Lafang Reviews

Max Grand De Luxe Burger – AED 22.00

One day during my first Ramadan in 2014, I was baby sitting my nephew and niece. We were in Deira City Centre playing in the play area. I was really hungry but since its Ramadan, bawal kumain. So I was drooling while the kids eat and I was just painfully watching them. Minamadali ko talaga sila matapos so we could all go home and I can eat too. Matapos ng tatlong oras ng gutom. My brother bought burgers with milkshake and fries from Max Burger. I don’t know if I was really hungry or what… but my first bite was heaven. Since then I couldn’t stop thinking of Max Burger whenever I crave to eat a juicy beef burger.

When we moved to Deira, I was so happy because I could eat the burger anytime I want. However Max Burger closed down in DCC. So my only option now is Mirdiff City Centre which is quite far from me. One day a super hero came to the rescue. I asked my friend if we can go to Mirdiff City Centre because I am dying to eat the burger again. So we did. When I saw their menu, it made me drool even more. I ordered Grand De Luxe Spicy Cheddar and my friend ordered Grand De Luxe Cheese with additional patty. We have to wait for few minutes since their burger is grilled not fried. When it arrived, I was surprised to see how it looks.

Its not as appetizing as the pictures on the menu. I know everyone does that, but come on… don’t up-sell yourself too much that you break our hearts for not meeting our expectations. :p

Anyways, all in all the taste is still juicy beef mouthwatering burger. One patty is not as good as the double patty so I suggest paying the extra price to get the oozing taste of the meat is worth it. As per my verdict, I think the pleasure of eating something when you are starving and gives you that comfort filling your tummy is the reason why I craved for it. When I ate it when I was not hungry the feeling is different. I don’t think I will crave for it again.

To know more about the restaurant, please click the below link.
Max Burger Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Lafang Reviews

Gazebo- Subzi Masala Biryani AED 36.00

Kapag tinanong mo ang pinoy anong Indian food ang nakain nila, sigurado ako Biryani sagot nila. I am one of them. My family took me to Gazebo in Mirdiff City Centre for my first taste of Indian cuisine. I had Chicken Biryani, and I was amazed when it was served as it has a pastry on top of the ceramic pot. Since I am familiar with Biryani, it was a safe food for me to order. I also had Mutton Biryani at work from a different restaurant, which I didn’t like that much. I don’t like the after taste of mutton. On my second visit to Gazebo in Al Mankhool, my friend ordered Vegetable Biryani or Subzi Masala Biryani. I was surprised! I was thinking that it will be another fail for me like the mutton biryani. I couldn’t imagine vegetable in a biryani.
While waiting for the biryani, we had masala papad for starters. Papad is a crispy snack that tastes like Wonder Boy on its own. Gazebo’s Masala Papad looks like a pizza. It is topped with onion, tomato, coriander with green chutney on the side. It is like a vegetarian taco but flat. Masala Papad is a good appetizer as it will curb your hunger but will not make you feel full. Just enough before the main dish arrives.
When the Vegetable Biryani arrived, I wasn’t able to take a picture because the server immediately served it on our plates. It is basmati rice cooked with garden fresh vegetables, baby potatoes with a mix of sweet and tangy masala in a ceramic pot with pastry on top. It was served the same way as the chicken biryani. The taste is the same as the chicken biryani. The vegetable was fully cooked so there was less texture. I hope they could add a little texture to it so it will be more enjoyable to eat. The taste is good but it feels like eating baby food as it was too soft for me. The quantity is good for 2 people (na hindi gutom). It might be a little spicy for those who don’t like spicy food, I suggest eat the pastry topping. Masyadong malasa yung masala na pwede mo ipalaman sa pastry yung kanin. Call it carbo over load.
We ordered Zafrani Firni for dessert. It has rice milk, sugar, pistachio, cardamom and saffron. I always wondered why does Indian desserts have the same ingredients… milk , sugar, cardamom and saffron. It’s a good combination but I always wondered why. I realized the dessert has always milk on it to neutralize the hotness of the food you just ate. Zafrani Firni tastes like a melted kulfi served in a small ceramic pot. It was so good we ordered another one.

