Friday, February 24, 2012

Lunch at the Courtyard

The Friday after the red letter day, the husband proposed to have our "post-valentine" lunch.  We decided to stay away from the crowd on the 14th and sorry to say, I still find it too cheesy going out on Valentine's.  Though I'd love to have some lovin' while staying in.  So the venue: The Central Market - or better known as The Souk.

You'd probably wonder why he would be taking me to the market for a romantic lunch out.  Back then when we were still living along Hamdan street, the bus always pass by this construction for with a big market on the fence.  And until now, the building is not yet finish, or so I thought.  At the bag of the humongous construction is the Central Market.  We used the corniche road to enter the area.  The facade of the building is simple beautiful.  Elegant in an Arabic way.  I don't know it was really nice, it kind of reminded me of those facade at Masdar City.

So we went in, in a hurry, was not able to get good photos because there's a sand storm.  Of all the days that a sandstorm should happen that was on that day.  Anyway, it was 1:30 pm and some of the shops are still close.  The ambiance inside is as exciting as the facade that covers the building.  low lights everywhere and intricate wood paneling is everywhere.  A true taste of the Arabic culture.  So we scout the place to look for where we could it.  A lot of shops are selling antique and locally made products.  The door that we entered at even have a small corner where a man was rolling some clay to make into beautiful bracelets.  Authentic.  There are only a few shops on the first level, so we decided to check the second and third level.  Unfortunately, there are still no shops at this level.  So we decided to check again the first level.  Then we found the courtyard.  in the center of many restaurants and shops, an area lined with small trees with tables and chairs scattered everywhere reminds you of Sunday lunches. 

We took a table right next to tree, because I think it kind of looked romantic.  Then a friendly staff gave us the menu, I asked her why it was called the courtyard.  She said, it is supposed to be an opened area, with all the sun coming it, but since there's one heck of a sandstorm going on outside, they have to close the rooftop.  Then I looked up.  It really is a courtyard.  An open area in the center of everything.  Pretty!

The restaurant serving our lunch is called Chapters.  They serve international cuisine.  it was pretty confusing, I would have preferred anything European considering the ambiance.  However, that didn't stop me from ordering Asian food. LOL.  My husband ordered Nasi Goreng (Malaysian) and me Chicken Yakisoba (Japanese).  As much as I love what we have ordered, the Yakisoba just taste like Pad Thai plus the noodles didn't look like the flat ones as I have expected.  The serving was huge, so we had to haul our bum-bum up to walk off the extra load.  Total wallet damage was AED 137.00.  Good enough.

I wanted to buy something authentic from the shops, unfortunately it was too expensive.  But before going back to the car, we stopped by at the corner vendor by the door which I have mentioned earlier and realized those authentic hand made jewelry are wallet friendly.  I took some time to try on almost everything and ended up buying bangles and crystal earrings.

Culture plus good food make a good combination.