Ocean Basket : A Seafood Lunch

I was invited for an exclusive Lunch at Ocean Basket Mirdiff city center branch  with the founder of the restaurant chain Fats Lazarides and CEO Grace Harding.

This was my first lunch at a restaurant in Dubai with the founder and CEO. I was very excited. finding my  way was not tough as the location being at a Mall and walking with a stroller is my new fashion. hahaha people, everywhere i go with my pram and kid cos it was not a paid job for me to find a nanny or a daycare to leave my son. my son enjoys the ride with me and I always confirm with the host if kids are allowed or else I don’t attend.

we met with the founder fats lazarides who was talking to his guests to make sure they are fie and taken care off while grace the CEO was so friendly and sat talking and discussing all things food.
we were served with out lunch in a few minutes. our starter was a sushi platter and a mussel chowder. the mussel chowder was so creamy and delicious. the sushi was perfect. next came another set of started which was a large bowl of salad and a lovely lobster. the lobster was perfectly cooked and it was a beauty on the plate. our mains were the grilled seafood platter which had fish, chips, prawns, calamari and mussels. there was also a middle eastern flavoured salad which i call it middle eastern flavored due to its sumac garnish and hummus dip. try it you will fall in love with salads.

we ended our lovely lunch with a choice of drink and two lovely desserts. the sticky toffee pudding and malva pudding. i was told the malva pudding is a very south african dish which was especially made by a south african lady for the ocean basket. trust me I am in love with that malva pudding.
over all it was a great lunch with the founder of ocean basket, the CEO, editors of some leading magazines and the PR. I was the only Food Blogger at the lunch and am excited to share of my images below 🙂

they offer vegetarian sushi for those who are vegetarian and they were delicious too.
kids have a choice of going for fish and chips which comes with a drink on the kids menu and you can have a baby seat incase you forgot your pram 🙂
the images were taken by myself and I am not paid or forced to write a review I write this post on my own wish and the words are mine too. honestly the food at ocean basket is really worth the money.

20141201_131555

20141201_135748

20141201_131654

20141201_131615

20141201_132436

20141201_132332

20141201_132347

20141201_140506

20141201_141133

20141201_141116

Advertisements

Crab And Me

Cooking Crab Meat was going to be an experience for me which i anticipated from a very long time. one weekend i decided to buy some crabs which i did the choosing as well. I asked a man who was choosing crabs on what basis does he choose them and he was like “just pick the large ones” 🙂  I guess I should have done some research on how to choose your crab instead asking someone but it was an experience. so finally we got home with our three crabs. I had to wait till next day to cook the crab and I was so impatient that early the next morning I started of by looking for crab recipes. I was so confused on what to cook and how to cook.

read many recipes and followed the instructions on cleaning and cooking only. as usual i decided to experiment with these crabs.

Step 1 – CLEAN, WASH AND PAT DRY. MAKE THE FINAL WASH WITH SALT AND TURMERIC.20140906_111603Step 2- BOIL A POT OF WATER AND SALT, ADD THE CRABS AND COOK FOR 15 MINUTES.20140906_112954

 

AFTER COOKING THE CRABS WILL FLOAT TO THE TOP LIKE THIS –

after cooking

after cooking

THIS IS HOW THE CRAB MEAT LOOKED AFTER FLAKING AND DE-SHELLING. THIS CAN BE USED ON A SALAD AS IT IS. TRUST ME CRAB MEAT IS SO DELICIOUS AND TASTY YOU DON’T NEED ANY FLAVOURING OF SPICES TO ENHANCE ITS TASTE. IT IS SO RICH AND FULL OF FLAVORS.

flaked crab meat

the devil

the devil

a  closer hot look

a closer hot look

I DECIDED TO MAKE A CRAB DEVIL AND SERVE IT WITH SOME FRIED RICE AND IT WENT TOGETHER SO WELL.

