Saturday, August 25, 2012

Food Review: Chinese Village - Reviewed

Yeap...the famous Chinese Village. I visited the original one located in Deira Dubai in Nihal Hotel for a second time last night. While I do recall enjoying the food last time as well....yesterday it seemed to hit the spot and my wife and I enjoyed every bit of all that we had.

Getting there: So for those who don't know....this first Chinese Village is located in Deira, Dubai, jut off Riqqa Street in Nihal Hotel. It is very easy to find. Parking is a matter of luck...although they do have valet, I did not require their service yesterday since I got parking in the parking lott located right next to the hotel. The restaurant is located on the ground floor...left of the entrance.

Ambience: Typical indian-chinese dim lighting with bamboo sticks imported from Malaysia scattered around the room. A huge painting of the great wall of China is as much of China offered here in terms of decoration! :) Overall...decent ambience suitable for family dinners but probably not for a date night.

Food: As we browsed through the looked extremely promising with some great variety which extends from traditional Indian-Chinese to more authentic chinese dishes.
Hakka Fish
The appetizers and main course are divided conveniently based on principle ingredients - Lamb, Beef, Poultry, Seafood and Vegetarian.

So we started our dinner with a flavorful Chicken Lung Fung soup which was semi thick concoction of chicken, tofu, celery and other vegetables in a cornflour base broth. It was satisfying and made us look forward to our appetizer of "Hakka Fish".
The fish arrived and as I dug my fork into the fish to take a chunk...the smoke burst out and trailed away into my mouth. As I started chewing on the super tender fish coated heavily with a soy based covering of chilli, garlic and coriander....I was lost. The flavor drowned was ecstatic. I must warn you at this point that the fish was definitely high on the spice meter....but it was amazing!
Chicken Tengda

Next arrived our main course - Chicken Tengda. This apparently is a specialty from Kolkata! Yea...chinese specialty from Kolkata? Well...that is what intrigued us and based on our servers strong recommendation, we decided to go ahead with it. (Next time...I'll take pictures when the dish arrives! :) ) The chicken consists of a soy and tomato ketchup based gravy with a generous helping of onions in it. The overall flavor is tangy, a tad bit sweet and again...highly concentrated. The chicken itself is diced pieces and as is the case usually with this kind of cut, there were a few pieces that were extra fatty. We enjoyed every bit of this dish, in fact I kept having a dig at it...even after my dinner was done. The vegetable fried rice also arrived with the chicken. The fried rice, maybe not exceptional, but was definitely good!

At the end of this we were left with no room for any desserts so we decided to skip that. Overall....the food was excellent and the strong flavors made it difficult to stop eating!

Service: The service was good and the staff were attentive to the fact we had a toddler with us, allowing us to enjoy our meal. The servers were friendly and attended to our  requests efficiently.

Price: AED 40-50/person without Alcoholic drinks.

Been-O-pinion: I rate it 4 (on a scale of 5). Great selection on the menu, good service, value-for-money and some yummy food....go for it....again if you have to! :) 

The Expendables 2 - Reviewed

Overview: So...Expendables.... Not much can be said about this movie....judging by merely the star cast of this definitely knows what to expect. Add to it...that we have already seen the first installment of the Expendables. So avoiding the rather obvious criticisms....I'll just delivers what it promises to....but does not add one bit of anything extra to exceed them.

Characters: The characters play their roles effectively. expected Stallone is pretty much the man and can do anything! Stathom is the cool one...and also gets some great action sequences to his credit...the rest, including Bruce Wilis and Arnold, play their parts, say their cliched and sometimes corny dialogues and appear in and out of the film reels! The guns too play a major role in this flick except they probably must be ready to sue the production house for lack of end-credits title space! :) Everyone shoots left-right-center-up-down and in all directions and sometimes make the act of shooting look like its out of a G rated Kids' game.

Music: Loud, yet effective...for this kind of a movie.

Experience: This movie is strictly for those who are looking for guns, bullets and explosions....add to it a touch of old school fist fighting as well...if this is what you are looking for....enjoy the 1 hr 43 mins of non stop action! There are some cheesy dialogues and some well placed funny ones too (like the one where Bruce Willis snaps back at Arnold saying "You've been Back too many times"). All in all....its stress free entertainment devoid of any intelligence.

