A Fishy Evening @Alto Mar

Located at the Fisherman Dock at Jumeirah, this is one of the best places I have dined in a long time and was really surprised to know that it is Portuguese!

Ordered for Fresh Catch Shrimps from the Starters, Norwegian Salmon and SeaBream as Main course. The presentation was excellent. The Salmon was served with roasted veggies and fruits along with mashed potato. It tasted very good and was well cooked. My order which was the Seabream came in with baby potatos, olives (YES OLIVES!), capers and crab meat. Since i like spicy dishes i mixed this with some spicy sauce and devoured it like I have never seen food before!!!! The mix was just perfect and could not ask for it to be better.

Ended the amazing meal with some Rasberry with Pistachio Cheesecake which was served in a glass and some Chocolate Fondue. Both the desserts made our tummies smile as there is nothing better than to end the day with a good meal. 

The staff is very friendly and courteous. Except for the ambience which is quite boring and not cozy, I loved everything else about this restaurant and definately will recommend it to all.

Rate : 4.5

Location: Jumeirah Fishing Harbour, Jumeirah 2

Price : Approx 400 for 2

A Dinner Extravaganza

Being a person with limited tummy capacity, I decided to go beyond my health beliefs and try out a Buffet center that is the ‘Talk of the Town’.

As I entered Grand Barbeque Buffet (GBB), I was fascinated to find a lot of people clicking selfies, chatting, families having huge gathering, pleasant ambiance decorated with beautiful chandeliers and comfortable seating . I was introduced to the Head Chef, Mr Akash who went through the array of dishes served here along with the concept behind the restaurant.

The elaborate buffet at GBB serves close to 15 variety of starters including Kebabs, Tikka’s, Paneers and more. It further extends to a huge variety of Veg and Non veg Indian main-courses  along with offering those looking for a difference close to 8 live counters offering Dim sums, Italian food, Chat counter, Chocolate Fondue etc. to name a few. For a very small price customers get to enjoy a great family outing tasting over 100 different variety of food.

What I particularly liked was the fact that they are focused on being healthy as well as most of their desserts are just moderately sweet and they have options for calorie conscious people in the form of desserts as well as salads. Being an ardent fan of home-made pickles, I was extremely impressed seeing close to 16 varieties of home-made pickles which included Mango, garlic, broccoli to name a few.

My Top Picks : Jhinga Masala, Murg Badami, Dal Makhni, Semolina fusion Desert, Dimsums and definitely the Chat Counter and Pickle station

Price : AED 75 on Weekdays and AED 79 on Weekends.

GBB location :Al Mina Road, Next to Ibis Styles
Jumeirah Hotel, Dubai

Hearts: ♥♥♥♥

 

 

DATE Picks: Best ambience restaurants in dubai (Mid range)

1: Elia Greek Restaurant

If the ambience in this place does not impress you then nothing will. One of the most beautiful, romantic place set amidst Mankool at Majestic hotel, Elia caters to Greek food which is very authentic and tasty. A perfect place for a date.

2. Catch

If you are looking to visit a Cool, stylist, trendy place with superb lighting and amazing music then Catch is a must go. Situated at Fairmont hotel shk zayed road, this places oozes positive vibes. Excellent seafood selection. The Bloody mary and ofcourse the ‘Hit me’ dessert is a must try. Good to go with collegues or for a stylish date or just for a girls night out too! 

3. Karma Kafe

Oriental Chandeliers, bohemian cushions, fushia lanterns .. should I say anymore? Set at Souk Al Bahar, this sister concern of Buddha Bar looks beautifully colourful indoors along with amazing music and has a relaxing feel outdoors as it faces the fountain. Sushi is a must try here. 

4. Panini

Who would have thought that such a beautiful place exists in dubai? A true hidden gem situated at Grand hyatt dubai, Panini serves amzing Coffee, Panini’s (obviously!) and the best Cheese Cake I have ever tasted.

5. La Serre Bristo & Boulangerie

A Perfect breakfast date! Situated at Vida hotel downtown, I love the minimalistic and chic interiors and the natural daylight that lights up this place. My personal fav is the salmon bagel with creem cheese! Some items on the menu is very expensive whereas the rest is mid range.

(Some images courtesy google😀)

Budget Friendly Travel to Uttarakhand

Have been wanting to visit this city for almost 5 years and finally made up my plan to just backpack and leave. Planned on a budget trip as I was travelling with my mother & my 2 year old notorious baby. Trip plan was as below.

