Monday, February 18, 2019

Taste Buds

On Sunday myself and The Geordie one took a little trip down to real Dubai to check out the newly opened Stables Bar and Restaurant. After a traumatic time trying to find the place, and a helpful valet driver we headed into the Stable!!!  quite literally!!!

The Stables is the brainchild of local resident Alex Bracken who has his feet firmly established in the hospitality industry in Dubai.  Even from the carpark I knew were going to enjoy our experience, the amazing stained glass windows that adorn the entrance will impress anyone never mind people who are passionate about the Equines.

The ground floor basically is a mock farm shop, then as you go up to the first floor you are welcomed into the Stables Bar, which is a mock stable!  it's really amazing the attention to detail that has been invested into the Bar, which has paddocks/stables to dine in and tables all individually named after famous race horses!

On the second floor is the Racecourse Restaurant, a fabulous open area with a warm feel to it, with amazing gothic chandeliers hanging from the ceilings, the tables this time are all named after famous racecourses, of course the main feature being The Meydan area.  The entire building has an amazing atmosphere, you really do feel that you are at a race meeting! 

As the main restaurant isn't open yet, it's due to open to celebrate Valentines Day we decided to take a "stable" in the bar and order some lunch.  The Geordie One yet again opted for fish and chips which were served with Mancunian Caviar!!! Let's see if any of you can guess what that is.  I had the Chicken Ceasar Salad, and Mitten had a pork sausage sandwich.  Absolutely no complaints whatsoever about the food, served quickly, all fresh ingredients, and reasonably priced.  The Fish and Chips are only 50 dhs, the Ceaser Salad was 30 dhs.

The Bar has an extensive collection of beers and The Geordie One tried out the Belle Vue Kriek which is a lambic fruit beer from Belgium, it tasted of cherries!!  I was reliably informed that a pint will only set you back 25 dhs, which for Dubai is pretty cheap. 

Anyway The Geordies approve The Stables 100% and we would both like to take this opportunity to wish Alex, Chef Romain and all the team good luck, we really do think you've backed a winner!

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We have moved about Dubai quite a few times in recent years, the last move only being over the highway really but it has given me a chance to have a little hunt about Al Barsha.  On New Years Day we visited the Centro Barsha for lunch which was superb, find the article about that here. On my weekly trip up to Lulu I have driven past an Indian Restaurant called Bay Leaf for the last 6 months or so, every time I made a mental note in my mind to give it a try.  Then the summer struck and the dreaded season of the slipped disc saga, not driving didn't help.  Last week I got behind the wheel and headed over to Bayleaf and picked up a menu. We ordered take-away the following evening.

Atilla was wearing his brave pants and went for the Chicken Vindaloo and some onion Bhaji's, I opted for the Chicken Tikka Masala.  Ordering was painless, and the delivery arrived as promised within 40 minutes, and was piping hot, even the naan was hot and fresh!  the food was fabulous, rich in taste, well presented and VERY reasonably priced, the total bill came in at 77 dhs and that included extra rice. 

You have the option of dining in their small restaurant or using their take-away service. You can find their website here and their full menu here.  Enjoy it, we certainly did!!

This article has been especially written for @dubainameshame, he loves a good curry!


It's not often that I get invited anywhere so I was absolutely thrilled to accept an invitation from a friend for lunch at McGettigan's Irish Pub.  I wrote last week about my visit to The Bonnington Tower in Jumeirah Lake Towers and my dining experience in The Cavendish Restaurant. I must live in a bubble because this week I discovered the much talked about McGettigan's Irish Pub at the Bonnington Tower.  I was aware that it was the winner of the What's On 2011, Best Pub Grub award, I was about to find out why.

