Monday, January 10, 2011

Saladicious? Delicious!

You won’t believe this, but I had dinner other than at Reem al-Bawadi or Bu Qtair. Even I can’t believe it!

Yes, I was invited to Saladicious a couple of nights ago and since, I noticed on Twitter that a few of my friends have been checking in there on FourSquare, among them Samer Chami (@_BiGsAm_) and Abdullah AlSuwaidi (@Aabo0).

It was a good choice, for the restaurant is off Jumeirah Beach Road and in my comfort driving zone! It’s in the street to the right of The One, parking is easy and Saladicious now has its doors wide open and a little balcony to sit outside in the beautiful January Dubai weather.

I was invited by my friend Rosy Abourous, who was visiting from Beirut. Rosy is the Lebanese jewelry designer behind the Rosa Maria brand. She has taken jewelry to new forms of originality. She mixes different metals -- such as gold, rose gold, silver, oxidized silver, copper, pewter, zinc -- in an unconventional manner with diamonds of different colors. These include black diamonds and rose cut, rubies, sapphires, tourmaline and topaz among other semi-precious stones. Instead of the traditional round band, her rings are rectangular or spherical.

A Rosa Maria bouquet of rings (courtesy of
Rosy’s unusual handcrafted jewelry, on sale in Lebanon and worldwide in concept and very fashionable boutiques, combines times gone by with a modern twist, whether in her rings, earrings, bracelets or pendants. She also uses wood and leather in bracelets and chains. Her pieces are coveted, collected and layered to form bouquets stacked on the fingers, wrist or neck.

Saladicious was Rosy’s choice and I was pleased to try this restaurant that boasts the “best original homemade food.”

Their website is brilliant. It figures the whole menu, including the prices. It is divided into different sections – salads, soups, food, pancakes and crêpes, desserts, beverages and breakfast. The site says the chefs are Venezuelan and the choices are extensive including risottos, paellas and pastas. There is a takeaway menu and a canapés and catering section.

Potato wedges
Greek salad
Neither of us being big diners, we went for the soups and salads. The soup selection is impressive and priced between Dhs. 27 ($7.35) and Dhs. 38 ($10.34). The salad range is even better with varieties featuring prawns, tuna, salmon, beef, calamari, chicken, mushroom, bresaola… These are priced between Dhs. 28 ($7.62) and Dhs. 36 ($9.80). You can create your own for Dhs. 40 ($10.89) or go for the “ultimate salad with everything for two” at Dhs. 60 ($16.33).

The most expensive item on the menu is the Seafood Paella at Dhs. 90 ($24.50), followed by the Mixed Paella at Dhs. 80 ($21.78).

We sat on the little balcony which has room for four tables and were immediately brought a fresh breadbasket and a selection of three dips – tapenade (black olive paste), avocado with cheese and garlic butter. Saladicious’ bread is excellent with a twist: black squid ink bread.

White and black (squid ink) bread
Rosy settled for a lentil soup which she said was excellent. My first choice was a bresaola salad, but they had run out. I was trying to avoid anything with garlic and onions because I had an interview the following day and opted for the Greek salad instead. It was fresh and crispy. We shared a plate of potato wedges and washed it down with a very good Saladicious lime and mint lemonade (Dhs. 22 or $6).

The seating indoor is roomy with big and small tables, a bar-like corner and even minichairs for children. There’s one long table that can seat at least 12, which I thought would be excellent for a future tweetup. The decoration is funky and the music not too loud.

The bar-like corner
We weren’t crowded by waiters and left to sit and enjoy the meal and catch up before finishing with a coffee and ginger tea.

The Saladicious staff and patrons were amused when I asked if I could take pictures (see here) and wondered around doing that. When Rosy said she wou
ld like to buy some black bread to take home, they offered her a bag.

Our bill came to Dhs. 145 ($39.47) but I don’t know how that compares with similar places.

It was a pleasant evening and I will go back to Saladicious. Have you been there and what’s your verdict?

(Oh, and as my friend Rupert asked, no... I didn't get paid for this post. I wish!!)