Del – Rishikesh – Haridwar – Jim Corbett  – Nainital – Delhi – (for a total of 9 days)

Below is the trip Itinerary. The cost was unbelievably reasonable and our stay’s were very cozy and compact.

Hotels chosen for the trip

Rishikesh (2 nights)- Bhandari Swiss Cottage  – This is a very budget hotel with standard rooms but they have a restaurant within their compound with excellent food. It has a very good rating on Trip advisor for being a good budget friendly hotel. If you would like something plush I would suggest Aloha the Ganges.

Jim Corbett Park (2 nights inc Breakfast)The Roar Resort. One of the best resorts at Jim Corbett. Extremely friendly staff and excellent service. Be aware there is no Ala cart menu here and they serve only buffet’s however most of the resorts at Corbett do the same as it is amidst the jungle. The hotel itself will arrange the safari tour as long as they are told about it and paid for in advance.

Nainital , 3 Nights Inc Breakfast (We stayed at Bhimtal as Nainital is extremely crowded and busy)- The Fern Hill Resort. This is a fairly new resort and has managed to bag up to the top level among hotels at Nainital. This is a luxury resort with a beautiful garden for kids to play at, super friendly staff, cozy ambiance and very tasty buffet. Though our trip was budget, we choose this resort only because of its proximity to the rest of the tourist locations and also we wanted to spend New Years in style.

  Note: They do not accept as of now foreign cards so please carry cash or do a bank transfer.

Delhi, (2 Nights with Breakfast ) – The Visaya at South Delhi. Since we wanted to go to places around south Delhi we chose this boutique business hotel which was absolutely flawless and very cost effective. The hotel is in the center of town which is around 10 minutes away from popular shopping malls and markets. Also the hotel has gym facilities, superb breakfast and Ala cart menu.

Places Visited

We hired a car before hand and was recommended by a friend to hire a car from Glacier Travelz . Mr Pradeep who is the owner is one of the best in the business and he gave us a very trustworthy driver (Ravinder) for the full journey. Its quite cost effective and convenient.

Rishikesh / Haridwar  ( 2 Days)

  • We visited Ram Jhula and Lakshman Jhula (we were very disappointed as this beautiful attraction is filled with bikers which makes it difficult for leg commuters to stand and enjoy the beauty of the Ganges)
  • Did a temple tour at Haridwar comprising of Chandi Devi Temple, Maata Devi Temple and Maansa Devi temple. At night we sat by the Ganges and enjoyed the beautiful weather

NOTE: Be sure to visit Chotiwala hotel at Rishikesh (one of the oldest restaurants here) and also have street Pani Poori and Aloo Chat

Jim Corbett  (2 Days)

  • We went for the jungle safari to Jim Corbett national park. This park is divided to 5 zones namely  Bijrani, Jhirna, Dhikala, Dhela and Durgadevi. Safari takes place in the morning  and afternoon and lasts up-to 2.5 hours. Tiger spotting is by luck. We chose Jhirna and didn’t spot any tigers however we spotted Wild Elephants, Peacocks, Deers, Monkeys etc.
  • Visited Corbett museum (house of Jim Corbett) and Corbett Waterfalls both of which is a must see.

Nainital / Bhimtal ( 3 days)

  • Visited Bhimtal Lake, went for boating
  • Mukhteshwar (we can see the snow covered Himalayas from here)
  • Sattal (a union of 7 freshwater lakes into one making it one of most Unpolluted freshwater lakes in india)
  • Nainital ( due to traffic and snowfall we managed only to go to tibitian market) but you can visit Nainin Devi temple, High Altitude Zoo, Eco Cave garden ( not advisable for families with small kids) and Naini lake tour.

Note : Must try restaurant in Bhimtal – Machan Punjabi Dhaba and if you are an adventure junkie then please try the high fly Paragliding from 10 km from Bhimtal.

Delhi (2 nights) – Since most of you have been to Delhi already its not much but we just wanted to shop hence thats all i am writing about below

  • Lotus Temple – A beautiful meditation hall which believes in the faith called Baha’i. According to the Bahá’í Faith’s teachings, the human purpose is to learn to know and to love God through such methods as prayer, reflection, and being of service to humanity. The Bahá’í Faith was founded by Bahá’u’lláh in 19th-century Persia. It was worth the visit.
  • Sarojni Market
  • Select City Walk

Delhi’s must try are their Dodha Barfi (sweet) and their Gol Gappe (pani poori) and other street food.