Been-O-pinion: I give it 2.5....a little more subtlety and a little less mindless action would have done well for this movie. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

MK Livin & Lovin: IHOP-ed out in Dubai

MK Livin & Lovin: IHOP-ed out in Dubai - No harm in talking a little about food! :) My friend, fellow-blogger and critic...Megha reviews the newly opened IHOP in Dubai

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Cabin in the Woods - Reviewed

The Cabin in the Woods

Overview: Even though this is an April release, the DVD recently got released and ended up seeing the movie. To say that I was stunned, is an understatement. There are movies which try to do something different and there movies that try to be weird....and then there are movies like this which are just plain absurd!

Characters: The five - seven (if you count the two weird scientists too) characters build up an initial story which seems pretty intriguing and promising. They are effective in the roles they play and suit the 5 characteristics that the climax is being driven towards. I will not dwell into any specifics as it turns out to be pointless. :)

Music: Nothing worth a mention. Typical horror flick background score and unimpressive.

Experience: The movie surely keeps you captivated, but you will realize it too soon that you are watching and trying to get through the movie only to rationalize to yourself as to why you started watching this movie in the first place. You may hope to find solace in the end...but I wouldn't recommend betting on it! :)

Been-O-pinion: I rate it 1 ...would have scored lower but the fact that it creates enough curiosity for you to watch it till the end...justifies my score!

Ek Tha Tiger - Reviewed

Ek Tha Tiger

Overview: A movie high on entertainment....brilliant action sequences and fortunately of good length. At 2 hours 20 minutes it makes for a fun watch...and you get no time to think or ponder over the flaws for more than a moment. The action acts as a healer to the injuries that the script makes to this tiger!

Characters: Salman Khan breaks out from his image of crappy mindless entertainers and enters the genre of decent, fun and action packed movies! Katrina Kaif looks gorgeous throughout and proves that she is slowly but surely working on improving her acting skills. Ranvir Shorey and Girish Karnard are effective in the roles designed for them. For most parts....Salman is all that matters! :) 

Music: Sohail Sen is out to demonstrate that he can create some great music and proves once again that he can be relied upon. Arabic influences where necessary, irish where needed and oriental when appropriate... Sajid-Wajid get one song which is used in the end credits and is a fun composition! 

Experience: Fast pace, good music, great locations and good photography make it a theater movie. No doubt it has flaws and Kabir Khan takes some cinematic liberties in the script. But still...Go watch it for some wholesome holiday season blockbuster fun.... 

Been-O-pinion: I give it 3 stars! Could have scored higher if only Kabir Khan didn't decide to resort to some typical bollywood-ish masala in atleast a couple of scenes! 

The Dark Knight Rises - Reviewed

It is my pleasure to start my movie, music and food review blog with a movie like Dark Knight Rises. Without wasting much space and readers' goes....

Overview: Another movie showcasing Christopher Nolan's genius. A fitting conclusion to a superhero trilogy that will go down history as a classic trilogy! To set expectations right...right from the beginning, I'd like to mention that the movie suffers from a complex narrative and relies heavily on the audience's memory of the previous two parts but nevertheless it has an epic feel to it! 

Characters: Christian Bale's character gets a significant variety of emotions to play in this episode which is interesting. Michael Caine gets the best dialogues in the movie which might be preachy at times, however, his delivery makes them worth listening. Joseph Gordon plays a vital role and the turn of events during the climax leave us guessing what the future of this franchise might be. Tom Hardy plays Bane....the bad guy, and while he probably does a good job, he wears a mask throughout which annoys you most of the times owing to the fact that you hardly get to understand what he is saying. 

Music: Hans Zimmer's music deserves a special mention...and as would be the case with any Christopher Nolan movies....the movie wouldn't be the same without the haunting scores composed by Zimmer.

Experience: The build-up towards the climax and engrossing screenplay, while drai
ning you mentally, also manage to drown you into Gotham city and the darkness that envelopes it during the 2 hours 44 mins run-time. 
With 72 minutes of IMAX footage, it is a visual treat...but I do recommend a minimum of two times watch if you want to understand the proceedings in detail! A must watch if you are a Batman fan and a must-watch-in-Imax experience! 

Been-O-pinion: I give it 3.5 stars...the complexity and slow-pace at times prevents me from giving more!