Manzil Downtown Dubai

 

Manzil Downtown is a modern designed boutique hotel with a traditional Arabesque flair. The Arabic themed interiors intensify your Dubai experience making it authentic while still maintaining a contemporary feel.

The hotel has a large lobby area with an array of beautiful design features and the staff are extremely welcoming. There are seating areas where you can order tea or coffee or help yourself to a refreshing fresh mint and lemon juice.

My mum was in Dubai so I thought it would be a nice little treat for us to have a little staycation at Manzil Downtown Dubai. We checked in at 3pm, unpacked had a cuppa and headed for the pool. The pool was a decent size and we had it all to ourselves! There was a poolside bar and the lifeguard brought us some ice cold water. I realized nobody was using the pool because it was over 40 degrees outside (these Dubai Summers are a killer) but the water was temperature controlled and once I got in it felt great!

We finished up at the pool and got ready for dinner at The Courtyard restaurant. I was a bit apprehensive about eating outdoors in the heat but when we stepped into the courtyard I was amazed at how cool it was. There were beautifully carved wooden cupboards that had air conditioning units inside and were placed all the way around the courtyard. Somehow it channeled through the space keeping it super cool!

The food was to die for, we had a salad and a beef and basil dish to start and both were delicious. The meat was so tender and the basil infusion was divine. For mains we had grilled fish and a lamb tagine. The tagine was packed with flavour and was by far my favourite dish. The fish was also delicious and we agreed we would definitely be coming back for dinner. We had some dessert, shisha and tea by which point we were ready to roll into bed.

When we got back to our room I saw the view of the breathtaking view of the Burj Khalifa and we decided to take a walk down the boulevard as we definitely needed it after that meal. The hotel has the perfect location! We crossed the road and walked to Souk al Bahar where we watched the fountains (which were also visible from our room)

The beds were super comfy and we both had a great nights sleep. We woke up and headed to the Boulevard Kitchen for breakfast. The staff are amazing at the hotel and so friendly. They explained the breakfast items and showed us the various buffets, it was honestly the biggest variety of breakfast items I have ever seen! I could not wait to get started so I went in with some Mediterranean spreads with bread and cheese. Then we got Eggs Benedict and then some tea and pastries! I can honestly say this was hands down the best breakfast spread I have seen in Dubai. Not only did it have so much variety but the quality of the ingredients was great too and I think I managed to sample a 10th of what was there!

We went to the pool for a bit and then decided to do a spot of shopping at Dubai mall which was just through the Souk across the road. We got back in time to check-out at 12 and then remembered we had a lunch reservation at their third restaurant Nezesaussi grill! It was a New Zealand, South African and Australian sports bar which specialises in Pub Grub. We were typical Brits and went for the Pie and Fish and Chips which were both superb. We played some video games and they also had pool and darts and then it was time to head home!

I will definitely be recommending this to any friends of mine looking for a hotel in Dubai. For me location and food is all that matters and this place nailed both so for me it was perfect. If your looking for something Downtown I don’t think it gets much better, it isn’t a resort though. The pool and gym facilities are mediocre but if you are just in Dubai for a short-stay to explore the City then this is the place for you!

Advertisements

Publique

DSC_0504smallPublique Dubai RaclettePublique Dubai Starters

Publique is located in Madinat Jumeirah and oozes character. It is ski themed with an Alpine inspired environment and menu.

The restaurant is like a wooden ski chalet, it has ski lifts as seats and electric wood fires which make it really cozy. Publique’s menu has Swiss and French dishes and the specialities include raclette, fondue and stone cooking meat on your table. The named dishes require a minimum of two people so it is a fun place to go in a group.

For appetisers we had a mixed platter, it had dynamite shrimps, onion rings, foie gras and Pissaladiere which is an onion tart. The Pissaladiere was my favourite, It is on a bread base and crunchy with a soft centre. It was probably the only starter I would order again but in future I would save more room for the Raclette as it is mammoth!

We ordered the Raclette for mains to share between two of us and our friend had The Desi burger which he found average. The Raclette was huge, it definitely could be shared between 4 people as we probably didn’t even eat half. The cheese was delicious and the platter that came with it had a good range of accompaniments; Potatoes, salad, cold cuts, pickles and bread!

If you love cheese and have never had Raclette it is a must try! They put a machine on your table which the cheese is hooked to and then the two burning hot coils come down and melt the cheese. When you have enough melted cheese you push the coils away until you are ready for more. You can scoop the melted cheese onto your bread or potatoes and you are in cheese heaven! I would say its not the best dish to order in summer as the heat coming off the machine is pretty intense.

I would definitely go back for it again, the melted cheese is gooey and delicious and a mild cheese so you can eat quite a lot…we certainly did. I highly recommend Publique, it has good food, beautiful views and the ambience is lovely too.

Fen Cafe and Restaurant, Sharjah

Fen Restaurant and Cafe SharjahFen Restaurant and Cafe SharjahGazpacho, Fen Restaurant and Cafe SharjahFen Restaurant and Cafe SharjahFen Restaurant and Cafe SharjahSea Bass, Fen Restaurant and Cafe SharjahScallops, Fen Restaurant and Cafe SharjahJumbo Prawns, Fen Restaurant and Cafe SharjahWagyu Steak, Fen Restaurant and Cafe SharjahDessert, Fen Restaurant and Cafe SharjahDessert, Fen Restaurant and Cafe SharjahDessert, Fen Restaurant and Cafe SharjahDessert, Fen Restaurant and Cafe Sharjah

This hidden gem can be found within the courtyard of the Sharjah Art Foundation Art Space. It has a creative fusion menu of Asian and European flavours.

I loved the setting of this place, the sand coloured traditional walls and beautifully carved wooden doors added an authentic Arabic touch. The name, Fen, can be translated as ‘art’ or ‘the art of …’, and I am sure from looking at the photo’s you will agree that the food lived up to the name as these stunning creations are like works of art on a plate.

For starters we had Vietnamese rolls, Gazpacho and a fish tartare. The Gazpacho was so beautiful to look at, we fussed over it for ages before we actually poured the tomato liquid into the beautiful garnish and drizzled the basil oil from the pipette onto the dish. This was my favourite starter, it looked beautiful and I liked the marriage of the flavours in my mouth. The tangy tomato was sweetened by the basil oil and the garnish added a nice bit of colour and texture. I found the fish too fishy for my tastes as I prefer quite subtle sweet fleshed fish like seabass, this was too pungent and overwhelming for me. The Vietnamese rolls were enjoyable with the peanut sauce but nothing to write home about.

The mains arrived and again they were a visual feast. The jumbo prawns lived up to their name as they were huge! They were succulent and had a nice flavour to them, I felt the lemon butter did not add much and they were nicer on their own. The Scallop risotto was delicious, the risotto was cooked to perfection as were the scallops and the amount of cheese was perfect so as not to overpower the delicate flavour of the scallops.

Now lets talk about the pièce de résistance…the miso sea bass was to die for! It literally melted in your mouth and had a beautiful salty sauce on it which complemented the sweetness of the fish perfectly. It was topped with delicious mushrooms and then garnished with some green leaves. I thought the flavours together were beautiful and we all agreed we would drive from Dubai again for that Sea bass!! The spots of sauce in different colours made the dish beautiful to look at and also added some exciting tangy flavours.

The dessert blew our minds, we were literally like paparazzi shooting non-stop as the waitress set it down on the table and we were cooing over how stunning it was. None of us wanted to eat it as we felt awful to destroy these works of art!

The most gorgeous to look at was the sorbet and ice cream dish which looked like a coral reef. It had these intricate leaves of coloured sugar wedged in the dish in sunset hues and it was just beautiful. It was nice to eat but the vanilla ice-cream was infused with truffle which I didn’t feel fit well together. The matcha, avocado and beetroot desserts were beautiful but just ok to eat…they were super healthy and had no sugar but unfortunately you could tell. The nicest dessert was by far the Ube Leche flan which was a purple yam cake accompanied with a caramel pudding topped with a beautiful solidified bangle of caramel. They really were works of art!

We tried quite an assortment of dishes and although there was room for improvement on some, when they got it right …they got it sooo right! Me and my foodie partner in crime, What Nossy Ate, are in agreement that we will be going back to have that Seabass again and discover more of their menu!

Fen Cafe & Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato