Tag Archives: fun

{Restaurant Review} Jim’s Restaurant, Adliya – Good old Jim’s is back!

22 Aug

Three years ago, I completed a project. No, it wasn’t of any national interest but it was important for me as a food blogger and a restaurant reviewer.It was called the Restaurant Review project  on the blog, where I had taken up the task of reviewing 24 restaurants in Bahrain in  6 months time in 2010. Many obstacles came my way, but I did finally finish it, not it 6 months but it took me 12-14 months to finish. Today, I have nearly 29 restaurants reviewed on my blog and you can check them out here. The very first restaurant I reviewed was Jim’s Restaurant in Adliya.  It was a great evening with friends and family and I went home from Jim’s Restaurant feeling wonderful from all the good food.  In between now and the first time at Jim’s Restaurant, I did pay it a visit a couple of times, but was disappointed by the food and the service. It was then I got to know Jim’s has changed hands twice and the new team wasn’t able to create the ‘ Old Jim’s magic’. I decided to avoid Jim’s until now, when I was invited to review them two weeks back. I was reluctant but then the new management at Jim’s were really persuasive.  The new management of Jim’s Restaurant informed that their old Chef Firdaus is back and with him the restaurant is back to being the ‘good old Jim’s’ 

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Jim’s Restaurant in Adliya was always known to be a fun place for a great night with friend’s on a weekend. With food that draws inspiration from Anglo- Irish to Indo- Persian cuisine, Jim’s Restaurant has always promised it’s diners a sumptuous meal in a fine yet casual set up.

I was quite intrigued to see if I would witness the old charm of Jim’s Restaurant after 3 years.

Upon entering the restaurant on a Thursday late evening, after a hard day’s work, I only had one thing on my mind – relaxation. I wanted go to a place where I could put my feet up and feel the casual vibe around me. It seemed that my wish might just come true when we were welcomed inside the  restaurant by the restaurant’s staff  with broad smiles. We ordered our drinks as it was extremely hot and humid that evening. The chilled and refreshing drinks provided the much needed succor. It was a matter of time that I felt very relaxed and was genuinely looking forward to my dinner at Jim’s. We ordered some starters which I realized were the same that I had ordered three years ago. It is funny how our memory points us to migrate to everything that is familiar and comfortable. My taste bud memories immediately got to work and I recalled the contrasting tastes of the salty brie against the tangy sweetness of the blueberry coulis. The Deep fried brie wedges in blueberry coulis was everything that my taste buds remembered and loved. I was nearly convinced that I could forget the past and imagine that good old Jim’s was really back. Now I was very excited to see how the other courses turned out.

Deep fried brie wedges with blueberry coulees

Deep fried brie wedges with blueberry coulees

To accompany the starter, we also ordered for an appetizing oriental chicken salad.  The salad was refreshing because it was made from all the seasonal and local produce such a locally sourced chicken, cucumbers, beetroot, crispy lettuce, onions and coriander leaves. The satay style marinated chicken was delicious while the tangy peanut dressing made it very addictive. I had many helpings of this salad which I found genuinely filling and would recommend it just as highly as I would the deep fried brie wedges with coulis.

Oriental chicken salad

Oriental chicken saladR

The main course seemed unnecessary but my gluttonous nature got better of me. We ordered for a spinach, brie, mushroom stuffed chicken and a vegetable quiche – again both main courses were the same from our first time at Jim’s Restaurant.  The hearty spinach, brie and mushroom stuffed chicken was accompanied by mashed potatoes,  garlic cream sauce and buttered vegetables while the vegetable quiche had a salad side to it – every bit scrumptious and hearty.

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Spinach, brie and mushroom stuffed chicken

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Vegetable Quiche

By the time, we finished our main courses, we were in food heaven. The portions were fantastic and it really felt like we were back at the old Jim’s Restaurant. Jim’s is lucky to have chef Firdaus back and it was his magic that was helping his patrons relive old Jim’s Restaurant memories. All in all, I sensed that this is a chef who knows exactly what he’s reaching for, a chef whose ultimate goal is simply to make his patrons and new customers happy.  And this is just the beginning and Jim’s Restaurant has some hard work to put in before they can have all their old customers back. I have no doubt in my mind, that Jim’s will be very successful like it used to be once. I missed eating the dessert because I was too full from all the tasty food. The next time, I go to Jim’s Restaurant, I will start with dessert first.

If this review has made you hungry, you can check out Jim’s menu here

This is a sponsored post but the views expressed are solely mine.

Nai Appam ( Rice cakes sweetened with jaggery)

24 Nov

I am back from my vacation and it seems I need a another one to recover from the strain of this one. Travelling to meet relatives, performing social obligations etc are just what India is all about. Ofcourse it is exciting and there are so many stories to share and for Mimi to discover who her relatives are. She was such a hit with her grandparents (both sets), her uncles and aunts. She picked up new lingo on the way and has been chattering non stop.

