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

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

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

Lafang Reviews

FALAFEL SANDWICH AED 8.00/ LENTIL SOUP AED 12.00

I don’t usually eat dinner but I am hungry. I want something light but tasty. I was walking along Oud Mehta and saw this Lebanese restaurant along side with Indian restaurants, a Thai restaurant and a Chinese restaurant… Sabah Lebnan.

The Experience.

There were not much people inside which was what I wanted as I want to eat my dinner quietly. I ordered lentil soup and falafel sandwich. Since it was cheap, I wasn’t expecting that they will serve me olives, pickled vegetables and the Arabic bread. I understood why they served, because it took time for them to prepare my sandwich and soup. Good thing I was engrossed with the book I was reading. My lentil soup arrived, my first sip gave me warmth as it was cold outside. My second sip gave me comfort as it satisfied my growling tummy. My third sip made me feel healthy, like “yeah! I am turning vegetarian now!” I was almost finish with my soup when my falafel sandwich arrived, first bite… I was like “are you sure this is vegetarian?”. Second bite, “this is like a healthy version of chicken nuggets!”. Third bite, the garlicky tahini sauce goes well with the dry falafel, the vegetables adds moisture to the sandwich as well. It would be better if there were more sauce though because I find the sandwich really dry. I hope they serve the food faster next time, I dont understand why it took time, there were just 3 tables including mine at that time.

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

Lafang Reviews

DAHI BATATA PURI AED 10.00

As I have mentioned on my previous post about Chaat where I gave a review on Pani Puri and Sev Puri, there are a lot of chaats to choose from and today I will share my favorite…the DAHI BATATA PURI.

What is Dahi Batata Puri?

Dahi means yogurt, batata means potato (sounds like patatas), puri are the crispy balls. Imagine that all together with sweet tamarind chutney, green chutney, chili powder and other spices… that is my favorite chaat.

The Experience.

Looking at it, its similar to pani puri but instead of using the water they put potato, chickpeas, spices, smothered it with yogurt and then topped with sev. It looks like a melting ice cream. Remember, when you eat chaat it should be eaten whole and fast… and so I did. BOOM! My mouth was bursting with flavors, textures, and even feelings. Buti pa ang DAHI PURI, sinabugan ako ng feelings. :p It was like a sting of spiciness that’s cooled down by the slightly sweet yogurt. Then there is the crispy puri blended with the soft potatoes. The touch of the warm puri on your tongue and the cold yogurt on your upper lip is delish. Its just perfect! For the price of AED 10.00 with 6 pieces of puri its good for sharing, I cannot finish one as the potatoes and yogurt are quite heavy. What we usually do, we order 2 chaats and we share both. That other chaat is called Bhel Puri which is only AED 8.00. I would say, among all the Bhel Puri I have tried, Mumbaikar’s is the finest. I couldn’t tell what is the difference among other chaat place, but I like their Bhel Puri even though Bhel Puri is only on the 5th place of my favorite chaats, when I am at Mumbaikar I will order this over and over again.
To know more about this restaurant, click this Mumbaikar's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Lafang Reviews

P.F. Chang’s AED 174++ for 4 Pax

P.F. Chang’s has been my family’s favorite restaurant. We usually celebrate our birthdays here. This year we want to celebrate Chinese New Year and Valentines day.

The Experience.

We went to P.F. Chang at MOE. The reception was hospitable, even though it was lunch time we were seated immediately. We were given the menu, and we cannot decide what to get so our server looks impatient. My sister told him that we will just call him when we are ready. When we called him and asked him questions about some of the food in the menu, he wasn’t accomodating. My sister asked him politely to smile. We ordered crispy Green Beans, Dynamite Shrimp, Fried Chicken Dimsum, their Chinese New Year dish the Crunchy Hawaiian Ebi Roll, Singapore Street Noodles.

Our food was served, but our server was still not smiling. I didn’t give a fuss about it since I am happy spending time with my family. The Dynamite is as always the bomb… spicy, sweet and tangy. The Crispy Green bean is  brilliant, my 7 year old niece loves it, well the breading… because its crispy as fries but healthier version. Although I end up eating the beans since my niece strip it naked and she ate all the breading.

The Crunchy Hawaiian Ebi Roll is perfectly described on the menu. There is a harmonious blend of textures. The roll is dominantly sweet but different kind of sweet which are from the pineapple and plum sauce, then there is the slight kick from the wasabi. The Chicken dimsum is a bit disappointing, we ordered for fried as the kids want something crispy, what we got was just seared dumplings. Akala naming deep fried dumplings.

I personally choose the Singapore Street Noodles, since I have always thought of street food as tasty. However, I was disappointed. Just the presentation itself isnt appetizing. Looks like a kid played with the noodles and vegetables. Taste was bland too. I don’t know if I expected so much thats why I got disappointed. #hugot Lucky Me Instant Pancit Canton is definitely better than this. I hope they improve the taste. P.F. Changs is a big company and I am sure they have great chefs to fix its taste.

What is my verdict? If I am craving for a dynamite or the Hawaiian ebi roll then I will call for delivery or visit another P.F. Chang branch.

To know more about this restaurant, click this P.F. Chang's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Lafang Reviews

Rajasthan Gujrat Thali Fusion AED 45.00 (UNLIMITED)

Woke up to a call… “Wake up! We are having Gujrati for lunch!” my friend on the other line said with voice of excitement. Still dazed, I showered, got dressed and run to the door. I had enough hullabaloo to wake me up this morning, I better not be late. While he was driving, I searched for the Gujrati place. Thank goodness for Zomato, we don’t have to burn gas searching for a Gujrati restaurant. So we were in Karama Area, typed in Gujrati cuisine… first to come up is Rasoi Ghar. We got there a little early for lunch so the people have not arrived yet. We were about to ask for the menu when we noticed that everyone who entered the restaurant with us just sat and talked. After further observation, we noticed that others were served and plates were refilled when asked. We both look at each other with mischievous eyes with this thought running in our minds… “this is going to be awesome!”.

The Experience.

We were given a warm greeting and was seated immediately. Then we were served the welcome drinks, a lemony zesty drink and buttermilk. My friend said these drinks help on clearing my taste buds and helps on digestion. After our drinks, a server with a copper pitcher and basin arrived. He will wash your hands like royals! Seriously, I feel like Kris Aquino while doing this.

CTTO: rasoighar.ae

After that they serve the starters. The servers were very attentive, they know I don’t know anything of what I am about to eat so they explained to me each dish… so tango lang ako ng tango kahit hindi ko sila naiintindihan… huwag kalimutan ang smile at charm para hindi nila maobvious na hindi mo naintindihan. Anyways, my favorite is the Kastha Kachori Chaat. Other starters were Bharfi Dhokla which is like puto, then samosa which is like a vegetarian empanada served with spicy green chutney and sweet dates chutney. Yes, not all red Indian food is spicy. I controlled myself from getting seconds since I need to leave space for main dish and the dessert.

FRIDAY STARTERS

 

After the starters, they put silver plates with little bowls on your table, then start putting different curries and Dal. My favorite is the curry with paneer which is the second from the left on the below picture. #PaneerIsLOVE When they see your plate empty, they will refill it. There is one guy there who will give you breads even if you say no… it seems he is thinking “don’t worry dear, I don’t judge” which I find funny. It’s like telling your best friend “I’m drunk, stop giving me shots”. Hahaha

The desserts were served same time as the main dish, its different with the Filipino desserts. Jalebi is like a pretzel but extremely sweet. One piece and your blood sugar will be at 100. Badem Halwa is incomparable. It is unique to the Indian cuisine, it is tasty and sweet. Aam Ras is a nostalgic food for us Filipinos, nostalgic back to when we were 6 months old, because this is mango puree. They eat it differently though, they eat it by dipping chapatti in it. After my first chapatti, I asked for one more and ate it by itself.

