Apr 4, 2012

Burger time at the Grand Hyatt

There's something about the thought of a burger that  puts me in a good mood.  It's one of those guilty pleasures in life that leaves you satisfied but also craving for more of that juicy savory goodness.  I consider myself a healthy eater (minus my food review binging during awards season of course) and have been on a mission to find a good burger in this city, but have yet to find one that is cooked to a beautiful medium-rare to medium temperature.  Often times when asked about preferred temperature, it often goes in vain.  Repeatedly served overcooked well done meat, it's been a long disappointing journey.....until now!

The Grand Hyatt Dubai has been a long standing establishment for good solid food in Dubai, with restaurants like Pepper Crab, IZ, Wox, and now The Manhattan Grill, the only problem is deciding which venue to enjoy a meal at. 

To begin my friends tried the Chicken Pate, playful and simple presentation, and sinfully rich!

I enjoyed the the buttery and sweet Sea Bass with Beet Root Puree, soft and well seasoned, the fish melted in my mouth. 
Now, the moment we've all been waiting for,  time to enjoy the TASTIEST burger in Dubai! It was cooked to a beautiful medium-rare temperature served with the crispy battered fries.  I don't want to know, nor do I care to know how many calories I consumed with this meal, because every bite was exactly what I imagine a burger to be plus more. 

The memory of this meal still brings a smile to my face.  I crave going back, and soon will when I've earned the calorie splurge!

Thanks Grand Hyatt for you're wonderful customer service and consistent quality when it comes to anything and everything hospitality related.  Looking forward to trying more of the loveliness soon....

For more information on Grand Hyatt Dubai, please check out there web-site:


Behind the Scenes for my BBC Good Food ME photo shoot

Here are some behind the scenes pix from my BBC Good Food ME photo shoot.

All tableware and accessories provided by Tavola.

White Lentils in Zucchini Cups and a Spice plate

Getting Hungry??!!

Not only did we have still shots, but also full tv camera crew for some behind the scenes shots for another project I am working on......Stay tuned for more!

 Spicy Tomato and Onion Soup topped with poached Shrimp, Lemon  Zest, and Scallions
 Panko Crusted Nargisi Kofta with a duo of pepper sauces

Nicola Monteath of BBC Good Food ME taking notes.

 Mango Strawberry Lassi

Check out BBC Good Food ME (April 2012) now for the full feature!

Apr 2, 2012

Royal China's Finest

We were honestly treated like royalty last Sunday afternoon at Royal China in DIFC.  We ate course after course of specialty dishes, however I have only highlighted a couple of my favorites that really made a mark whether it was flavor, presentation, or preparation.  I also have to point out the decor and ambiance of the restaurant which had a chilled out day time vibe with accents of the oriental red lanterns that gave it that special flair of modern yet traditional.  It was pleasant during the day, but I imagine it's much more festive in the evening, especially since they plan on opening a terrace area soon.   They offer a variety of mocktails and cocktails to enjoy with your meal, or at the bar with some snacks.  I enjoyed a delicious passion fruit and mint iced tea, sweet and refreshing. 

To begin we were presented with this traditional steamed Dim Sum platter.  There were a variety of vegetarian and seafood options including Spinach and Crystal Prawn, Prawn and Chinese Chive, Prawn and Scallop, Prawn Dumpling in Royal China Style. These little morsels of yummines were all cooked to a delicate perfection with a chewy and soft texture I have really grown to love.  The Prawn and Chinese Chive was my favorite, just the right balance of flavors, soft and subtle. 
The presentation of the Kung Pao Chicken was exciting!  It came bubbling and steaming in this clay pot.  It was the first time I've seen Kung Pao presented in this style, and I have to say, it was pretty cool.  Served table side this dish emanated the familiar scent of chilies and chicken and the aroma was mouth watering.  
 The Szechuan Prawn is a dish that was on regular rotation whenever my family and I went out for Chinese food.  The signature dish at Royal China was prepared slighter sweeter than I was used to, but still resonated the familiar flavors that are associated with it.
 I was actually taken aback by the Fried Rice with Diced Chicken and Salted Fish.  Normally I try to stay away from the carbs, and fried rice is one of those dishes I often omit when ordering, but this one was particularly tasty and light.  The Salted Fish added an unusual crispy texture along with the tendrils of egg and diced chicken.  Well seasoned and full of flavor without the grease, I will definitely be adding this to my regular order for the future. 

We were also served the Pan-Fried Crispy Vegetable Noodles served table side by our friendly waiter, who's knowledge and hospitality were superb.  The noodles were a little on the oily side, but they are pan-fried, so I guess it comes with the territory.  There were simple in their style of preparation sprinkled with spring onions and baby bok choy, but I kept going back for more!

 Now after my carb overload, I couldn't bare the thought of anything sweet.  However, when we were presented with this Toffee Crusted Banana with Coconut Ice Cream, I simply couldn't resist.  The toffee was crunchy and sweet and melded well with the natural softness of the banana inside.  It's one of my favorite dessert combinations, and this one was definitely a winner!
Last but not least, the gorgeous Flowering Jasmin Green Tea.  Normally tea leaves aren't the most visually interesting, but this was definitely photo worthy.  As the delicate tea steeped in the hot water, the flower petals slowly bloomed inside the tea glass.  The glass was just the right height and width for the tea to settle into, not only was it soothing as a tea should be, but a pleasant sight to see!

It was a lovely afternoon filled with laughter and good food.  I am grateful for the gracious invitation and look forward to more interesting culinary adventures and Royal China DIFC.  With the opening of the terrace area, I'm sure this will soon become a popular after dinner destination as well.....keep us posted on the news!

For more information on Royal China, please check out there website: