6 Must-Try Dessert Treats at The Dubai Mall – KeepDining.com

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A paradise for shopaholics and foodies, The Dubai Mall is a place where one can spend hours, days and even weeks shopping, eating or just strolling about. With innumerable options to pick from, there’s something for everyone here.

During my recent trip to Dubai, I spent an entire week at the mall shopping and trying out different cuisines at some of its renowned cafes and eateries. While I do share a special fondness for food, I also truly love desserts and all things sweet – be it a chocolate, tart, pie, cheesecake or cookie – guilty as charged, I love it all. Since this place has so much to offer, I had to take regular pit stops to satisfy my sweet cravings. So here’s my list of six drool-worthy sweet treats that were oh-so-satisfying:

Carrot Cupcake at Magnolia Bakery

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The Bloomingdale’s store is home to an elegantly decorated counter of mouthwatering cupcakes and cakes from New York’s famed Magnolia Bakery. Each one looks so pretty that its hard to pick just one. However, after spending almost ten minutes admiring each one, I decided to try the carrot cupcake. One bite into it and I was floored. Moist cake packed with flavors of freshly grated carrots, coconut, pineapple, raisins and walnuts, melted in the mouth while the cream cheese icing left a tingling after-taste. Though their red velvet with cream cheese is a bestseller, I recommend giving this one a try. It’s worth the risk…and the calories!
Location: Inside Bloomingdale’s store, lower ground level

Macarons at Ladurée

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World-famous, luxury French bakery and sweets maker, Ladurée gives you a feel of Paris as you walk into the store. With plush café style seating and cutesy interiors, one can pick from a variety of desserts and colourful macarons. I tried various flavors of these smooth delicate shells, but the salted caramel and black truffle ones, were par excellence. Crispy and crunchy on the outside, they were tucked with flavorful filling on the inside. Since they are priced on the higher side, you might consider compromising on those shopping bags over another piece.
Location: P5, level 1

Red Velvet Frozen Custard at Shake Shack

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The combination of red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting and ice cream sounds like heaven in a cup, doesn’t it? So when I found out that Shake Shack, the famous American fast food chain known for its burgers and hot dogs serves this lip-smacking trio, I knew I had found my calling. The divine fusion of red velvet cake chunks and cream cheese served as frozen custard was so pleasing that I just couldn’t stop myself even after a few bites. Next on my list is their Shack Attack.
Location: Level 1, near waterfront

Hot Bun with Chocolate Sauce at Pappa Roti

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Pappa Roti, famous for their hot buns and cold shakes is a must-visit. Each bun is freshly baked from the oven and served hot. With a crispy layer on top, one can feel the crunch with every bite. I highly recommend their hot bun with honey and caramel. The crunchy layer of the bun along with these flavorsome toppings surely makes for a beautiful combination. All you need is a delectable cuppa chocolate milkshake on the side and you’re good to go.
Location: Level 2, near the waterfall

Tiramisu at Eataly

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Eataly, known for its Italian food and fresh ingredients, warmly welcomes guests with a luscious dessert spread located right at the entrance. It’s hard to walk past the store, as the aromas of fresh ingredients and chocolate are enough to make you stop by. After several minutes of strolling around the store, I finally called for their Tiramisu. All ingredients of this rich, fluffy, coffee flavored cheesecake are specially imported all the way from Italy and packed with generous amounts of liqeur, espresso, chocolate and mascarpone, thus making it a must-try dessert on their menu. Incase that’s not enough, you can devour some crepe con Nutella from the store’s exquisite Nutella bar. After all, nothing makes shopping more enjoyable than a piping hot crepe oozing with oodles of creamy hazelnut-chocolate filling. I say its worth the chocolate rush!
Location: Lower ground level, near marina exotic home interiors

