2019 has been a super busy year so far, but busy in a good way. All my weekends have been packed with socializing or eating out or photography activities and I’ve been craving a good old quiet, under the covers laid-back break.

I recently got an invite to spend a night at the Marriott in Al Jaddaf, Dubai and thought this would be the perfect low-key break I’ve been wanting so badly.

I was mispronouncing ‘Zou Zou’ as ‘Zaw Zaw’, but I later came to know its ‘Zoo Zoo’, an affectionate feminine Arabic name. Perhaps this beautifully bronze-lit authentic diner is named after a beloved Zou Zou the owner happened to know, a brilliant cook who had a special penchant with Mediterranean flavors and loved to feed a large brood.

Such is the warmth and familial familiarity that exudes from this beautifully decorated ‘Turkish meets Lebanese’ restaurant, located in Insta-friendly La Mer, Dubai.

I recently watched the brand new Bollywood flick ‘Thackeray’, more so for being a die-hard fan of actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui than having even an ounce of knowledge about Indian politics. No I wouldn’t recommend this movie, the slow-paced screenplay does not do justice to Siddiqui’s talent nor the fiery journalist turned politician he portrays. But what I did gather from it all was Balasaheb Thackeray’s undeniable influence on restoring the Marathi identity.

One particular scene that resonates is where Thackeray (played by Siddiqui) starts a street-food revolution introducing the humble ‘Vada Pao’ as a Marathi snack.

Have you heard about the Imposter Syndrome? It’s become an epidemic. It’s that little gremlin sitting on your shoulder making you doubt all the accomplishments you’ve worked so very hard to achieve. You start doubting yourself. When you hear the applauds you stiffen up thinking this isn’t for you. You start believing you are a fake, you start believing you are an imposter .

I was at the launch of the very first Pancake House in the UAE at Burjuman in October last year, and have since found my favorite spot in the city for the fluffiest, dreamy-delicious pancakes (yes, they really do live up to their name!). 

The Filipino chain has since opened shop in the eclectic food-court of The Dubai Mall with a restaurant space of their own. I was at the mall a week ago, straight out of work with my work-mates. Having had an extremely busy day and famished from skipping lunch, I suggested we try out the new branch… we were in that peckish zone where we wanted something decadent, yet not as full-on as mainstream lunch or dinner. 

Turmeric, the bright orange herb that is best known for adding brightness to Indian curries, offers a plethora of health-enhancing benefits making it a prized culinary addition across India, China and the Far East for centuries. 

Perhaps you already have an ample stock of turmeric powder in your kitchen ammunition but like all things powdered, a fresh stalk of turmeric far outshines the nutritional benefits. Here’s 3 reasons why:

We are under a month away from Christmas! Where has the year gone? The 3 week school break will be here before we know it, and I have been pretty slack with planning out my holiday plans. Are you off to someplace exotic? I am in dire need of a holiday, and envy the social feeds of frequent flyers. 

But living in Dubai has its major perks, especially for the foodie in me. My tastebuds took a world tour at the newly launched Pergolas 7 Fusion Brunch with a gastronomic spread paying ode to all the major cuisines around the globe. 

Located in the palatial settings of Roda Al Murooj with an open patio looking out to the stunning pool facade, this is the perfect idle brunch that even the most discerning of guests will appreciate being invited to.

We are finally in Dubai winters! Loving the breezy evenings, but not so much the cough and flu that’s been going around. With a 7 year-old in the house, we are guaranteed lovely pesky viral bugs that she picks up from the school run, and the past week has seen a slow-down in our weekend activities as we recuperate. 

My little girl loves Thai cuisine as much as I do (not surprising given the amount of Thai dishes I wolfed down through my pregnancy!). So when I told her I’d make her a soup to combat her cold, she demanded a bowl of Tom Yum.

I have this special, super easy Tom Yum Soup recipe up my sleeve, but it needs a little modification for my bub. She doesn’t like shrimps, and obviously can’t take Thai hot like I can. As a sneaky mummy, I also decided to add a handful of other healthful ingredients, and prayed hard she wouldn’t sniff out the difference. This soup is far from photogenic, but tastes great and is full of nutritional value if I may say so myself! 

Magnum ice-cream and I go back a long time. I’ve had a love affair with this calorie-laden, Belgian chocolate coated yumminess for as long as I can remember. Back home in New Zealand, they’d come up with limited edition Magnum flavours, and I remember taking over the family freezer when they introduced the absolutely divine Honeycomb edit where the milk chocolate casing was bejewelled with crunchy hokeypokey and the inner ice-cream was this golden-hued honeycomb flavour. So glad they’ve made this flavour mainstream, my family can now share the freezer again.