Breakfast & Brunch At Boulevard Kitchen

A staycation is not complete without good food and Manzil Downtown offers a wide variety of restaurants like boulevard kitchen, via vineto and such. We chose to dine at boulevard kitchen for breakfast and brunch.
Boulevard kitchen served international cuisine ranging from authentic arabic/levant to Italian. I am dividing my review in two for clarity.
Breakfast:
One word: Variety! There is a large variety of dishes on offer from various parts of the world. My favorite from all was the patisserie section that served some delicious and fresh croissant, muffins and cakes. They do offer eggs your way too which can be ordered once seated. My only concern with the buffet was the Asian dishes on offer. The dosa was tad to tough to eat and it was a struggle to have the same and the fried rice were overcooked. I have had better breakfast experiences at other hotels, this one was decent enough in comparison. There is something for everyone. You can choose to sit outdoors which I personally loved as early morning you can enjoy the downtown street views.
Levant Friday Brunch:
Wide variety of food with ranges from Arabic to Italian. I love that fact that they introduced a live pasta counter which was clearly most popular amongst people of all ages. The Arabic counter has a lot of meat based dishes and that was popular too. Our brunch package included cocktails which weren’t too strong but great presentation wise. Major attraction post brunch is the dessert counter that offers continental desserts and also arabic ones such as kunafah, Raha bil ashta, mamoul & many more.
The staff members are very friendly and upon our visit we were guided on the restaurant layout and offerings. Restaurant is great for family brunches.
Address: Manzil Downtown, Ground Floor, Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, The Old Town, Downtown Dubai, Dubai, UAE
Contact: 04 5509334

Boulevard Kitchen - Manzil Downtown Dubai Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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McDonald’s Hand Gesture Campaign

Ramadan is the most significant event for Muslims around the world. Abstaining from food and water from dawn to dusk is the pattern followed by observers.

Brands invest in heavy advertising during this period & take this opportunity to promote food products through various mediums. It’s not an incorrect practice to promote food products & related services during fasting hours. However, innovative campaigns always work well as they stand out from the crowd.

One such noticeable campaign launched last year was by McDonald’s UAE. Their “No distractions” billboard was appreciated by many. This campaign garnered positive responses and resulted in launch of a similar campaign this Ramadan known as ‘The Hand Gesture Campaign’

McDonald’s has set a perfect example for how marketing is done in this era. There has been a shift of focus from just product advertising to consumer oriented marketing. ‘The Hand Gesture Campaign’ focuses on respecting Muslims observing Ramadan by keeping the food displayed on outdoor mediums to a minimum. What’s interesting to observe is that this campaign too like the former one continues to focus on theme of being respectful in holy month of Ramadan.

‘The Hand Gesture Campaign’ includes digital billboards which show empty hands “recreating” a burger before iftar & then gets replaced by the same hands holding a burger close to Iftar time. These hands can also be seen on some static billboards and scattered across panels around the country.

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Another aspect focused in this year’s campaign is diversity. From details such as hands used in ads across to sharing Ramadan stories from people of different ethnicities, all have been covered. The Ramadan stories shared on their Instagram McDonald’s UAE  are personal experiences by actual people. These experiences & memories are not only heartwarming but also gives an insight from various perspectives. This clever campaign creates instant connectivity between the brand & the audience with little focus on the product itself.

McDonald’s hand gesture campaign revolves around their latest offering which is the Ramadan meal. Exclusively designed for UAE, this meal includes a choice of burger, refreshing McFizz with Vimto Flavor, delicious Date custard Pie  & Nuggets all for the price of AED25. Being a vegetarian I never actually get to try out Ramadan meals but this time McDonald’s has covered the same too. Their choices do include vegetarian burgers as well! Love how detailed their strategy is. This makes a difference and allows products to penetrate amongst various segments of the market.

Have you spotted this campaign recently? What are your thoughts on the same? Do write to me in comments below.