 

To know more about Gazebo Mankhool, click this link Gazebo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Lafang Reviews

SpiceKlub, Mankhool Dubai

Dubai Winter (yeah! we call 22C as winter) of 2016, my friend asked me “Nina, are you ready to die?” I said “depends how…”. He said “die of spicy food.” I replied, “oh! if its food.. lets go!” and that was how I was introduced to molecular gastronomy. Its a modern style of cooking incorporating scientific technological innovations on cooking and presentation of a dish. This is different with hipster food, hipster food is anything that is “IN” for a temporary period… like kale, cute cupcakes, cupcakes and cotton candies on milkshakes, quinoa, etc.

This restaurant that serves molecular gastronomic food is called SpiceKlub which is located in Mankhool Dubai. They have a very vibrant colored wall. Its like those patterns you see in adult coloring books. They also have these tables where the chairs are like swings attached to the ceiling. My friends said that this is how street vendors are in India, where the bus drivers take their breaks.

During this time, I have not explored the chaats yet that’s why it took time for me to post my review because I want to have the normal way how chaats are served before I review molecular gastronomic chaats. I was with my two friends both Indians. One resides in Canada, and the other one lives in Dubai. We ordered four different appetizers. While waiting they served chutneys and pickles in small shot glasses. I like the mango chutney the best. It tastes like mango jam with a little masala.

The first dish served was Papdi Chaat.  Papdi Chaat is a combination of Dahi Batata Puri and Sev Puri. Instead of using the crispy balls, they used the flat ones which is called papdi. However, in SpiceKlub they served it with foamed chutney. The way it was served was genius but I didn’t like the foamy chutney since its foam, its gone in less than a blink when you eat it.

Next is the Galouti Kebab. This dish is a big joke. It tastes like it has meat but it doesn’t have any meat at all! I was like, only the onion is the veggie in here. My friends noticed I like it so much they gave me the last bite… :pNext dish is Paneer Lapeta. The description on the menu is slices of cottage wrapped in green chutney and papad served with green chutney spheres. I like paneer and papad, two of my favorite Indian food in one dish is something to be excited about. On my first bite, I tasted something fishy in it. I wasn’t expecting that taste and I would say I did not like it. Even my friend from Canada, who was just in Dubai for a short visit didn’t like the taste and she hates fish so she just had one piece and the others were left or us to finish. I don’t know if it that’s how it should taste, if it is I will not order this again.Last but not the least is my Disney Land, Pav Bhaji… Fondue. I have already raved about Pav Bhaji on my previous posts, how I love it and how I cannot end my affair with it. I don’t care if eating it is messy but SpiceKlub made it such a way that you don’t have to be messy to enjoy Pav Bhaji. They even lit it up with a tea light candle that made the cheese and butter slowly melt on top. Just writing this makes me drool and hungry.

In a nutshell, everything is worth the try. I highly recommend the pav bhaji and the galouti kebab. I suggest ask your servers what dish to recommend as they are very helpful and knowledgeable of the dish. For non-Indians like me they will tell me what I have to eat and what is in it. Besides the food, the interior is instagram worthy so be sure to save up some memory from your phone or camera when you visit this place. On weekends you might not be able to take a good picture so I suggest visit them on weekdays. Since its a molecular gastronomy themed restaurant, expect the price to be costly. Appetizers are around AED34.00-39.00 while Main Dish will be AED 40.00-45.00.

To check more about this restaurant, please click this. SpiceKlub Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Lafang Reviews

Carinderia ni Tandang Sora, Deira Dubai

My mom taught me to cook at a young age. Hence, I am a self-proclaimed good cook. My sister, my cousin and sometimes my friends are my QA. FYI, they are still alive. 🙂 I like to add twist in the recipes my mom taught me or recipes I see from the internet. So when I eat out, I always prefer a restaurant where I don’t know how to cook their food. If its good then I will search for the recipe and try my best to cook it. That being said, I don’t go out to eat Filipino food.

