Maldives: A short getaway

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Hubby made me a big surprise and took me to the Maldives for a 2 days vacation for my bday, it was a great break from the hot Dubai and busy work. It is just 4 hours plane ride from Dubai. He told me what to pack and told the most crucial things like bikinis flip flops etc on the last day so I had no idea where he would take me until the last hours for 1 week. Last day I started to realize it can be Maldives or goa or sri lanka etc. At the airport he told me it is Maldives 🙂 Could not complain!

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We stayed at Bandos Island and hotel (all island is the hotel), after landing to Male airport you go to boats which are just next to the airport and then after 10 mnts boat ride we were on our island. First day was rainy but it was so good after the very very hot Dubai june, we were just swimming under the rain walking around the island.

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Monsoon rain view from the room, beach was just 30 steps away, yes I counted 🙂

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Second day was sunny so we did snorkeling for hours, the view was spectacular, all the coral reefs and different types of fishes were amazing.

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Of course there were little sharks but they were harmless.

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One of the best sunsets I have ever seen was here.

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I enjoyed the yummy island fish with the great sunset view, couldn’t be more romantic and enjoyable 🙂 I feel grateful and lucky every day.

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Dubai: Emirati Restaurant: Seven Sands

I was invited to  Iftar and Suhour menu tasting for a new opened Emirati restaurant in Dubai. Iftar is the time to eat for the fasting muslims during the Holy month Ramadan at the end of the fasting day and Suhour is the time when people eat before sunrise and get ready for a long fasting day. In Dubai Ramadan is starting on 18th of June 2015 this year. So I tasted some of the Ramadan dishes at Seven Sands restaurant   yesterday evening.

  As starters we had mutabbal, kibbeh (baked one), salad, hummus

  Lentile soup, grilled halloumi, salad

 Main dishes were, Lamb Mansaf, Vegetables thereed, Shrimp Fouga. There was Harris but it is out of this pic, it was very yummy.

The desserts were; Um Ali (white one), Aseeda Bobar (sweet pumpkin puree) and of course you can taste good amount of cardamom, I started to like this spice a lot since I moved to Dubai. I have cardamom spiced tea at home! Kind of cinnamon but slightly different.

For the final, I had Arabic tea with saffron, It is their signature tea but they have rose tea, fruity tea etc. My overall experience was nice, I love Arabic food, I think the richness of the spices and intense flavors make the Arabic food yummy.

Seven Sands restaurant is at the JBR walk by the beach mall close to Sheraton hotel side (south side), you can park your car to the beach mall around the V or Y letter, I think it is the closest to the restaurant.

Dubai: P.F. Chang’s: Dynamite Shrimp 

This week was Chinese food week for me 🙂 Another Chinese restaurant yesterday and one of my favorites, P.F. Chang’s. We went to the one in the Mall of the Emirates. They have it at several locations in Dubai.

I love how welcoming and nice the decoration is in the P.F. Chang’s. You really feel like you are in an Asian restaurant.

As starters we ordered Ahi Crisp and Dynamite Shrimp which is an addicting taste, many of my friends visit P.F. Chang’s just to eat Dynamite Shrimps as a snack. So yummy. Ahi Crisp had a very nice balance of tuna and avacado and coriander.

  

We were 4 people but portions are very big and filling so we ordered, 3 main dishes, noodle and fried rice with vegetables. At the end we had to ask them to pack our left overs !! Everything is very delicious but very filling. So be aware and share your food 🙂

As main course we ordered Crispy honey chicken, Sesame chicken and Wok-charred beef. All of them were great, I do not know how they are marinating their meat but they were very tender. Very nice Asian restaurant and staff is very helpful, I can not wait to visit P.F Changs again and taste great Dynamite shrimp.

 

Dubai: Chinese hotpot: Xiao wei yang

I was planning to visit this hotpot restaurant since long time and finally this week I had chance. For me it would be the first time eating a hotpot meal  and I was little bit hesitant about eating boiled meat but my overall experience was great!

 

Xiao Wei yang Chinese restaurant Jumeirah or marina branch is just across the Le meridien Jbr hotel. It was a week day when I visited there but for dinner we had to wait a table to get empty for 20 minutes, they book just for more than 4 people, we were 4, so no reservatio!

  

They bring a broth on a stove on the table and I could see some nutmeg, celery sticks, garlic in the broth but for the rest I don’t know what is in this yummy broth. The sauce you dip your meat after you boiled it in hotpot was made from peanut and garlic and some other secret ingredients, it was also yummy. We chose meat dimsum, mushrooms, meat, some tofu, spinach to boil in hotpot . Everything was very delicious. While We were leaving I asked the girl at the reception “do you deliver to the house with the hotpot?” She said “ahh don’t you have hotpot at your home, how do you eat :)?!!” Hahaa I think she is right I need a hotpot at home I love this taste and I find it a health way of cooking. 

I love how staff is very helpful and friendly in the Xiao Wei Yang. I am gonna visit there soon again. And price is reasonable.

  

 

Dubai: Burj Al Arab view: La veranda

  

La veranda is an Italian restaurant in the Jumeirah hotel, actually on the beach of Jumeirah hotel 🙂 It has great view of neighbour Burj Al Arab hotel
  
You might as well sit on the beach feeling sand under yout feet. I loved how peacefull this place is.
  
And of course yummy food, Lasagna was very good and they had gluten free pasta for my friend. 
  
You just walk into a cute and cosy restaurant in a 5 star hotel, it is first come first served. They do not reserve table. It was a wednesday eveningso we could find a 2 people table easily but I bet it is busy on the weekend. I am going to visit this restaurant more often for cosy get aways 😊

Home made: Crispy Chicken

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After work I like to cook quick things at home and decided to cook crispy chicken 🙂

All you need is: some cereal, yogurt, garlic powder, black pepper, salt, dried mint.

You smush the cereals into crumbs, add the spices in to the cereal crumbs. Put the yogurt (you can use egg instead of yogurt) in a bowl.

Dip the chicken fingers into the yogurt and throw them in to cereal bag and shake them 🙂

Preheat oven 400 F (200 Celcius), put the chicken fingers on a cooking paper.

After the 10 munites of baking I could see some of the fingers are little bit wet, I put the chickens back into the oven for 10 mnts but this time I lowered the heat.

At the end I served it with a little paprika pepper on top, and your home made KFC is ready 🙂 My husband was looking for the KFC boxes, haha nope it was not that crunchy but not bad for a 40 mnts cooking.

Dubai: Marine Beach Resort: Sandy beach

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Luckly my work is just 5 munites distance from this place, for me a nice get away place for an hour lunch break. In the middle of Dubai, if you want to run away from hustle& bustle of the city, this hotel is perfect for you. There is a little bay of white sand and clear sea, beach is very private and quite. But of course would be great to stay in the hotel and relax all day on the beach.

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There are a few pools. they are small but that is why it is not so busy, well I was there during the week maybe on weekends (Friday and saturday for Dubai) it might be busy.

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You feel like you are in a forest but reality is we are in the middle of the city.

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I will do my best o visit this hotel and beautiful restaurants in it as much as possible, it changes my mood and rest of the day is much more energic. There are many restaurants in this hotel but I guess all of them are more busy around 6pm, during lunch I realized just Flooka was open. I tried Flooka and it is a nice mediterranian cusine restaurant, I also tried  Cappana Nuova a few months ago, it is an italian cusine restaurant, I loved it too, you are just by the sea and can hear the waves, I love it !!