Traditional culinary experiences: Turkish Village Restaurant

Shereen Shabnam

Recently we ventured to the Award-winning Turkish Village Restaurant to sample their diverse range of unique authentic culinary experiences that included especially curated dishes blending authentic Turkish ingredients and flavors, complete with the much-loved art of Turkish hospitality.

We discovered that the restaurant offers so much more than just good food as we entered the Jumeirah branch of the restaurant. Starting from a retail experience to a selection of delectable food with seasonal flavours and impeccable presentation, we tried different inspiring food concepts, and each was a fun and social culinary experience best enjoyed in a group.

The Turkish Village Restaurant has a capacity for large events that can accommodate over 500 guests over three levels and can curate menus that can be custom made to suit any corporate or family event. When I visited with family, we opted for the a la carte menu as we wanted to try different dishes and each one was better than the next. My favourite was a metre long ‘pide’ or pastry which came with interesting fillings of meat and cheese fresh from the oven.

More recently we ventured with there with a group of friends and tried the Turkish mangal or barbecue that includes staple starters with meat marinated with spices overnight. We selected tender marinated chicken, succulent lamb, beef, kebabs and sausages and prepared the meal together at grill tables that come equipped with a private charcoal barbeque and a custom-made extractor.

The mangal meal was served with salads, fresh bread out of the oven, sauces, cold starters and water or ayran. The Mangal experience can be enjoyed for lunch and dinner at AED 50/- per person that includes charcoal, water, ayran, salad and cold starters on the table while the chicken and meat can be availed from the in-house butcher starting at AED 110/- per kg to share.

We then ended the meal on a sweet note with traditional Turkish sweets that include kunafa, baklava stuffed with cream and pistachios and the creamiest rice pudding in the city. This was the best Turkish culinary experience we have had in Dubai as it offers an authentic dining experience at par with what we normally find in Istanbul or other parts of Turkey.

Before leaving the restaurant, we stopped at the gourmet grocer named Bakkal (Meaning Grocery store in Turkish) on the ground floor for retail therapy. Bakkal features a diverse range of fresh, dried and frozen goods imported from Turkey every week and is a dream store for party lovers looking to get ready snacks that can be prepared easily for large families and intimate parties.

The three level Turkish Village Restaurant is located strategically in Jumeirah 1 (across La Mer, next to Spinneys and the Jumeirah Grand Mosque). It offers a laid-back memorable and interactive dining experience, within a warm and welcoming ambience and is also a one-stop shop for artisanal Turkish products. We left with bags full of Turkish delights and naturally, I got some extra desserts to enjoy at home later.

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Parivar Restaurant opens doors at Al Raha Mall

Parivar Restaurant is now open at Al Raha Mallserving wholesome and heartwarming North Indian, Pakistani and Nepalese cuisine featuring chaat, tandoori, veg and non-veg dishes, soups and desserts made with fresh handpicked ingredients and authentic spices.

Mr. SadiqAfridi, Mall Manager at Al Raha Mall said, “We are excited to add Parivar Restaurant as an additional F&B feature for Al Raha Mall as it is unique in offering Indian, Pakistani and Nepalese in one setting and offers an additional advantage for the nearby community by providing delivery services for their convenience. Al Raha Mall is committed to bringing a variety of dining options to enhance the retail experience for shoppers.”

Waqas Sheikh, Managing Partner, Parivar Restaurant adds, “Our chefs bring guests an enjoyable dining experience by offering authentic dishes that are always made fresh for dine in as well as bespoke catering services for both private and corporate events. We are also opening Baan Thai Restaurant in Al Raha Mall where the famous Chef Supaniya from Bangkok will be preparing mouthwatering authentic Thai cuisine. We look forward to providing the best service to Al Raha Mall patrons and the neighboring community.”

With ample parking and a host of retail and service outlets, Al Raha Mall is an ideal mall for busy professionals and families looking for a one stop venue to eat, shop and play.

Other Al Raha Mall outlets include, Lulu Express Supermarket, Brands4U, Dubai Library, Borders bookshop, Al Raha Cinema, Sparky’s, Damas Jewellery, Aster Optical, Tag World, Orlando Sports, ELC, Nayomi, H collection. Services include Etisalat, Du, Al Ansari Exchange, Jumassan Salon, Young Musician, Photo studio, ATM’s and Green Land Flowers. Food lovers can enjoy Caesar’s Restaurant & Confectionery, Tche Tche Boulevard Restaurant, Subway, Papa Murphy’s, Charley’s, Burger Hut, Soulful Restaurant, Samurai Japanese Restaurant, Sapori Veri Restaurant. Coffee connoisseurs can head to Fresh Bakes Café, Bonjour Bonsoir Café, Gloria Jeans and Orange Wheels.