Oreo Dream Extreme Cheesecake at The Cheesecake Factory

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Known for its ginormous portions of food, The Cheesecake Factory is a great place to enjoy some lip-smacking American fare. No matter what you eat; make sure to leave some room for dessert, as they have a variety of drool-worthy cheesecakes that cannot be missed. If you’re a fan of cheesecake, cookie and chocolate, the Oreo Dream Extreme is what you’re looking for. Imagine relishing layers of delectable fudge cake, rich cookie mousse, decadent cheesecake and Oreo crumbs – all in a bite. Drooling already? I don’t blame you.
Location: Ground level, near aquarium

Also on – http://keepdining.com/6-must-try-dessert-treats-dubai-mall/

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Live Delice-ious with Chandon Delice

‘I don’t believe in the Republican party or the Democratic party. I just believe in parties’ – said Samantha Jones from Sex and the City.

While I may or may not agree with her on most other things, this is surely something I agree with. Come summer and its time to host a zillion get-togethers at home – be it a boozy brunch, a celebration dinner or just another drunken night – we don’t really need a reason to party, do we? Also, considering how hot its getting in the city, the best way to beat the heat is by downing one-two-many glasses of bubbly.

So when I heard that Chandon India is introducing a new sparkling wine variant, I knew I had found my drink for the season. Launched over a fun soiree hosted at TOTE on the Turf, Délice was just as delice-ious as its name. Crafted at the brand’s state-of-the-art winery in Dindori, Nashik, keeping the Indian palate in mind, this vibrant and versatile variant goes perfectly well with spicy Indian flavors. Its versatility comes from the fact that it breaks the typical sparkling wine codes and is best enjoyed when had directly from a tumbler – chilled, on the rocks or with a slice of fruit (preferably a slice of orange).

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Speaking about the new offering, Stéphane de Meurville – Managing Director, Moët Hennessy India said, “At Chandon India, our endeavour has been not only to gain share of heart, but also to introduce new consumers to the Chandon world. One way in which we will do this is by reaching out to consumers who currently shy away from the traditional Brut and Rose style of drinking. Délice is our next step towards consolidating this vision. While the Indian market loves its bubbles, there is still a strong affinity for sweeter drinks and cocktails. Délice is the result of 2 years of extensive research and development by our team of winemakers led by Gustavo Agostini. We are very proud of this new product from the house of Chandon India which we believe will resonate with the Indian consumer.”

The launch was a sparkling affair with some renowned names from the industry. The decor, inspired by a French Fête in an orchard was a visual treat with orange trees bursting through the bar, an ice cream trolley serving Délice ice lollies, and a walkway inspired by the gardens of Versailles. That’s not it. The soiree also brought together 7 of Mumbai’s coolest Chefs like Chefs Alex Sanchez (The Table), Shilarna Vaze and Chris Perrin (Gaia Gourmet), Kelvin Cheung (Bastian and One Street Over), Pooja Dhingra (Le15 Café), Prateek Sadhu (Masque) and Viraf Patel (Café Zoe), each of who prepared dishes inspired from the taste and spirit of Délice.

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Here’s a run down of all the dishes we sampled. So next time you have your girls coming in or a brunch with the fam, you know what you need:

– Mag St. Vada Pav (a tempura-fried potato puree scented with saffron tucked into a buttery brioche roll) by Chef Alex Sanchez (The Table).

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– Szechuan Snapper & Wild Mushrooms by Chef Kelvin Cheung (Bastian & One Street Over) made with corn pudding, corn husk powder and pickled cucumbers (Corn was the main ingredient used in both the dishes as he thought it would go perfectly with Delice’s refreshing fruitiness).

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– Chilly Caramel Truffles, Dark Chocolate Macarons, Ginger Raspberry Financiers by Pooja Dhingra (Le 15 Cafe).

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– Caciocavallo Brûlée with figs and a Char Sui Pork Belly with Chicharrón and green apple by Chef Prateek Sadhu (Masque)…Cheese and sparkling wine are a match made
in heaven.

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– Chevre with watermelon, grape and blueberry by Chef Viraf Patel (Cafe Zoe). His creation was as fresh and fruity as the bubbly.

