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Takeout from Wingstop, Dubai

The other day, Poul and I were invited over for dinner at Pia’s place, and she had ordered chicken wings from Wingstop, which is an American chain specializing in chicken wings. I had never tried Wingstop before, but Pia’s daughter had talked very warmly about Wingstop the last time I saw her, so I was really excited to try them.

The chicken wings were, and it was definitely the marinade that did it. My favorite flavor was Mango Habanero, which everybody seems to love, closely followed by the super-spicy Atomic, which was so hot that Poul had to spit out the first bite he took, because his mouth was burning.

It was a really nice evening, and so convenient to be able to walk back and forth. We left rather early because I go to bed really early these days and struggle to stay awake after 10pm. Instead I get up at 5:30am which is great down here, but which might be a problem next week, when I travel back to Denmark, where 5:30am Dubai time is 3:30am Danish time:)

Yogurt and fresh fruit

by Sanne
Fresh fruit for breakfast, Dubai Blog

When it comes to breakfast, I am a creature of habit, and if you follow me on Instagram, you know that I eat a lot of fruit & yogurt bowls these days. When I wake up, I usually want something to eat immediately, and slicing pineapple at 6am will never become part of my morning routine. Instead, I have started cutting fruit for my breakfast bowls twice a week, because except for bananas, most fruit and berries can easily survive 3-4 days in the fridge.

My favorites right now are papaya, pomelo, dragon fruit and kiwi berries, but I try to vary the bowls so I don’t get tired of any of the fruit. It only takes 20 minutes to cut the fruit, which I then place in small portion-sized bowls, so they are ready to grab and eat.

Add yogurt, granola and maybe some acai or buckthorn powder, and s little honey if you have a sweet tooth, and you have a delicious breakfast bowl in less than two minutes.

The hot summer months have finally come to an end in Dubai, so I usually sit outside and eat my breakfast bowl on our new deck. It is wonderful out there at the time of day, when the only thing you hear is the parrots squawking from the palm trees. I treasure these quiet mornings, and I take my time. I like to finish with a cup of tea or, more often, coffee. I am trying to cut down on coffee and drink more tea instead, but I find it hard to skip the morning latte. Good morning from Dubai 🙂

Dubai: Dim Sum at Long Teng

by Sanne
Long Teng, dim sum restaurant in Dubai

On Trine’s last night in Dubai, we went for dim sum at Long Teng. Long Teng is a really nice Chinese restaurant in Business Bay. I have been there a couple of years ago and I was deeply impressed with both food and service, but Business Bay was just too long away to make me a regular at Long Teng. Though that will change, because Meydan South is only about 20 minutes by car from Long Teng and from what could easily be the best dim sum in Dubai.

First we had a Hainan Chicken appetizer which was an elegant version of the Chinese classic, served with a delicious sauce, and then the cheung feung (Cantonese rice noodle rolls) made their entrance. I had previously tried the cheung feung with prawns (amazingly tasty!), but this time we also tried cheung feung with barbecue chicken, which was also delicious.

I’m a bit torn when it comes to turnip cake. All my Chinese friends claims that turnip cake is a must-order when going for dim sum, but I often find it bland, and rather dry. Though the turnip cake at Long Teng is easy to like, and the small chunks are juicy and delicious with just the right amount of XO-seasoning.

Another thing you have to order at Long Teng is the sticky rice dumplings shaped as small chickens, but be carefull not to burn your tongue when biting the heads off, as the filling is very hot.

We also had Crystal Shrimp Dumpling, which is another dim sum classic, but which Long Teng does exceptionally well. Long Teng is a seafood restaurant and at the entrance there are tanks with live lobsters and crabs. Personally I find that rather bizarre that he crustaceans can watch from the tanks how their friends end up on plates on the restaurant tables, but if you have traveled in Asia, you know that this is a common layout for seafood restaurants, so you can see that what you order is a fresh catch (straight out of the tank).

For dessert I had hoped that there was space for a round of the Creamy Egg Custard Buns, which look like little angry birds, and taste divine. Though by then, we were both so full, we had to get the buns to go, along with all the other leftovers. I was curious about what they would be like to reheat later, but they were still delicious after a short time in the microwave oven the following day.

Korean BBQ at Sonamu, Dubai

We are a mixed group of Koreans (adopted and “real” ones + J from Lebanon), who meet for Korean food on a regular basis, and the other day we went to the Korean BBQ night at Sonamu.

