I hope you’ve had a lovely week. I can’t say I’m feeling any different after turning 25 – even if I may have learnt a lot in the lead-up to it – but I’m back with another post after a little holiday in the UK. I have reviewed a lovely culinary experience called Somvaar Bazaar at Chor Bazaar, Mövenpick Hotel Ibn Battuta Gate Dubai’s in-house Indian restaurant.
Mövenpick Hotel Ibn Battuta Gate Dubai
The hotel itself is a far cry from the crystal-embellished interiors of many hotels in the region, but that’s not to say it doesn’t leave visitors in awe of its decor. With 88 Moroccan lanterns hanging from the ceiling of the hotel, the decor perfectly complements the nature of the property, which was inspired by the 14th century travels of the Arab explorer, Ibn Battuta. The interiors of each restaurant within the hotel have been decorated with close attention to detail and plenty of special touches.
Outside Chor Bazaar, we found a live cooking station, a buffet and a stall draped with vibrant printed fabrics. The concept of Somvaar Bazaar, which takes place every Monday (Somvaar = Monday), offers diners a selection of classic Indian cuisine with a touch of street food. The meal began with a trip to one of the live stations, where two chefs were preparing Pani Puri and sizzling, fresh appetisers on a large pan known as a tawa.
The pani puri’s were genuinely bursting with flavours; the tamarind gave it a tangy kick while the mint chutney balanced out the hint of spice. I’m ashamed to say, as an Indian, that I’d never tried a pani puri until my visit to Chor Bazaar and can admit that I have been missing out. These were made fresh by Kamlesh at the station, who made several before we realised we should probably slow down if we were wanted to be able to try the rest of the evening’s offerings.
We were then served Aloo Tikis (potato cakes), along with Pav Bhaji (buttered buns served with a vegetable curry). After taking the warm appetisers back to the table, we were also served succulent pieces of Chicken Tikka, and while this all went down a treat, I was suddenly reminded that there was even more food to come.
Unlike many Indian restaurants I have visited in Dubai, the food at Chor Bazaar was far from bland and, I’m not sure how I could tell, but it was clear that the food was made with love and a passion for cooking delicious food. I could see that it wasn’t a case of mass-cooking buffet dishes that would merely satisfy diners, instead, the chefs at Chor Bazaar wanted to make sure you experienced Indian food at its finest.
In addition to the buffet, for our main course, we could also opt for a freshly-made curry cooked to our tastes and preferences. We discovered this after we had finished loading our plates with Butter Chicken, Paneer, rice and more, and with desserts to conquer afterwards, we had to give it a miss.
With Butter Chicken being one of my all-time favourite Indian dishes (I can’t handle spicy food, OK!), Chor Bazaar had a lot to live up to. Unsurprisingly, given the quality of the food we had consumed so far, it was divine. The sauce was rich and creamy, while the chicken was tender and provided the perfect contrast in texture to the gravy. Our plates were completely empty by the end of our mains, and after a short break we mustered up the strength to tackle the selection of desserts.
I squealed – yes, really – when I spotted Rasmalai, which is Indian cottage cheese soaked in a milky sweet syrup (it tastes better than it sounds, promise). Additionally, I picked up some Jalebi and Kheer because I’m just a bit greedy and couldn’t resist. The desserts were sweet, but far from sickly as many people tend to find with Indian desserts – we like our sugar!
Overall, I couldn’t have been happier with my meal at Chor Bazaar. The chefs and waiters were extremely friendly and encouraged us to try things I admit I normally would never have tried, which I was very appreciative of. The food was, as you can probably tell by now, perfect, and the restaurant itself was beautifully decorated, while the market-like feel to the Somvaar Bazaar spread outside was rather magical.
I’ve tried to think of things to fault, as I like to be completely honest in my reviews, but I can’t think of a thing. That’s a rarity for a fussy eater like me! If I’ve persuaded you to give Somvaar Bazaar at Chor Bazaar, Mövenpick Hotel Ibn Battuta Gate Dubai, a try find the details below.
Visit Somvaar Bazaar at Chor Bazaar, Mövenpick Hotel Ibn Battuta Gate Dubai
Somvaar Bazaar runs every Monday from 7pm-11pm. The evening costs Dhs125 per person with soft beverages or Dhs225 per person with house beverages. I enjoyed the evening sans alcohol, and didn’t feel like I’d missed out as the food was more than enough for me. I’d recommend this as a place to visit with friends, family or couples as the music is quiet enough to allow you to have a conversation, and there’s plenty of food if you’re looking for a feast. Call 04 444 5613 to book and visit this page for more information.
Somvaar Bazaar will be back after Ramadan, and will not be running through the duration of it. Though a visit to sample the restaurant’s a la carte menu is highly recommended!
I hope you enjoyed this post.
Thanks for reading!
All images in this post were taken by me on the Olympus PEN E-PL7.