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I think its time to stock up on Chandon Délice for all your upcoming celebrations. After all what’s a party without some bubbly?

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FYI:
Chandon Délice is available at leading wine boutiques, hotels and restaurants in Mumbai and is priced at INR 1500.

A Royal Indian Experience at JW Marriott Pune’s Shakahari

If you follow me on Instagram, you already know that I love to travel…even if it means going to Lonavla for a nice Sunday brunch and back. So when I received an invite from JW Marriott Pune for lunch on Saturday, I instantly said yes! Because for me, an ideal weekend is one where I can getaway from the chaos of the city. Since I knew I had something fun to do over the weekend, I couldn’t wait for the week to quickly pass by. Luckily it did. Before I knew it, it was D-day.

I woke up at 8am as our scheduled time of departure from Mumbai was 9am. Since my pick-up point was Worli, I quickly got ready and left. Nikhil, our kind and polite driver had reached Worli Seaface in his white Innova way before time and was patiently waiting for us to come. We (that includes three of us), started for Pune at about 9.15am and were all set to see what the rest of the day had in store for us. Our car had been stocked with cold bottles of aam panna, lassi and several juices for the journey. Thankfully, due to a slight drizzle in the city, it wasn’t very hot or sunny and as we got onto the expressway, it began to rain and started getting a wee bit breezy. Needless to say, our comfortable drive became even more enjoyable.

We reached Pune at about 12pm and were at the property 40 minutes later (thanks to Pune traffic). As we entered, we were warmly greeted by General Manager Vineet Mishra and his kind and loving team. There was something about the place – it felt like home in an instant. I guess that’s why its so popular and buzzing at all times. We looked around for a while and visited its various outlets, starting with the ones on ground level – Pune Baking Co. (the renowned bakery and patisserie), Lobby lounge (which had a special wine promotion for the weekend), Spice Kitchen (their all-day multi cuisine restaurant that was prepping for the on-going Goan festival) and the JW Marriott Food Truck (which unfortunately wasn’t operational that day). Soon after, we proceeded to the next level to see Alto Vino (the Italian restaurant, serving lip-smacking wood-fired pizzas among other things and a variety of wines), Bar 101 (the elite whiskey and cigar bar that houses over 100 different types of whiskey) and Shakahari (their vegetarian restaurant serving authentic Indian specials). Next, we proceeded to Mi-a-mi (the hotel’s rocking night club that was getting ready for Bollywood night) and Paasha (their fine-dining restaurant and bar with an indoor and al-fresco section from where you can enjoy panoramic views of the city). After the property tour, we headed to Shakahari as we had been invited to sample its lip-smacking menu based on authentic Indian cuisines inspired by some of India’s royal, princely states.

A warm welcome with flowers and rose water, an extravagant table set-up and a tikka clad Maharaj Jai Kishen greeted each one of us with his pleasing smile and folded hands. Looking at the hospitality, we knew we were in for a grand feast. The menu, featuring a variety of traditional Rajasthani and North Indian preparations, had been crafted to provide a #RoyalIndianExperience to each one of us.

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‘We want to revive the culture of food in its most authentic Indian form. That is the philosophy at Shakahari – a royal dining experience. Keeping this focus, Maharaj Jai Kishen seamlessly blends tradition and flavor for each dish that is specially curated by him,’ said Mr. Vineet Mishra, the friendly and ever-smiling general manager of the hotel.

Bright and shiny silver Thalis with napkins perfectly folded and knotted gave us a true royal feel. As we took our seats, a server came to each one for a handwash. (In India, a traditional Thali is best enjoyed when eaten with the hands, without any cutlery).

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We were all set for our grand feast which began with some Fratelli wine, a variety of starters served with a bowl full of papad, various chutneys and pickles like plum, peanut, mint and mango as accompaniments. The starters consisted of:

– Dahi Wada
– Palak Patta Chaat
– Rajma Lasooni Salad
– Palak Chawli Tikki
– Beetroot Tikki
– Amritsari Paneer
– Besan Chilla

Out of all the above, the rajma lasooni salad with fragments of burnt garlic and beetroot tikki were my most favorite.

