Last weekend, I caught up with my childhood friend Sara and her gorgeous little girls at Moombai & Co at H Hotel, Dubai. The retro-style Bollywood inspired venue had me awestruck the very first time we visited, and still holds its magic every time I’ve visited since.

Adding to the gastronomic charm of the place is the headline news that Moombai & Co has now been taken over by celebrity chef and restauranteur Hari Nayak. Chef Hari Nayak is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and has worked across the United States, the UK and Paris reintroducing the culinary art of Indian cuisine in a more simplistic, globally viable format.

There seems to be a raise of a new genre of Indian dining in Dubai. Taking cues from the Insta-friendly requirements of millennials and combining it with the nostalgic vibes of Bollywood that transcends generations, we have a brand-new dining destination for Indian funk, fusion food and live entertainment.

Located on the lobby level of Grand Millennium Dubai (Barsha Heights) is Hitchki, which is Hindi for ‘hiccup’. Urban legend has it that when you hiccup, someone who loves you is remembering you. Hitchki is about all things nostalgic, yet quirky enough to have a name that resonates as ‘new age’.

If you are a fan of North Indian thaali’s, chances are Rajdhani is way up on your list. Banking on their well-established brand name, the company has now opened a sister chain called Rajdhani Street.

I visited their branch in Karama (Dubai) last weekend. The interiors are colorfully kitsch and inviting. The walls are splashed with color, and at one end is a retro-style Indian bicycle heaped with a pile of colorful ware.

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:

One day to go for the Numaish Festive Fair! Can’t wait to splurge on the latest in Indian fashion this Friday and Saturday. It’s happening at the Godolphin Ballroom, Emirates Towers from 11 am to 8 pm.

One of my favorite sari designers, Anavila will be showcasing her latest Autumn/Winter 2018 collection at Numaish this weekend.

Numaish, by far my favorite fashion exhibition in Dubai, never fails to impress the shopaholic in me looking for quirky Indo-Western finds that are anything but run of the mill. Numaish carefully curates India’s best upcoming fashion talents under one easy shopping roof, and this month you really need to save up to splurge at their AM:PM Fashion Trunk Show!

AM:PM is the brainchild of fashion design couple Ankur and Priyanka Modi (such a clever take on their names, don’t you think?). Their unique take on Indian fashion has won them a number of accolades over the years including the Elle Style Awards for two consecutive years (2011 and 12), and the title of ‘Most Popular Designer’ at the prestigious India Fashion Forum in 2016.

Located on the ground floor of picturesque Ajman Hotel, award-winning fine-dining Indian restaurant Bukhara is one of my favorite spots for delicious, authentic Indian cuisine sans all the modern-day gimmicks many other places tend to adopt these days.

Haven’t been to Bukhara yet? I have some great news for you… Bukhara has introduced a limited edition Summer Brunch that runs every Saturday from 1 pm to 4 pm. The menu changes every week, and features many menu favorites for as low as AED 150 per head. 

Last weekend my little family and I were invited to try out the brand-new menu at Carnival by Tresind. This restaurant ranks high on my all-time favorites in the city, and never ceases to amaze. From the magical interiors to the spectacular dishes, all served with the frills and thrills we have become accustomed to when it comes to the Tresind label, I always get a tad too excited when dining here.

The new menu pays tribute to Colonial India, a time when the British reigned the country and had a significant influence on its traditional cuisine. 

Indian cuisine arguably has an even stronger fan following across the globe than does the glitzy world of Bollywood. Butter Chicken has also been considered the national dish of the UK, and Indian Chefs today are enjoying celebrity status thanks to the reach of social media.

Well before the likes of Zee TV star Chef Sanjeev Kapoor and Master Chef stars Vikas Khanna and Kunal Kapoor, Chef Satish Arora took humble Indian dishes to fine-dining status. With a career expanding 50 years which was catapulted by his success as the world’s youngest Executive Chef of a five-star kitchen at a mere 26 years of age, he has been the inspiration for many in his industry, and has also been a role model for his kin.

I had the immense pleasure of meeting the legend in person at Mahec (Le Meridian, Airport Road Dubai) which he has recently taken over. Here is an except on Chef Arora’s trailblazing career, his undying passion for food, and advice for the next generation.