It’s been almost 9 years since the first time I visited Sonamu, and I love that place. Even though the restaurant is located in Deira (= impossible traffic around dinner time), this is where I prefer to go for Korean food in Dubai. The Korean BBQ Set Menu includes appetizer, barbecue, soup and dessert so there is no risk of leaving hungry.

They have changed the dishes included in the menu quite a bit recently, so the other day, we had seared salmon, fried tofu and twigim (Korean tempura) for appetizers, before the table grill was turned on. We had asked for one of the Asian-style tables, which feels as if you are sitting on the floor, but there is room for your legs under the table, so it is not uncomfortable at all. Shinae (our real Korean) was the grill master and made sure that the meat was cooked perfectly. The best cuts for Korean bbq are those with a lot of fat such as ribeye. The meat should just be on the grill for a few minutes, and then eaten right away, while it is still juicy and hot. If you do not want to handle the barbecue yourself, just ask the staff to assist you.

For dessert we had the good old Chocolate Volcano cake, which has been a part of the bbq set menu ever since my first visit. If you ask nicely, the staff will offer you a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side, and you will say yes, – it makes the cake taste even better 🙂

Yellow Cherry Plum Preserve Recipe

It is the peak season for yellow cherry plums, and in the Danish countryside, where my parents live, you’ll find them everywhere. They are growing at the field boundaries and along the roads, and maybe because there are so many of them, they are just left hanging on the trees (or is it bushes) since nobody cares to pick them. Some of the yellow cherry plums can be a bit dry to the taste, while others are juicy and nice, and it turns out they make a really nice preserve.

In Denmark most people call the yellow cherry plums mirabelles, but we also call real mirabelle plums from France, which are different from cherry plums, mirabelles. I found out this is also the case in Germany and the UK, so I was not sure whether to call the plums mirabelles or cherry plums in this recipe, but I decided to stick with what is apparently the correct name for those little yellow plums (or are they berries?). Here is the recipe:

Recipe – Yellow Cherry Plum Preserve

Ingredients: (makes 2 half pint jars)

4 cups yellow cherry plums

3 cups sugar

Pit the cherry plums and cut them in halves.

Bring the plums and the sugar to a boil and let it simmer at medium heat for 10-15 minutes or until the preserve has the desired thickness. That’s it, you’ve made yellow cherry plum preserve:)

I used jam sugar, which is granulated sugar with added pectin. Pectin is a naturally found in all fruits and berries, and when heated, this is what gives the preserve its jelly-like texture. The pectin concentration varies within species with lemons and apples among the most pectin-rich fruits, and within the ripening cycle. Ripe fruit has less pectin and is thus more difficult to jam. Cherry plums should contain enough pectin to make the preserve go thick, so you can do with regular sugar if you want.

You can check the viscosity of the preserve along the way by scooping up a bit of the preserve on a spoon and put it in the fridge for a few seconds, or you can use a candy thermometer and wait for the temperature of the preserve to reach 220F which is the gel point, i.e. the point when the preserve starts thickening.

Depending on how you choose to sterilize the jars, the preserve can last up to 1 year.

Umm Al Quwain

After our lunch at Azure, we started driving back to Dubai. We stopped in Umm Al Quwain, at the legendary Barracuda, which is a liquor store located near the beach in the middle of nowhere, next to a resort with the same name. The prices are much lower here, than in the liquor stores in Dubai, and many Dubai expats take the trip to Umm Al Quwain, whenever they need to stock up on all things alcohol.

Barracuda has been around since 1994, and it looks like business is good these days. The store and the surroundings have undergone a major overhaul and looks much nicer than it did at our first visit some 10 years ago. The parking lot was crowded with cars with Dubai registration plates, and a new restaurant called Thunder Road has opened next to the store. It is Italian owned, and very popular, but we were lucky to snatch the last vacant table before a line started building up. We already had lunch, but the pizzas looked so good, so we decided to share one with bresaola and ruccola. So delicious! A great way to recharge before driving back.

Close to Barracuda, you drive by an old, abandoned IL-76 plane. Previously, you could get really close to the airplane and take some really great photos, but it is not possible anymore. Though if you drive slowly, you can still get some really nice shots from the road.

The Original Barracuda, Barracuda Beach Resort – Al Shebeakah – Umm Al Quawain – United Arab Emirates