CRAB DEVIL RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

3 CRABS COOKED

1 ONION LARGE AND CHOPPED

3 GREEN CHILIES

1 LARGE TOMATO

1 TEASPOON CHILIE FLAKES

2 TEASPOON CHILIE POWDER

1 TABLESPOON TOMATO KETCHUP

1 TEASPOON SOY SAUCE

SALT AND PEPPER TO TASTE

1/4 LIMES JUICE

2 TABLESPOON OIL

2 GARLIC CLOVES CRUSHED

 COOKING INSTRUCTIONS

1.  HEAT A PAN WITH THE OIL.

2. SAUTE THE ONIONS AND GREEN CHILLIES.

3. ADD THE CRUSHED GARLIC CLOVES AND STIR.

4. IN A BOWL MIX THE TOMATO KETCHUP, SOY SAUCE, CHILIES FLAKES, CHILIES POWDER, SALT AND PEPPER. MAKE A SAUCE AND POUR OVER THE ONIONS.

5.  ADD THE TOMATOES AND CRABS.

5. MIX WELL TO COAT THE CRABS AND COOK OVER A VERY HIGH HEAT FOR 3 MINUTES AND TAKE OFF.

6. GARNISH WITH CORIANDER LEAVES AND THE LEMON JUICE.

SERVE HOT.

A TIP – IF ITS TOO SPICY ADD SOME SUGAR TO MAKE IT BALANCE OR REDUCE THE CHILIE PASTE TO 1 TEASPOON BEFORE MIXING IT ALL.

fried rice

fried rice

SO CRAB MEAT IS EASY TO COOK.

ITS DELICIOUS.

DON’T FORGET TO GET IT CLEANED FROM THE MARKET AS I’VE READ ITS TOUGH TO CLEAN.

EATING CRABS CAN BE A BIT MESSY SO THE IDEAL PLACE TO ENJOY IT IS WHEN YOUR HOME UNLESS YOUR GONNA HAVE SOME CRAB MEAT STICKS OR SANDWICHES.

IT’S QUIET AN EXPERIENCE COOKING A CRAB FOR THE FIRST TIME BUT YEA I’VE HAD CRAB IN MANY RESTAURANTS 🙂

Sizzle over T20 Cricket

Oh wow that proud moment when sri lanka won the T20 world cup last night.  I have stayed away from watching cricket from start to end since I got married and was always concerned to find out who won.
That was it and last night was the same scenario until the sizzling food in front of me called for some entertainment and non was more suitable than watching T20 world cup. Sri lankans playing their way all over in Bangladesh and the excitement I got after every 6’s and fours made me go back to my spinster days when I used to watch the cricket from start to end praying sri lanka should win.
Todays match was sure an unforgettable one for me and for the two retiring cricket legends of sri lanka sanga and mahela.
Amidst this good cricket I managed to get a few videos of my sizzling food and drink which I really enjoyed sharing on Instagram.

image

image

image

The smoking lemon juice with the dancing slice of lime cheering the cricket on screen was fun. It was so bubbly and I managed to get hold of that ice cube which was making the juice smoke and boil and finally ended up placing it under the straw so the straw choke and splashed lime juice all over the table. Thats a nice fun game if it was not just lime juice I’d repeat it.

image

image

The hot sizzling main course I chose seafood and my choice was the best. It was easy to eat, delicious and filling. I find the chicken dish a bit hard.

image

image

The nutty brownie with an ice cream hat which lay around boiling caramel which was really hot and bubbly.
I tried to spoon all three into my mouth and burnt my tongue.  I still feel the pain of eating hot food yet I love food while its a bit warm not boiling hot.

Do visit my Instagram page to watch the video as am not able to upload the videos here. Soon I will upgrade my account until then enjoy my pictures.
I think the food at sizzles is too expensive although the portion is filling and the experience is unique which is fine to dine at the sizzle once but not twice. They do add extra charges for vat, tax and service charges which I believe most restaurants include in the price list of the food and are often hidden on the bill which makes the bill reasonable.
All in all the sizzle is something you should visit on rainy days and during winter but good only for visit once not twice I wouldn’t like to go back. Food is good but expensive as we can go for buffet at kingsburry for that cost. Going there with kids get a stroller or pram and some toys to keep babies entertained.
Kids above two can color which they provide paper and colors at the restaurant and they display the work at the front notice board.
Check their menu online at the sizzle srilanka so you can plan ahead.
They do have takeaway and delivery.

mafaza

Mount Lavinia Hotel Colombo

A wish came true

It was a sunday evening when dad announced that a business client from Riyadh who arrived in srilanka a week before wanted to meet us and has invited us for dinner at the mount lavinia hotel colombo. I was overwhelmed with joy as I have been wanting to visit mount lavian hotel for a long time and never got the opportunity. Another reason to celebrate was the content and experience I will be getting through this visit which I can post on my blog.

Reaching mount lavinia hotel

 

We travelled by car and it took us only 30 minutes to reach the hotel. Passing through the weekend traffic and stopping by at odel to shop for a slipper in a hurry as mums slippers tore on the car. We finally reached mount lavinia hotel and was welcomed by the guy who was the gaurd wearing a white colonial style suit.
On the parking was a big bus with passengers from abroad which I assumed maldivians who have just reached the hotel. Amidst the little crowd we managed to figure the way to the restaurant. The way to the restaurant, sea and huts were fun with a bridge that had a train track running beneath. It was train time I guess and the loud sound of the train engine filled the air with the breeze of the sea and the slight drizzle which made the atmosphere more enjoyable.
Walking through steps which lead us towards the seafood cove restaurant and inn which was located on the sea shore overlooking the sea.

The Sea Food Cove Restaurant


It was so beautiful with the sea in the background and the breeze giving some fresh air through the lovely hut. The restaurant was built of plain coconut tree leaves which I call. I love the aroma of coconut trees. Anything and everything thats made of coconut is pleasant to the naked eye. I guess I’ve gotta pay a visit to the coconut development board very soon and write up a special article on the topic. Getting back to the hut. I always imagined huts to be airy with a good aroma of fresh air either from the sea or plain green grass which is so pleasant to breathe in. Looking at the atmosphere at the seafood cove I was even more delighted to dine in there.

tree board

the first path which was the first view of the area

seafoodcove

Seafood Cove Restaurant

step view

the path leading to the seafood cove restaurant and the beach

sea view from hut

sea view from hut

wine

in for some wine?

outdoor seating

outdoor seating idea for the summer season or late in the afternoon to enjoy an early dinner while the sun set (I just cant stand the imagination I wanna be there at sunset soon.)

ppl

the welcome by the hostess, the guitarist and the drummer. They play a nice song with a tune which we call baila. The song and music makes the atmosphere even more romantic. You can dedicate a song to your loving partner if your on a honeymoon and make the day more memorable.

retmooners

a nice couple enjoying a late dinner in peace. I just saw a grilled lobster in their plate. I guess they are enjoying the retired life

hut

the seafood cove restaurant hut

kitchen

the kitchen at the seafood cove restaurant. They do wear gloves 🙂

fish

the fish on display. You choose the fish and they will do it the way we want it.

fish2

the boat shape fish stand I love this image

the menu ordering

 

The arab who invited us in for dinner had his wife order the meals. We were welcomed with a complimentary orange juice and kater in half an hours time she ordered the dinner which she struggled amidst my translation to the chef on how we need the fish to be cooked.

chip jpg

side platter the commoner – french fries jpg

fish

Our Main Course 1 – grilled fish with BBQ Sauce

prawns

deep fried prawns in chinese batter

kumbala

Main Course 2 – grilled large garuppa with garlic and butter sauce

It was drizzling and lightning outside the clear dark sky outlined the thunder. The light sea waves outlined the seashore with a clear picture of the water in white. Walking out of the seafood cove restaurant inn I experienced peace. The silent waves, light drizzle and cool wind was so refreshing though it was the later part of the night. The lamps made of wood were lit in every tables to give a more serene look.

The welcome drink enjoyed over a lamp light.

The welcome drink enjoyed over a lamp light.

Image

The crab soup

2013-09-01 21.07.31

It’s really surprising to think that I’ve fallen in love with seafood very lately amidst the fact that I hardly buy prawns in dubai and hatted fish since my pregnancy.
I enjoyed eating prawns and fish when I was in sri lanka but after marriage moving into dubai has changed me due to my partners preferences.
Coming back to sri lanka on vacation for delivery encouraged me to try new things out and seafood hit the list first. The opening of the manhattan fish market helped me explore the seafood galore and the taste was incredibly delicious that made me fall in love for seafood. Eating out, next in line was the very latest seafood restaurant in colombo at the Kingsbury hotel “The Ocean” which served high class seafood meals that dint let down my new found love for seafood.

Next dine out plan was to spend less and eat well.
Expecting less for a nominal price walking into a chinese restaurant in colombo along the sea which Is very famous for it’s chinese food I was let down. The standards never met even to match the sea over looking the restaurant. Ordering a crab soup was waste as the bowl was filled with basic sweet corn soup and two 1 centimeter piece of crab legs I guess. Surely the soup was delicious yet it doesn’t suit the name crab soup. My seafood love hasn’t faded off myself yet has warned me not to order seafood at a normal chinese restaurant. Feel like having seafood for dinner walk in to a seafood restaurant is what I’ve memorised.
Not all restaurants are in the same standard yet it’s always safe and best to eat what you want at a place that specialises for that particular cuisine or meal. Its always better to eat thosa at an Indian restaurant isn’t it?

Love for Seafood

Since childhood until today I’ve had only fish and prawns. When I was twelve I remember my dad bringing squid from the market and my mum refuse to clean as she hates to cook any seafood apart from fish and prawns. Ofcourse she has never tried her hand with squid. So my dad starts cooking the squid by himself singing a song

my dear dallo

My dear dallo

Dallo is the sinhalese word for squid. I tasted my dads dallo and fell in love with it. My dad is a good cook 🙂 When I was 22 my uncle got some crabs from the market and got it devilled especially for us and we all tried a tint piece which was barely anything that would help us fall in love with. Many years have passed and pregnancy created a hate for seafood in me and soon after coming to srilanka for delivery my sister in law treated us at a newly opened seafood restaurant.  I was so taken in by the looks and atmosphere in the first place. The contemporary interior was so enjoyable for a pair of eyes that was yearning for some relaxed location to dine in peace with a slow music playing somewhere in a distance. The manhattan fish market was a franchise opened in srilanka with an array of seafood cooked in western style served hot and prepared fresh. The menu was overwhelming.  An enthusiasm over poured in myself chasing away the pregnancy moods and bringing in a craving as if I was in my early stages. The lobster was one thing I wanted to try.  The large lobster platter was beautifully grilled just before serving right in front of our eyes in an adventurous way. Next in order was the prawn and calamari dishes. Having tasted the lobster for the first time in my life I almost crave for lobster now. The adventure image All mains were grilled using a torch the mains wpid-2013-06-07-21.24.25.jpg The grilled prawns wpid-2013-06-07-21.12.18.jpg Our calamari and muscles platter Favoutite Beverages wpid-2013-10-07-01.44.28.png The mint and lime crusher The dessert wpid-2013-10-07-01.43.01.png Brownies with ice cream and hot caramel. I would give the restaurant a 10/10 star. mafaza

The Ocean: A seafood heaven

The name sounds breezy doesnt it?
Are you a fan of seafood, swimming in the beach or walking along the seashore? Do you love dinners at a cozy restaurant with extraordinary interiors along the seaside?
You don’t have to miss the luxury when you travel down to sri lanka on your next vacation.
The Ocean at The Kingsbury hotel provides all you need from the sea.
Located at the heart of colombo in a busy area, its only a walking distance from the world trade centre in colombo 1 and over looking the indian ocean along the galleface towards the new harbour road. The ocean is such a delight.
A high class menu with a line up of raw seafood readily available over a layer of ice in a glass shelf. Your always welcome to choose the seafood you want and and the cook will be more than happy to prepare the dish as you wish.

image

image

I was admiring the display of seafood while my dad explained the chef what we wanted. The chefs were busy cooking which was visible from the table we were escorted to.

image

To our left was the sea with more seatings for those who wanted the sea breeze kiss their cheek while having seafood dinner. We prefered to stay in due to the slight drizzle.
Our order took the normal duration at any restaurant.

The “lobster and crab cream soup” was super delicious. The excellent combination made me fall in love with the soup.
It will be the first I order on my next visit.
The seafood salad was our starter with a deep fried crispy delicious prawns that went well with the accompanying sauces.
The seafood fried rice along with fish eggs was yummy.
Fish eggs tasted and looked like meatballs. That was my first tasting of fish eggs and I was happy with the taste.
A platter of grilled fish accompanied the main course.

image

We finished our dinner with a glass of fresh lemon juice and lovely apple pie wuth a scoop of ice cream on top. The cost was worth the taste and experience.

image

Would I have asked for more then I should say I would have ordered a grilled lobster platter too.
The ocean offers the most delicious seafood in original flavours.

mafaza