Dining Out | A Scrumptious Italian feast Sicilia, Movenpick Ibn Batuta Gate, Dubai

Sicilia Restaurant Dubai Movenpick Ibn Batuta-9

We went to Sicilia for the pizza and stayed for the charm. One of the really wonderful things about dining in Dubai is that ever so often you come across a restaurant that has such an authentic interior design and menu concept that you are transported to a different place, forgetting where you are. Such is Sicilia, the Italian restaurant at the Movenpick Ibn Batuta Gate Hotel.

Located at the far end of Dubai, closer to Abu Dhabi than the Dubai Airport, this quaint trattoria style restaurant with brick arches is certainly worth the journey.

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Head Chef Series |exclusive interview with Chef Izu Ani of La Serre Bistro & Boulangerie

Chef Izu Ani La Serre Dubai Interview Chef and Steward Food Blog-14

There are times in life when you take a bite of a dish and all hell breaks loose – in a good way. Packed with complimentary flavours and textures, all elements combine in harmoniuos synergy and resonate from your palate to the very soul of your being.  Your reaction sounds like that famous restaurant scene in “When Harry Met Sally.” If you hear nothing but moans at a table once a dish has been experienced, the chef is certainly doing something right.  You have bitten into something other than food. You can literally taste the passion.

Chef Izu Anu is the French trained, Nigerian born, British anchored chef who has made Dubai his home and has launched a most promising new home-grown restaurant concept called La Serre Bistro and Boulangerie in Downtown Dubai. A favourite of international stars and discerning food lovers alike, this eatery has earned the respect of fellow chefs and for good reason.  Chef, Apprentice and I  went to review La Serre some months ago and you can read about it in my column “When Hunger Strikes” in the “wknd” magazine of the Khaleej Times, out tomorrow.  Remember to grab your copy early as they usually sell out by midday. (ETA -In case you missed it, see the online version here).

In the meantime, get your exclusive scoop with the man behind the chef toque as we interviewed him exclusively to share with you here on Chef and Steward.

Here is a bit of the warm, smiling, chef with the kind eyes.

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Crustless Calalloo (Amaranth) Quiche Recipe | Low Carb, Paleo, Gluten Free, Diabetic Friendly

Jamaican Callaloo Quiche Amaranth Quiche No Crust-1

In the UAE it is called “Indian Spinach,” ‘African Spinach,” “Chinese Spinach,” “Cheera,” “Bhajji,” “Kulitis,” “bayambang.” In Jamaica, “Callalo,” Trinidad and Tobago “Bhaji,” Greece, “Vlita.” The popular green vegetable, to which we refer is Amaranth, know by many names and widely used for a variety of culinary and medicinal purposes across the tropics from the Latin Caribbean to Africa, India and Asia.

A quiche is a savoury custard pie which usually has a pastry crust filled with an eggy, custardy base along with meat, cheese, seafood or vegetables. Whereas Spinach Quiche is popular around the world, this is the Jamaican version of this classic. I made this well over a decade ago after dissecting the ingredients from a delectable sample at a cocktail party. Not big into pastry-making then, I opted out of the hassle of making a pie crust and simple baked it without in a pie dish. It was a huge hit. My chef Aunt, Sheryl was so impressed she asked me fro the recipe. The only thing I could remember is that I used 9 whole eggs. And this was during the time when it was widely perceived that egg whites would give you high cholesterol and guarantee heart disease. Continue reading