After such a long hiatus from this blog, it seems like I need to start afresh. It is almost like I am lost and to find my footing again with my writing, baking and cooking is going to take some time. Being back at work has been even harder. It was almost like being thrown into a cyclone. They say the eye of the cyclone is where there’s no chaos and on the contrary, its the calm and serene. Everyday it is a struggle to find that eye or find my center in the middle of giant cyclones and carry on with my day.

The simple ingredients: Rice flour, fresh coconut, scrapped jaggery and cardamom

Perhaps I am not even making any sense and all my thoughts are scattered at the moment. But I am sure in the days to come, things would settle down as it can’t be this chaotic forever.

Well these depressing thoughts aside, I had the chance to learn how to make these delicious rice cakes sweetened with jaggery that we call Nai appam. Mostly we make them for special occasion and as offerings to our Hindu Gods and Goddesses. As a child, I remember devouring these even before they were offered to the special deity. There is also a savoury version of the same recipe which I hope to try and bring to this blog soon.

The apparatus: Nai appam chatti

Melting the jaggery

The batter

Heating the oil/ghee in the Nai appam chatti

Flippity-flip

crowns of golden brown

My mother and I made these in the kitchen of her new home while the clouds gathered outside and threatened to pour any moment. It was the perfect moment that signified harmony and the very purpose of our (my mother’s and mine) existence – being creative. It was her thorough conditioning and my dad’s too, that I sought to be creative in anything and everything I tried to do in life. Probably, it is was a survival skill that they taught me which I hope to pass on to my daughter. Being creative and finding beauty in the most mundane of tasks has helped me get through life’s slowest and dreariest periods.

I also take this opportunity to thank everybody who voted for MIMI on FACEBOOK because she WON THE CONTEST. She is the cutest Kid in Bahrain and as a prize she would have a photoshoot done by Summer Weeks here in Bahrain on the 22nd of December. Only thing is Mimi hasn’t clue about all of the above because the only thing she was concerned during the holidays was to have a lot of fun… There is so much she teaches me everyday in her own little MIMI way.

Home Sweet Home

31 Oct

It has been a very hard October. My job has consumed me, my life and everything there is to consume. I have burned out in the process. We had our vacation planned around this time to celebrate Diwali with our folks in India. It was to be a 4 week, much deserved vacation but due to work pressure and such wholly silly reasons, we had to cut it down to less than 3 weeks. But atleast we got some break.

Packing was a nightmare in between  finishing the last of my assignment and a sick child. I thought I might not make it to the airport at all. But we did and it was such a relief to sit in the Bahrain airport lounge sipping my green tea and watching Mimi play in the family room full of toys. She was on antibiotics and hence experiencing some temporary relief.

Finally we did board the flight and it took us many hours before we landed in God’s own country – Kerala and more so to my mum’s and dad’s new home. We were spellbound by how beautifully this house was constructed and it radiated such tranquility and positive energy that its indescribable. Just the right place for burnt out souls like us. Whats bonus is, it was my parent’s home and it was waiting for us with all the  love and affection.

My parent’s new home in Kerala (India)

The gate and the compound walls are still under construction and my parents are planning to have a beautiful garden and a vegetable patch too. They have their own well to draw out sweet tasting water and coconut and jackfruit trees in their backyard.

My daughter who was recuperating from an ugly bout of ulcers in her mouth and throat seemed to forget about her pain and enjoyed frolicking around in the mounds of sand in the front yard. She lay on it, built sand castles and pretended to be on the beach. I sat watching her enjoy herself in the mild drizzle and enjoying the feeling of the wet sand between her fingers and toes.

Our everyday routine goes like this :

  • Wake at whatever time we please and find that a sumptuous breakfast is ready
  • Mid morning- laze around reading or finishing some writing project while sipping on some green tea
  • have a sumptuous lunch over conversations and loud laughter
  • take a nap or read some more
  • go and meet my granny and my uncles, cousins and aunts in the evening or a visit to the temple
  • come back and watch some tv- reruns of Masterchef
  • have a light dinner and then retire to bed or browse the internet.

Stone art by Mimi

I could do this forever or atleast for the rest of my vacation. But from here we are off to my husband’s homeland in the north of India- Delhi. Being in Delhi during Diwali is absolutely exciting. I am extremely pleased for Mimi to be a part of these festivities as it would be a new experience for her.

I have two more weeks of family fun and excitement waiting for me before I return to Bahrain and to my stressful job. Blogging has taken a back seat and I miss it terribly. I hope to keep up even on my vacation else you’ll can imagine me having fun shopping, eating and enjoying my vacation with my folks here in India.

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