Caramelized Thoughts In Media Again

 

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Gulf Food Exhibition

Gulf Food Exhibition

EC Women E-Magazine

EC Women E-Magazine

A phone call and a long chat about the blog with a local reporter about the progress of my food blog resulted in an amazing article in the local newspaper Alghad  I was totally excited and happy about it. I would like to thank Ghaida Hammoudeh for the brilliant work she has done to describe the achievements of Caramelized Thoughts as a blog and my progress as a Jordanian blogger.

.أود ان اشكر الصحفيه اللامعة غيداء حموده على المقال الرائع عن أفكار من كاراميل في صحيفة الغد يوم الأربعاء الماضي وعن انجازاته في المنطقة

Library Lounge En Français

I was just finishing off some work when it occurred to me that “The French Gastronomy Week” is about to end, quickly and without any thoughts I picked up the phone and checked the availability at Marriott Hotel Amman. I booked a table and got ready to take my taste buds on a mini journey to the gourmet cuisine of France.

I arrived there around 7 the place was relatively empty, I was ushered to my table and the waiter noticed I am quite annoyed with the side lamp direct light in my face so he immediately manage to move it over to somewhere else (as a designer myself I suggest lights that are pointed upwards or hidden ones instead as I noticed a few clients had the same comment). All settled he brings me the menu to explore my options, first things first I chose a “Cheval Noir Saint Emilion” wine to accompany my meal (it is French Cuisine so it is a must).

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The menu had a mixture of beef and fish for starters but I certainly was drawn to the “Minced Lobster & Caviar with crushed tomatoes, eggplant, fennel and virgin olive oil”. I must say I chose it because I never pictured eggplants and tomatoes making a beautiful base for lobster, but oh my was I mistaken, this dish whisks you off to a seaside restaurant with a view of the crashing waves and somehow gives you that mediterranean tone that makes keeps you taking one bite after another looking for that taste. The Chef insisted I also try the “Tartar of Veal Fillet with Oysters, Smoked Herring Roe and Watercress Cream”, which was an absolute marvel in the mixing of taste between veal and sea ingredients.

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After that I had planned to have a dish to follow through with the lobster theme, I picked “Grenadine of veal fillet and lobster, minute spinach and potato cake”, I believe I could not have chosen and better main. The meat was soft and grilled to perfection, the lobster was cooked just as well, as for the crispy potato cake and spinach, they really just added the right texture that completed the flavorful plate. The sauce on that dish is out of this world (yes I am trying to find the recipe) I could not think of anything for a moment but the explosion of flavors in my mouth.

At this point of the meal I thought I could not eat a bite further, but I was wrong as the Chef popped announcing that he will be mixing both kinds of the dessert on the menu for me to try and as soon as that dish arrived I knew I was in love. A crispy dark chocolate ball stuffed with spongy vanilla and drizzled with melted hot chocolate on top, a pineapple ravioli stuffed with mascarpone cheese and a side of coconut sorbet. All I can say is the dark chocolate ball was rich and melted in your mouth making you completely silent, while the pineapple ravioli along with the lightness of the sorbet reminded me of the fresh breeze of summer on the seaside.

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Chef Eric Lavallee spent some time after the meal explaining how these ingredients came together in his recipes and the reason behind the choice, moreover he was happy to be in Amman for a different experience. All in all this experience was out of this world and I could not have chosen a better place to make my short journey to France a perfect one.

BON APPÉTIT A TOUS 

Harley’s Burgers & Grill

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For some wild reason I am not a fan of junk food, fast food is definitely not my cup of tea, yet sometimes I find myself craving a good juicy burger. To me it has to be a perfect sandwich with the right amount of sauce (too much is just messy and covers the taste of the meat and too little is just dry). I would never visit a global chain restaurant that’s just out of question, I enjoy slow cooking, gourmet well thought of burgers. So my hunt for a great burger to satisfy my cravings started in Amman, to my surprise there were many local joints to choose from and many more to experience.

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Upon a great friend’s recommendation I decided to head out and visit “Harley’s Burgers & Grill” and to my sigh or relief I saw a sign that made me extremely happy. The place is smoke free! I could not help but feel home at once, although it’s a relevantly small space but the relaxing atmosphere encourages you to stay and have a good time with your friends. The wooden benches and stools give the joint a rustic look and the welcoming sweet attitude of the workers always makes you leave with a smile.

Staring at the usual menus I usually get extremely confused as there is no burger in the size of my preference (they are usually too big) but the “Sportster(110gm)” seemed to be the perfect size for my desired meal, paired with a staple must of mash potatoes and gravy with a possible extra addition of boneless sweet & spicy chicken wings.

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The meat is tender, juicy and spiced to perfection, (it’s the right balance of everything) their sauce is light and not too heavy on the stomach. The buns are quite fresh and I must say I enjoyed the steak sandwiches as much as I did the burgers there too. The simple and fresh ingredients gives you just the right note of flavor and allows you to enjoy your burger without the hassle of too much on it. Their fresh Swiss mushroom is an absolute gorgeous creation, but for some reason I get too full too quick and cannot manage eating the whole thing.

When you head there I always recommend you go along with a friend just so you are able to order and share the tasty creations. The owner is usually there in the evening and always on top of his work, serving, taking orders and answering any question you need. The place is always clean and I cannot deny they won me over with their Nespresso machine to finish your meal with a great cup of coffee. One last thing I wish that more places adapt this non smoking policy, to sit and enjoy your meal in clean air atmosphere definitely makes the whole difference.

PS: The photos are not mine, I shall replace them with mine soon as they are ready.

ازكى اشي بالدنيا The “Azkadenya” Experience

My first visit to this place was rather impulsive and out of the blue, arriving from a trip abroad and in search of a warm meal to enjoy with friends, I was happy to go try a new venue as usual. Have you ever entered a place and felt like you walked into a TV screen from the past? That is how I feel every time I enter to “Azkadenya”, the visuals are so enticing you cannot help but look for all new quotes, twists and turns on everything and everywhere around you.

Flirtatious words and old proverbs are covering almost everything you use; plates, napkins, bowls, sugar packs and even place mats, and all other surfaces that keep your eyes wandering about while you await your original meal to arrive. Going through the menu, you notice many familiar items yet many others that have been altered and twisted to suite the theme of this amazing place.

Ordering the mixed mezze will give you a chance to try their magnificent pink hummus and more creative small dishes so you would have more space to order other yummy mezze items. Of the things I love most is pomegranate molasses and they have certainly won my heart with their mini sujok drizzled with it. I would have to say their tabbouleh is quite tasty but sometimes I wonder if  the tomatoes are less or replaced by pomegranate (a recipe of mine) it would taste amazing. As for main meals I cannot begin to describe their chicken fatteh (mainly garlic yogurt, chicken, pine nuts, bread) done to perfection, tasting their other fukhara options have always been successful but what stands out the most is their shrimp fukhara with sensational lemony mushrooms.

I would have to say the food there is quite light and the whole atmosphere is just mere entertaining. To finish your meal there you would have to promise to try the most amazing Osmalyeh, I cannot deny the fact that I don’t usually go for desserts but the lightness and not so sweet taste gives a perfect finishing tone to the sensational dinner (to testify I brought a foreign business guest and he managed to polish the plate clean after telling me he is totally full).

All in all I can say that Azkadenya has managed to capture my interest for light meals with friends for its lively environment and certainly creative setting. In hopes for the future to have totally smoke free areas in the restaurant to enjoy a more healthy atmosphere longer. Visiting again is no question as this place has a definite original charm.

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