My taste buds and my stomach are as fragile as my emotions, hence I was scared of Indian food. I was afraid of its intensity; the sting, the spice, everything! Then one day, I was lured by India, particularly Jaipur, through a travel documentary. So, I made a deal with myself. Before anything else, I must get over that senseless fear. I don't want to go hungry while travelling. :)
Ed and I decided to go on an Indian date night for the first time three months ago. As most of our friends said that Gazebo is the safest choice when we want to acquaint ourselves with Indian cuisine, we went to the restaurant's branch in Deira City Centre.
|Indian date night in Gazebo in DCC|
Gazebo is a famous restaurant chain in the UAE serving traditional dishes from the royal kitchens of India. Thus, Gazebo promises to take every diner to a royal Indian journey.
Gazebo's menu is overwhelming and most food names are in Indian. For a minute, I stared at the menu blankly wondering which of the dishes is the famous Indian butter chicken. Since we only know a little about Indian cuisine, we desperately needed help! Thankfully, our server patiently and seriously answered all our queries; even the silliest ones! :)
First up on our dining table were mini bowls of pickled mango, lemon, onion and yogurt. Our server eagerly introduced each. I chuckled when he said "This is lemon. This is onion." as if we are from outer space. Hahaha! Anyhow, he did a wonderful job of introducing Indian cuisine to us.
|Gazebo's pickled mango and yogurt|
Then, the Butter Naan and Murgh Maskawala were served. The butter naan or Indian flat bread was served hot and buttery, slightly crispy outside, a little soft inside. The Murgh Maskawala or butter chicken is a dish that I never thought I'd love. Based on its looks, the orange sauce seems overloaded with strong Indian spices, but it wasn't. The sauce is light and creamy. The chicken meat is so tender that each piece melted in my mouth! It's very mild and delicate; too far from my perception of Indian food.
|Gazebo's butter nan and butter chicken|
The highlight of our evening was the Murgh Zafrani Biryani or chicken biryani with saffron. It was traditionally served in a earthen pot covered with a light pastry. I was quite stunned with the presentation that I never got the chance to take a photo of it untouched. The next thing I know, our server already has removed the pastry cover and was delightfully presenting the delish-looking biryani inside the claypot.
It was cooked based on our preference; mildly seasoned, non-spicy! The taste was as fascinating as the presentation. It's aromatic and flavorsome, but not too strong for my feeble taste buds. I love it!
|Murgh Zafrani Biryani in a claypot|
Along with our excellent meal, we had refreshing Indian drinks. I had a mango lassi, a perfect concoction of mango and yogurt. Ed had the Aab E Bahar, a unique combination of coconut water, mint and honey.
|Aab E Bahar and Mango Lassi|
After the wonderful Indian dinner, I realized that my fear was in fact pointless. Indian food is exciting, surprising, and just like where it came from, it is incredibly fascinating! So, I guess you know what happened next! :)
I booked our flights and several days from now, my senses will succumb to the sights and sounds, scents and flavors of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur!
We are travelling to India! :)
Butter Naan: 7 AED
Murgh Maskawala: 34 AED
Murgh Zafrani Biryani: 36 AED
Mango Lassi: 16 AED
Aab E Bahar 13 AED
Deira City Centre
*Nearest metro station: Deira City Centre (Red Line)
*To find a branch near you, please check Gazebo's official website.