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Zaw's Chicken mains- Chicken Scampi

Zaw’s Chicken mains- Chicken Scampi


The 'Shrimp thingie' according to Zaw, but according to the menu at The Olive Garden, it is called, 'The Shrimp Scampi Fritta

The ‘Shrimp thingie’ according to Zaw, but according to the menu at The Olive Garden, it is called, ‘The Shrimp Scampi Fritta’

The Olive Garden recently came to Dubai. The first time I got introduced to the brand was in the States, whilst in college. Back then, dining there meant burning a hole in our college-budgeted pockets. It meant ‘fine dining.’

Fast forward to 2014 and my outing at The Olive Garden, in Dubai, was a much more relaxed and not-that-expensive an affair. My time at the said restaurant was with Zaw Ali, my youngest buddy.

Chicken Soup

Chicken Soup – for two hungry souls…

Spaghetti with veggies

Spaghetti with veggies

For the very first time (Zaw’s idea), we are going to narrate our ‘restaurant review’ experience in the form of a conversation. Let us know what you think!

DIAF is moi, Shweta Dembla and Zaw Ali was my companion for this food date.

DIAF: Zaw, what was your initial reaction to the restaurant?

Zaw: Okay, thank you so much for clarifying to your entire audience that I’m the youngest person you know. *eye roll* On second thought, that gives me a surprising sense of happiness. I don’t know why. Anyways, where were we?! Olive Garden. Yes! Oh, and what a day that was.
To people who’ve already been there and those who haven’t, let me just obsess over the beautiful interior of the restaurant. The staff greeted us really nicely, and the manager who took care of us, made us feel like we’re part of their little family.

Not to mention, I talked my head off while Shweta, being too damn sweet that she is, looked genuinely interested by what I had to say.

DIAF: I think we were OVER enthusiastic with him, no? I had been meaning to tell you this…

Zaw: What do you mean?

DIAF: I mean I know we were doing a review and stuff. But I think we should have calmed down a bit (laughs)

Zaw: Because we were just too damn hungry. Lol, I think our borderline crazy love for food, was all over the place that night.

DIAF: Our convo was the best. Agree Zaw?

Zaw: Ohh we spoke about dozens of random stuff. But most of it was centered on the oldest question in the world – Our purpose in life. Anyway, shall we begin with some of the amazing starters I’ve ever had?

DIAF: Yes please. So wait, what did we start off with? I can’t remember. Yes! It was the garden salad wasn’t it? That you DIDN’T touch??? And kept serving me? But I enjoyed it.

IMG-20141130-WA0008 IMG-20141130-WA0012

Zaw: Dude, that Garden Salad looked like heaven but I was too busy having that creamy chicken soup that they served us. And then came the devastating bit …The shrimp thingie and the potato cheese something something, which I hogged like there was no tomorrow.

The shrimp dish was full of flavor which was surprising, because other Italian restaurants that I’ve been to, they tend to keep the tastes rich but simple. And this one ends up igniting your taste buds right from the first bite. I didn’t care how incredibly high in cholesterol they are, I just wanted all of them to myself.

DIAF: I loved the Chicken soup – creamy, tasty and very filling. I wasn’t so crazy about the Shrimp Scampi Fritta AKA ‘Shrimp thingie’ according to you (haha) and the Lasagna Fritta. OMG! Now that was yumness. Guys, you must order this one for your starters.

Over to the mains, what did you think of the main course Zaw?

Lasagna Fritta

Lasagna Fritta – Parmesan-breaded lasanga pieces fried and served over Alfredo sauce, topped with Parmesan cheese and Marinara sauce.

Zaw: When it came to the main course, I honestly did not know how I would be able to have it considering I had already filled myself with the starters.

But, taking my work really seriously, I braced myself for even more dishes. The menu has a wide array of dishes suitable for foodies of all sorts. Won’t you agree, Shweta? Choosing our main course was definitely difficult.

DIAF: Agree. After the chicken soup and the yum Lasagna Fritta, it was hard to swallow much. However, I regret not taking the GM’s recommendation for the mains. I didn’t really enjoy my own spaghetti creation – tomato sauce with lots of veggies. Yours was better I assume?

DIAF's Spaghetti creation

DIAF’s Spaghetti creation


Zaw: Hahaha… But we don’t give up do we? So when I’m not able to decide what to get, I always get the manager’s advice. My main was chicken something something. And it was slightly less flavorful in comparison to the wholesome starters we had earlier. But nonetheless, the richness and quality of the food is apparent. My advice to people is, if you’re going to have “my dish”, then skip the starters and have the main itself, because it is extremely fulfilling. For those who like it spicy, throw in some chili flakes and you’re set.

Zaw's Chicken mains- Chicken Scampi

Zaw’s Chicken mains – Chicken Scampi



DIAF: But the conversation fillers in between were the best during our main course…

Zaw: They were truly. I had a great time that day to be honest.

DIAF: So Zaw, would you recommend The Olive Garden to your friends and family?

Zaw: Oh definitely! The atmosphere, the service and food were all fantastic. And I’m definitely dining there very soon with my whole family.

And wait! For a must have, you definitely need to have the raspberry lemonade. Shweta  had Fanta which she wanted me to “try”. Because who has never tried Fanta right!

Thanks for the invitation and your company Shweta. It’s always lovely to spend time with you.

DIAF: Pleasure was all on this side …of the dining table.


– The End

The Olive Garden is located on Sheikh Zayed Road before the FGB Metro Station, next to Jones the Grocer.



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