However, my Indian friend who is not so fond of Filipino food wants to eat proper Filipino dish. He wants me to change his belief that Filipino food is just sugar. 😀 Since I have not been eating out in Filipino restaurants, this is a challenge for me. With the help of Zomato, one of the Top 5 Filipino restaurants in Dubai is Carinderia ni Tandang Sora. Before we drive to the place, I checked their menu on which food should I order that will suit his Indian taste buds. I decided to order Bicol delicacies such as Chicken Bicol Express and Laing. For the soup I will order Sinampalukang Manok since he likes Tom Yum Soup which is very similar to Sinampalukan.

When we arrived at the restaurant, I was fascinated how they named the menu. It shows a little of the Philippine History. The server thought I was Thai or Japanese. I regretted speaking in Filipino, I will discuss more details of it later. So we ordered what I planned to order with sago gulaman as our drink. This is a famous Filipino drink we often call us “Palamig” or refreshment. Its made of brown sugar, water, gelatin (gulaman), and tapioca pearls (sago). We immediately had our first sip when they served it. Sugar rush indeed. It was too sweet for me. I told my friend we have to wait for the ice to melt to lessen the sweetness just like in PH, but since we can’t wait any longer we just ordered water and add water in it.

Our food was served. I already gave my friend an introduction of what will we eat. We started with the Sinampalukang Manok, which is chicken and vegetables cooked in tamarind broth. The taste brings back home, my friend liked it too but he doesn’t like how it looks.

So I told him that Bicol is part of the Philippines where the main ingredient is chili and coconut milk. Bicol Express is a meat dish with small chunks of meat, creamy coconut milk, shrimp paste and lots of green chilies. It is best with pork, but since we are in Dubai we ordered chicken.

When it was served, I was surprised to see boned chicken. I thought it will be small cut chicken breast just as how I see it in PH with small cut liempo or pork belly. We had our first bite, the taste was rich but we didn’t like how it was presented.

Next is Laing, this I personally like. It is made of dried taro leaves, coconut milk and red chili. I cannot cook Laing. I have never tried since taro leaves are not readily available here in Dubai. My friend said Laing looks like vomit. I couldn’t disagree with him. hahahaha… I told him to have a bite,and he liked it.

Going back to what I said that I regretted talking to the server in Filipino, well he wasn’t very attentive as he was concentrated on just 1 table. We were sitting outside same as this table that he will not take his eyes off, so I was in the impression that he covers all the tables outside. We have to wait for another server to assist us. Maybe if he thought I wasn’t Filipino maybe we were given better service.

 

Verdict:

Place: I like the traditional setting of the restaurant, as it is showing our history.

Food: it was ok for a Filipino but not for non-Filipino. Since we are in Dubai, it will be best to make the food appealing to non-Filipinos as well both in the taste and presentation. Food represents our culture and tradition so it should show the best we can offer. It will be best for the servers to explain what is the dish the customer is ordering specially for non-Filipinos. Recommendations will be highly appreciated since they might not have any idea what to order.

Service: On the restaurant’s website, it says that “Carinderia ni Tandang Sora will showcase authentic Filipino food and world class hospitality from signature chef and your professional staff with an ambiance of Filipino heritage. This will be presented to other nationalities as a fresh and different idea, unique and interesting to their senses”. I am sad to say that I wasn’t impressed with the service. I didn’t see any hospitality or professionalism. I hope they improve on that.

To know more about the restaurant, click here. Carinderia Ni Tandang Sora Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Lafang Reviews

Veg Thali AED 12.00

Previously I posted my first Thali experience in a very cultural setting. This time, I will show you the cheaper and sort of fast food version of thali. In the busy street of Meena Bazaar, there are a lot of restaurants to choose from. I haven’t been to India but it feels like it when I am in that part of Dubai. All the restaurants are mostly Indian restaurants. After buying my spices from an Indian store, we saw this small place Udupi Sagar serving both vegetarian and non-vegetarian thali for just AED 12.00 and AED 16.00 respectively.

The Experience.