The total trip (excluding flights and shopping  and food costed the two of us only INR 67000 or AED 3700)

Hope the above helped. If you want me to plan an itinerary for you for Kerala, Uthrakand, Banglore, Dubai or Bangkok / Pattaya please let me know. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pan Asian Roasted Cauliflower salad

Prep time: 15 min
Serves 3

Ingredients

Cauliflower ( cut into florets) 2 cups

Mushrooms – 2 cups

Sprouts – 2 cups

Carrot – 1 sliced

Rocca leaves ( or spinach/ lettuce etc)

Salt, paprika, pepper, thyme

Method

-Cut Cauliflower into florets and boil them with salt for 5 minutes covered. Drain the water and add cold water to the cauliflower and drain after 2 minutes

– In a pan, roast the cauliflowers with 1 tsp oil. Add salt, paprika, pepper and lime juice. Once its brown and roasted remove from pan and set it aside.

– Cut mushrooms, Carrots and add it to the pan. Roast it along with sprouts with salt. Add a pinch of paprika and thyme to this.

Now once the pan mix has cooled down, in a salad bowl add Rocca leaves, add the cauliflower florets and the sprout mixture and mix it well with a dash of olive oil, pepper and lemon juice.

Happy eating.

Note : I added some jalapenos and some tinned Tuna and corn as i love my salads with tuna. 

Fish curry in an earthern pot

Ingredients

Fish – half kg ( king, pomfret or mackrel)

Gin garlic past – 2 -3 tsp

Lemon juice 

Sesame oil – 3 tbsp

Shallots – around 15 finely chopped

Tomato – 3 finely chopped

Garlic – 3-4 pods

Green chilly – 3 slit

Dry red chilly – 2

Curry leaves – 1 stem full

Mustard seeds and Jeera seeds ( 1 tsp each)

Coriander powder – 2 tbsp

Chilly powder – 2 tsp

Fish masala powder (opt) – 2 tsp

Turmeric -1/2 tsp

Tamirind ( small lime sized) mixed with 2 cups of water

Coconut milk – half cup

Jaggery – 1 tsp 

Salt as pet taste

Marination

Marinate the fish with a Gin Garlic paste, salt, chilly powder and lemon juice. Refrigerate it for 4 hours)

Method

Heat oil in a earthern pot in low flame. Splutter mustard and jeera seeds. Increase flame to medium and add dry red chilly and curry leaves. Fry for 30 seconds

Add garlic and green chilly. Then add shallots. Fry them all till golden brown.

Add the chopped tomato. Fry them all together for around 3 to 4 minutes. 

Add turmeric, coriander powder, fish masala powder, chilly powder and salt. Fry till the raw smell goes away and all blends in well.

Add tamirind pulp mix. Cook well for 10 to 15 minutes. Let th gravy thicken and then add the fish ( not: do not add fish if the gravy is not thick). Add salt , Cover and cook for 5 to 7 minutes in low flame. 

After that add coconut milk and jaggery. Mix well and cook covered for another 5 to 10 minutes.

Switch off flame and serve after an hour for best taste results!


Kale and Quinoa Salad

Prep Time : 15 – 20 minutes

Ingredients

Kale leaves ( a full bunch chopped finely)
Finely shredded carrots (optional)                                                                                                 Sliced Cucumbers                                                                                                                                        Pomegranate seeds ( a handful)
1/2 Cup quinoa cooked with Chicken or Veg stock
Small handful finely shredded basil or mint
1 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoons vinegar or lemon juice
Salad Dressing as per your taste buds. (I used Honey Mustard and Garlic herb dressing)         Salt, Pepper and Paprika

Additional option of adding in Scrambled egg’s or cooked Chicken.

The Works 🙂

Cover and cook quinoa in boiling water on low flame for 15 – 20 min until the water has evaporated. (TIP – 1 cup of Quinoa is added to 2 cups of water)

Add Kale, Carrots, Cucumber, Salt and Pepper

Add the olive oil to it and vinegar / Lemon juice mix well

Add quinoa

Put in Salt, Pepper and Paprika powder.

Add dressing of your choice and Mix well. Top it with Pomegranate seeds.kale-salad

Salad Ready 🙂