Last Saturday I had the absolute pleasure of dining at the much talked about Masala Library. Founded by culinary legend Jiggs Kalra who is fondly referred to as the Czar of Indian cuisine, my expectations were literally sky-high.

Jiggs Kalra is a living Indian culinary legend who has penned 11 books including ‘Prashad’ which is considered to be a chef’s bible for Indian cuisine. He is credited for reviving several lost cooking styles of ancient India including the introduction of age-old kebab recipes that were prized within the royal kitchens of yesteryears.

Masala Library is an award-winning restaurant in Delhi, the capital of India. It has been an inspiration behind many a successful restaurant and has finally opened doors in JW Marriott Marquis Dubai.

Inspired by the old-school luncheonettes of eighties America, Black Tap brings back the nostalgia of enjoying a cheeseburger and milkshake as a child, but prims it up to macho grownup standards.

The award-winning burger joint from NYC has quite a repute for its monster shakes. But there’s so much more than Inst-friendly sipping to be had here.

We headed to the Black Tap branch at Dubai Festival City last week and had the pleasure of trying out quite a few of their new-menu items.

Indian fine-dining restaurant Tresind is an institution of sorts. Unarguably the pioneers in molecular gastronomy in Dubai, Tresind continues to surprise their diners with their sheer creativity that never compromises on taste. Tresind lives true to its French-inspired name; they take inspiration from global cuisines and source global ingredients, but at the heart of it all, their dishes remain true to Indian culinary sensibilities. Très Indian all the way.

Every Ramadan, we really look forward to our Iftar at Tresind. This year, the iftar theme at Tresind was ‘Indian Steakhouse’, a three-course menu that’s priced a very reasonable AED 179 per person.

Indo Chinese cuisine, a mashup of Chinese stir-frying techniques spiced up with the heat of an Indian palate, deserves to gain more attention on an international scale. It’s flavors and techniques are advanced enough to discriminate it from both origins.

Last weekend I had the absolute pleasure of enjoying a feast of a lunch at newly opened China Bistro. Located in the foodie hub of Karama bang opposite Spinneys and adjacent to Regis hotel, China Bistro is owned and operated by Foodlink India.

The restaurant chain has been a big hit across Indian metropolitan cities including Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bangalore. The Dubai opening is the brand’s very first venture outside the home-ground.

There seems to be a raise of a new genre of Indian dining in Dubai. Taking cues from the Insta-friendly requirements of millennials and combining it with the nostalgic vibes of Bollywood that transcends generations, we have a brand-new dining destination for Indian funk, fusion food and live entertainment.

Located on the lobby level of Grand Millennium Dubai (Barsha Heights) is Hitchki, which is Hindi for ‘hiccup’. Urban legend has it that when you hiccup, someone who loves you is remembering you. Hitchki is about all things nostalgic, yet quirky enough to have a name that resonates as ‘new age’.

I’m missing the gloomy grey weather already. Last week was surely the last of the UAE winter, and we made good use of it over the weekend by treating ourselves to a soulfully good pan-Asian dinner. We headed to the newest hotel establishment in Sharjah. Yes, Four Points by Sheraton now has a branch in the heart of Sharjah, right off the busy, bustling King Faisal Road.

We were here to try out the recently launched pan-Asian restaurant Cheeky Chan. Don’t you just love the cheeky name?!

If you’ve been following my Insta Stories, you already know where we were last weekend 😊 We were in Al Ain, the ‘garden city’ of the UAE. We had a room booked at Al Ain Rotana, one of the oldest properties in the Emirate which also happens to be the only 5-star property of Al Ain as of now.

We drove into Al Ain a little past 12 noon on a Friday afternoon. Loved cruising through the near-empty roads! We were there in a little over an hour.

The beauty of the Al Ain Rotana property is its flat, spread-out structure. Not your typical towering hotel building here, but rather a collection of mid-heighted structures with a spread of exclusive villa properties, spacious greens and wide, inviting pool areas.

I love mall-hopping with my little girl. It’s our mummy-daughter bonding time, and one of our favorite shopping destinations has always been Dubai Festival City Mall.

Apart from a wide range of shopping options including the two anchor tenants Ikea and Robinson’s which do not have stores anywhere else in the city, Dubai Festival City has a great selection of restaurants and cafes, and the spectacular IMAGINE show that takes place every half-hour at the harbor front is absolutely magical for kids and grown-ups alike.