We’ve walked past the Bo House Café a lot of times on the JBR Walk. The little glimpse of the fun decor that’s inside and it’s location on the beach side of the JBR Walk (until recently as now the entire JBR Walk has been fenced off with the temporary construction wall suggesting some more happening things being constructed on the Beach, I guess!) had always been inviting. I think apart from one Juice Bar that’s located on the beach side of the pavement, it must have been the only Restaurant to be located on this side of the JBR Walk – literally the right side as you enter The Walk. Yes, some of the hotels in this area do boast of absolutely-on-the beach Restaurants but definitely not the independent ones.
Bo House Cafe promised a festive family evening with Christmas carols and a whole lot of kiddy fun. According to their own words, Bo House Cafe offers the perfect setting for a cool outdoor hang out as well as a trendy indoor retreat. It’s a shame that soon there will be perhaps, no gust of wind with a shopping mall coming up just next to the Restaurant on the beach. The beautiful harpist treated us to carols while we sat outside on the deck in a slightly chilly evening. The Z-Sisters wrote letters to Santa and even posted their letters in a red post box – the kind that have probably become extinct in today’s digital age of Twitter, Facebox and Skype. Cute, cute, absolutely cute! All these will be aired on a Bo House special episode on Sony TV on 28th December, Friday, 12:30 pm. Repeat telecast will be on 29th December, Saturday, 6:30pm and again on 30th December, Sunday, 10:30pm.
Sergio, the Spanish restaurant manager who had joined very recently was beaming with a whole lot of new ideas that he would be introducing in the coming year – including making a terrace garden on the deck and a few additions to the menu. Infact, the Seafood Paella and a Seesha Platter were to be added onto the Menu and we were the first ones to be trying them out. He asked – Are you okay with that? Oh, pretty heck – Yes, we were!
The Seafood Paella (above) came after the starters – the Seesha Platter but I just feel the need to write about the Paella before anything else – just because my Paella craving was at a all-time high, having recently seen some gorgeous Paellas – the Black Paella with cuttlefish & shrimp, the traditional Seafood Paella, the Meatballs Paella etc in Tapeo of Lafayette Gourmet where I had tasted the festive menu that is being offered right now and can also be catered in and home-delivered throughout this season.
Paella (pronounced “pah-eh-ya”– the ‘ll’ is pronounced as a ‘y’) originates from Valencia in Spain. We were fortunate to have had the most authentic Paella in it’s land of origin. An experience thatI’ve written about in an earlier post – In The Land of Paella – Valencia, Spain. So did this match up to our expectation? A Yes and a No. A Yes because our Seafood Paella was really very tasty – it had calamari, mussels and a satiable amount of prawns. You can never please a diner like us with the prawns and the shrimps – it’s never enough! And a No because no matter how well you cook a dish, it’s authenticity is always questionable. Specially outside the boundaries of where the dish originally belongs.
The Seesha Platter is a mixed platter that the Restaurant wants to introduce as a special Starter which can be had while the diners are enjoying their Seesha. A very interesting platter – it had Crab Cakes, a Quinoa Tabbouleh (Tabbouleh is a very popular salad in the Arab world, traditionally made of Bulgar, tomatoes, finely chopped parsley, mint, onion and garlic, and seasoned with olive oil, lemon juice and salt. it is served as a Mezze in the Arab world and is gradually becoming very popular all over), Sesame Prawns (breaded Prawns splattered with both white & black Sesame seeds), Potato Croquettes and a bit spicy Chicken Lollipops. The Quinoa Tabbouleh was definitely an interesting version. Curious whether the Couscous was completely substituted by the Quinoa but the question didn’t occur to me at that time.
Most of the Restaurants underestimate the young diners. The Kids’ menu is so typical. Why does a Restaurant which otherwise takes so much care in preparing the adult menu, take a bit of interest in their Kids’ menu? Why do they have to resort to the standard Nuggets and French Fries – that too frozen? This pertinent issue has been taken up brilliantly in one of her posts by Sarah of The Hedonista. We were assured that the Chicken Nuggets that were served to Li’l Z were fresh and home-made. Well, she’s kind of growing up thinking Kids’ Menu consists only of Nuggets and for her any other food experiments seem pretty futile. So if we are in a Restaurant, her meal has to be Nuggets. Well, we haven’t tried but the Salad Bar looked pretty tempting and deliciously fresh. Their Health Factory has many items on the Menu – Feta salad with Quinoa, Grilled Asparagus, Grilled Zucchini with sun dried tomato dressing etc. They will soon be starting delivering door-to-door meals which are well balanced aimed at a healthy lifestyle & weight-loss.