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After a break of about 15 minutes, we were then served our Rajasthani mains. I’m sure you already know that a traditional meal in Rajasthan is incomplete without its speciality dishes like

– Dal Batti Churma: lentil preparation made with wheat flour dough, served with dal, grounded flour dessert and dollops of ghee
– Ker Sanger ke Kofte: ker, bamnera bean dumping cooked in fresh tomato gravy
– Jodhpuri Gatta Curry: steamed gram flour dumpling, cooked in spicy, tangy, hung curd gravy
– Gatta ka Pulao: spiced gram flour dumpling, dum cooked with basmati rice
– Subz Panchmel: a melange of five vegetables, tossed in dry spices and flavored with asafoetida
– Phulka, Palak Poori & Ajwaini Poori

To be honest, I find Rajasthani food too heavy so I avoid eating too much. But here, it was served with so much love that I just couldn’t say no. I thoroughly enjoyed most of it, especially the gatta curry and ker sanger koftas but I wanted to leave space for the rest.

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Right after the Rajasthani meal, we were served some speciality North Indian preparations like

– Dum Paneer Kasoori: homemade cottage cheese, simmered in rich tomato gravy, flavored with fenugreek seeds
– Subz Makhmali Kofta: vegetable koftas filled with dried plums and almonds, simmered in a cardamom cashew gravy
– Pindi Choley: chickpeas, slow cooked and flavored with whole Indian spices, tempered with dried pomegranate seeds and smoked with desi ghee
– Dal Shakahari: black lentils, soaked overnight and rajma, tempered with cumin, fresh garlic and white butter
– Gucchi Pulao: long grain rice flavored with whole spices
– Stuffed kulcha, Roti, Naan, Laccha Paratha

The dum paneer kasoori and dal shakahari were amazing. So flavorful and delicious. The pindi choley reminded me of my recent trip to Amritsar. I wanted to go for a second helping but I had to leave some room for dessert. Considering the lavish variety our meal had to offer, I was eagerly waiting to see what the desserts would have in store.

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Once everyone was done with their meal, the friendly and hospitable staff of Shakahari, escorted us to the ‘Mishtan Bhandar’ – a room filled with sweet treats. Yes, you read that right. A ROOM full of sweet treats! Everything was so tempting that for a minute I almost forgot I had to take pictures and started helping myself. We could choose from a selection of freshly cut fruits like guava, apple, pineapple, dragon fruit among others or desserts like

– Mango Rabadi
– Malai Kulfi
– Vanilla Ice Cream
– Kesar Pista Kulfi
– Moong Dal Halwa
– Gulab Jamun
– Lychee Gulla
– Kaju Pista Roll
– Moti Chor Ladoos
– Kadambari
– Badambhog
– Ghewar

I literally wanted to try everything but unfortunately was already pretty full. So I tried a small piece of the ghewar and some mango rabadi – both, absolutely awesome. And finally finished off with some paan.

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While chatting with Mr. Mishra, I was intrigued to know how long it took to formulate such a royal meal. ‘About 4 months and 60 tastings later we finalized on the menu,’ he said. Unlike most Thali places where you’re served in a rush, the meal at Shakahari is timed (approximately 60 minutes per sitting) so every guest can absorb the food and enjoy every bit of the experience. The menu keeps changing every now and then so there’s always something new to look forward to.

An hour-long chatting session and a few cups of green tea later, it was time to bid adieu. So we thanked the wonderful team for their impeccable service and hospitality and proceeded towards the car, which once again had been stacked with still, sparkling water and other beverages. Our drive back was just as enjoyable as before as we didn’t get any traffic and were home in less than 3 hours.

All-in-all, it was truly a fun getaway from the city – even though it was just for a few hours. Will most certainly be going back soon again…this time for more than just a meal!

Shakahari - JW Marriott Pune Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato