Citymax, the contemporary budget-friendly chain of hotels, is UAE’s answer to the stereotype that a vacation in this country is as expensive as the glitz and glamour that surrounds it.

For the longest time, we were under the impression that this was all that Citymax was; a hotel stay for the wallet-savvy, and not a destination for those of us who actually live here.

Being avid fans of Chinese and Thai cuisines, we are always on the lookout for new places to dine, and Sizzling Wok came up on our radar. Surprise, surprise, this restaurant has outlets in Citymax Bur Dubai and Citymax Sharjah.

sizzling wok citimax review

Tony Roma’s has built an empire on their signature ‘Baby Back Ribs’. Established over 40 years ago in 1972, Tony Roma opened a burger joint which soon gained a reputation after he added ribs on the menu. From there, it was no looking back.

Today Tony Roma’s has over 150 chains across 30 countries the world over, and has won a number of prestigious awards including the title of ‘The Best Ribs in America’. The original ribs continue to be served, but the menu has vastly expanded to include delectable steaks and seafood dishes.

One beautifully sunny afternoon, my little family and I decided to lunch at Tony Roma’s at Wasl Vita Mall. Read on about our experience.

tony roma's wasl vita mall dubai

Le Relais de l’Entrecôte, the iconic Parisian bistro, opened its doors on the very stylish Boulevard, Downtown Dubai on Wednesday 14th January.

le relais steak and fries

Relais roughly translates to a small retreat that you might be stopping over at when on a road trip, and entrecote is the French word for a boned steak cut off the sirloin.

Katherine Lorente is from the Philippines. Her bubbly persona masks her age, and makes her perfect for her daytime role as a receptionist for the Q-Gourmet head office based in Sharjah.

In Katherine I found yet another master chef! Katherine has an innate love for cooking, and has her very own culinary business back home in the Philippines.

pancit palabok philippines recipe

In the Middle East, weekends fall on Fridays and Saturdays. On Fridays, Muslims the world over offer the very special ‘jumma’ prayer, and this is traditionally followed by a lavish lunch with the family.

Biryani, a decadent rice pilaf layered with succulently spiced meat, tends to be a Friday lunch favorite.

My dear friend Sana Wahid makes the most delicious Yakhni Pulao, and has agreed to share her family’s secret recipe with us.

yakni pulao recipe2

Silver Fox is an American chain of fine-dining steakhouses, and the one located on City Walk, Dubai is their very first franchise outside the States.

Silver Fox is a very premium steakhouse. They differentiate themselves by serving USDA prime beef, and this warrants a higher menu pricing. Top that with uber-chic interiors and impeccable service, and expect fine-dining at its very best.

silver fox interiors4