save for special occasions, because the calorie count gets pretty high.  But every meal is presented beautifully, and meticulously crafted by the culinary arts professionals in the kitchen.  The IVY is located at Emirates Towers in Dubai.  For more information on the menu....

Sep 17, 2011

Asado in The Palace Hotel, Argentinian Steak House number one......check back for more;)

The Empanada (a stuffed bread or pastry baked or fried in many countries of Latin America and the south of Europe) selection was diverse including items ranging from chilli and corn,  spinach and cheese, spiced beef, and flavorful chicken all served with a fresh tomato salsa.

The Burrata (below) was nicely presented with foam and all, but  I'm not sure how much the foam enhanced the flavor of the dish. The berries were a cute touch also, and complimented the mildly seasoned cheese.  It was overall a good dish, but doesn't compare to the Burrata at Le Petite Maison, which is seasoned to perfection.  I am personally a fan of saltier'll see more on that next.....

The mixed seafood grill was an overwhelming amount of food, but I did a pretty good job at it.  It consisted of Tiger Prawns, Salmon Fillet, Scallops, and Calamari.....what more could you ask for!
On the other end of the table was this gorgeous grill filled with some very flavorful delicacies like veal sweetbreads (the thymus gland of veal or lamb) and this delicious fatty cut of steak (of which I'm blanking on the name)

This meal was also accompanied by a beautiful collection of salts from all over the world. Below is a list of what they had on offer at Asado.  Pretty cool concept....If you like salt!
  • The Palm Island Black Salt: It is obtained by craftsmen from Hawai. It is rich in minerals, black lava rocks are added to the seawater of the basins, That is why its colour is so black.
  • Murray River Salt: It is obtained from salt flakes introduced into the salty water from the basin of Murray River (in Australia) in the ponds of cristallisation. They, then, evaporate naturally. Crystals obtained have got a nice apricot colour.
  • Bolivian Mirror Salt: Thanks to its concentration in minerals, its surface looks like a mirror which reflects the light of the Bolivian sky.  It comes from the Bolivian "salty sea". That expanse of salt, relic of a dried lake, is situated at 3700 m of altitude
  • Halen Môn flakes Smoked Salt: To obtain this colour and this delicate smoked smell, flakes are placed on a fire with shavings of oak. The origins of this sea salt are collected in the Atlantic Ocean close to  Anglesey Island or Ynys Môn in Welsh.   
All of the above information plus more on these special salts can be found on:
After enjoying the salty meal, we had to have a sweet treat to cleanse the palate.  The Dulce De Leche (a thick, caramel-like milk-based sauce or spread) pancakes were the perfect end to the meal.

  The over all dining experience at Asado is top notch.  Situated at the opulent Palace Hotel in Downtown Dubai, the ambiance is warm and inviting, and if you're lucky, you can even catch a glimpse of the Water Fountain show! There is another Argentinian steak house on the rise in Dubai, let's see how that compares to this fabulous experience.......

Sep 14, 2011

Some behind the scenes shots from my Mojeh photo shoot today

I have been cooking for three days straight, and on my feet since 8 AM this morning, but it was so worth it seeing it all come together......
The very talented photographer captured the textures, colors, and lighting just right.

The state of my kitchen was pretty up is my least favorite thing to do!
 Every last inch of counter space and every single utensil was used.

I made everything from signature mocktails and starters to desserts and tea.

The mains weren't too shabby either! How does a star anise and orange braised  lamb shank sound?
I made sure to feed everyone, there was plenty of food to go around! Nobody complained about working those extra long hours today.....