Winding our way down the stairs to McGettigan's I was surprised at how big the area was and secluded too, which you would think was pretty impossible in an area like Jumeirah Lake Towers. The Pub itself is exactly how you would imagine an Irish Pub to be and I kept thinking of that drama filmed in Ireland, Ballykissangel.  The lunch time menu is comprehensive and has something for everyone, there was too much to choose from if you are craving real pub grub, but it appeared that EVERYONE was ordering the fish and chips, waiters were carrying tray after tray of fish and chips, I was delighted when my "date" ordered them, I went for the more healthy option of an open prawn and avocado sandwich.  The fish and chips were huge and come with massive hand-made chips and mushy peas.  I had a little taste of the fish, it was fabulous!!  My prawn and avocado sandwich didn't disappoint either, loads of prawns!!

There are some firm favourites on their menu, Irish Stew, Pork Bangers and Mash, Full Irish Breakfast with real bacon!! comes in two sizes with a "girly" portion for those not brave enough to take the main one! The sandwich that caught my eye was the Jumbo Breakfast Roll ... pork bacon, pork sausage, egg and mushrooms in a french baguette.

I was so impressed I went back today with The Geordie One, I had the smoked salmon, with roast beets, pea shoot and tartar sauce, and The Geordie One had the fish and chips and there were no complaints from her other than they were huge!

What can I say twice in one week, I must have liked it!!

Thank you McGettigans Pub!

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We had a pretty quiet Christmas, family were back in the Uk this year so we had a BBQ at home, just the three of us.

However for New Years Day I thought it would be nice to have lunch out somewhere instead of slaving in the kitchen making the traditional New Years Day roast.  Since we moved to Al Barsha I had been saying we ought to check out the hotels that are on our doorstep, so I looked up Centro Barsha to see what they had on offer, I was quite pleasantly surprised with their lunch deal so went ahead and booked it.

The Centro Barsha is a small hotel which describes itself and being designed for a new generation of travelling Executives who demand finesse and functionality at reasonable rates.  You can't beat a bit of finesse I have to say. 

The first thing that struck me about the restaurant, C.Taste was how clean and well laid out it was. The staff were all warm and welcoming and made a fuss of Mitten.  There was an excellent selection of salads on the salad bar, the Thai Beef being particularly nice. The selection of main courses was really good though I would say there could have been more choice of vegetables the day we dined.  The lamb tagine was amazing so compliments to The Chef on that one.  I don't think I have been to a Rotana yet that hasn't had a Pasta station, this was no exception, superb fresh pasta with a selection of sauces.  The desserts were the usual array of sweet temptations that you find in the UAE, but I did enjoy the profiteroles immensely.

Lunch set us back 99 dhs a head including soft drinks, if we had wanted the alcohol package that would have been 139 dhs, I don't know anyone who would complain at those prices.  You can find a list of all their theme nights/lunches by clicking on this link.  Will we go back to Centro Barsha? yes too right we will!! going to check out the all you can eat Burger night later this month.

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I wasn't able to make this one but The Toffee One did and this is what she had to say ...



"Towards the end of a very busy December, a few of us decided to take a break from the rush and treat ourselves to a well-earned girls night out.  Although many couldn’t attend due to the time of year, there were still a fair few of us: The Toffee One, The Sparkly One, The Musical One, The Newbie, The Youngster and The Pickled Ones.



Now most of us are no spring chickens anymore so a nightclub or loud smoky environment is just not our thing.  We were looking for something a little bit classy, quiet and relaxing.  We certainly found this at Vantage.



This lovely wine bar can be found on the 5th floor of the hotel and has a large outside seating area with fabulous views over the city.  We chose to start our evening out here despite it being a little chilly. The menu has a varied selection of wines starting at AED 40 a glass.  Sadly there was no fizz at a sensible price but that meant that everyone could choose what she wanted.  It should also be mentioned that as well as the drinks, the staff served an unlimited and very varied selection of nibbles to us all evening so good value indeed!



We chose to move indoors later on as it was getting a little too cold for us who have been here for a long time and ended up staying for far more than the planned 2-3 glasses!



Suffice to say it was a lovely group of ladies and a great time was had by all.  So much so that we decided to make it a regular occurrence although being realistic, we have decided to make it a quarterly event.  It has fallen to The Toffee One to arrange these get-togethers and she has a feeling that it will grow and grow.  Roll on March – now where shall we go?...."



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