Sambosa Problema

Eversince I saw an interesting ad on the magazine about the new Cafe in Seef Area that serves modern Arabic cuisine, I was thrilled to try it. Especially when I saw a big signage on a green building at the parking lot right between Seef Mall and Al Aali Mall. I constantly checked when they were going to open. Weeks passed by and I saw the green building didn’t open any single door. It was annoying and confusing as I followed their twitter account @lumeestreet that they updated their special menu everyday. One day I was curious and just walked around the building thinking that maybe they opened the door from their side and then I felt like the most stupid person on planet earth. The cute green building with big Lumee signage on it that I assumed as the cafe itself was actually an electricity room for I don’t know which mall of the two. That was horribly embarrassing, at least I was the only one who knew that!

I asked somebody that looked like a worker for I don’t know where, I just saw him in electrician bodysuit and ask where Lumee was while pointing at the big signage. He told me that it is actually inside the Al Aali Mall. Duhhh! I was such a foolish. It was lunch time as I arrived to that cute cafe and the seats were pretty much occupied by some young executives as I observed from how they dressed. I had an option to eat outside or inside and then I chose to eat inside, right in front of the cashier counter where they had this comfy couch with cushion.

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The restaurant itself wasn’t that big, though. But it was definitely cozy and homy with lemon-ish ambiance as Lumee is apparently the Bahrain slang for lemon. They had outdoor area, not literally, but outside seats in the big hallway of the mall right side by side with Al Bindaira Cafe across the hall. All of the salads, hummus, and dessert were displayed in a very tempting way. They totally brought the new face of Middle Eastern flavour as they said on their page.

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A person who I assumed as a manager -because he wore different, casual outfit- came and greeted me friendly. Thank you for that, sir! A waitress came right after in such a hurry mode which I understand that they were really busy and it wasn’t fine dining anyway so I wasn’t expecting to be treated as a Sheikh either. I looked into the menu while also asked for some suggestion. I really wanted to have the full course from appetizer to dessert because I was excited so I ordered Baked Cheese Sambosa for starter, and all today’s special menu for the rest which were Bahraini Machboos; Prawn & Saffron Rice for the main course, Cinnamon Butterscotch Cake for dessert and Karak Tea Lemonade for drink. God I was hungry!

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My lemonade obviously came first as it was one hand grab away. They put all the lemonades in cute bottles. It tasted normal. It was good but I wasn’t crazy about it. But then it took quite a few moment for the next course to be delivered. I maybe waited around twenty minutes when the biggest mistake a restaurant could make arrived in front of my face: bringing the main course before the starter. Yes, my rice arrived twenty minutes later without any sambosa before hand. I was confused and asked the waiter who delivered me the food. He wasn’t the one who took my order and he seemed that he wasn’t aware that I ordered sambosa for starter. “I’m so sorry, sir. I will check” as he said. I tried to wait for my sambosa first before I tried the rice but it looked really tempting as the smell flew inside my nose. Alright, one spoon wouldn’t hurt.

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At first, I ate the shrimp. Holly crap, it was perfectly juicy. And the second bite I tried the rice. Delicious! It was really good to make me think “fuck eating order, I’m so gonna finish it now” The portion was actually pretty big to be enjoyed by one person if you order other courses. So I suggest you that maybe if you want to have the full course, share the rice with someone else so you will still some rooms left. The colour was yellow and the texture of the rice was just perfect. I finish it in quite a long time actually as it was a pretty big portion. But then it was bugging me that my sambosa still wasn’t coming yet. The grey cardigan manager passed by me and I asked him about my sambosa. He talked to staff and the staff just ran outside the restaurant right after. I didn’t know whether they had outside kitchen or they actually bought the sambosa from other restaurant in the mall but 5 minutes later, my sambosa came, warm and good-smelled.

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The 6 pieces sambosa came with a small cup of dipping sauce. My rice wasn’t finished yet but I wanted to try the sambosa first so I put the rice aside for a while. I could tell that they just baked it as it was obviously still hot, maybe they would never bake it if I didn’t constantly ask them lol. The delicious cheese melted in my tongue as I bit it. Heavenly! I tried the second one with the dipping sauce. I didn’t know what it was made of but I liked it better without it. I mean, the sauce wasn’t horrible but I’m just that basic traditional person who prefer any flavour to be original. So yeah, I really enjoyed that late sambosa of mine. I finished the rice right after. How did they taste? Two thumbs up, need I say more? But as they were actually big food, I was full!

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I told the manager who really liked to pass by me to change my dessert from cake to Mixed Dates Ice Cream as I was really full. The Ice cream came literally in one minute as they directly scooped it from the display container right in front of me. The ice cream was simply one of the best ice cream I’ve tasted in my life. It had a proper level of sweetness and they put some real date fruit in it that blended perfectly with the ice cream texture. I simply loved it.

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As more people came to dine in, I felt bad to sit there any longer eventhough I was too full and lazy to walk. I asked for the bill paid and left the restaurant for about 5 steps when I didn’t know why but I accidentally looked at my bill again that they didn’t remove the cake that I changed for the ice cream. So they still charged me both Cake and Ice Cream. Good thing that I was still in front of the cafe and came back as the manager happened to be in front of me again for the hundredth time because maybe the cafe was just small anyway and told him. He directly fixed it and tell the cashier to pay me back the amount of the cake. He apologized and said something like “I already told her to change your order but she didn’t hear” while pointing to the cashier with a grumpy face to indicate that he was upset with her which I think wasn’t wise enough to blame point finger to someone else in front of the customer as he was the one who took my order. He just needed to apologize which he already did and that would have been enough. Their food was totally recommended but they need to level up the service. I understand that maybe because the time was really busy. So if I may suggest, they should add at at least one more service staff to reduce the chaos or blocking away the guests when they think they won’t be able to handle them anymore. I would choose the first option if I was them.

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December Delights

December food summary. Follow instagram @febylous__ for daily updates.

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Sea Bass, Cafe Italia

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Pizza & Casear Salad, Pizza Company

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Mushroom Cheese Ommelette, New York Coffee

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Emergency Breakfast, Jasmi’s

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Japanese Feast, Oishi Sushi

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Thai seafood Rice, Wang Thai

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Thai Tea, Wang Thai

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Pancake, Fuddruckers

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Tropical Fruit Chunk, Bahrain International Circuit Bazaar

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Baked Cheese Sambosa, Lumee

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Prawn & Saffron Rice, Lumee

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Mixed Dates Ice Cream, Lumee

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Hot Choccolate & Blueberry Cheesecake, Caribou Coffee

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Miso Salmon, Cheesecake Factory

Green, Green Grass

Down the lane I walk with my sweet Mary, hair of gold and lips like cherries.
It’s good to touch the green, green grass of home.
Yes, they’ll all come to meet me, arms reaching, smiling sweetly.
It’s good to touch the green, green grass of home.

– Green, Green Grass of Home by Claude “Curly” Putman

Except, it’s not home.

But it doesn’t mean that it’s not good to touch the green green grass out of home.

Don’t we all just love green wherever it is?

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Jumper: Massimo Dutti, Pants: Dolce & Gabbana, Shoes: Adidas, Arabian Scarf: Vintage

Japanese Food is a Lifestyle!

Japanese is always on one of the top list when it comes to food for everyone, including me. I can eat countless maki without getting full and still do the same thing the next days, I just can’t help it, obsessed to eat.

Thus, in Bahrain it’s no secret that the Japanese are to die for. Including this one restaurant that I visited recently, well honestly mostly that just won the title as Best Japanese Restaurant at the prestigious Time Out Magazine Awards 2014. How delightful does that sound?

Akiko can be counted as new Restaurant that just opened early 2014. Opening their door in the heart of Adliya with a total modern Japanese ambiance combined by their authentic appetizing food, they are totally the definition of the new classic.

The restaurant has 3 areas which are mezzanine bar, main dining areas which also has several parts: smoking, family, sushi and robata counters, and of course the beautiful garden that becomes everyone favourite especially at this time of the year.

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Sushi Counter

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Upstairs Bar

Accessibility, check. Fabulous ambiance, check. Friendly efficient staff, check. Here comes the most important of them all: food.

Last time I visited Akiko was Saturday night. The restaurant was not that crowded but it was busy, especially in the garden where I wish I could eat there too but had no confidence enough to sit there by myself and chose to sit in front of robata counter, yes, alone.

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credit: Time Out Bahrain

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credit: Bahrain Ministry of Culture

I was supposed to be on diet but i couldn’t help not to stop by as I was in the area and decided to scream “fuck it, I’m gonna eat Japanese” loudly in my head yet realize that of course I needed to control myself so I just ordered some fingered foods as I thought that I go there many times and just come back anytime to have more foods on my cheating day (don’t tell anyone!)

It was a special tasting food that, a plate consist of Spicy Tuna Roll, California Roll, Crispy Calamari, and Rock Shrimp Tempura. “Another bowl of Rock Shrimp, please” as I told to the friendly server who greeted me since the first time I entered the restaurant as she replied “a moment, sir” with a big smile. I closed the moment with the dreamy all time favourite Ogura Ice Cream. Can’t get enough of that!

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The Feast

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These made me full but of course I wanted more!

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Extra Rock Shrimp, please!

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Ogura Ice Cream

Do not ask me about the taste because of course they are heavenly. What I love about Akiko is that their food is totally delicious and their price is completely affordable. You can eat a lot but pay less than in any other Japanese restaurants with the same level in the Kingdom. Besides, i think they also have an advantage of being a new restaurant since maybe most people are bored with the old routines with the old restaurants and they just came at the right time with this WOWing both exterior and interior.

There are also several foods I tried from previous visits:

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Akiko Salad

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Tekka Maki

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Grilled Prawn

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Skewer Hammour

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Prawn Tempura

For me, this isn’t a review. This is more about sharing my story as review is only for a restaurant that you visit once or twice. Dining is Akiko is a lifestyle. You don’t review your lifestyle, you share it!

The Good Boots

Don’t we all just love the new year? Besides the complete money wasting parties, obviuosly not environmentally friendly fireworks, and that new year new me bullshit, here comes that time that social climbers are waiting the most: Winter Sale.

The fact that Winter doesn’t officially end and they put the things on sales for the sake that fashion always goes one step ahead totally give us advantage to shop for things that we actually need. And actually, there are several countries that lie around the equator line and have pretty much the same climate every time of the year and don’t really care about certain accessories because they are totally wearable anytime. In this case, boots.

Winter, spring, summer, or autumn, boots can be fashion ultimatum. This season or next year, wear them anytime you want. Here are 9 picks of febylous boots you can find easily in the worldwide retailers.

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Black Biggin Leather Utility Boots – Topman

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Combination of Flanel and Blue Suede Boots – Massimo Dutti

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Brown Leather Boots – H&M

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Brown Leather Buckle Trim Boots – River Island

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Brown Leather Work Boots – Topman

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Leather Dockside Ankle Boots – Zara

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Leather Trekking Boots – Zara

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Mathan Boots – Aldo

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Settecamini Boots – Aldo

Oh, and yes. We buy clothes on sale and wear last season’s clothes, all the time!

First Taste of Spain

Everyone knows that F is obsessed with a lot of thing. But not really many people know that going to Madrid is totally one of them. Yes, I am dying to go to Spain and experience myself its culture, walk on its beautiful pavement with cool Mediterranean architecture around me, and of course taste the food. One can’t go anywhere without having culinary experience.

It obviously might take a little while for me to actually reach the point where I’ll do those things myself but a little warm up won’t hurt much. There comes a time when you can take picture with George Clooney –God knows when– but some people just need to start it with taking the wax version of him at Madame Tussauds. Same logic.

There was this restaurant that just opened in the middle of 2014 which happened to be the very first Spanish Restaurant in Bahrain. On the top of that, it won 2 Awards in the 2 Most prestigious Restaurant Awards in Bahrain in just less than 6 months since their opening. Couldn’t get any better restaurant to be my ‘Madame Tussauds’.

La Vinoteca Barcelona was located just in Adliya as the capital of Bahrain’s high-end culinary area made it much more accessible for young people. It might not be La Vinoteca Madrid but that didn’t mean I lost my excitement, Especially when they had special food tasting at that time for food bloggers and food enthusiasts in Bahrain. That was kinda sweet.

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The moment I entered the restaurant, several waiters were gathering at the reception desk. I assumed they were just having a briefing. One of them directly greeted and escorted me to the table. The dining area was spacious, they had quite big capacity with variety of tables and chairs. There was a stair to go upstairs though which I assumed again that it would lead to the upstairs dining area but i didn’t ask.

There was this wonderful wall full of wine displays on the left of the entrance. “Wow” as I snapped a picture and continued walking to my table. A bar that looked kinda empty was right in front of me. A different waitress came to me and explained the menu for the food tasting.

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“Take out the chicken and the meatball please, I’m a pescatarian” as I told “And give me a glass of rose wine” I added. The wine came earlier while a big plate of food came not more than 10 minutes later. The waitress re-explained that that night, I was having A Manchengo Cheese Lollipops, Spanish Omelette, Tomato Bread, Patatas Bravas (my favourite!), and Air Dried Tuna with Tomato Tartar & Salmorejo Dressing.

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Each of them came in a small yet really appetizing pieces as I was so happy that would be my very first Spanish culinary experience. I started with the cheese lollipop, God, it was really cheesy! And by that, it was literally made by cheese and it tasted sooo good! A waiter passed by and I just randomly said “This is really good!” which I rarely did when I ate in a restaurant. I continued to the next food which might taste quite standard. I mean yeah, we couldn’t expect much from an omelette and tomato bread, but when it came to the patata bravas, Geez, that thing was even better than that cheese lollipop. It tasted little bit spicy and the the sauce they put on it just complimented each other. That was totally the highlight of the plate.

Those food might came in small pieces but once I finished them, I was completely full and had no more room for dessert. I hung out for a while and see around the restaurant. I figured that they also had like a tiny corner for selling wines, spices, bread, and vegetables which were maybe imported from Espana.

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I left the restaurant happily satisfied with both food and experience. It was such a shame that I didn’t try the dessert, though. But next time I’ll actually be in Madrid, I already know that I’m gonna have the Patatas Bravas!