Restaurant Review: The Flamingo Room by Tashas
Avg. Cost per Person:200 Dhs
Location:Jumeirah Al Naseem, Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim , Dubai
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Sun-Thu 9am-11.30pm; Fri-Sat 9am-12.30pm
04 244 7278
The food at Natash Sideris’ new Flamingo Room by Tashas, my mother said afterwards, is the enemy of anyone who’s on a diet — because you can’t stop eating. Modern South Africa, surprisingly, is barely visible on the menu unless you ask for it, and then you might get a cheeky biltong to go with your bubbles. However, the rainbow nation’s famously expansive attitude to food is on display all right, from the large portions to the staff encouraging diners to try more than one plate.
It was hard to fault any of the food, except perhaps that most things were rather light on the salt. Which was execusable — we visited in the first week. (Sideris also explained afterwards that previous iterations of the menu had been too salty). Perhaps that’s also why the restaurant had no gluten-free bread available — certainly odd for a venue with such a strong focus on clean eating.
South African hospitality comes to the fore in warm staff attitudes, large portion sizes and a willingness to go the extra distance.
Executive chef Jill Okkers clearly understands seafood. A beautifully balanced ceviche with yuzu and roe, and a Mozambiquean peri-peri calamari topped with a mountain of skinny fries were both stellar, and worth ordering again. The classic beef carpaccio, topped with Parmesan and rocket, went down beautifully with my mum, who practically inhaled the plate. The lamb cutlets were less successful, although a pairing with yoghurt and dill worked very well.
Make it a point, though, to get the desserts, which pair tropical flavours with comforting staples. The signature Tropical Flamingo, pineapple granita with a liquid marshmallow and coconut crumble could have been a decadent cocktail, and the Lemon meringue pearl, was sweet, tart, crunchy and gooey all in the same happy mouthful. Strong flavours that send you home on a high — what more could you want?
Ricotta Hotcake with Lime and Honey Drizzle, and Vanilla Mascarpone Creme
Preparation time: 20 minutes
¼ cup of Ricotta
4 eggs, separated
2 cups of flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons white sugar
½ tsp fine salt
Lime Honey Drizzle
2 Limes — zested finely and juiced
Vanilla and Mascarpone Creme
1 Vanilla Bean, split lengthways and seeds removed
250g Mascarpone Crème
2 tablespoon Powdered Sugar
4 teaspoon Milk
Selection of fresh fruit and berries for toppings
1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt
2. Separate the eggs.
3. In a separate bowl, combine the ricotta, milk, egg yolks and vanilla seeds
4. Add the dry ingredients to the ricotta mix, and stir to combine. Set aside
5. Whisk the egg whites until peaks form, and gently fold into the egg yolk mix. Cover with cling film and place in the refrigerator
6. Prepare the lime honey, by mixing the honey with the lime zest and juice
7. Place the vanilla seeds, mascarpone, milk and vanilla in a small bowl. Stir with a whisk until smooth. Place in the container and refrigerate until you are ready to use
8. Heat an 8 inch pan on a medium heat, and add 1 teaspoon of butter, and leave it to melt
9. Add a ¾ cup of the hotcake mix to a pan, and spread out until to cover the base of the pan
10. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the underside sets and is golden brown, flip the pancake and cook for a further 2 minutes
11. Serve immediately, topped with fruits of your choice, drizzled with lime honey, and topped with vanilla mascarpone