The Meat Co

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Friday Lunch. Family Reunion.

A recently-turned-twenty-one cousin arrived for a month’s holiday at the desert capital along with her mother last weekend, and we had a lot to catch up on the family. There’s no better way to do this than over some great food at a great location. Qaryat al Beri, the souk / tourist arcade located at Bain Al Jisreen (between the bridges) seems to be the escape route for an exotic yet affordable meal by the canal side. Most of these restaurants have outdoor seating, a meal haven during cooler months.
It was a long drive from Al Shamka, the current residence of my cousin and her family, so by the time they arrived, our indomitable appetites made headway to the most advertised restaurant with all its tempting food posters at every corner.
The South African chain was visibly florid and ostentatious, with a smoking / non smoking seating. Most pompous display of winery I must say. The staff, were very obliging and catered to our orders with ease and precision. Entertainer vouchers were passed around giving us the liberty to choose from outstanding choices of grilled meats and poultry.
For starters we had a large bowl of Garden salad, the presentation of which was unexpectedly akin to a twig pot. The ‘soil’, as Mr. Sinfree (our attendant) explained was olive powder and truly delicious.

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Being in the mood for seafood, I asked for a grilled preparation and was promptly recommended a Red Snapper fish served with truffle Potatoes and prawn veloute (pictured above).
Other dishes in chicken included the Grilled Chicken Breasts with Lentil Salad and creamy garlic and chilli sauce:

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And the Wagyu Burger (200 gms) served with fries and crispy onion rings:

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Mr. Sinfree should be extolled for his effusive presence as well as efforts to proffer food based on our dietary requirements accurately. The experience of the reunion was memorable.

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Cantina Restaurant – Vision Links Hotel Apartments

Alright this may sound a bit cliche cos its actually one of my company sponsored restaurants but I decided to visit all the same. Anyhow my brother and his wife were visiting & I never treated them to anything, especially his wife, whom I knew for several years now but never had the time to sit and enjoy some coffee. Plus, I was informed that I would be enjoying a nice flat 50% staff discount, so why not eh?

Prior to the visit, I must admit that the staff was aware of my arrival. My Operations manager went out of her way to make my reservation and to make sure that I would be attended to well, owing to her knowing that I was a keen food blogger. I’m not saying she arranged for any special services, but I did get a lot of attention.

The restaurant is located on the mezzanine floor of the Hotel, & were very accommodating despite us reaching late and placing such huge orders. My sister-in-law and myself went for the seafood option of Baked Hamoor and Ratatouille, while my brother settled for the attractive looking Chicken Escalope.

There are a few things I must mention about the restaurant –

There has been absolutely no publicity for the same – neither a website nor a Facebook page making it difficult for advertising.

Appetizers were dry stale bread served along with olive oil, dried Parmesan flakes, and soy sauce.

The restaurant shares its name with another popular Mexican restaurant in Khalidiyah Mall.

The ambiance was  quite, perhaps because we were the only customers in the restaurant. The main courses, to be frank took long for service – but once plated, they were flawless. The Hammour was succulent and fresh. The Chicken Escalope was crispy and served with French Fries and Tartar Sauce. The meal was indeed hearty. As a complimentary gesture, we were served fresh Garden Salad with Thousand Island dressing. On the whole the experience was satisfying but could definitely have been better. For starters they really need to work on their marketing, followed by some fresh bread baskets / hors d’ouvres. Full marks for cleanliness, hygiene, lighting, menu options and restrooms. My compliments to the chef for the food presentation!

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Baked Hamoor Fillet with Ratatouille

Baked Hamoor Fillet with Ratatouille

Price for 3 persons including cocktails and mineral water AED 250.00. Make sure to avail the valet parking facilities.

Jimmy’s Killer Prawns

Yippee…weekend again!

Been a long and stressed filled week…was supposed to be at a night club last night, but couldn’t find the energy to move after returning home from and putting down my bags…so I just tossed myself to sleep.

Didn’t have much household chores for today & besides, did not have any part-time either, and…oh yea! forgot to mention…yesterday my folks purchased The Entertainer Abu Dhabi edition, where each of us as family members had to contribute equally. I think for all of you foodies out there in Abu Dhabi, The Entertainer is a brilliant saver for AED 395. It gives you and your accompanied companion a chance to afford food ranging from high class gourmet spreads, to the simple hamburgers for the price of one. And this year’s edition comes with an awesomely fantastic offer for one night’s complimentary stay at Ten selected 5 star hotels / resorts, with the purchase of one night’s booking! The book is available at all leading bookstores. I recommend you get your copy from Borders, as you will earn a AED 60 voucher on further purchases.

Anyways, making best use of the offers and vouchers we selected a place to dine out tonight and shortlisted another seafood delight…Jimmy’s Killer Prawns @ Mushrif Mall.

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Often we have past this place, and have been very tempted to get inside, but I’ll be frank…I couldn’t afford those platters for me and my sis. Today’s voucher made a huge difference to our wallets as we shared the price of one platter 😀

I underestimated the crowd at the mall! It was like the entire city was right there. After thorough searching we managed to squeeze our car into one of the slots in the basement parking. My mind suddenly dreaded the thought of not finding seats at the place, but my sis assured me we’d find a table for two easily. She was right.

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The ambience was perfect. Plush and clean interiors & the aroma of cooked shrimps filled the zone as soon as you entered. The staff were very professional in seating, waiting and recommending the best – promptly. So no limitations where service was concerned.

As usual we couldn’t possibly miss the Calamari for our appetisers. We had a choice of grilled or fried. Other similar first courses included garlic bread, seafood salads, soups, etc. I must mention the freshness of the calamari as both the fish as well as the batter melted in your mouth promptly.

My sis chose the Prawn & Calamari platter for her main course, which included grilled calamari and grilled prawns with some rice that tasted like paella.

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Mine was a similar platter with grilled fish & prawns, served with rice, french fries and fried veggies.

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As you can notice, the portions were large making it absolutely worth its price. Each of these platters ranged between AED 70 – 150 depending on ingredients. We were also served with sauces – spicy tobasco, butter & mustard. A waste bowl was also placed on the table for ridding your prawn shells, etc.

The entire set up was fantastic. Non-seafood eaters who wish to treat your seafood-eater-counterpart could also enjoy traditional steakhouse dishes like rib-eye steaks and grilled chicken. We were too full to manage any desserts, but yes they were available.

Overall experience was good, though I must advise to take your own mouth freshners (unless its not date night or it doesn’t make any difference to you), as well as your own wet tissues in case you have used your hands to shell your prawns. Bon Appetite.