Soy Express now at Al Raha Mall

Al Raha Mall

SOY EXPRESS, a quick dine in, home delivery and take away concept serving Chinese and Thai specialties is now open at Al Raha Mall serving Asian delights such as Hakka noodles, dim sums, spring rolls, fried rice, seafood, meat and vegetables cooked in the most popular Asian sauces.

Mr. SadiqAfridi, Mall Manager at Al Raha Mall said, “Soy Express are masters in bringing fresh and hot Asian delights to satisfy cravings for Asian food and their quick service is perfect for Al Raha Mall patrons from the nearby offices who are normally looking for a quick lunch in between meetings and work obligations.”

With ample parking and a host of retail and service outlets, Al Raha Mall is an ideal mall for busy professionals and families looking for a one stop venue to eat, shop and play.

Other Al Raha Mall outlets include, Lulu Express Supermarket, Brands4U, Dubai Library, Borders bookshop, Al Raha Cinema, Sparky’s, Damas Jewellery, Aster Optical, Tag World, Orlando Sports, ELC, Nayomi, H collection. Services include Etisalat, Du, Al Ansari Exchange, Jumassan Salon, Young Musician, Photo studio, ATM’s and Green Land Flowers. Food lovers can enjoy Caesar’s Restaurant & Confectionery, Tche Tche Boulevard Restaurant, Subway, Papa Murphy’s, Charley’s, Burger Hut, Soulful Restaurant, Samurai Japanese Restaurant, Sapori Veri Restaurant. Coffee connoisseurs can head to Fresh Bakes Café, Bonjour Bonsoir Café, Gloria Jeans and Orange Wheels.

Ethnic flavours attract food lovers to Moodgood Restaurant at Al Foah Mall

Embark on a culinary journey sampling wholesome traditional regional cuisine

Al Foah Mall welcomesMoodgood Restaurant as it brings new energy to the mall F&B experience, serving traditional Yemeni and Saudi cuisine with an aromatic blend of ethnic flavours, regional spices and fresh ingredients.

Moodgood Restaurant specialty includes madghut – a flavourful rice and meat dish, salads, grilled chicken, fish and shrimps as well as kunafa with cream or cheese at reasonable prices.

Mohammed Al Rakhees, General Managerof Moodgood Restaurant said, “We look forward to welcoming guests at Al Foah Mall to experience a traditional menu that reflects the true essence of regional dishes coupled with the warm Arab hospitality. We are delighted to be part of this community and hope to offer residents a taste of our local cuisine.”

Irfan Idaris Kundawala, General Manager, Al Foah Mall said, “Moodgood Restaurant brings traditional local flavours to our guests in a comfortable and serene setting, so they can unwind, enjoy good food and great company before and after their retail experience.”

Al Foah Mall is located within easy access to Dubai and Abu Dhabi and provides food lovers a diverse mix of restaurants, coffee shops and food court outlets under one roof.

KAMAT SHIREEN launches Gifting packages for the festive season

Premium Mix (1 Kg).jpg

Inspired by the traditional local and international customs of gifting sweets and snacks on special occasions and the end of year festive season, KAMAT SHIREEN has on offer beautifully packaged delights for guests hosting parties to close 2016 or when visiting parties to see the end of year with friends and family.

Under the creative direction of Irfan Gaya, Managing Director of KAMAT SHIREEN, end of year gift boxes and baskets include sweets, savoury products, and can be customised as per customer requirements.

For customers with a sweet tooth, KAMAT Shireen offers ice cream, sweets such as Gulab Jamun, Mango Kalakand that melts in your mouth, colourful and extravagant Anarkali, Barfis, Katlis, Laddoos and Pedas.

Savoury snack connoisseurs will find a perfect mix of savoury, spicy, tangy and sweet, to create an array of delectable Namkeen, including Navratan Mixture and Khatta Meetha are bound to awaken your senses.

Kamat SHIREEN also offers gift vouchers that make excellent wedding gifts, corporate gifts and birthday presents. The brand also offers B2B business opportunities to restaurants, hotels and Cafes looking to incorporate traditional snacks, sweets and ice cream into their menus.

Gift boxes and hampers can be prepared between AED 75/- to AED 150/-.

Ready for International Tea Day with Kenyan Tea

 

Shereen Shabnam Tea

Courtesy: Kibenda Tea Estate in Nairobi

I love tea parties….it is the perfect laid back way one can catch up with friends and family and I love the fact that I have a tea house right across my home near Citywalk. But how much do we know about the tea we drink. When it comes to tea, one usually associates the hot beverage with India, Sri Lanka or China. But did you know that, according to the leading online statistics portal Statistica, Kenya exports more tea than any of these countries above? In light of International Tea Day on 15th December, here are some fun facts you probably did not know about Kenyan tea.

1. Tea was first brought to Limuru, Kenya by by G.W.L Caine in 1903 from India. A short drive from Nairobi, you can visit the Kiambethu plantation in Limuru and take a tour of this historical site.

2. Many know that tea is ‘chai’ in Hindi and Urdu; but did you know that it is also called ‘chai’ in Swahili? That means that when you say ‘chai tea’, you are actually saying ‘tea tea’.

3. Over 60 per cent of Kenyan tea is produced by smallholder farmers. That means when you’re drinking tea from Kenya, you are most likely supporting the local tea farming industry!

4. Kenya’s top export is tea, with $915 million worth of tea exported around the world in 2013. Kenya mostly exports tea to Egypt, Sudan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the UK and the UAE. In recent years, Angola, Vietnam, Philippines, Azerbaijan, South Korea, Czech Republic, Myanmar and South Sudan are slowly joining the Kenyan tea bandwagon.

5. Kenya mostly produces black tea but in recent years, the market has begun to diversify with green teas, white teas and even white matchas.

Festive Hampers from Mastihashop

Gift boxes at Mastihashop

Gift boxes at Mastihashop

Mastihashop presents a wide range of gift boxes and hampers for Ramadan, Eid, for corporate giveaways and for all the popular festive occasions like birthdays, house warming and picnics. Gift hampers can be customized and presented with the company’s branding.

The exotic Mastihashop collection reflects the modernization of traditional food remedies and include Mastihq infused chocolates, sweets, savoury products, cosmetics and skincare, pharmaceuticals, gifts as well as exotic coffee, ice cream, desserts and milkshakes.

Corporate gifts

Mastihashop, offers clients the perfect bite, the perfect gift and a cosy hangout for coffee, is located in the Aswaaq Building in Jumeirah 1, Al Wasl Road.

Mansoor Al Bastaki of Mastihashop

Mansoor Al Bastaki of Mastihashop

Under the creative direction of the parent brand, Mastihashop in the UAE has evolved with Mansoor Al Bastaki, Founder and Director of Mastihashop in UAE at the helm. According to him, patrons and discerning UAE residents like to experience exotic food and products they normally find during their travels at their doorstep.

Mastiha/Mastic is a natural and rare tree resin, which has proven to have health benefits with its anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory qualities. Any raw Mastiha found around the world originates in only one place in Greece, in Chios Islands and Mastiha Shop is the sole supplier of the Mastiha raw resins.

 

A Jazzy Culinary Affair

Abu Dhabi is hitting all the right notes with the launch of JazzArabia the Middle East’s first jazz radio station at p&c by Sergi Arola, creating a unique ambience at the hotel as the new restaurant complements food and beverage offerings with distinct sounds that gets guests in the mood before their arrival with the sounds of the night and then following them home.

Top radio talent broadcast live from a custom-built studio inside this Spanish tapas restaurant by acclaimed two-starred Michelin chef, Sergi Arola. Through broadcasting a blend of mainstream, Arabic and Latin jazz music, JazzArabia can be streamed live or via the JazzArabia app, which is available for download from the app store on all smart devices.

As a Fijian I love dining with live easy music and welcome JazzArabia.com bringing a new element to the overall dining experience that perfectly complements the sharing concept at the restaurant.

The quirky infusions served at p&c by Sergi Arola certainly goes well with the casual, easy listening blend of music. With the growing social dining concept in the Emirate, trying new experiences with food and music is always welcome for food connoisseurs.

JazzArabia will also air the works of jazz legends, such as Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, and the more contemporary Michael Bublé and Diana Krall, meaning there is something for everyone. Leslie Nachmann, a world gold medal winner at the New York International Radio Awards, will be chief presenter. She currently presents on JazzRadio Berlin and on regional and national TV in Germany.

Artists featured on JazzArabia include all-time greats Frank Sinatra, alongside such contemporary jazz stars as Michael Bublé, Diana Krall and Natalie Cole. Crossover artists will include Amy Winehouse and Sade.

Latin greats will include Gilberto Gil, Brazil’s former culture minister, Tito Puente, Astrud Gilberto and Chick Corea. Arabic jazz will feature such artists as Ahmed Abdul-Malik, Anouar Brahem and Rabih Abou-Khalil. Rather than having separate programmes for each genre, JazzArabia will mix the different music styles.

p&c by Sergi Arola is a signature restaurant at Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi. A first in the Middle East for the Michelin-starred Chef Sergi Arola, the standalone restaurant brings an eclectic experience, pitting cutting-edge modernity against a traditional backdrop of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.

