“Everything you see I owe to spaghetti.” – Sophia Loren.

If one of the world’s most beautiful women credits her beauty to spaghetti, why haven’t we come up with a pasta diet yet? And so was my excuse last Saturday, as I indulged in not one but a total of 9 decadent pasta creations by artisanal Head Chef Antonio Lacovelli at Trattoria Toscana.

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We had a wonderful stay at Danat Al Ain Resort, and one of the culinary highlights of our weekend away was dining at Tanjore. Although we have an endless set of options when it comes to Indian restaurants in the UAE, what sets Tanjore apart is its very history.

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The restaurant has been on the premises for nearly 3 decades, even before InterContinental became Danat Al Ain. It is, infact, Al Ain’s very first Indian fine-dining establishment and has an interesting little story behind it.

From the outside, Flow appears to be yet another chic urban café, complete with a smorgasbord of enticing goodies at the front and deli-style fonts scribbled across its expansive white-washed walls.

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I set foot into the newest foodie venture at Emirates Towers on a hustling work day, and the place was packed with lunchers. The café has an affiliative vibe and is flooding with natural lighting, and the staff (despite the grueling rush-time) seemed genuinely sweet and enthused with what the menu had on offer.

If you’re following me on Instagram, you might have noticed my overflow of Insta Stories from last weekend. My wee family and I were invited over for a staycation at Media One Hotel, and I have to say this has to be one the most Instagram-worthy hotel stays I’ve been to in Dubai!

 

Media One Hotel had us click-happy for a number of reasons. First off, its so refreshingly different from the staycations I’ve been to in the recent past. Media One Hotel makes suave, ‘run of the mill’ sophisticated, uptight interiors look so cliche! This 4 star property can best be described as an artsy boutique concept and has, so far, been a well-kept secret among Media City coworkers. 

Because the standard Ladies’ Night at a pub with a few diluted drinks is so cliché… treat yourself and your besties to a laidback session of pampering and massages at Fairmont Dubai. Every Tuesday, from 2 to 10 pm, The Spa at Fairmont Dubai offers a highly discounted package inclusive of a leisurely lunch by the poolside, an hour-long session of yoga and meditation, access to the sauna and steam room, and a rejuvenating treatment of your choice. And how much would you expect for all this at one of Dubai’s finest hotel establishments? Hold your breath… it costs a mere AED 349 per person! Envy us boys!

We’ve dined at Barbecue Delights a number of times with family and friends. Their very first branch near Lamcy Plaza is great value for money, with an authentic Pakistani buffet that costs AED 65 per head. However, I’ve never been to the newer branch that has opened up on the suave, sophisticated hub of Downtown Dubai.

I was invited for a review there last week, and was pretty blown away by the stark difference in the two branches. While Lamcy’s neighbor is rather old-school, bordering shabby, the Downtown version is beautifully spacious, and artfully decorated with quirky-cool relics from Pakistan. They even have lounging sofas at the front for when the weather is kinder.

Matto translates to ‘crazy’ in Italian, and this much-hyped new restaurant in The Oberoi Dubai, has worked hard on living up to this theme. The ambiance here is more in tune with a gastro-pub; the lighting is dim, a DJ revs up tunes from an amputated scooter, and a dominating wall displays this stunning graphic of a man swallowing a fish.

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We walked in with our little 6 year-old, and felt a little out of place. This is not a family-friendly space, and given we got there on a Thursday night, the tables were filled with boisterous co-workers and doe-eyed lovers ringing in the weekend.

I envy the people working in Bay Square, they are so spoilt for choice with foodie options. I’ve found myself revisiting this urban hub a number of times in the past few months, each visit for a totally different cuisine. Recently, we were invited to Masala Pot, a familial name that screams of fiery curries, biryanis and other subcontinental delights. They have a few branches scattered around the UAE, but I have never been and wasn’t sure on what to expect.

The restaurant has quirky-cool interiors, taking inspiration from newspaper cuttings. The walls are marked with tongue in cheek Hindi-English quotes relating to food, and everything here has a pale orange halo, so in tune with curries and the saffron hue of Indian patriotism. The restaurant looks more like a chic café, and the pricing here is definitely in line with this. A meal for two at Masala Pot will suffice under AED 150 easily.

“Where will I meet you?” At The Coffee Club ofcourse! With an affiliative tagline like that, this Aussie café chain has taken the global casual eating scene by storm! But don’t get fooled by the name, they have far more to offer here than coffee.

 

I don’t know about you, but I love a hearty, healthful breakfast… and can have it at any point in time through the day. There seems to be a dearth of restaurants offering all-day breakfasts in Dubai, and the ones that do have a pretty limited menu. Not the case at The Coffee Club! Infact, they’ve expanded their options under a new lineup entitled ‘The Chef’s Table’. Here is what I tried from the brand new menu:

Boubouffe (pronounced ‘Bou Bouf’), the chic deli-style Lebanese restaurant, has moved from Sheikh Zayed Road to a cosy nook in Business Bay. The brand new branch boast of a scenic patio facing the urban jungle of the Downtown Dubai area, and I am sure it would be a lovely spot to have an idle sip and nibbles on a breezy evening. Sadly we are in the peak of summer right now, and forced to find a table indoors.

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The interiors are beautifully lit, spacious and inviting, and have the look and feel of a chic boulagerie you might happen to walk into on the cobbled streets of Paris. ‘Boubouffe’ translates to ‘food overload’ in French, but apart from the name and chic Parisian-style interiors, the restaurant’s menu has nothing French to offer. Instead, expect to be treated to a very authentic Lebanese fare.