Friday, September 13, 2013

McDonalds Khalidiyah - Spicy Chicken Strips

After a disastrous and frustrating visit to the nearby KFC, I plucked up the courage to go to ... McDonalds in Khalidiyah. Cute paper-bag ... "What's the secret?"

My Fuji X100S likes the look of these french-fries shot at f/2.8, 1/60s and ISO2000.

Here's what I came for (In fact I actually wanted their wings, but they had sold-out) ... and so, I chose the Spicy Chicken Strips. I was having flashbacks to the Mini Fillet meal disaster from KFC last week!

Thank goodness the McDs staff were quick, courteous and ever so friendly - Even whilst I was in the queue, someone came up to me and said hello, and asked what I wanted to eat, and quickly ushered me to an open counter. Now, that's service for you!

As for the Chicken Strips ... Nothing much to shout about, I think it was breast-meat, tasted kinda dry, but hey ... McDs are forgiven, when their service is so darn good! KFC ... Tsk tsk.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

KFC Khalidiya, Abu Dhabi - Bad customer service

I don't think I can ever convince myself to go to my local KFC again ... That's the one located at Zayed the 1st Street, here in Abu Dhabi's Khalidiyah area.

Just last week - At 6:23pm in the evening, with hardly a person in the restaurant ... I ordered my Mini Fillet meal. I waited ... and I waited ...

After 2 other patrons who came after me received their meals prior to myself .. I complained to the Manager, who then tried to expedite my order, which was when I realised he wasn't wearing any gloves when he used a temperature probe to measure the temperature of the chicken at the counter. I would be surprised if this was part of KFC's HACCP management system!

After waiting 15 minutes, I decided to remind the staff that I have been waiting an extraordinarily length of time for what is considered "fast" food, and what surprised me was - There was only one or two other persons waiting around the counter ... Why did it take so long to prepare a couple of fries and my "mini fillets" and why could I not have been kept informed about the reasons for the delay?!

22 minutes later ... I got my Mini Fillet meal. Am I going to take the opportunity to write about my experience eating this take-away meal? I think not - This experience has left me genuinely dissapointed and surprised with KFC.

Update 10th Sept - I provided the above feedback to Americana-Food and Yum group who operates KFC in the MENA region, and to their credit, they seemed to take my concerns seriously. Pity the staff in this store didn't!

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Tandoori Corner - GPS coordinates, Airport Road

Ah ha ... we now have the precise GPS coordinates for one of my favourite Indian restaurants in town ... Tandoori Corner of Abu Dhabi:
N 24.46294
E 54.37854

I felt like an Indian meal tonight ... so I went for a drive :-) Free fresh poppadoms for starters...

My mushroom briyani, pretty good - And great value at 16 AED (RM$13), a really large portion that is easily enough for 2 persons.

And the piece de resistance ... Tandoori Corner's perfect Tandoori Chicken. Half portion at 16 AED.

The rest of my meal :-) Dipping sauce and Naan Bread which is served with the above. Yummy!

Fennel, Rock Sugar and coated coriander seeds to freshen your mouth ;-) BURP!

Located along 2nd Road or Airport Road, next to Fathima Supermarket, and not far from Mashraq Bank (A few blocks from Al Wahda Mall), this place is truly an Abu Dhabi institution ... We usually do take-aways as do many people (Call +971 2 445 8686), but try dining in - Its worth a visit!

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Sura Korean restaurant - Cristal Salam Tourist Club Area, Abu Dhabi

Add: Mezzanine, Cristal Salam Hotel, Tourist Club Area - Abu Dhabi.
Tel: +971 2 659 7715

Sura means "Korean royal court cuisine", which had us salivating ... But we were going to be quite dissapointed! The food was mediocre at best ... No "ooomph", or "kick" as described by my dining companions, DL and OK, and what I found strange was - The food was not served piping hot!

OK, DL, LY and myself had many Soju + Beer combos in Seoul ... so we gave it a go here too ;-) Never quite the same!

Beef bone soup ... Very mediocre :-( Again, it wasn't steaming hot!

Our seafood and chicken platters ... Reasonably tasty, but lacked the "ooomph"!

Beef steak galbi ... Tough :-( We miss the tender beef cuts in Seoul!

Time to say goodbye to Sura ....

Silk & Spice - Unique Thai restaurant, Sofitel Abu Dhabi

Add: Sofitel Hotel, Corniche Road - Abu Dhabi.
Tel: +971 2 813 7777

A really nice looking Thai restaurant that's open through Ramadan, serves some good beers and the desserts are nice too. Must try the main courses next time!! We tried the Khao Neow Ma Muang (Mango with Stick Rice, the Silk&Spice variant is served in a candle-lit balti dish!), as well as the evergreen Tab Tim Krob (Water chestnut dumpling with Jack Fruit in Coconut milk). Both were good!

Tiger by the bottle .. Cheers!

Private dining area, Japanese-esque with your feet in a "hole in the floor"!

Fancy interior ... Not the most Thai-esque, but hey... looks good!

