Kanpai, Downtown Dubai – Food/Restaurant Review

Since I moved to Dubai, I’ve been really busy starting my postgraduate and settling into life. I haven’t done any blog posts since moving here and I know that really needs to change. So I decided to kick things off with a review about a Japanese/Asian Fusion Restaurant and Bar in Downtown Dubai, Kanpai.

IMG_2248

Located in Souk Al Bahar just beside the Burj Khalifa, this gem of an Asian restaurant can be found hiding on the second floor. I say hiding, but in reality as you walk towards it you get greeted by this handsome gentleman along the walls.

IMG_2249

It might seem a little strange to feel slightly intimidated as you enter Kanpai, but with those wonderful Samauri-esque greeting you, you might understand my fear. However in reality my family and I were met but some really warm and friendly front of house staff, who took us to our table, asked how the music was for us and really made us feel special about having booked our table with them.

Interestingly enough, whilst we were there Kanpai was having a photoshoot to help further their brand in Dubai. Even though there was this photoshoot going on in the background with the occasional flash of a flash gun or the fake laughter of models told to: “enjoy themselves,” in the next few pictures I didn’t feel like it hindered our visit at all. Perhaps, occasionally they was a longer wait time then we perhaps would’ve liked, particularly when it came to getting the bill, as there were more people dining then, but honestly I felt they dealt with the situation very professionally.

IMG_2251

We had a wonderful server, whose name I’m sure was Mignonne or something similar but in reality she looked just like my favourite Abbi Sciuto from NCIS. I literally couldn’t handle the similarities, she was gorgeous and was there when a glass needed refilling or to guide us through the menu, namely the cocktail menu helping us chose from the different varieties of alcoholic/non-alcoholic drinks which we could then make alcoholic. I have to say I was totally impressed with her as a waitress, as the restaurant seemed to fill she did seem to be serving everybody and she handled that pressure wonderfully. She looked as if she was enjoying herself, she was friendly, calm and helped sort out any issues we had at any given time alongside everybody else.

IMG_2252

You’ll probably want to hear about the food at some point. But very quickly, the setting.

Honestly I don’t know what everybody’s problem is in Dubai, but for some reason and maybe it’s just me but the last few places I’ve been to the lights have been turned so low they might as well have been off, Nobu I’m literally pointing all fingers at you. Whilst Kanpai was a little dark for my liking actually being able to read the menu without asking for a nightlight, and being able to see the food in from of me as well as the people opposite me was an absolute bonus. The lighting was low enough to set an atmosphere but not low enough to destroy any chance of mood. in the same way the music, which when we entered was pretty loud (probably due to the photoshoot), was turned down to make sure we could all hear any person on our table. Honestly touches like that really make the evening so much more enjoyable. Whilst it was pretty classy inside I loved that I wouldn’t necessarily have felt out of place wearing some smart casual trousers and flat shoes, it just felt like there were no pretensions. For me that is amazing, there is nothing worse then going to an eatery, a club or whatever and feeling like you don’t deserve to be there.

IMG_2253

As for the food, well if telling you we had two lots of starters before our main course doesn’t speak volumes for the quality of the food I don’t know what does. There was plenty to go around, and everything from the Spicy Chilli Edamame Bean to the Vegetable Spring Rolls was a wonderful experience for your tastebuds.

IMG_2254

IMG_2255

The chefs and management at Kanpai seriously outdid themselves with their starters, and achieved a succinct and beautiful matching Asian delight. I was impressed with the speed that the starters came out, and there was no problems with us ordering in our very awkward fashion: Starter, Starter, Main without given any time to prepare anything else. Really well done for the starters:

  • Spicy Edamame Beans
  • Crab Cakes
  • Vegetable Spring Rolls
  • Some interesting, not to sure if I liked them/didn’t like them mango and vegetable parcels

Honestly, I can’t qualify if I like the last food item or not, I had one thought: “Not my thing,” and then went back for more because I’m sure it was.

IMG_2264

Main course, for me went a lot like the first course. I ordered:

  • Roast chicken in a spicy cream sauce with mushrooms and baby potatoes

It was delicious. But, and yes really this shouldn’t be a but, BUT: a) I wish the potatoes has been cooked a little longer and b) I felt like I could have had a much bigger portion. But then I’m a pig. Even after two loads of sharing platter starters I wanted more food, which does go to show how well prepared the food was.  We only had a slight problem with one dish, that thankfully wasn’t mine (evil laugh), that was slightly too cold but they rectified the situation immediately, and honestly it’s not even worth complaining about.

IMG_2273

As it was a birthday, they very kindly let me choose a desert for the birthday girl – my beautiful mum, and wrote: “Happy Birthday Veda” (surprisingly her name) on the plate. I chose the desert called Ka, or Fire which was some kind of cheesecake which was set on fire at the table. The photograph I have of it is not wonderful but you get the generally idea. I like they came out with a sparkler as well, and thankfully enough when I asked them not to sing happy birthday because my mum would have sunk under the table stayed true to their word and just brought it all out. Enough for her to be embarrassed, not enough for her to disappear – a good balance I think.

IMG_2287

IMG_2256

If you want to book a table at Kanpai – which I strongly suggest visit their website or call them on 04-441-9262. Their opening times are 12pm – 2am.

A fabulous restaurant, with some amazing staff, food and just pure quality entertainment.

Advertisements

Pandora and the girls

It feels like it has been an age since I last posted on here, which in some respects it has. There was nothing important keeping me from blogging more a mind block about blogging. I guess I’ve never been very imaginative. So I thought I would start by semi-bragging about an unbelievable gorgeous 22nd birthday present I got from some of my girl friends.

My birthday was in September but in true best-friends-no-matter-what fashion there has been far too much going on, what with me not being in the same country for any serious amount of time or just plain forgetfulness for them to have handed my lovely present over. So, January is when I got it. And I am in love.

I never expected my friends to get me something so perfect for me. I should have known that they know me far too well.

IMG_0726

And so of course, the joy of opening a Pandora present begins for me. I am an utter Pandora freak. I love all their collections and when I realised that I was opening a little story book-esque Pandora box I was silently freaking out.

Inside, was just as good.

Incased in this very pretty protective box were these little gems.

Made from sterling silver and Lapis Lazulli, which is maybe unsurprisingly the gemstone of September babies like myself, they were just sitting staring at me asking to be worn.

I believe these babies cost £45, although I shouldn’t really of sneaked but hey it was all for the blog.

They come in each birthstone year which as always I will link to each one at the end.

The girls who got me this I have known for almost ten years. They have seen me through some of the toughest times in the world. I sometimes wonder what the heck I would be like today if I didn’t have them weighing in and giving me advice and love on even the smallest and most trivial matter. They, all of them are uniquely brilliant and talented and my life is so much better for knowing them.

I wish that each person could know the happiness that these ladies bring into my life, even just a little bit of it would make anyone’s day better. When you find a friend, even if you don’t realise it or want it they bury their way into your heart and make you a better person.

Back to business though of course, and as promised here are all the linked Pandora earrings by month and birthstone.

January – Garnet

February – Amethyst

March – Aquamarine

April – Rock Crystal

May – Chrysoprase

June – Moonstone

July – Carnelian

August – Peridot

September – Lapis Lazulli

October – Opal

November – Citrine

December – Turquoise