 

 

 

Salads & More At Richy’s

As I always say, dining in JLT is fun now that’s because there are so many options! One of delicious options is Richys that serves wraps salads and smoothies all day long!
I tried the following salads, some custom made and some of their in house specials.
Zippy Tofu salad with goma dressing is,a must try as its zingy and I love the addition of edamame beans to it.
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The Krunchy kale salad, again what a delicious combination with sweet potato and feta giving that creaminess.
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My diy salad ( tricolored fusilli/grilled portebello mushrooms/ sundried tomato/corn/zucchini/ olives/Mozzarella/basil pesto) not low carbohydrate dish but really filling and it’s perfect for a light lunch.
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They do offer delicious soups too. My favorite was the tomato and basil soup. Not a fan of fried crunchies but it adds a good crunchy element to the dish.
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They have interesting wraps as well. What I tried was their veggie wrap which I replaced the feta with halloumi. My only concern was that the dressing of the wrap was a bit salty.
Coming to the desserts, I absolutely loved the fresh strawberry cheesecake. It not overtly sweet but the right amount of sweet.
Overall, Richys is a really good option for those looking to try new and healthy salad combinations. Also those who love DIY-ing own wraps and salads is a great idea!
Find more about Richys on Richy's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Contact them on 800742497 for orders

A Cool Hangout Spot – Dip N Dip

Coming back from a rough day at work, my colleagues and I stopped over at Dip N Dip, Jumeirah in search of some chocolate-y goodness.
Ended up trying their famous brownie crepe which was super soft and delicious! Topped with Belgium chocolate this warm treat is perfect for a cold and windy day. Apart from the brownie crepe, we also tried out the waffle stick which was a bit chewy and strawberries dipped in milk chocolate, a sort of low carb option.
Dip N Dip is a casual dine in/takeaway place. Red and white runs in their decor which are the colors seen in their logo as well. The staff were courteous and smiling throughout the service.
If you are a chocolate lover, this place is a must visit. Dip N Dip has wide variety of crepes, bakery items and ice creams. A cozy hangout place with chocolate fountain for view.
Excuse the sorry image, our phones were as drained of energy as us.
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Cost : AED 80
Location: Reem Mall, Near Emirates NBD, Jumeirah Beach Road, Jumeirah 3, Dubai
View menu on Dip N Dip Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Revlon Eyes, Cheeks + Lips Palette Review

I am all in for beauty products that offer convenience. Generally I don’t carry a lot of makeup but when it’s meetings/office events I require to do a quick makeover to my face. In such scenarios a palette that offers all in one option works really well which is why when Revlon released their Eyes, lips and cheek palette I was very much interested in trying it out.
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Coming to the palette, it’s compact and easy to carry around. I received this kit from Revlon team for reviewing and this is the Romantic Nudes 100 set. The palette mentions that the shades are universally flattering.
Features:
• Includes mirror and mini applicators

My review

Eyes – The top two shades are shimmering shades, very light and not very pigmented. On the other hand the remaining shades are a bit promising because once you start applying the color is visible. The darker shades are decently pigmented, very build-able and blend-able. I would highly recommend to use a good primer as the base to build your look and to make these eye shade last longer ( I used Nyx primer) The mini sponge applicator given along with the product is okay to use. You can expect these shades to last at least 4-5 hours without fading out.
Lips: The two shades given at the left are lipsticks. One is slightly towards coral, it’s buttery and I loved this shade even without adding the lipgloss. The other shade is a light plum-ish color. Both are great shades, one for day and night look. There is a lipstick applicator with the palette but I used my finger which was easier as the lipsticks have a very smooth texture. The lip glosses are great too! Gives lips a healthy sheen and not too sticky.
Cheeks: The blush powder comes with a tiny and cute blush brush. Honestly, I didn’t find this blush helpful at all. I applied it several times but couldn’t see the color on my cheeks. It’s a very light shade and I have a pale/wheat-ish skin on which there was no effect.
Pros: 
  • All in one compact palette
  • Mirror included
  • Easy to carry
  • Can create multiple looks, day and night
  • Darker  eye shadow shades are more towards matte
  • Shades to suit any skin tone
Cons:
  • The palette doesn’t have any cover for the lipsticks which are liquid. The powders tend to fall on the lipsticks
  •  Inconsistencies in pigmentation of shades
  • Eye shadows requires a lot of blending
  • Cost 
Revlon Eye,lips and cheeks palette is available through Desert cart at AED 55, I haven’t seen these at drugstores yet.

Restaurant Review: A Riot Of Colors At Carnival By Tresind

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Is it right to describe fine dining experience as magical? no I didn’t get transported any new land  but a Carnival itself! Carnival by Tresind is based on post modern Indian cuisine. This new restaurant in town has made the game only tougher for its competitors as they offer some great dishes and the creativity levels have doubled! Below is my detailed account of the 14 course chef’s tasting menu (vegetarian) my view on the decor and excerpts of chat with Chef Vinu.

On our arrival, we were greeted with bubbles which instantly liven up the child in you and makes one smile. Our server, Mr Himanshu a cheerful and equally enthusiastic chap set to explain us the courses, heightening our suspense as each course arrives.

Prior to courses we were served the Happy Halloween. Essentially a kulcha stuffed with pumpkin which was baked with spices. I wasn’t too excited with this one as I found the taste to be very average.

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The amuse bouche, Makhan Phal stole the show! Cacao butter hive topped with avacado lime cream was something I hadn’t tried earlier. it was delightful and the presentation creates instant drama on the table. out came the phones and cameras to capture the beauty.

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Life is short eat dessert first : thats so true isn’t it? what if a dessert comes in the form of chaat? well this was exactly that. Crispy jelabis that were lightly sweetened paired with yogurt mousse, chickpeas and sweet and sour chutney. We loved this so much. as our server explained, the jelabis remained crisp till the end of the dish.

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Game of Corns: at first, the texture of this dish was meaty, like processed soy but the taste was so fresh. We were then explained that this dish consists of coconut milk solids, strained and formed into a cutlets served with goji berry chutney and kewpie mayonnaise.

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My next course came in a tiny cup. it was Dal Cappuccino topped with Truffle ghee and cumin coco cookie. I wasn’t too big of a fan of this one. I just found it too bland and I couldn’t taste the that earthiness of truffle flavor distinctively.

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Morel science: There came a wooden dish which consisted of a wheat crisp and underneath the same was a fritter that was a dedication to the indo Chinese dishes found across the country. the fritter was made out of Gucci mushrooms which are the most expensive mushrooms in the world. Found in the Himalayas, these mushrooms were cooked to perfection and the taste was earthy yet spicy as they were coated with the sauces.

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Palak paneer: palak paneer as a appetizer? i inquired to my server and he just smiled at me. I definitely knew there was something he wasnt disclosing. when the dish arrived, I was surprised to see a toasted bun topped makhani sauce, cottage cheese mousse and julienne of fried spinach. We loved this!

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Just when we thought we are almost done, a gentleman dressed as a worker comes by our table and opens his tool kit. At first I was perplexed and then the chef in workers clothes explains that he is going to transform a worker’s meal into fine dining dish. quickly he pulls out a halved bun and adds spices, chutneys and the potato fritter (vada) topped with micro herbs and chilli. the chef waited till we tried the result of this vada pav service and joked of how it needs to be eaten only with hands and no forks. This dish is a bit messy but fun!

Our next dish to try is the Malai barfee gola, a palate changer and light dish with absolutely no presentation. doesnt need one too as it’s purpose was served. This is a litchi granita infused wit raspberry and rosewater.

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Onto our main courses, in no time my table was filled with dishes presented in a beautiful manner. we had Gol Hatti and Not just butter Chicken! the Gol Hatti is a dish inspired by a dish called palak chole found in streets of Chandni Chowk. this dish is served with bread like kulcha and is presented beautifully. Our second main course, Not just butter Chicken is a rich and creamy dish with Soya cutlets in a gravy. we preferred the latter as it was more flavorful. served with fresh breads, all of course made in house.

Our next course was the desserts and my most favorite part of tasting.

My dessert, Chat Walla is a dessert I will remember for a very long time. Spot on with the presentation, mango puree piped artistically across the dish, small and crisp fritters (boondi) , the parfait set in a scooped out guava topped with dehydrated strawberry powder. I was immediately transported back to my time in India where a street vendors sell masala(spicy) guava in summers which are juicy and tangy. This dessert is purely for fruit lovers, my guest didn’t enjoy it but I loved it for the creativity. the only wway to enjoy the dish is to try it with every element on the plate rather than just having a spoonful of parfait itself.

My guest’s dessert, Go bananas served in a basket over banana leaves. This dessert is essentially banana three ways or more so paired with different elements. A warm caremelised banana served alongside toffee panna cotta topped with  crisp tuile Banana ice cream with crunchy bits. I lover this one too! Only flaw was the plating as it was in a deep basket. All elements served a purpose in the dish and it is perfectly balanced with no element bring overly sweet.

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At the end of our meal we were served miracle berry which was truly a fun thing to try. So at first I was asked to suck the lemon which was obviously sour and then I was asked to chew on the miracle berry. after which again I tried the lemon and it was sweeter rather than sour. the taste lasts up to ten minutes.

Along with our lunch we were served two cocktails both alcohol based. Mine was mystery tea, presented stunningly by the bartender. There is a play of dry ice with drink served in a tea cup poured out of a Japanese tea pot. the drink consists of elder flower, dried raspberry and vodka. a strong cocktail but really well paired with the dishes. my guest’s cocktail was Whiskey based drink paired with cinnamon and spices. I preferred my drink over the latter.

ambiance: The mascot of the Carnival is the humble lamb. As it is the meat eaten nationwide right from north to south. No two drink coasters are same on the table and so are the glasses. This has been done on purpose to break the norms in fine dining. besides the same, the color of chairs matches the color of the ribbon. I personally couldn’t understand the requirement of copper trees incorporated with the theme but with dark walls it did actually look beautiful. There is so much detailing with masquerade masks at one wall to hand painted kites on the copper toned trees.

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On my detailed chat with Chef Vinu,  I was been informed that they are willing to cater clientele of all sorts as long as the same is mentioned during reservations. they personally ensure that each and every guest feels comfortable dining at Carnival by Tresind. Besides the same, every dish is carefully thought and months have taken to perfect the dishes. Constant changes in menu are expected as the chefs are always testing and pairing unusual ingredients for dishes. As I pointed out to Chef Vinu that majority of their clientele were locals with their families or some even with their friends celebrating occasions. To which I was informed that they enjoy the twist of taste to Indian cuisine and ever since the opening they have seen many non Asian nationalities dining at the restaurant.

Thanks to Passion F &B for the invite. Also thanks to Chef Vinu, Chef Himanshu Saini and our lovely server Mr. Himanshu for taking good care of us.

For reservations contact  04 2759071 

Visit  Zomato for ratings Carnival By Tresind Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Restaurant Review: Bringing Back the 60’s with Ayam Elezz

The cuisine at Ayam Elezz showcases the golden era of Lebanon which was the 60s. This era bought major changes to culture of the country and the cuisine. Freshest fruits, vegetables and nuts are used in preparation of dishes which are pleasing to the eye and palate. A treat for vegetarians await at Ayam Elezz, keep reading to find out more..

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Located at The Mall Jumeirah, this restaurant has the quirkiest decors I have come across. Designed as if you are entering a Lebanese house in the 60’s. The wall outside the restaurant has become a favorite for everyone to pose on, while the suitcase that serves as the doorstop makes you chuckle. There are also items like the old TV cabinet, typewriter and wallpapers which again make you feel like you are invited to a Lebanese home.

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We were given an option to be seated outside which is again aircon area but for shisha smokers. We chose to sit inside as even the the view is fabulous as you can view the wild wadi and Burj Al Arab but we didn’t want to be in the shisha area.

Coming to the dishes, a wide spread was laid out in front of us and I was startled on where to begin. The complimentary lebneh and brioche bread were delicious and along with that some tabbouleh that was hand chopped and blended with sumac.

We were offered array of mezzes right from hummus to mhammara which were all delicious but the two must try dishes are the kibbeh lentil & Fattet Bateinjein. The kibbeh lentil is a vegetarian twist to the meat kibbeh. It’s a Gluten free and healthy option for those on diet. As far as the Fattet Bateinjein is concerned, it’s eggplant in yogurt and its delicious! Also you need to try the halloumi cheese that is prepared so deliciously, served with fresh pita bread and slices of tomato. Halloumi is pure heaven!

They do offer a wide range of grills as well, however since my guest and I are both vegetarians we opted for manakish to try instead. We tried the zaatar and cheese and Zaatar Jabali which were both hot and fresh!

For drinks we tried the Ayam Ellez cocktail that is a meal in itself, it is topped with fresh ashta cream and nuts. It’s basically a cocktail of the 60’s in Lebanon. We also tried the lemonade which is made by hand squeezed lemons and also the the pomegranate juice which was perfectly sweet and had no sugar added to it. I highly recommend these three drinks because they were very refreshing and all are squeezed by hand.

Our desserts were an absolute treat. We tried the kunefe and halwat al jibn. I wasn’t to happy with the kunefe served here as I like the vermicelli one more than the semolina topped one but it was cheesy goodness. The halwat al jibn was my favorite, stuffed with fresh cheese this milk pancakes are almost like the Indian Malai sandwich. Would recommend to cut down on the sugar syrup served alongside the desserts as it overpowers the dishes.

Overall,  the food is fresh, made with love and I adore the decor so much! It’s really not like a typical order and go mall restaurant but there is a lot if thought put into it. Besides that the prices are reasonable and the service is prompt. They have also introduced platters for lunch and breakfast which look so tempting and I will be back to try them soon.

Thanks to the manager, Ms Rana for the hospitality and invite.

Contact Ayam Elezz at 04 4376069

Ayam Elezz Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato