The Rendezvous spread at Bahrain City Center

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Let us begin this review from the very end. This is how I ended up after my food review at Rendezvous in Bahrain City Center.

Rendezvous is a restaurant that serves continental, Arabic, and fusion cuisine and you’ll spot it very close where all the Cineco movie halls are. They have both the buffet and the ala carte to choose from. I have been to Rendezvous before for office lunches with colleagues and each time, I felt so spoiled for choice. Rendezvous food makes a bit nostalgic because they are perhaps one of the few fine-dine restaurants in Bahrain that serve – Indo-chinese  and Indo-Italian style food which I grew up eating in India. It is spicy, sweet and savory – all in one that is simply lip smacking good. 

I visited Rendezvous during Ramadan and the spread was generous as always. The spread was a fine balance between Arabic, Indian and continental. 

Warning: long photo essay ahead.

Starting with the desserts first because that is my favourite course. The desserts section was simply splendid. There was so many desserts that children are sure to enjoy like this jelly which was a pure delight. No restaurant serves jelly on its own these days and that makes Rendezvous very special. At times, savouring spoonfuls of cool jiggly jelly can be heavenly. 

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creme caramel slices
creme caramel slices

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That was the dessert section but not limited to what I have shown here.

Seen enough? Not yet.

Let graduate towards the main course now.

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Then this happened3640b2d99dde2f999e2d910cfb3e1fca

 

But let us persevere and plough on, in the true spirit of culinary adventure.

Next come the appetizing appetizers 

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That brings me to the close of the food review. After to so much food, it is natural to be in a food induced coma. I would recommend Rendezvous if the sight of different kinds of spreads entices you. I enjoy being spoiled for choice and hence I would keep visiting Rendezvous to experience more incidences of food coma. 

Per person charges : 5.5+ taxes

This is a sponsored post but the views expressed are entirely mine

 

Date Cake with Toffee Sauce – story of a simple man

It is said that people change over time and that impacts a relationship as time passes. But Amit, my husband, hehasn’t changed at all over the last 10 years that I have known him. He is the same guy who enjoys being at home, catching up with his favourite TV shows, reading history books and eating simple food. His choices, his habits and his behaviour reflect the simple thoughts and a way of life.DSC_1649

 

Each year for my husband’s birthday, I plan for a party not because he insists because I know he is too uncomplicated to want one. This gives me an excuse to plan for the party as well which is a process I enjoy a lot. This year, I thought of making homemade pizzas and some simple appetizers for a bunch of close friends. I asked him his choice of cake and he said wanted something very simple like a tea cake or a date cake. Thankfully, I found a wonderful recipe from a friend to fulfill this wish of his. 

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Sometimes I wonder, how is it possible to remain so simple at all times. Earlier I fought with him a lot about not doing enough exciting things, not going out too much and living such a plain life. What I failed to understand was he had already been there and done that. We were at two different places in life. While I was always in the hurry to do something or the other, he was more about being relaxed and being in the moment. First 5 years were spent in fine tuning and the next 5 in acceptance. 

DSC_1653In these 10 years, I have come to appreciate his way of life, though I cannot completely shift gears and lead a simple life like he does.  What I have understood is that simple tastes are just as attractive as the multi-faceted ones. This date cake falls just in line with my husband’s philosophy and was just right as his birthday cake.

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But then I had to add my touch to it and thought a luscious toffee sauce would be just right to complement the taste. The toffee sauce is so easy to make! Had I known this earlier, I wouldn’t have waited this long to make it because it has so many uses and stores well too.

DSC_1650He loved the date cake by itself which is not surprising at all. But he did try a piece with some toffee sauce for my sake and liked that too. 

Rant & a soya mince – peas stir fry

Rant alert! 

You know that feeling when everything is spinning out of control despite your best effort? We all go through our fair share of troubles in our personal and professional lives. Then you try harder to control it by switching gears, changing direction and honking constantly, yet the derailment is imminent. What do you do, when it is all flailing arms, despair and utter confusion? 

I understood two simple things-Wait for the storm to pass and life goes on. 

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Come to think of it, there are so many struggles and choices we face everyday. The struggle of striking that work-life balance, of finding that balance between finding time for yourself versus rest of the world, choices relating to eating healthy etc.

Life of an entrepreneur is extremely demanding and I always find myself struggling to balance my time for everything. I feel I am rushing all the time and sometimes ( well, most of the time) it is quite overwhelming. Food choices suffer because of this rushed state of mind. Not to mention all the food tastings and restaurant reviews I have to do. I keep making resolutions about cutting down sugar, exercising and I find myself steering away from it quickly. I fall for what is convenient and NOT what is beneficial. The most worrying part is, I do not feel guilty anymore. I find some excuse or the other to justify my indulgence and complete lack of discipline. Eating at odd hours has become a norm and desserts are an every day affair. I have sort of developed an addiction to sugar which is very, very disturbing. When I do not get my fair share of sugar each day, I grow irritable and cranky. An immediate infusion of sugar in any form quickly transforms me from a maniac witch to a fairy godmother. The transformation post sugar, is remarkable.

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One of my recent pictures was an eye-opener for me. I rarely spend time in front of the mirror to assess my deteriorating state. But it caught me off-guard when I saw a random picture of mine clicked my someone else. I could see how different I was in my head vis-a-vis for real. Hence, I knew I have to act fast before it was too late. Plus coming from a family with all kinds of medical history, doesn’t help.

So I have decided to officially end my hedonistic food lifestyle and really take a closer look at how I am going to transform it. I believe I need to do this not just for my sake but also for my daughter who is absorbing everything that she sees. 

I have started  gym schedule with a trainer that is more endurance focused. I also have a diet plan. Mind you, it is not for the weak of heart – this diet plan. It is quite extreme and I need to be on it for 6 weeks. Usually I don’t write about my exercise or diet here because I am insecure in my head about not keeping up with it. But this time, I am going to be confident about it and I have no qualms in sharing this diet with anyone who reads my blog. 

My diet for each day shall be as follows:

Starting 15th of July, up until 30th of August, 2015 ( 6 weeks) with 6 small meals

Only 1 liter of water through out the day.

Meal 1 

100 g chicken + 100 g rice + 50 g almonds

Meal 2 

100 g chicken + a portion of vegetables 

Meal 3

2 whole eggs + 50 g quinoa

Meal 4

2 whole eggs+vegetables

Meal 5 

100 g chicken + 3 rice flakes + 50 g almond

Meal 6 

100 g chicken + a portion of vegetables.

Work out – 1 hour 15 minutes with the trainer in the evening

After one of this diet, I will try and including some cardio in the morning along with training in the evening with the trainer.

I really, really hope to stick with this plan and see it through. It is a matter of 6 weeks and it will be huge test of my will power especially because I am so addicted to sugar. 

Before I sign off on a healthy note, here’s the recipe of a delicious soya mince- peas stir fry which is wonderful with chappatis and even just by itself.

Bread Poha
Serves 4
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. Bread slices, torn into small pieces ( atleast 8-10 slices- older the better)
  2. 2 large onions, chopped
  3. 5 green chilles, chopped fine,
  4. peanuts - half cup( boiled)
  5. salt as per taste
  6. chilli powder - 1 tsp
  7. coriander powder - 2 tsp
  8. tumeric powder - 2 tsp
  9. sugar - 1 tbsp or less
  10. lemon juice - a dash
  11. sprinkle of water
  12. mustard seeds,- 1 tsp
  13. cumin seeds - 1 tsp
  14. dash of asafoetida
  15. curry leaves - 8 -10 leaves
Instructions
  1. Tear all the bread slices into bite sized pieces, keep aside
  2. Take some oil in a flat frying pan, splutter mustard seeds, cumin seeds and add asafoetida
  3. Add chopped onions and fry until light & translucent
  4. Add green chillies and curry leaves and fry.
  5. To this add, all the spice powders including salt and sugar and mix well.
  6. Add boiled peanuts and fry well
  7. Add bread pieces and let the spices coat the bread pieces very well.
  8. Once the bread is mixed well, sprinkle water to soften the bread.
  9. Take the pan off the heat and add a dash of lemon juice and serve hot
Sliceofmylyfe - a Food blog based in Bahrain http://www.sliceofmylyfe.com/

 

Iftar experience at Sheraton

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Recently, I was asked to attend an Iftar at Sheraton at their Awali Ballroom. I had looked up the list of top Iftars in Bahrain and Sheraton featured on it. So I definitely wanted to try it and was really looking forward to this.

From the moment I stepped into the ballroom, I could feel a wonderful vibe with so many people; families, large groups of friends and the hotel staff serving their patrons. It was colourful and slightly louder than most other places I had been to before. A lavish buffet was laid out before us with international dishes and live cooking stations. We felt completely spoiled for choice. What you are about to see if you scroll down further is plenty of appetizing food pictures.

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The Awali Ballroom has been decked up and it is a sight to experience. 

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The buffet had traditional dishes like shawarma, and all kinds of biryani. The salad station had a wonderful selection of salads, dips and other starters. The main course had a few vegetarian options as well. I particularly enjoyed the palak dal and rice with some pepper -lemon chicken (highly recommeded)

Lemon and pepper chicken
Lemon and pepper chicken

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Fish cooked Arabic style
Fish cooked Arabic style

The dessert station had a live crepe making station which was hit among all the kids and adults alike.

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Mahallabiya with nut brittle – simply delicious
traditional Arabic sweets
traditional Arabic sweets
The meringue centerpiece
The meringue centerpiece

The highlights of my Iftar experience at Sheraton are;

1. Huge variety that not only caters to traditional tastes but also international ones as well

2. Desserts were simply outstanding and so delicious. The chocolate mousse was absolutely addictive.

3. Very friendly staff who go out of their way to make sure the guests are well attended. 

I am sure, these pictures would have really whet your appetite. So if you plan to have your Iftar at a restaurant, you should definitely give Sheraton a try. 
Iftar: from sunset, BD15.9++ on weekdays and BD16.9 on weekends. Children four to 12: BD8.5++; under fours go free. Sheraton Bahrain, Manama (1753 3533)

(This is a sponsored post but views expressed are solely mine)

{Restaurant Review} Paul’s Iftar Set menu at Bahrain City Center

That Paul Restaurant & Bakery in Bahrain has been my favourite place to eat lunch or dinner is no secret. When my friends and family look at me to pick a place to eat out, I almost instantly choose Paul. I love everything about Paul. Its rustic finesse,  the crockery, the French desserts, the homemade rye and other breads and last but not the least, their food. It is funny why I haven’t already reviewed Paul Restaurant on my blog. 

If you haven’t been to Paul Restaurant before, this is a short introduction to the one of the finest, coziest restaurants in town. Paul Restaurant & Bakery is a French chain of restaurants that specializes in serving French -style bread, soups, salads, sandwiches and desserts. If you ever visit France, you will find a Paul’s cafe at stone’s throw from anywhere you stand. They are that ubiquitous.

But this review is about the Paul Restaurant in Bahrain City Center. I was invited to review their Iftar set menu by the mall and they didn’t have to say it twice. Iftar is a fast-breaking meal that is eaten during the Holy month of Ramadan and most of the restaurants in the middle east develop a Ramadan special menu. My hubby and I ordered an Iftar meal each at Paul’s.

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 Paul’s Iftar set menu offers you :

1. Traditional Lentil Soup 

A thick lentil soup with a wedge of lime is nourishing but the portion size is a tad too much considering the set menu has several other items. Nevertheless, I enjoyed it with a slice of homemade bread and butter ( from the complimentary starters that I so love)

2. The next course was a salad course where we ordered two salads – one for me and the other for my hubby. I went for a Quinoa salad with dates and the Watermelon and Feta Salad

Quinoa Salad with dates
Quinoa Salad with dates

Both the salads could be meals by themselves, with portions so generous. The Quinoa and date salad was refreshing and full of flavour. The pieces of artichokes were such a delicious surprise, which worked well with the quinoa, the pomegranate, cherry tomatoes, cucumber and fresh rocca leaves. All this goodness is topped with croutons and splashed with a tangy balsamic dressing.

Watermelon and Feta Salad

Water melon and Feta is such a wonderful combination. The salad look so soothing to the eyes. A perfect summer salad, really. 

3. In between, we cleansed our palate with Jallab – a type of fruit syrup, with carob, grape molasses, dates and rose water. This was served chilled with ice and floating pine nuts and raisins.

Jallab

4.. The Main course was  a delightful stew of chicken and vegetables in a light broth served with lemon -zest rice. The other options in the set menu are the beef stew with vegetables and a mixed sea food stew. 

Chicken and vegetable stew with rice

5. Finally my favourite course – Dessert – Dates eclair / dessert of the day/ raspberry panna cotta

We opted for Dates eclair and Creme brulee(dessert of the day)

Date eclair & Creme Brulee
Date eclair & Creme Brulee

Both the desserts are quintessentially French except the Dates eclair which was customized as per the theme.

The set menu costs 9.900 BD per person is quite substantial in portion and variety.

These were my thoughts after the meal

1. Generous portions and great variety.

2. Kept its French essence with a little Arabic twist keeping with the Ramadan theme

3. Healthy food options in the set menu. This I think is a great highlight of the Iftar set menu which otherwise can be very oily and unhealthy. Paul’s has devised this healthy menu keeping in mind the health conscious diner. If you avoid the dessert ( which I think would be blasphemous), the meal is unconditionally healthy.

So if you are looking to eat out tonight, make sure you definitely try Paul’s Ramadan menu before the season is over.

Bon Appetite.

(This was a sponsored post but the views are entirely mine)