Tribes Carnivore is a meat glutton’s sanctuary. This South African chain, with its colorful tribal decor, wallet-friendly pricing and hip-swaying live entertainment, has always been one of my favorite spots to dine at in The Dubai Mall.

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I was recently invited for a tasting session to try out their brand new menu, and was in for an even bigger treat. You see, the last time I visited Tribes, it was during the warmer months. This time round, they had a table booked for me on the terrace… and what a magical experience it was!

Urban Seafood, one of Dubai’s most popular eateries for quick and casual bites of delectible seafood, has opened a brand new branch in the heart of The Beach, JBR. Under a week old, this branch has a condensed version of the menu that is available at its predecessors (located in Ibn Battuta Mall, Outlet Village and Last Exit).

I don’t know about you, but after a leisurely day at the beach, I always tend to crave good old fish & chips! This was my very first visit to an Urban Seafood branch, and I was looking forward to a greasily satiating F&S combo, but what we ended up having was a far more ‘urbanized’, posher alternative, loaded with lobster!

What would you pay for a generously large 300 gram serving of prime beef, served with seasonal vegetables, fries and even a soft-drink of your choice? I was recently invited for the Steak Promotion at Al Bustan Centre & Residences, and was absolutely gobsmacked by the great value dinner we had there. All this for a mere AED 40 per serving!

Over the last year or so, Indian molecular gastronomy has taken the Dubai dining scene by storm. It was initially reserved for exuberantly priced fine-dining restaurants like Tresind, and soon seeped into the high-end cafe and bar scenes with the introduction of Farzi Cafe and Carnival by Tresind. Going a few steps further down the affordability scale, we can now rejoice with the opening of Mumbai’s very popular vegetarian joint, SpiceKlub.

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(Image taken from TimeOut Dubai)

Just a month into its opening, and it is already a challenge getting a table booking at this brand new joint. Located in the hub of busy, traffic-congested Mankool where parking can be a nightmare, we booked ourselves a table at SpiceKlub midweek for dinner. Despite not having a valet service, the place was absolutely packed… and this was a Tuesday evening!

My Hubby does not prefer Indian when dining out, and least of all a vegetarian joint. To make matters worse, it took us a good 20 minutes to find a parking spot, so by the time we settled into our table I was praying the food would be to his liking. Miracle of miracles, he walked out very content raving about the dishes and the immaculate service! 

How blessed are we with the current weather! As a family, we are making the most of it by spending as much time outdoors as possible. Last Friday I received an invite to try out Inn the Park, a brand new dining concept located right inside Al Khazzan Park. The idea of combining a tasting session with a day out in the sunshine sounded highly appealing, and what’s even better was the fact that we didn’t have to pack up a picnic hamper either!

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Al Khazzan is a very small park by Dubai standards, but is pretty easy to locate given it is bang opposite CityWalk.  Inn the Park is just a mere 2 weeks old, and the restaurant doesn’t even have a signage up as yet.

Tucked away in a quiet corner of Jumeirah Beach Road is Beach Park Plaza, perhaps the least frequented of malls on this strip. A chance tasting invitation saw us there last week, and I now come to you with the perfect excuse to visit Beach Park Plaza for yourself: Chop Suey!

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Named after the ever-popular American Chinese stir-fried noodle dish, Chop Suey is the brainchild of husband and wife duo Bassam and Diana. The restaurant has been in operation for over 2 years, and has a regular steam of visitors from the vicinity, as well as a long list of frequent delivery orders that covers the Business Bay, Sheikh Zayed Road, Al Barsha, Media City and Meydan Heights areas.

Le Meridien Hotel & Conference Centre (conveniently located near Dubai International Airport), is one of the oldest hospitality institutions of the city and also happens to be a treasure trove of foodie finds.

One such gem is Casa Mia. Aptly translating to ‘my home’, I absolutely love the cottage-inspired interiors of this space. The service is topnotch, the wine selection immaculate and above all, the food here is incredibly ‘delizioso’.

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If you are looking out for an All-American style diner, Clinton Street Baking Company is the real deal. Conceptualized and created by a husband-wife duo in New York, the restaurant’s iconic blueberry pancakes have won the accolade of ‘best in the city’ by New York Magazine, twice in a row! However, they are not just about baking… I raved about their life-changing 15-hour smoked beef ribs here before, and I was recently invited back, a gap of nearly a year since my last visit.

The interiors haven’t changed much, but the lighting has been dimmed down for a more cozier ambiance for the evenings. The only downside with this is that my photography skills were greatly challenged with the lack of light!

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What have you been up to this long Eid weekend? We decided to hibernate on Day 1, dreading the holiday rush across the city. Surely every road, every mall and every restaurant must be overflowing with people now that everybody is back from the summer break?

Well I have great news for you! I’ve recently discovered the (not so secret) secret hang-out for foodies who, like me, detest the crowds. Ironically just a few parallel roads down from buzzing Dubai Mall itself, Bay Square is a hidden gem housing some of Dubai’s most affordable restaurants under one spacious complex itself.

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I was in Bay Square about a week ago, devouring really good Thai food at Fuchsia, and just a week later I was back yet again, this time for some amazingly affordable Indian at 25 Degrees North.

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“Silk Route was an ancient network of trade routes that for centuries were central to cultural interaction through regions of the Asian continent connecting the West and East from China to the Mediterranean Sea.” – Wikipedia.

These legendary routes, set ablaze by none other than Marco Polo himself, was probably the beginnings of the East blending into the West. Apart from the lucrative trade of besotted silks, the West got introduced to the magic of noodles (and the Italians unabashedly turned it into pasta!). It also took heady mix of spices from the subcontinent to far reaching places and local dishes. The story is fascinating! And what better name can an Asian restaurant ask for than to be christened Silk Route?

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Located in one of Dubai’s oldest hotels, Silk Route has built a reputation for its delicious fare of Chinese and Thai dishes, and if you are looking to go out for dinner with the family this long weekend, I have great news!

Weekend Bargain Dinner Alert! Every Thursday and Friday, Silk Route spreads out an elaborate ‘all you can eat’ buffet for as little as AED 99 per head (with soft-drinks) and AED 179 per head (with alcohol).