Talking about sweet sign-offs, yes we’ve had their Gelatos quite a lot of times as we’ve walked past the Gelato station in the JBR Walk. The award-winning Gelatos. Unfortunately with The Z-Sisters coughing and falling sick every now and then this season, we too had to resist our temptation to give in to the award -winning Gelato and we ended up tasting mini, really mini scoops of Lemon Sorbet, Chocolate, Coconut and
I’m slightly hooked onto the word Bohemian right now. Bohemian is described in the dictionary as a person, as an artist or writer, who lives and acts free of regard for conventional rules and practices; the Czech language, especially as spoken in Bohemia; a Gypsy; pertaining to or characteristic of the unconventional life of a bohemian; living a wandering or vagabond life, as a Gypsy. Read more about Bohemian style here.
What’s Bohemian about Bo House Café? Splattered all over, it’s written home of Mohemians… So who’s a Mohemian? A Mohemian is a modern Bohemian I am a Mohemian. I would say I am a combination of a Hippie. A Bohemian and a free spirit. Hop onto their Timeline on Facebook – a few words and expressions catches my fancy. ‘legend says, when you can’t sleep at night, it’s because you’re awake in someone else’s dream’ or simply ‘Take a deep Breath’ or the doodles on the coffee table outside on the terrace – Make love, Be yourself, Create, Design, Express…
The concept of the Restaurant appeals to my creative senses for sure. Every Thursday nights are for Bo Tunes where talented musicians can come and play. Art exhibitions and crafts bazaar, poetry reading, Sufi songs… all seems very contemporary and aesthetically appealing. Definitely for people like me. It gives a lot of breathing and apparent thinking space.
But what had stopped us from Bo House Cafe till now? I have to be really honest here… A few friends whispering ‘ Oh! Come on, the menu is quite limited’ and some reviews here and there. For example, Time Out Dubai. The critic writes – Had I ordered a simple burger, or perhaps stuck to a coffee and pastry, my Bo House experience may have been entirely different altogether – the venue boasts a great spot on The Walk, which would be perfect for a straightforward coffee and sandwich. Instead, the restaurant is shrouded in pretentious waffle and loses sight of the simple things. In the words of Bo House itself, it might be a place ‘to get together for fun, for love, for a scoop, for no reason, for a word, for a gust of wind…’ but not for a decent meal. It might be a place ‘to get together for fun, for love, for a scoop, for no reason, for a word, for a gust of wind…’ but not for a decent meal!
But that was in 2010, when the Restaurant had just opened. A recent review (2012) from Time Out Dubai does conclude by saying that it’s a café after our own heart. I want to believe that Bo House Cafe is trying to re-inventing itself with a few changes in the menu in the coming year, to tackle exactly where it loses sight and to provide a decent meal and more. Not withstanding theconstruction in the background and the new shopping mall coming up next to it and stealing the gust of wind that previously belonged to Bo House Cafe. Things has
With Christmas around, I’ve gathered everything I could so that you could spend a fabulous Christmas in Dubai, whether you opt to dine in, or dine out; cook lavish dinners at home or opt to cater from outside or simply enjoy Christmas while hopping the Dubai Malls… also a peep into our German Christmas experience while we were living in Germany… Celebrating Dubai Christmas | Dining In, Dining Out, Cooking or Mall Hopping! And if you are in a mood of slight introspection, then do hop into my previous article, Giving Back.
I’m hooked onto the phrase Bohemian for more reasons than one. Tonight I’m flying off to the Bohemian capital, Prague, with a few of my girlfriends, leaving behind the Z-Sisters in care of S. A bit of self-introspection and an attempt to do something different than leading our regular daily routine. I’ll be offline (yes, I promise!)… aIntend to experiment whether I am as free-spirited and Bohemian as I think myself to be. We’ll be spending Christmas there. But when I come back, the first post is not going to be on Prague but a a restaurant in Kolkata – which calls itself Bohemian and is truly so in the food that Chef Joy offers. It’s a small place but absolutely free-spirited.
Unblogging it all… Ishita
Disclaimer: The evening was hosted by Bo House Cafe. But my opinions and views are my own. I hope you enjoy reading the posts with lot of visuals. While you enjoy seeing them please don’t use them as some of them have been taken from our personal albums just to make your reading experience more pleasurable. The B/W pic of the harpist and the pics depicting Bozart & Bo Tunes have been taken from the Restaurant’s Facebook Page. You can see more pictures of my travel and food journey here.