10.295 Tofu & Mushroom Spring Roll with Hoi Sin Sauce


27 (Sun) October 2019

Tofu & Mushroom Spring Roll with Hoi Sin Sauce


at Horizon Lounge

(Shangri-La Hotel Dubai)

-Dubai, United Arab Emirates-

with the Family

Family Holiday Fall 2019 in UAE, Day 1.

In Dubai.  We’re spending the boys’ fall break in the United Arab Emirates, both Dubai and Abu Dhabi.


First look at the Sky View Lounge in Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3.

As always, I am grateful for and respectful of the opportunity to travel, especially via business class, including lounge access.  Any comments here, even the negative ones, are simply relative to other business class experiences, not complaints per se.


Generally, early morning is not a good time to assess a lounge’s food options, which tend to be limited to simple breakfast items.


But the Sky View Lounge offered chicken adobo (see for example 8.121 Chicken Adobo), which has become one of my all-time favorite foods, especially for breakfast.  With a slight advantage, the lounge settles in to BEST IN LOUNGE’s #33 spot.

BEST IN LOUNGE – an on-going ranking of dining experiences in business lounges:

  1. TURKEY, Istanbul (IST): Istanbul Ataturk Airport – Turkish Airlines Lounge (8.052 Köfte + Piliç) (9.056 Pide)
  2. SINGAPORE (SIN): Singapore Changi Airport (Terminal 3) – SilverKris Business Class Lounge (6.237 Coconut Panna Cotta) (10.287 Lamb Meatballs in Spiced Tomato Sauce)
  3. JORDAN, Amman (AMM): Queen Alia International Airport – Petra Lounge (9.267 Dukkah-Spiced Salmon)
  4. QATAR, Doha (DOH): Hamnad International Airport – Al Mourjan Lounge (10.169 Mini Sliders); (10.174 Chicken Kabsa)
  5. NETHERLANDS, Amsterdam (AMS): Amsterdam Airport Schiphol – KLM Crown Lounge (6.311 Beef & Beetroot Meatballs)
  6. UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, Abu Dhabi (AUH): Abu Dhabi International Airport – Etihad Airways Lounge (6.154 Shakshouka)
  7. JAPAN, Tokyo (HND): Haneda Airport International Terminal (8.202 Clam and Spicy Tofu Stew)
  8. CHINA, Hong Kong SAR (HKG): Hong Kong International Airport – Club Autus Lounge (10.042 Grilled Peri Peri Chicken Thigh)
  9. AUSTRALIA, Brisbane (BNE): Brisbane Airport – Singapore Airlines Lounge (6.242 Scallops)
  10. NEW ZEALAND, Aukland (AUK): Aukland Airport – Strata Lounge (10.118 Awhi Farms Savannah Grass-Fed Beef Bone-In Sirloin)
  11. KOREA, Seoul/Incheon (ICN): Incheon International Airport (Terminal 2) – Korean Air Prestige Lounge (East) (9.016 Probably the Best Mul Naeng Myeon); (10.110 Grilled Tenderloin with Rosemary Sauce)
  12. JORDAN, Amman (AMM): Queen Alia International Airport – Royal Jordanian Crown Lounge (6.159 Memories of Hummus)
  13. THAILAND, Bangkok (BKK): Suvarnabhumi Airport – Royal Silk Lounge  (7.306 Fried Black Cod …)
  14. GERMANY, Munich (MUC): Flughafen München – Lufthansa Lounge (6.307 Chicken in Cream Sauce)
  15. RUSSIA, Moscow (DME): Moscow Domodedovo Airport (5.286 Chili Mango Prawns)
  16. FIJI, Nadi (NAD): Nadi International Airport – Fiji Airways Premier Lounge (10.230 Seared Humpty Doo Barramundi)
  17. SINGAPORE (SIN): Singapore Changi Airport (Terminal 2) – SilverKris Business Class Lounge (10.293 Skinless Chicken Skewers Served with Barley and Porcini Salad, Light Sage Jus)
  18. PHILIPPINES, Manila (MNL): Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Terminal 3) – SilverKris Lounge (10.287 Lamb Meatballs in Spiced Tomato Sauce)
  19. CHINA, Hong Kong SAR (HKG): Hong Kong International Airport – Cathay Pacific Lounge (The Wing) (5.182 Har Gao); (10.049 Termite Mushroom Steamed Halibut)
  20. CHINA, Shanghai (PVG): Shanghai Pudong International Airport – No. 77 China Eastern Plaza Premium Lounge (10.201 Classic Shanghai Noodle with Spring Onion Oil)
  21. PHILIPPINES, Manila (MNL): Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Terminal 3) – Cathay Pacific Lounge (10.042 Grilled Peri Peri Chicken Thigh)
  22. SINGAPORE: Singapore Changi Airport (Terminal 1), Plaza Premium Lounge (10.160 Chicken Rice + Ramen)
  23. INDIA, New Delhi (DEL): Indira Gandhi International Airport (7.313 Braised Pork Balls)
  24. MALAYSIA, Kuala Lumpur (KUL): Kuala Lumpur International Airport – AirAsia Premium Red Lounge (9.183 Grilled Y/F Tuna Steak)
  25. KOREA, Seoul/Incheon (ICN): Incheon International Airport – Asiana Business Class Lounge (Satellite Terminal) (5.363 Past + Sandwich for the Elite)
  26. KOREA, Seoul/Incheon (ICN): Incheon International Airport – Korean Air Prestige Lounge (Satellite Terminal) (6.090 Shin Ramyeon BLACK)
  27. KOREA, Seoul/Incheon (ICN): Incheon International Airport – Star Alliance Lounge (2.036 Shin Ramyeon…)
  28. SRI LANKA, Colombo (CMB): Bandaranaike International Airport (9.191 Grilled Beef Tenderloin)
  29. PHILIPPINES, Manila (MNL): Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Terminal 3) – PAGSS Lounge (10.169 Mini Sliders)
  30. LEBANON, Beirut (BEY): Beirut-Rafic Hariri International Airport, LAT (Lebanese Air Transport) Lounge (9.336 Sea Bass en Papillote)
  31. MALDIVES, Male (MLE): Velana International Airport (9.191 Grilled Beef Tenderloin)
  32. AUSTRALIA, Sydney (SYD): Sydney Airport, Qantas International Business Lounge (10.217 Stir-Fried Salt and Pepper Tofu)
  33. PHILIPPINES, Manila (MNL): Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Terminal 3) – Sky View Lounge (10.295 Tofu & Mushroom Spring Roll with Hoi Sin Sauce)
  34. NEW ZEALAND, Wellington (CHC): Christchurch International Airport, Air New Zealand Business Class Lounge (10.293 Skinless Chicken Skewers Served with Barley and Porcini Salad, Light Sage Jus)
  35. PHILIPPINES, Manila (MNL): Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Terminal 1) – PAGSS Lounge (9.330 Parrot Fish with Sweet & Sour Sauce)
  36. USA, New York (JFK): John F Kennedy International Airport – Korean Air Lounge (7.039 Sauteed Cod Fillet)
  37. TUNISIA, Tunis (TUN): Tunis-Carthage Airport – Espace Privilege Lounge (10.174 Chicken Kabsa)
  38. SWITZERLAND, Geneva (GVA): Geneva International Airport (6.311 Beef & Beetroot Meatballs)
  39. PHILIPPINES, Manila (MNL): Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Terminal 1) – MIASCOR Lounge (4.272 Chicken Curry…); (6.305 Chicken Congee)
  40. FIJI, Nadi (NAD): Nadi International Airport (5.181 Sliced Roast Lamb)
  41. USA, Los Angeles (LAX): Los Angeles International Airport – Korean Air Lounge (9.361 Beef Bulgogi)
  42. MONGOLIA, Ulaanbataar (ULN): Chinggis Khaan International Airport (10.061 Stock Soup of Bone and Stew Meat)
As usual, my flight was assigned to a boarding gate (Gate 110) at the end of the terminal.


Manila to Dubai.

In agreeing to the vacation, which was W’s idea, the only thing that I asked for was to fly business class.  She accepted.  But to save money, she and boys are flying economy class, at least on the way in; we’re all on business class on the return.

Note the lack of storage space, even for magazines and water bottles.

I didn’t enjoy the trip for many reasons.  First, the seating compartment was cramped.  Second, I was seated in the middle.  Third, the food service was skimpy.  And fourth, W and the kids kept coming up to complain that they weren’t getting good service in the back, making me feel guilty, compelling me to smuggle food for them, which was very difficult because the seating compartment was cramped and I was seated in the middle and the food service was skimpy.

This Breakfast Martini was excellent.  Presumably, the name was inspired by the use of marmalade, not because people actually drink it for breakfast.


W complained that all they got for breakfast was fruit, bread, and yogurt.  All I got for breakfast was fruit, bread, and yogurt.  But the bread – a knishish pastry with potato filling – was really good, so I asked the flight attended for 3 more – “I’m soooo hungry!” – and delivered them wrapped in the napkin.


Lunch was also disappointing.

Hoping dinner service on the way back will make a better showing.

Salmon Roulade (2.5)
Pan-Fried Parrot Fish (2.5)

My first experience on the world-famous Emirates fell far short of high expectations. The carrier breaks into BEST IN FLIGHT at #13, second from the bottom.

BEST IN FLIGHT – an on-going ranking of dining experiences on business class flights:

  1. Turkish Airlines: MNL > IST (8.046 Grilled Seafood Selections); GVA > IST (8.051 Fresh Herb Baby Chicken); IST > MNL (8.052 Köfte + Piliç); MNL > IST > GVA (9.050 Grilled Seafood Selection); GVA > IST (9.055 Grilled Lamb Chop); ICT > MNL (9.056 Pide); MNL > IST (9.330 Parrot Fish with Sweet & Sour Sauce); BEY > IST > MNL (9.336 Sea Bass en Papilotte)
  2. Qatar Airlines: MNL > DOH > DME (5.279 Assorted Hot Mezzah); DME > DOH > MNL (5.286 Chili Mango Prawns); MNL > DOH > TUN (10.168 Mini Sliders); TUN > DOH > MNL (10.174 Chicken Kabsa)
  3. Qantas Airways: MNL > SYD > NAD (10.217 Stir-Fried Salt and Pepper Tofu); NAD > SYD > HKG (10.223 Seared Humpty Doo Barramundi)
  4. Singapore Airlines: MNL > SIN > BNE (6.237 Coconut Panna Cotta); BNE > SIN > MNL (6.243 Ggongchi Kimchi Jjigae); MNL > SIN > CHC (10.287 Lamb Meatballs in Spiced Tomato Sauce); CHC > SIN > MNL (10.293 Skinless Chicken Skewers Served with Barley and Porcini Salad, Light Sage Jus)
  5. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines: GVA > AMS > ICN (6.311 Beef & Beetroot Meatballs)
  6. Asiana Airlines: MNL > ICN (2.036 Shin Ramyeon…); MNL > ICN (4.272 Chicken Curry with Raisin Biryani); ICN > MNL (6.048 Ssambap); MNL > ICN (6.305 Chicken Congee); ICN > MNL (6.321 Ssambap); ICN > MNL (8.261 Ssambap)
  7. Etihad Airways: MNL > AUH > AMM (6.154 Shakshouka); AMM > AUH > MNL (6.160 Zaalou-Crusted Chicken Breast); AUH > AMM (9.261 Prawns Machboos); AMM > AUH (9.267 Dukkah-Spiced Salmon); AUH > MNL (9.268 Malabar Grouper)
  8. Korean Air: ICN > NAD (5.175 Prestigious Repast); MNL > ICN (6.021 Bibimbap); MNL > ICN > NAD (6.101 Coconut Carrot Cream Soup); NAD > ICN > MNL (6.111 Asparagus Cream Soup); ICN > NAD (6.314 Bibimbap); NAD > ICN (6.319 Seared Seafood…); MNL > ICN > JFK (7.032 Manhattan); JFK > ICN (7.039 Sauteed Cod Fillet); ICN > MNL (7.041 Gom Tang); MNL > ICN (9.012 Chicken in Tomato Sauce with Pasta); MLE > CMB > ICN (9.191 Grilled Beef Tenderloin); ICN > MNL (9.193 Roasted Halibut with Dill Cream Sauce); MNL > ICN > NAD (9.284 Feta Cheese with Sliced Fig and Parma Ham); NAD > ICN > MNL (9.287 Spicy Squid & Bean Sprout Stir-Fry with Rice); ICN > LAX (9.349 Pea Sprouts with Garlic); LAX > ICN (9.361 Beef Bulgogi); ICN > MNL (9.362 Bibimbap); ULN > ICN (10.061 Stock Soup of Bone and Stew Meat); MNL > ICN > NAD (10.110 Grilled Beef Tenderloin with Rosemary Sauce); ICN > NAD (10.185 Mixed Seafood with Beet Emulsion); ICN > MNL (10.196 Bibimbap)
  9. Thai Airways: MNL > BKK > DEL (7.306 Fried Black Cod …); DEL > BKK > MNL (7.313 Braised Pork Balls)
  10. Cathay Pacific Airways: HKG > MNL (5.182 Har Gao); HKG > MNL (10.049 Termite Mushroom Steamed Halibut)
  11. Deutsche Lufthansa: ICN > MUC > GVA (6.307 Chicken in Cream Sauce)
  12. Fiji Airways: NAD > HKG (5.181 Sliced Roast Lamb); HKG > NAD (10.042 Grilled Peri Peri Chicken Thigh); NAD > HKG (10.049 Termite Mushroom Steamed Halibut); NAD > AUK (10.118 Awhi Farms Savannah Grass-Fed Beef Bone-In Sirloin)
  13. Emirates: MNL > DXB (10.295 Tofu & Mushroom Spring Roll with Hoi Sin Sauce)
  14. Philippine Airlines: MNL > MEL (5.335 Chicken Tausi); AUK > MNL (10.118 Awhi Farms Savannah Grass-Fed Beef Bone-In Sirloin)

AMM = Amman // AMS = Amsterdam // AUH = Abu Dhabi // AUK = Auckland // BEY = Beirut // BKK = Bangkok // BNE = Brisbane // CHC = Christchurch // CMB = Colombo // DEL = New Delhi // DOH = Doha // DME (Domodedovo) = Moscow // DXB = Dubai // GVA = Geneva // HKG = Hong Kong // ICN = Incheon // IST = Istanbul // JFK (John F Kennedy) = New York // LAX = Los Angeles // MEL = Melbourne // MLE = Male // MNL = Manila // MUC = Munich // NAD = Nadi // SIN = Singapore // SYD = Sydney // TUN = Tunis // ULN = Ulaanbataar // WLG = Wellington


Shangri-La for the first couple nights in Dubai.


Our room was at the end of the hall, of course.

Having already been thoroughly spoiled by business class lounges in airports (due to work), I’m also growning accustomed to club lounges in hotels (on my own).

BEST IN CLUB – an on-going ranking of dining experiences in hotel club lounges:

  1. Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore (9.082 Horse Doovers)
  2. New World Manila Bay, Manila, Philippines (6.360 Lobster, Maybe)
  3. Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa, Bandar Sunway, Malaysia (8.355 Seared Tuna Canapes)
  4. Shangri-La Hotel, Dubai, UAE (10.295 Tofu & Mushroom Spring Roll with Hoi Sin Sauce)


Tired from the trip and jet-lagged, everyone was quite satisifed to have a quick bite in the club lounge rather than go out for dinner.


The spread was kinda skimpy, only a handful of appetizers/canapes, but each decent in its own right.

I dissected one to determine the exact composition, thinking that I may try to recreate the dish at home.

The spring roll was excellent.  Crunchy bits of green beans, carrots, bean sprouts, with deep-fried tofu and crumbled peanuts, wrapped tight in chewy rice paper.  DJ and I each had at least 10 servings.


Later, hoping for something more local on my first night in town, I wandered down the street and came across Kris Kros, a 24-hour restaurant serving Lebanese street food.



Taking the food back to the hotel, it turned out okayish, but nonetheless exactly what I was looking for – a perfect way to end the day.

Beef Shawarma (2.0) (left) + Chicken Shawarma (3.0) (right)
Tabouleh (1.0): mostly parsley, barely a hint of seasoning.

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