Urban Seafood came as a delectable surprise to me.
Being located right opposite the clinic where I take my kids for visit to the pediatric; I had noticed this outlet on many occasions. Then named as ‘Slapfish’. But not being a big lover of seafood, plus being tucked in the quieter corner of the mall, I didn’t get around to visiting it. Till recently, when I got invited to review ‘Urban Seafood’ restaurant in Ibn Batuta. And realized that it’s the same joint, which has been rebranded.
This time, I decided to cross the bridge & taste the grub, to know for real, what makes it ‘ modern seafood shack’. As claimed by the restaurant. And to get even more authentic review, I took along a hardcore seafood lover friend with me. Yes two to tango!
We visited the place on a weekday noon for lunch and it was very quiet. Not surprising for the timing of the day, week and location. We were welcomed pleasantly by the staff on arrival and were taken in to their bright modern style décor with some vibrant reds & warm yellows. The décor was bright & airy but lacked much of character or interest. The lack of crowd or music made the place much quieter too. Yet it gave us ample room to chatter freely, which many restaurants cannot boast of.
Soon we were busy scouring the menu, which had a nice variety with seafood as central ingredient. From ‘crab quinoa salad’, ‘fried calamari’ to ‘prawn kunafa’ in appetiser; ‘tandoori salmon’, ‘thai roasted seafood basket’, lasagna & crab in the main dishes. Alongside it also had ‘handheld food’ like ‘fish tacos’ & ‘grilled lobster cheese sandwich with fries’. Not to forget the fresh juices & drool worthy desserts that was showcased. The menu definitely was well thought of and offered tasteful variety and good mix.
We ordered very simple meal, since we wanted to try the freshness of ingredients and flavour of the dishes. For starters it was ‘crab cake’ & ‘fried calamari” and for mains it was ‘grilled barramundi fillet’ along with fresh orange juice & mojito. The dishes were served promptly, which always works great on a weekday. All the dishes were absolutely fresh and delicious. My favourite was the crab cake – it was extremely tender & flavourful. So was the grilled barramundi, a delightful light dish for lunch. And the 'fried calamiri' added the contrast in texture, though I would have liked even more crunch. The refreshing mojito made the perfect complement to my food. In the end I so wanted to try their sinful ‘chocolate cake in jar with caramel sauce & toasted nuts’, yet I felt highly satiated with the savory ones. But surely will do on my next visit. And I’m sure of one soon.
My friend too totally enjoyed the experience, and we felt we should have visited the place much earlier, specially since its located in the mall we frequent so often. Moderately priced, Urban Seafood can become a cooler place if they add some energy in the restaurant, in terms of warmer hospitality, cooler décor, music just to liven up the place a bit. I would recommend you all to try this place if you are around the area. And I’m sure you will not complain.
The exuberance of Dubai is infectious. The excitement in the air, the buzz on the streets and the action around you, envelopes you. It prevents a shy one to hide in a cocoon. Rather encourages everyone to step out and mingle. To get introduced to different cultures, and to experience the diversity.
Thanks to being a mum and a blogger, I get to see this diversity of Dubai from various perspectives. And I keep discovering great places to be with friends and family.
One such new place that I discovered last weekend is Pantry Cafe, a friendly gourmet cafe. After the popularity of its Al Wasl branch, Pantry Cafe launched this new cafe, in Business Bay, Dubai. And they invited the blogger community for a taste of their vibrant menu and delicacies.
I visited the place with my family, which included my two kids, aged 6 and 3. And what I loved about the place, was the friendly warmth that it exuded. The cool ambience, the open kitchen and the cheerful smiles, made it all the 'friendly cafe' that it promises to be.
The tasting menu was elaborate and interesting. The kids loved their “Mango lassi” and “Cookies and cream” milkshake, along with the 'margarita pizza”. And as they got busy, relishing their treats, we got to trying their “Taster Menu”.
For starters there were some interesting options. From 'Savory Mushroom Waffles' with feta cheese, semi dried tomatoes and rocket, “Open Eggplant Sandwich” with sriracha, ricotta, roasted red pepper & tomato chutney and “Smokey tomato scramble”.
Then there was the middle eastern delight Shakshouka' - eggs cooked in a sauce of fresh tomatoes, red peppers, onions & spices, topped with crumbled feta & served with toasted pita bread.
The main course dishes kept the menu as interesting with “Baked Brie” and “Green Tea Noodles with smoked salmon”, “Mexican Chicken” and “Katafi Prawns”
For us the highlight were the eggplant sandwich and the green tea noodles. With fresh ingredients, and nice flavour combinations, the dishes were light, fresh and delectable. In fact with every dish, one could see the thought process that had been put into, making the dishes unique, fresh and cafe – style. Perfect for the weekend brunch or weekday bite.
And of course the menu would be incomplete without some yummy desserts. Pantry Cafe lived upto this challenge of giving the final course, a delicious flavour. The dessert menu included – bittersweet chocolate cake, churros, pecan nut tart, lemon curd shortbread and blueberry cheesecake. Yes sinful indeed. And quite a task, to find your favourite from such gorgeous treats. Still for me the cheesecake was like the icing on the cake.
You know you enjoyed your meal, when each member of the family, had their own favorites and loved the place equally. Would definitely recommend this “gourmet neighbourhood cafe”, if you are looking for something beyond sandwiches and wraps. And to enjoy good food in good company.
Flavours of Africa: Tribes – A Restaurant Review
Dubai is surely a foodie's delight with its excellent culinary offerings. The modern cityscape, is generously dotted with some of the best restaurants, of a wide range of cuisines. Having recently moved to this cultural melting pot, I was eagerly looking forward to get on a delicious joyride. And being a food lover and a blogger, the reasons were many. One such good reason came in the form of an invite, to review an African restaurant called Tribes.
Tribes, a casual dining restaurant, opened about 4 years ago in the fashion dome of Mall of the Emirates. Its uniqueness is stamped in its African influence. It offers a cultural and culinary experience, inspired by the varied flavours of Africa and its diverse tribes. Bit unsure of my expectations from the place. Yet excited to do the taste testing, I chose my seafood loving, photographer friend, as my companion for the evening.