We had 2 desserts ;-) They were both good!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Hainanese Chicken Chop - Reem Island Cafe, Abu Dhabi

I like Reem Island cafe ... a lot! It provides a little taste of Malaysia when we are so far away from home ... and it had been some years since I last had one of my FAVOURITE dishes, Hainanese Chicken Chop.

Located: Reem Island, Abu Dhabi
More specifically: Tamouh site office
Tel: +971 2 650 1996
N24 29' 30.4"
E054 24' 04.4"

Thursday is ... Hainanese Chicken Chop day at Reem Island Cafe!

The cafe serves specials each and every day - Monday is Kuay Teow T'ng day, and on other days there are Malaysian favourites such as ... Chicken Rice, Roast Duck, Curry Mee etc as well. On most days you would find chap fan, economy noodles for breakfast, kaya toast, as well as Wan Tan Mee and Mee Jawa, and Yong Tau Foo is served rather regularly as well. One can enjoy a full dinner of ala-carte dishes each evening as well!

But Thursday is my favourite .. Hainanese Chicken Chop Day!

There's a sucullent and generous portion of breaded and deep fried chicken, some mixed veges and shoe-string fries, and a couple of slices of tomatoes and cucumber ... all for the princely sum of 15 AED or RM$13. Bliss in the desert!

On another occassion .. I tried it with rice instead of chips, for an extra 3 AED or RM$2, delicious as well!

There's much local history to this dish -
No you won't get this on Hainan Island, in fact you won't get it outside of Malaysia and Singapore as this is a British colonial legacy shared by both our countries. A dish created by the Hainanese who worked for English households using tomato ketchup, worcester sauce, potato chips and peas. It is still served at most remaining Hainanese owned coffee shops in Malaysia and Singapore these days.

Yes ... I am a huge fan of this dish. Malaysia serves some excellent chicken chops including those at Tanjung Malim (Yik Mun v E&L springs to mind!), or KL's legendary Coliseum, SS2's famous Yippee Cup or perhaps the lesser known but equally excellent 99 Steak and Chops in TTDI.

BUT ... its next to impossible to beat the home-cooked variant :-) Prepared with much love!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Reem Island Cafe - Featured on TripAdvisor!

I was really surprised - Reem Island Cafe, our humble little cafe, is now featured on TripAdvisor and is ranked No. 321, out of neary 1,500 eateries in Abu Dhabi!

Location: GPS Coordinates
Our verdict: Needless to say, this is one of our favourite places to eat in Abu Dhabi - A taste of home!

There were even two reviews, and I am glad to see both were glowingly positive :-)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Bonna Anne - Ethiophian restaurant, Abu Dhabi

My 1st ever taste of Ethiophian cuisine, thanks to my host for the evening .. Mr B!

Located: Bonna Annee - Salam Street, Tourist Club Area
Adjacent: Near the "new" Beijing, which was next to our favourite chinese supermarket which was closed down!
Tel: +971 2 491 2128 Map: Its off Salam St 

Its not often I get to go to a restaurant where I don't recognise ANY of the dishes :-)

Excellent customer service, nice simple decor, and described as "Tastes like home!" ... It was an excellent experience!

First .. the meat arrived, on a sizzling platter. Smells wonderful!

Then ... the special Ethiophian bread (Which my makan partner in crime for the evening, Mr B described as having been flown in daily from Ethiophia!) arrived infused with juices from more meat ... This is called Injera (Can basically be described as a pancake-like bread with a really special aerated texture) and it comes with delicious spicy meat!

Special Tibs mixed with Tibs Fir Fir ... Eat with your hands, voila. Really good!
Good value too ... 70 AED for 2 persons including a bottle of water.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Carrefour Marina Mall - 10am opening on Saturday, Ramadan opening hours

What time does Carrefour at Marina Mall, Abu Dhabi, open during Ramadan?

The website claims ... 9:00am on Saturday mornings. I went at 08:55am .. waited. Guard told me, "9:30am". I asked "Are you sure ...", went for a drive and came back half an hour later.

Next guard told me ... "10:00am!". DOH!!! I decided to leave and came back later in the afternoon :-( This ARE the Ramadan opening hours ... Sigh!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Bak Chang - Dragon Boat Festival, celebration in Abu Dhabi

Zongzi (sticky rice dumplings, or Bak Chang) are traditionally eaten during the Duanwu Festival (Mandarin: Duānwǔ; Cantonese: Tuen Ng), which falls on the fifth day of the fifth month of the lunar calendar (approximately late-May to mid-June).

Home made with love here in Abu Dhabi - thanks AFC :-)

Being AFC's home, which is our home-away-from-home or the 2nd Malaysian Embassy in Abu Dhabi to many, we had other delicious food items too - Hokkien mee, Fried mee-hoon, Paratha or Roti Canai with home made onion curry, and ... Soya bean too. Yes, Tau Huey or Tau Foo Far!!

Abu Dhabi - Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Ramadan Kareem ... from Abu Dhabi

Needs no caption ... The 8th largest mosque in the world, located here in Abu Dhabi