Shereen Shabnam

NEW EXECUTIVE SOUS CHEF FOR TRADERS HOTEL, QARYAT AL BERI

Traders Hotel Shereen Shabnam

Food lovers in Abu Dhabi can now head to Traders Hotel to experience culinary delights by Ricky Rimenda Agustiana, the new Executive Sous Chef who brings more than seventeen years of varied culinary experience to the capital from across the globe.
Prior to the appointment he was at Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi, at the award-winning Pearls and Caviar. With previous Shangri-La experience Ricky knows the standard that has to be upheld throughout the company and outlets.
Ricky comes to Abu Dhabi with five years of experience from Dubai, UAE, where he worked in a luxury 5-star resort and excelled in his role. Before relocating to the Middle East, Ricky worked in Asia and the USA where he gained invaluable culinary experience. Ricky started his career in Singapore and Indonesia, before relocating to New York. Following two years in the Big Apple, Ricky was promoted to Chef de Partie in the sister company in Florida. Let me know what you thought of his culinary creations.

Ocean Spray Craisin Recipes for Ramadan

As the editor of 3 Menus of the Master coffee table cookbooks, I love getting recipes and would one day like a career that keeps me longer in the kitchen. This Ramadan, check out some awesome recipes from Ocean Spray – delectable!

Shereen Shabnam Craisin Muffins

Cranberry muffin

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 1 tbs Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 1 Egg (large)
  • 4 tbs Butter
  • 1 Cup Cranberries

Method

  • Keep the butter at room temperature to soften
  • Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F)
  • Mix butter and sugar
  • Slowly add eggs until all items are properly bonded
  • Add all dry ingredients
  • Add cranberries
  • In muffin tray decide mixture into 1/4 cup batches
  • Bake for 15 minutes

Cranberry and Oatmeal Cookie

Ingredient

  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 cup Flour
  • 1 cup Butter
  • 2 cups Instant Oats
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda

Method

  • Keep the butter out at room temperature to soften it.
  • Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F)
  • Sift the flour and baking soda.
  • Combine all ingredients together in large bowl and mix with hands.
  • Roll small balls with dough and place on baking tray with baking paper.
  • Press down the balls and bake for 10-15 minutes.

Shereen Shabnam Goats Cheese and Craisins Chutney

Goat Cheese and Cranberry Chutney

Ingredient

  • 4 Apples
  • 5 Cups Cranberries
  • 1 Red Onion
  • 1/2 Cup Dates
  • 1 Cup Orange Juice
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
  • 1/3 Cup White Vinegar
  • Baguette Bread
  • Goat Cheese

Method

  • Chop onion, apples and dates.
  • Sauté onion, apples, dates and cranberries with butter in a deep pot.
  • Add sugar, spices, vinegar and orange juice to pot.
  • Bring to boil then reduce flame and let simmer until chutney consistency
  • Cut baguette bread into thin slices and sprinkle with olive oil.
  • Bake in the oven until dry.
  • Cut goat cheese into rounds.
  • Put goat cheese on cracker and broil in oven.
  • Garnish with chutney.

Cranberry and Eggs “En Cocotte”

Ingredient

  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 tbs Cream
  • 2 Slices of Beef Bacon
  • 1 tbs of Cranberries
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  • Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F)
  • Chop the bacon and cranberries.
  • In a pan cook bacon and cranberries together.
  • Strain bacon and cranberries and let it cool.
  • Whisk eggs, cream and seasoning.
  • Mix all ingredients together and put in an individual oven pan.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Shereen Shabnam Salmon with Craisin Salsa

Roasted Salmon with Cranberry Salsa

Ingredient

  • 1 Cup Cranberries
  • 1 tbs lime juice
  • 1/4 bunch of coriander
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 1 Salmon filet

Method

  • Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F)
  • Chop onion, cranberries and coriander.
  • Mix with olive oil and lemon juice.
  • Season salmon and seal on the pan.
  • Finish cooking salmon in the oven.
  • Garnish salmon with cranberry salsa.

Cranberry and Almond Rice Pilaf

Ingredients

  • 1 tbs Olive Oil
  • 3/4 Onion
  • 1/2 Cup Cranberries
  • 1 1/2 Cups Basmati Rice
  • 3 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 1/4 Cup Slivered Almonds
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Method

  • In large pot sauté onions with olive oil until they become translucent.
  • Add cranberries and rice and stir until rice is covered in oil.
  • Add chicken broth and seasoning.
  • Bring to boil and cover.
  • Reduce heat to simmer and keep until rice is cooked (about 22 minutes).
  • Stir in almonds.
  • Garnish with cranberries.