The vegetarian thali has mostly brothy gravy. The non-vegetarian has mostly thick gravy or dry, one of which has chicken. This is the second time I ate thali and the first time to eat with meat in it, and again I liked it. Its difficult to compare the thalis since nothing is the same. You will just have one-to two favorite gravy in each thali or the service which is what you will be back for. In here, I like the chicken gravy and the dal. It is amazing how can this little bowls make me full instantly.

To know more about this restaurant, click this Udupi Sagar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Lafang Reviews

Crushed Bhurji / Paneer Bhurji AED 14.00

“I want egg for dinner.”, sabi ng anak ko nung 3 years old siya. I said, “Egg is for breakfast”. “But why?”, she asked. I cannot think of an answer so I responded, “Just finish what is on your plate”. Natuyo utak ko dun ah… kaya after dinner, I consulted Google. 🙂

I thought of reasons why egg is associated with breakfast. Historically, breakfast took off in the 1800s during the Industrial Revolution. Workers need protein and fat to nourish them throughout the day and egg is the cheaper alternative to meat. So for those who could afford can eat more lavishly. But now, some of the reasons would be is its full of vitamins and minerals, light, easy to prepare, and fast to eat. Perfect for people on the go… this sounds perfect for dinner too doesn’t it? Well I only know few ways how to prepare egg and it’s the breakfastish type, until I had Raju Omlet’s Crush Bhurji .

What is Crush Bhurji?

Crush Bhurji is another popular street food in India. It is a tomato gravy with grated boiled egg, chili powder, ginger and garlic. Vegetarian version of this is the Paneer Bhurji.

The Experience.

I have never mixed egg with tomato gravy so this is new to me. Incomparable to any Filipino dish since we use tomato gravy on meat. On that note, it is definitely worth to try. Its something you will crave for because the taste is perfect to the Filipino taste buds. Tangy, savory, a little bit sweet and spicy. As pictured above, they both look similar but taste different. I like both but for me Paneer Bhurji is tastier. I think I can survive in the streets of India with all of these tasty street foods!

To know more about Raju Omlet Karama, click this Raju Omlet Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Lafang Reviews

Fetta Cheese AED 15.00

It was around midnight and we were looking for something to eat. Most restaurants are closed at 11:00 P.M. so we found ourselves walking on one of the busiest streets in Dubai even until late night, Al Rigga. Most of the restaurants here are Arabic or a multi-cuisine restaurant which are Indian, Chinese and Filipino. Being a Filipino, and a self proclaimed good cook, I would rather eat something different from my palate, something  I cannot cook. Since its late night and too early for breakfast, I didn’t want anything heavy… until we saw the newly opened Breakfast To Breakfast.

The Experience.

It’s not my first time at B2B, my first B2B was at DIFC so I am quite familiar with what they have to offer. At this new Al Rigga branch, this visit must be my third. First visit, we just ordered, pay and run. Second visit, it was the same server on our first visit… so we sort of joke around with her and she was just playing along with us. Third, its not her. I wonder where is she. Anyways, when we decided what to order, we called our server which was seem to be in a bad mood. She wasn’t smiling which made me miss the first server. We ordered, Best of Tuna, Labneh Extra, and Elie’s. Labneh Extra arrived first, it has fresh labneh, tomato, black olives, mint, cucumber and olive oil. Their sandwiches are always cut in half since its big and good for sharing. I like the Labneh Extra, its fresh and the saltiness of the labneh matches perfectly with the bread and the veggies. I didn’t even had the chance to take a picture of it.

Then our other two sandwiches arrived, After two bites we realized than both our sandwiches are not what we ordered. It was Crunchy Chicken and Fetta Cheese. We did not have it changed since we were both hungry, we just ate it. Crunchy Chicken was not nice. It was dry and the chicken tastes like a left over.

Crunchy Chicken

Fetta Cheese was too salty for me. I couldn’t finish it. They offered to change our sandwich but we said no.

Feta Cheese

We paid and left. Luckily for B2B, this experience wouldn’t ruin their reputation for us since their food meets our expectations but I hope this serves as a lesson to be attentive on what are the customer’s orders.

To know more about B2B Al Rigga, click this B2B Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Lafang Reviews

BEEF RAMEN AED 21.00

Tapos na ang ramen craze sa Pinas, pero hindi pa din ako nakakain ng tunay na ramen bukod sa Nissins. I thought of buying an instant ramen, convenient and cheap. I was imagining the taste, texture of the noodles, the aroma of the beef broth but no… my mind and taste buds don’t like instant ramen.
I checked Zomato, I know it will be difficult to find one that suits my budget since there are only few Japanese restaurants that deliver and are not that pricey. I saw Umami, their restaurant is in Al Ghurair food court. Thank goodness they have delivery. I called them and ordered beef ramen. They require minimum AED 50.00 of order, so I added Spicy Chicken Donkatsu AED 23.00 and my cousin ordered Shrimp Shumai AED 14.00.
The Experience.
The delivery was late, it would have been better if they have online delivery through Zomato so you can send your location. Anyways, the food was packed properly. All sealed and warm. I assembled my beef ramen and I requested for chilli oil since I want my ramen spicy. However, out of excitement I ate my ramen without the chili oil. It was still tasty, you can taste the beef from broth which has a slight touch of sweetness. Toppings were half boiled, egg, little veggies, beef chunks, naruto rice cake. The price is reasonable for the quantity and quality of the ramen.

To know more about this restaurant, click this Umami Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Lafang Reviews

PANI PURI AED 6.00

As promised, I will try the authentic way of eating the Pani Puri or what I call the “Bursting Crispy Balls”. Nasa Little India kami A.K.A Bur Dubai, one of the chaat places there which has people lining up for their turn is Mini Punjab. I patiently waited for my turn.

The Experience.

I was so excited to try Pani Puri. My friend was explaining the do’s and don’ts of eating chaat in a chaat place.

  1. Fall in line, wag sumingit.
  2. Eat the pani puri fast, because the water will make the puri soft and people are waiting behind you for their turn.
  3. When you ordered a chaat other than pani puri, you can eat it on the tables not on the chaat counter.

Keeping this in mind, he ordered our pani puri saying the magic words tikkha cum. My first pani puri was served, eat fast! I shoved the whole puri in my mouth. The green and cold water with the sweet spicy chutney, soft potatoes and beans exploded in my mouth with the crackling sound of the puri. Once I put it in my mouth they will make a new one and put it on your small bowl. They usually serve 5-6 puri so its around AED 1.00 per puri. We shared 1 order of puri so we had 3 each. Before my last puri I took this picture.

Kuya Chaat making my Pani Puri

2 batches of pani puri for one person is filling. But we had a better idea, we only had one order of pani puri and we ordered another chaat. Bhel Puri also for AED 6.00. Mini Punjab’s bhel puri is so-so for me… it was a bit spicy. My friend might have forgot to say the magic words.

Bhel Puri

Our target was AED 20.00 for both of us, we still have AED 8.00 left. So we ordered another chaat. We got samosa for AED 2.00 each. I’ve had samosa before. Its like a spicy vegetarian empanada. This one was above my spicy tolerance. I thought I was strong enough, but I wasn’t. I bought water.

Samosa

The experience is definitely more than my money’s worth. I would be back and will not forget to say the magic words.

To know more about this restaurant, click this Mini Punjab Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Lafang Reviews

Billo Kulfi AED 10.00

After having chaat in Oud Mehta, we decided to go for a walk and check the stores in the area. We saw this vibrant colorful ice cream place called Billo Ice Cream. Intrigued and craving for something sweet we went inside to check what they have.

The Experience.

The interior was more inviting than what you will see outside. It has kaleidoscopic colors showcasing India’s vigorous culture. Browsing the menu, the prices are pretty reasonable. We ordered a scoop of Kulfi ice cream. It’s okay. Enough to satisfy my cravings but not enough to make me come back for more. Maybe I will be back but not for the kulfi ice cream.

To know more about this restaurant, click this Billo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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