The desserts weren’t on my plate yet on the below picture, as I thought it will be served once I finish my meal. I took a picture so I could start eating.

In a nutshell, I like the experience and will definitely be back. This is a nice place to introduce the vibrant and colorful culture of India to another nationalities.

 

FRIDAY THALI

Since I cannot remember the names of the food, here is Rasoi Ghar’s Friday menu

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

Lafang Reviews

Masala Dosa AED 10.25

My first weekend in Dubai after a fattening holiday in the Philippines, I am craving for a breakfast I have not tried. Something as filling as rice but not heavy. Something as tasty as longganisa but not oily. So I consulted my friends and asked, I got a lot of suggestions but one struck me the most is Masala Dosa. It looks like a big barquillos which brings back childhood memories as this is one of the things I am excited about when I go to church with my family. Being away from home in just few days makes me homesick and maybe this Masala Dosa will cure that.

What is Masala Dosa?

Masala dosa is one of the popular breakfast in South India. The dosa or the big barquillos/crepe has a potato filling served with chutney and sambar. Chutney and samabar are those sauce served in little cute bowls. Kakaiba diba? Sa Pinas for ice cream and toppings nito. 🙂

The Experience

One of the famous restaurants that  serves the best Masala Dosa here in Dubai is Saravanaa Bhavan After taking pictures as shown below, I gobbled on my masala dosa. The dosa does really look like a giant barquillos, even the feel is the same. When i cracked it open, I saw the yellow potato filling inside. The steam from the hot filling immediately fill my nostrils with the scent of the spices they used. I ate the dosa first without the filling, texture is like barquillos but doesn’t taste like it. It’s not sweet. There is a little saltiness to it. So I had another bite, this time with the potato filling. First bite explains why the dosa tastes simple because the potato filling is the bomb! Next bite, with the chutneys and sambar… All are good, and not spicy. There is a lot of taste going on. My favorite is the white chutney which is made of coconut milk. It really goes well with the simple taste of dosa and adds more flavor to the filling.

Masala dosa

 

It definitely satisfied my cravings and cured my homesickness by letting me experience that there is a warm, welcoming but different home away from home.
To know more about this restaurant, click this Saravanaa Bhavan Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Lafang Reviews

Innovative Organic and Healthy Salads AED 28.00

We decided to spend our Saturday by visiting Dubai Zoo. Before that, we need to feed ourselves first so we don’t take the animal’s food inside their cages. Lots of choices in Jumeirah but we want something healthy and filling, hence, The Lime Tree CafĂ© & Kitchen. So magpapakasosyal and healthy tayo today…. :p

The first time I was at The Lime Tree Café & Kitchen, I had mostly breads since it was breakfast time. Every dish we ordered tastes good, but I cannot remember the names since it was 2-3 years ago. This time, I took time to feel the vibe of the café, read what I will order, smell the aroma, and taste the blend of spices and herbs they used in the dish.

We were starving but we don’t want to fill ourselves. They have a lot of salad options displayed but what caught my eye was the Organic Bulgur Wheat and Herbs. It says garlic dressing, for me anything with garlic is amazing! My friend ordered Masala Roasted Cauliflower with baby spinach. Both were marvelous. It is really an innovative taste of a salad. You can taste the freshness and crisps of the vegetables. The lemon and garlic dressing was perfectly coated in the bulgur wheat with additional sweet and sour taste from the tomatoes. The almond slices added crisp and texture to the dish. The masala and yogurt dressing was beyond compare. Its like eating an Indian vegetarian gravy but in a form of a salad. Price was worth it, AED 28.00 for 250 grams. Enough to make you satisfied.

The Lime Tree Café & Kitchen Menu

To know more about this restaurant, click this The Lime Tree Cafe & Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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