Planning an intimate evening out with a set of close friends? Make the most of the beautifully balmy weather by booking a table on the open roof-top terrace at newly opened Fumo Lounge by Rosso at Amwaj Rotana (JBR, Dubai).

We got there a little past 9 last Thursday. The haloed yellow lighting, the swaying palm trees and an open bar created the perfect, chilled out ambiance I was craving after a long, stressful week of work.

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Founded in 2011 by Gordon Ramsay’s protégés Nick Alvis & Scott Price and later under the reign of Darren Velvick, Table 9 at @dubaicreekhilton has a prestigious lineup of world-renounced chefs under its belt, and my expectations were therefore in the nines.

Table 9 Hilton Dubai Creek Gordon Ramsey UAE Review Food Blog The Tezzy Files (8)

Located on the first floor of Hilton Dubai Creek, the restaurant ambiance is all about minimalist black and white; think upholstered black leather and starched white tablecloths. The spacing is long and narrow, and with an age-old interior design trick of adding mirroring across the walls, the restaurant appears a little larger than it is.

The last leg of the year brings with it the cooler weather we’ve all been craving in the UAE, and with it comes the harvest season for some of the finest the Arabian seas have to offer.

Taking full advantage of seafood season, award-winning Indian restaurant India Palace has launched a limited edition menu entitled ‘Samundari Khazana’  (which aptly translates to ‘Treasures of the Sea’).

 

Last weekend I had the pleasure of dining in the artfully psychedelic Izakaya Japanese restaurant in JW Marriott Marquis, Dubai. Apart from its groovy interiors and the ever-popular Wasabi Girl (who serves up freshly grated Wasabi at the shout of her name, has bright green hair she credits to Wasabi-eating, and even has an Instagram page of her own @izakayawasabigirl), I was quite enchanted with their Sake Cart.

We met the beautiful Kampai, who hosts the Sake Cart at Izakaya. Apart from giving us tasters of some of the world’s finest sakes, she was brimming with knowledge on this age-old Japanese rice wine, and I had to make notes to share these gems with you…

 

I’ve been drooling over the very photogenic creations of newly opened Status Kitchen for over a month, and finally made time for a visit a couple of weeks ago.

Located behind a community mall that goes under the name Abaya Mall in the Mirdiff district of Dubai, the prim and proper red brick walling on its exteriors promise an extravagant high-tea of sorts. When we got there, we even spotted an astute, new model black and chrome Merc parked outside. So astute, so statuesque

Located right in the center of the hustle  bustle of Bur Dubai is one of our city’s oldest hotel establishments. We’ve driven past Royal Ascot Hotel many times over, and consider it a landmark for giving out directions. The outer facade oozes old-world charm, and the drive up to the valet always seems packed.

However, I’ve never actually walked through their heavy oak-wood doors till early this month. It was a Monday evening, yet the place was packed. We were heading to the media launch of The Rooftop Lounge & Dining, Season 5.

 

I have a special link with More Cafe. When I first landed in the UAE ten years ago, I started working in for the Al Tayer Group in Garhoud, Dubai. To celebrate my joining the marketing team, my colleagues took me to lunch at More Cafe.

Suffering from home-sickness and missing the cafe culture of New Zealand, I immediately struck a cord with the welcoming vibes of the place and its naughty freshly-baked treats. Sadly the Garhoud branch closed down three years ago, but to my delight they now have a brand new branch at Murooj Duplex (bang opposite The Dubai Mall).

 

Kempinski Ajman has to be one of my favorite hotel properties in the UAE. The ambiance here exudes an old-world charm with hauntingly beautiful deep woods, classic lounge areas and a very scenic sandy private beach.

Given the temperatures are finally cooling down, Kempinski Ajman’s Friday Garden Brunch is now up and running in full swing. We were here a year ago, and were more than happy to revisit last Friday.

The Pancake House is a much-loved cafe-style franchise from the Philippines, and UAE Kabayan will be thrilled to know we now have a branch of our very own in Burjuman, Dubai.

With retro-style quirky cool interiors and an enticing lineup of menu options, I was surprised to discover that, despite the name, Pancake House serves far more than just pancakes!

I was seated next to a Filipino journalist at the media opening last week, and he was telling me that their Beef Bolognese was ‘pure love’, its a flavor he’s grown up with. It was quite endearing to see so much emotion being associated with a dish. 

 

Stranger Things, the ever-popular supernatural thriller, has started airing season 2 this Friday 27th October.

Exclusively aired on Netflix, the world’s leading internet entertainment service provider, Stranger Things is set in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana in the 1980s, and revolves around the investigation of a missing young boy and the supernatural events surrounding the mystery. The second season promises many more popcorn-gripping twists and turns, and I am gearing up to a Netflix binge-watch session this coming weekend!

And if the launch of Stranger Things season 2 isn’t good news enough, here’s enticing news for all you foodies out there…