>Taste Dubai 2010

>Wowee… What a great Friday we had at Taste Dubai!!!

We had such a blast, it was our first time, we entered at 12noon on the dot and wandered aimlessly not knowing what to do and where to go. Most of the stalls were still busy preparing and cooking their food so we didn’t approach them first. We went into the exhibitors stand first as we needed to go into the shade! We found our favourite cafe, Le Pain Quotidien and they had spreads, dips and samplings of their food all out so we just went for it! Our favourite was the curry chicken and spinach pie. There were loads of other samples but we headed off to other exhibitors.
We enjoy a number of samples of oils and dips with artisan breads, chips, Japanese food, Jamie Oliver chutney and dip range, we got a goodie bag courtesy of BBC Good Food ME. Thank you so much for the cookbook, apron and loads of discount vouchers! It was nice to have met you guys at the show!

We were browsing away, filling up our tummy when we were approached by a lovely lady seeking participants for the Philip’s Cooking School that was on throughout the day. Since we were at a lost and the place was still quiet, we decided to just hit the ground running, agreeing to take part in the first class which was with Chef Gabby Kurz from Magnolia, a Vegetarian Restaurant at Al Qasr Hotel.

We made a delicious Grilled Vegetarian Lasagne with layers of eggplant, courgette, feta, butternut, tomatoes, red capsicum and mesclun salad with a side of foccacia bread all grilled with a lovely lemon, chilli, garlic, olive oil, thyme and rosemary marinate, drizzled with balsamic vinegar and green olives. It was such a great experience, loads of fun and all within the 30min time limit. My husband was under a whole lot of stress, heat and sweat! Poor guy! The dish turned out gorgeous and I will definitely be cooking it again!

So we (or shall I say “I”) chowed down on BOTH the plates, cos my husband will not finish it as he has his eye on desserts for the day. So I finished off both the plates and was so full! Not forgetting, this is at the beginning of the day, with so many other tempting samples and foods on for free/showcased! I was adamant to try them no matter what my stomach tells me otherwise! This is my chance to try good food from expensive restaurants.

It was a hot hot hot day. The temperature was about 36deg C, it was scorching! We were wondering about after finishing the grilled vegetarian lasagne, in search for cooling delicious desserts for my husband. The first stand we stopped at was Verre, by Gordon Ramsay where we picked up the Creme Brulee. It was heavenly. Unfortunately it was eaten before a picture could be taken!

Next up was The Wharf, where they had Seared Scallops, Wagyu Short Ribs and KitKat Brownie on offer.
We ordered the KitKat Brownie and the Wagyu Beef which was slowly stewed in heavy beef juice and stock that came with mashed potatoes and parsip in pan gravy. OMGness, it was lovely!!! The softest, melt-in-your-mouth piece of meat! I’ve heard so much about it, a plate of Wagyu Beef at The Wharf costs AED120, and for a little sampler, it costed us AED30.

So we found a place to sit down under the strong heat and sun, we had drinks with sparkling water and we also found Tiramisu (from Rhodes Mezzanine) and Lemongrass Jelly (from Zeng He’s). They were very refreshing and rich at the same time. I could eat the jelly forever and it was a good day to eat it too!!!

We went back to the Rhodes Mezzanine stand and found Chef Gary Rhodes chatting with fellow foodies. It was such a novelty to be able to see a chef, as this is my first time of meeting a Chef at an event like this. He definitely made an impact to me, as I would want to go and try his food just because he would come down and mingle with the people to promote his restaurant. We got another dessert from his second restaurant in Dubai called Twenty10, an Iced Strawberry with Clotted Cream, a must for someone who hails from Wales. At the same time, we managed to get his autograph and his second in command! Woo Hoo!!

We sat down at the Chef’s Theatre, so see what was going on and we also needed to get out of the sun, where it was Elia on show. It is a greek restaurant at the Majestic Hotel, showcasing Greek Food with a modern twist. It obviously promotes Mediterranean food, the chef made a lovely Seafood Risotto with prawns and muscles. Unfortunately I don’t eat seafood so we didn’t volunteer to be the tester. One volunteer actually told the chef that the dish could do with a little more salt! Whoopsie! The nerve of that lady!!!

Towards the end of the evening, we retired on at the edge of the pond, where we found 2 empty Arabic knitted pillows and enjoyed the rest of the day with a drink and a rest for our tummies. Before that we headed off to Le Pain again, to grab more free samples and I got their cookbook too which I flicked through at their stand and figured, I need to have this book. So I did, so thank you very much to my husband who contributed financially and also Matcha!! It was very dear in price but I have been looking for it for some time now and was reluctant but my husband told me that I should just get it without any qualms so I did. Thank you again baby!

This was the view that we had from our seat, Momotaro, a famous Japanese restaurant which we didn’t get to try. It looks really fancy and exclusive being all the way out in the middle of the pond. We just couldn’t fit anymore in our stomachs. It has been stretched to the ultimate limit!!!

We got reusable bags from Le Pain which is really cute, good to hold all the stuffs we collected throughout the day included 5 magazines!! The staff at Le Pain was really nice and friendly which made the visit to their stand more enjoyable. We both came home happy and stuffed. Wish we could stay longer but they had to prepare and clear for the 2nd sitting which was at 7pm. Can’t wait for next year’s event. We will surely be there!