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!

Publique

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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

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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

Waka Dubai

Waka Dubai

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Waka Dubai
As we entered we were warmly greeted by the staff and our waiter came over shortly to explain the ladies night deal at Waka Dubai which was 3 free drinks and 50% off food! He asked us if he should explain the menu and we asked him some questions which he was well equipped to answer.Most of my friends know I lived in Peru and loved the cuisine so I always get told about any new Peruvian joints in town. I had heard a lot about Waka Dubai before I had the chance to go. All good things so expectations were very high!

We ordered a Chimera Ceviche and the mushroom ceviche to start. They both came presented totally different to any ceviche I had ever had. The seafood ceviche had a tigre de leche foam underneath which the seafood was in. The foam was adorned with flowers and garnishes and was impressive to look at. Had the waiter not explained that the ceviche should be poured into the bowl and eaten with a spoon as it is particularly juicy, I would have probably said that it had a bit too much juice. The taste was divine though, zesty, infused with herbs and onions and the seafood melted in your mouth just as a ceviche should.

The mushroom ceviche had a totally different consistency, it was more dry served with pureed sauces and it was also delicious. The table voted the mushroom ceviche the better dish of the 2 starters although I preferred the traditional flavours in the seafood ceviche and the fact that it was different.

For mains we had Lamb chops, Salmon altitude and Roasted baby chicken. The plates at Waka Dubai were so beautifully presented! The lamb chops were jewelled with flowers and served with spicy pickles which was actually just a bowl full of chillies! The chops were divine and I would get them again but I would request they add something to the chillies to make it more of a relish/pickle as it was too hot to eat it all. The salmon was by far the best looking plate, if you love salmon you can’t go wrong! It was crusted with quinoa and had beautiful ricoto and cauliflour puree to accompany it. The baby chicken came served on a grill and was a pretty simple dish. Nice but I would not order it again, more for the unadventurous diner as it was just chicken and roasties and there are far more interesting flavours on the menu.

We had the cheesecake for dessert which was absolutely delicious and looked so pretty you wouldn’t wanna destroy it…but we did! The ambience was fab, they were playing old-school R&B music and the cool blue tones just gave the place a great vibe. The service really was impecabble, the attentive staff really want you to have the perfect experience and I couldn’t fault it. I want to try so many more dishes and have already booked to go back to Waka Dubai next week.

Waka Dubai is located in the Oberoi Hotel in Business Bay and definitely a place I will be frequenting often! You can check out their menu here and make reservations by calling  +9714 444 1455 / +971 54 445 4792.

Waka Restaurant & Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Fiesta De Tapas, Dubai, Vista Bar and Terrace

Fiesta De Tapas, Dubai

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The Vista Bar at the Intercontinental, Festival City is hosting a Fiesta de Tapas every Saturday. The spread includes an oyster bar, ceviche station, cold cuts, various tapas dishes, made to order tacos and an array of cheese and desserts. The delicious spread is accompanied by live musicians in a beautiful setting overlooking the Dubai Creek.

Vista Bar and Terrace is a glass restaurant full of light with stunning views. The food spread is refreshing with it being small but really good quality. I am so sick of going to huge Dubai buffets with hundreds of average dishes. Fiesta de Tapas is all you need, a small curated selection of food made with fresh delicious ingredients. My favourite was the ceviche station, you can make your own with scallops, prawns and a variety of fish and choose what they add to it. I also loved the small tapas selections, the prawns and bread canapes were delicious.

I eat with my eyes and I love good presentation and that was another big pull for me at Fiesta de Tapas. The stations are beautifully styled and I loved the cheese spread with floating grapes. The desserts were also pretty good, I liked the caramel eclair the most and the mini ice-cream cones. The band were from Colombia and sang really well, a mixture of classics and new spanish songs which added to the great atmosphere. If you stick around until 7pm you have the perfect view of the light and water show where you will see a hologram dancer pirouetting to the music just below where you dine!

Fiesta de Tapas is priced at 150 AED without alcohol and 250 AED with alcohol. Already a reasonable price for this type of setup but definitely good value when you taste the quality of the dishes. I can’t wait to go back! For more info visit www.diningdfc.com

Vista Bar & Terrace Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Eshak Restaurant, City Walk

Last night I had the chance to review Eshak Restaurant which is located in City Walk 2. I expected it to be Arabic grilled food but I was surprised when I  learned the menu was a fusion of Uzbek, Georgian and Middle Eastern Food with many freshly baked items.

The interior of Eshak was mystical with a combination of gold and dark hues of purple with paintings that looked like warrior princesses from another realm. The restaurant is quite long and has a huge bar and kitchen area. The weather was beautiful so we sat outside to enjoy the breezy night air. I noticed a row of baskets full of fruit and curiosity got the best of me so I went to take a look. I realized it was a market, the hostess explained that the fruits and vegetables were from all over the world and as she said it I feasted my eyes on the bright pink dragon fruit. They get new fruit every few days and it was a lovely idea.

After reading the menu I felt quite excited as there were many dishes I had never tried before! In fact I had never had Uzbeki or Georgian cuisine so I was excited for the culinary experience. They brought out hoummos, tabbouleh, muhammara (chilli paste, walnuts, breadcrumbs and olive oil blended into a paste), warak enab bil zet (stuffed vine leaves) and baklajan rolls (rolled eggplant stuffed with cream cheese, tomatoes and pesto).

I loved the muhammara which I had never had before, the nuts gave it a sweetness and the spice from the chilli added a kick. I could not stop dipping my fresh tandoor bread in there which was hot from the oven! I also loved the baklajan rolls, they were bursting with flavour and unlike anything I had tried before yet so simple. You could taste how fresh all the ingredients were, everything was fragrant, vibrant and tasty. Vine leaves never impress me, they are cold and a weird texture…not for me!

The waiter brought out Megrel Khachapuri which is a Georgian puff pastry with cheese. It was steaming hot out of the oven and was like a pizza on puff pastry, it was gooey and delicious! Definitely one to order again. A Chicken Kutab arrived which was a crepe with a chicken filling served with tahini, it was also very good! Then came my dish of the day, the lamb pilaf. It is a traditional dish from Uzbekistan but one bite in and I could taste my grandmothers cooking. It was a spiced fragrant rice embellished with pieces of slow cooked lamb. This was a cheat day that I did not feel bad about, every bite of that rice was worth and I would go back to eat it again!
I was not overly keen on the dessert which was 3 pieces of cream cheese swimming in a berry jam but once I tried it I was converted. I expected it to be sharp and tart but it was sweet and tasted like cheesecake topping and the cheese cut through the sugar giving it a lovely balance.

While flicking through the menu I spotted some incredible breakfast options so I will be going back for those too!! If you are looking for some simple but hearty food then Eshak is the place for you!

Eshak Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Win Mothers Day Shoot at The Studio Dubai!

IMG_20170321_190431_844Get glammed up and win a photo-shoot with your mum for mothers day! Some of you are celebrating today and others will be celebrating on Sunday, I will be picking 3 lucky winners on Saturday 25th March. To enter, simply follow Zizzleblog (top right corner of this page). You can exchange the shoot for a full family shoot if you would prefer!

Good Luck!! x

Valentines Day In Dubai

Lost for things to do this Valentines day? Even if your single you will definitely not be short of things to do because in Dubai we even have anti-valentines nights! Here is a 411 of some of my favourite things going on with gift ideas and exclusive offers for him and her

Valentines Exclusives

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My favourite one stop shop for sunglasses, Sunglass Hut, is having an avant-première of the new Ray-Ban Full Metal Round until February 14th. Two gorgeous colourways will be exclusively available at Sunglass Hut before they hit other retailers so if you are a sun-glass fanatic like me, get them first. A stunning combination of brown and shiny gold with gold-pink mirrored lenses and shiny black with polar green lenses. I absolutely love the pink ones!

 

My Little Pleasures has announced the launch of its first box of 2017 simplifying the way to express love. If you are stuck for something to get your partner, why not get her this:xoxo-2This Valentine, the perfect gift is just a few clicks away. The carefully selected products in My Little Pleasures’ most recent box offer something to everyone. You literally subscribe online and pay 199 AED and the box arrives to your door! I think it is such a great idea as people are always stuck for gift ideas or you could just gift yourself haha.

The box contains Terre de Lumière Eau de Parfum by L’Occitane with its honey, lavender and notes of musk. Additionally, Pivoine Sublime face cream and Pivoine Flora hand cream also by L’Occitane. M.A.C cosmetics is as well featured in the box with two must-have products this Valentines, the Dazzleglass/Creamsheen Glass and the Studio Nail Lacquer. From Palmer’s we have a set of their signature body lotions and finally two more surprises from My Little Pleasures’ collectables. Seriously what more could a girl want?!

Get Pampered

I am sure you are familiar with the hair salon Jet-Set and one of my favourite nail salons N-Bar. They are celebrating ‘loving yourself’ this Valentine’s Day so get your girls together or spoil yourself with exclusive offers for the whole month of February.

If you top up your colour and highlights during February, you will receive a complimentary Kerastase Hair Treatment throughout the month of love. The luxe care treatment soothes, replenishes and re-beautifies luscious locks so you can go from salon to shopping.

Beauty salon, N.Bar is celebrating with the ‘PS I Love Me’ package launched specially for Valentine’s Day and running through the year. Relax and unwind with three manicures, three pedicures and three head, neck and shoulder massages at a reduced cost of AED 490, instead of AED 585 making it a perfect present for a friend or partner.

For Him

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Men also love being pampered and its a great way to get your man groomed to perfection! The Art of Shaving has been  a creator and  purveyor of the finest shaving and grooming products for men. Buy any TAOS product this February for a chance to win 1000 AED worth of gift vouchers. Luxury Club members will receive double points on
purchases made between February 6th and 28th. The Art of Shaving is exclusively available at selected Paris Gallery stores in the UAE.

Love and Music

Nothing greater then the gift of song, Emirates Airline Dubai Jazz Festival is offering a special discounted rate of 20 percent on all tickets to music fans and avid supporters of the event available for 48 hours only. Guests can avail 20 percent off starting from Monday, 13th Feb at 9:00 am to Wednesday, 15th Feb at 9:00 am on the tickets available for purchase (excluding the VIP TABLES in the SKYBOX). Mariah Carey, Tom Jones and Enrique Eglesias, what more could you ask for?

Valentines/Anti-Valentines night out:

Looking for somewhere to go on your date night? The W Dubai is having a Valentine’s Day brunch and the poolside bar Wet Deck will be throwing an anti-Valentine’s Day party where for Dhs295, from 8pm to midnight, guests will get unlimited drinks and canapés. They have something for everyone! If you wanna avoid all the PDA you can just head to Tribeca for an Anti-Valentines party or even to the single ladies night in Delphine in H-hotel, who knows you might just find your prince charming.

For the cheesy couples amongst you, Level 43 is having a Prom night so dust off your prom-dress and head to this rooftop bar with your date for the evening. One lucky couple will even be crowned Prom King and Queen. The ticket price also includes a three-course set menu as well as a bottle of grape to share.
Dhs600 per couple. 7pm-10pm. Four Points by Sheraton Sheikh Zayed Road (056 212 4413).

Coppa Club Igloo’s

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Photo Credit: Coppa Club

Coppa Club by Tower Bridge has 8 beautiful pop-up Igloos outside their restaurant along the Thames which are super cosy on a cold Winter night.

London is always an exciting city, I am not just being biased because its home but I really think you are spoilt for choice. Not only is there so much to do, but then you have exclusive pop-ups that appear for a short time.

A friend mentioned the Igloo’s but said they are fully booked and sure enough if you go to the website they state that they are no longer taking bookings. They do however save a few walk-in slots and our party of 7 got lucky as a group cancelled so we got an igloo all to ourselves.

The igloo’s are really cosy inside with sheepskin blankets and warm lighting. You get gorgeous river-side views of the shard you are sheltered from the wind and get heaters inside to make it extra cosy. Their is also a speaker so you can listen to music while sipping on a cocktail.

I had a great time, I know they are closing soon but I can’t seem to find dates anywhere for how long they are there till. If you are in the area, they are definitely worth checking out. You get a 2 hour limit although they are so comfy you won’t wanna leave!

 

Sahara Grill, Dubai

Sahara Grill, Dubai

Sahara Grill opened its first branch in the UAE earlier this year. The steak house is famed for serving the first halal steak in the UK. They opened three branches there which initially had a wait time of an hour for a table. They pair expert chefs with grade A quality cuts of meat. What more could a meat lover want?

The Sahara Grill is located directly opposite the Jumeirah Beach Hotel in The Mall. The balcony seating offers stunning views of the hotel and also of the Burj Al Arab. The modern decor is simple and classy, it has a very inviting environment.

For starters we had the Sahara prawns and buffalo wings, both were good choices. The prawns were golden brown and crunchy, they were doused in the delicious signature sauce. The chicken wings were also good, succulent and tangy with a little kick. We also had a Greek salad which was good, a nice refreshing accompaniment.

For mains we went with the signature Sahara Lamb Chops, the lamb is from New Zealand and they were rubbed in Sahara’s secret spice mix. If you like spicy food, you will love them! They come served on a sizzling platter with grilled onions. We also had a Rib-Eye steak also seasoned with the same spice mix. It was really tasty and the meat was tender and marinated through. The steak was not as spicy as the chops, we tried all of the sauces and they were all yummy. The Sahara picante is tangy and spicy and the pepper sauce was great with the steak.

We were stuffed but decided to share a dessert, we had the plain cheesecake flown in from Italy and it really was divine.

I will certainly be going back, I think I would order exactly the same again, I couldn’t fault it! The prices are also very reasonable, the chops are just 69 AED and the steak was 149 AED. If you are a meat lover and have not yet been to Sahara Grill at The Mall, check it out!

Sahara Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato