Sipping & Supping

After tasting Lebanese, Chinese, Indian, and various other Middle eastern foods in Dubai, it was time for a different range of culinary experiences in Abu Dhabi and I had only two days to try them out.

On my first morning we decided to take it easy and have a leisurely start to the day, so our first stop at the Emirates Palace Hotel was close to lunch time. We wandered through the luxurious interior of the hotel and then went out to wander through the grounds.

By lunch time we decided to sample some of the high tea items on the menu at Le Cafe, one of the coffee shops in the lobby of the hotel.

An early High Tea at the Le Cafe in the Emirates Palace Hotel

Both of us decided to try one of the specialty coffees. After some debate I chose the Emirates Palace Cappuccino: This is described as a rich espresso topped with frothy fresh milk and decorated with 24 carat gold flakes.

I have been writing a bit lately about my personal enjoyment of various coffees and my experiments with making my perfect early morning cup. (J is for Java;  and X is for X-ploring the X-Factor in Java). So having not had time on my first visit to Eat! Vancouver 2012,  there  was one thing I specially wanted to check out on my second visit. The coffee-chocolate connection.

On entering  BC Place i headed straight to  the Van Houtte Coffee booth where I thought I might get  some more enlightenment about different blends of coffee. There I wanted to explore what my Coffee Profile was. Did I like my coffee Bold, Velvety or Mellow, and Fruity or Woodsy?  Hmmm. I love my coffee, but I suspect my taste might vary according to mood and time of day.

One of the joys of downtown living is that I can walk easily to events held anywhere from Coal Harbour to English Bay and at our civic theatre complex or sports stadia. This weekend I moseyed down to B.C. Place where the 2012 Eat! Vancouver is on. With my recently acquired K-cup coffee machine and my $12 hand-held milk frother I have elevated my coffee preparation to new levels (J is for Java- and Coffee Addiction) so I was particularly interested to check out the rounds of the Western Canadian Regional Barista Championship that is being featured at Eat! Vancouver this year for the first time.

Because I wanted to leave time to check in at the cooking shows and the Barista contest, I decided to start with a systematic approach to the exhibitor section and do a quick check of what new products were out there and come back later for a more detailed look but somehow I ended up acquiring some stuff, and my bag got really heavy.

Rangoli
1488 West 11th Avenue,
Vancouver
Ph: (604) 736-5711

With an out-of-town visitor who loves Indian cuisine and with tickets to see High Society at the Stanley Theatre, my obvious choice of restaurant was Vijs. But they don't take reservations and there was no way we could get there early enough to get a table, so instead we dropped in next door  to Rangoli, the baby sibling restaurant that also sells packaged and refrigerated ready-to-eat Indian food, from recipes initially developed in Vijs kitchen.

We decided to share an appetizer, a curry and a vegetarian dish to get an overall perspective on the food. Our appetizer choice was  the cauliflower, spinach,onion and potato pakoras with daal. Spicy but not excessively so - I enjoyed them.

As we toured around the city of Dubai, my friend told me that there were excellent examples of cuisine, both Middle Eastern and International, to be found here. We were determined to sample as many as possible different cuisines in the limited time we had. The three restaurants  I visited in Dubai were Wafi Gourmet (featuring Lebanese cuisine) in Dubai Mall,  Zheng He's Restaurant  featuring Chinese fusion cuisine in Madinat Jumeirah  and Khan al Murjan restaurant (featuring Egyptian, Lebanese, Moroccan and Turkish cuisine) at Wafi mall. 

grilled hamour - the local fishWafi Gourmet at Dubai Mall

grape leavesThis meal was with our group of 7 DancersAtSea cruisers who took an afternoon tour with a guide from Arabian Adventures. We had dinner at Wafi Gourmet at the Dubai Mall opposite the spectacular Dubai Fountain.

view of Burj al Arab from the waterwayOn my second day in Dubai, I was lucky to enjoy being shown around the city by my friend Laila who lives in Abu Dhabi and came to Dubai to take me to Abu Dhabi for a visit with her family.  Our plan for the day in Dubai was to spend some time in the Jumeirah area and in the afternoon to visit the Gold and Spice Souks in the older part of the city.

finding bracelets for CJshowing off the "bling"The Madinat Jumeirah Resort is a spectacular resort location which features three hotels, Mina A' Salaam (Harbour of Peace),  Al Qasr (The Palace) Hotel and Dar Al Masjaf with rooms arranged like courtyard houses.

We spent some time wandering around the Madinat Jumeirah Souk.  I found some bracelets and a small jeweled camel to buy for my grand-daughter.

The Abra (water taxi) tours through the waterways of Madinat Jumeirah are 20 minute rides that leave every 20 minutes from the Souk Abra stations near the restaurants of Toscana  and Barzar.

It was scorchingly hot which gave us a great excuse to indulge in some ice-cream from the local vendor.

a taste of chicken on yam cake with peach preserveDockside Restaurant at the Granville Island Hotel is a favorite place of mine for pre-show dining and as you can tell from my last two reviews (Dockside  and Dockside:Take 2) I have generally really appreciated the food there. So I was very interested to learn that Chef Simon McNeil has taken over as Executive Chef, and to find out what he plans for the menu, at a Meet the Chef event.

bacon and leek quiche at CacheCaché Bistro and Lounge
1269 Hamilton Street,
Vancouver
Ph: (604) 558-1269 or Reserve Online

Caché Bistro & Lounge on Urbanspoon

pan seared scallopsI have dined twice at Caché in the past couple of months month and both times enjoyed both the excellent food and the good service.

On my first visit before going to se a play, we tried the special menu - choice of appetizer, main course and then dessert.

sole in lemon butter I thought that on this dance cruise I would experiment with the structure of the Travelblogue with respect to the Sipping and Supping aspect of my posts.  Instead of interspersing the food talk and pictures with my dance and travel experiences, I plan to keep a Culinary Sampling of the meals, mainly dinner, aboard the Queen Mary 2 on this trip.

Since my firm resolution on this trip was not to gain a pound, and to lose inches by virtue of all the hip and core work I would be doing during my Dance Boot Camp, my culinary choices obviously represent a somewhat slanted view of the range of dishes provided at each meal - my sample is appetizer rich and dessert poor. But here goes:

The Foie BoneSmith,
553 Church Street,
Toronto, ON
Ph: (416) 926-2501

Smith on Urbanspoon

Pot pieAfter a really busy day with lots of walking around downtown Toronto, four of us met for dinner at Smith on Church Street. It is the sister restaurant to Wish that we had visited earlier.

With our meal, the four of us shared a bottle of the 2010 Geretto Delle Venizie Pinot Grigio.

steak fritesI was intrigued by the Foie Bone item on the appetizer menu. It turned out to be a blend of the bone marrow with foie gras, replaced in the bone cavity and roasted. It was rich and delicious but really just enough to get an idea of the flavours.

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