Saturday, September 18, 2010

Marchesa Spring 2011 Runway Collection

I first got a glance of this fabulous collection from Indigo Iris Style Blog (you may know her by her previous name: Creme de Femme) then in Modish Blog (I highly recommend this blog to extreme fashionistas). And I hate repeating already talked about stuff but I just had to show you the ones I heart!

Marchesa is one of those brands that are best known for their ball and red carpet dresses. Not anyone would prefer wearing romantic ruffles and drapings. And frankly, neither do I. But I do love the designs even if they were not what I would usually wear for an occasion. This particular runway season is the ultimate favorite of mine. I will be brief and just show you the ones I would love to have. Designs that flatter.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Travel Advice: Restaurants and Cafes in Dubai, UAE

Before starting any trip to Dubai, I have to book restaurants beforehand from Kuwait. The ones I booked this year were not that new, but it was my first time to dine in them.

OKKU- The Monarch Hotel Dubai
I think it has been open for two years now, because when I visited for Coldplay's concert 2 years ago, it was what the buzz was all about. And that was two years ago. In New Years, we booked a table but had to cancel. Now, I finally had the chance to dine there. We loved it! The atmosphere and the vibe and the model-like staff (both sexes)! I wasn't suprised that it was really crowded and still have that trendy beautiful crowd. We felt so in place. Music was loud and it was dark. A split level, one included the bar which would probably turn into a club late at night, and the other was the restaurant where we were seated! Both levels are in full view of the other level so you won't miss out on the fun. Food and selection were really good! Recommendations: calamari fritti, tempura maki rolls, teriyaki beef, chocolate fondant.
NOBU- Atlantis Dubai
This is a place I've also been dying to try since the opening of the hotel, and 2 years ago when we slumbered in the hotel, I booked a table for me and my friend, and I ended up having a fever after swimming with the dolphins, while she enjoyed a dinner with our Emarati friends. I was so disappointed because I was really looking forward to that dinner. She came back saying that the food wasn't that good. Ofcourse, its in my nature to never take anyone's work when it came to food. And good thing I didn't. Both my sister and I, have emptied all our dishes clean! And I'm sure it wasn't because I haven't had lunch that day. Everything we ordered was so delicious! Recommendations: Prawn tempura maki rolls, Teriyaki beef, Spicy and Sour Tiger Prawns, and the Mochi ice-cream. Their fondant was ok, OKKU's was better.
Spicy & Sour Prawns
Beef Teriyaki (not on the menu)
Let me tell you the story behind Mochi ice-cream. I've been dying to try this ever since I read about it when I was about to book a trip to Japan earlier this year (but had to cancel). Appearently this Japanese delicacy was very much in demand. "Mochi is a Japanese rice cake made of glutinous rice pounded into paste and molded into shape" (Wikipedia). I tried the mochi in Banyan Tree Phuket earlier this year but it was stuffed with the a sweet filling paste, and this type was called Daifuku. I loved it. Nobu's ice cream dish was served to us as 3 types of mochi doughs (Chocolate peanut butter, strawberry, and green tea). My sister loved the "snickers" mochi, and I like the green tea one.

Joe's Cafe- Dubai Mall
We had lunch there. It was ok. Nothing special. People around seemed to like looking at one another and dress up (more like "bag up") for a lunch in a mall cafe. We both had the risotto (funghi for us) which everyone seemed to be having, it was ho-hum. Same goes to the Tarte Tatin.
Alison Nelson's Chocolate Bar- The Dubai Mall
We loved their dark chocolate/vanilla ice-cream, Chocolate Fondue, Chocolate Molten Cake (fondant), and Chocolate Shots.
Magnolia Bakery- Bloomingdales, The Dubai Mall
We've been told they've got the yummiest red velvet cupcakes. I'm not into red velvet. I chose the ones below. The cake itself was light and moist! They've got a great selection of original size cakes. Frosted to perfection.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Travel Advice: Al Qasr Hotel Madinat Jumeira - Dubai

Our last night was spent in AlQasr Madinat Jumeirah.  I'm a fan of One & Only Royal Mirage (The Arabian Court specifically) and have stayed there more then 5 times. I like it because its so quiet and very romantic. AlQasr is a bit similar in design but not quiet at all. Lobby and entrance area is not peaceful, with lots of children, lots of visitors, lots os STAFF, and lots of chaos. Breakfast was really really good compared to our previous. I was surprised to be able to book a really good room in such short notice! We got the Ocean Deluxe Room, which looks right out into the pool, gardens, restaurants and most importantly the beach.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

My Stay at Banyan Tree Al Wadi - Ras AlKhaimah

I'm back from my 5 day trip, spent entirely in the UAE. First 3 nights were spent in the newly opened Banyan Tree Al Wadi of Ras Al-Khaimah, the one I have mentioned previously in Spectacular Oasis Part 1.  Let me warn you this place is strictly for couples only.

For those of you familiar with Banyan Tree Resorts, you might know that this place first aim is for total relaxation. Some of their resorts also specifically help save the environment or are used as reserves like in this specific resort's case for gazelles and other magnificent creatures and birds.

Personally, I chose this resort was to relax, lounge and tan in the privacy of our villa's private pool, and to use their award winning spa! We got the Al Sahari, Tented Pool Villa, and you should too. We've been given a great location too. Our villa was all tinted windows on the outside. In the datime not much can be seen, its a different story at night. Inside, there were curtains everywhere, giving a feeling of a real tent. Beautiful!

One big problem were the insects. We came across different species of spiders, centipedes, flies, ants, etc. But I think that adds to the beauty of the natural environment of the desert.

Another huge no-no, was that I have rented a car from Dubai International airport, to drive to the never before seen Ras Al-Khaimah, my cousin who used to study in the UAE with me warned me Ras Al-Khaimah is very very far a 45 minute drive, near Oman, but I never guessed the drive would take forever. And just a desert to see, n buildings no civilization. If you plan on driving there, don't even think about driving at night, something I did there and spent the whole time praying to arrive safely. Streets deserted and no lights at all, plus there were camel warning signs everywhere, which was scary enough in their narrow line and it was two way street! What I found fascinating was that the resort's exit off the main road also took you to Six Senses Zighley Bay in Oman, the one I have also mentioned in the above post.

We had dinner the first night in the ever famous Banyan Tree restaurant, Saffron. The restaurant looked nice. But I liked Phuket's menu selection more than this one, but their food was pretty good. Rest of nights were spent eating dinner in Dubai. The resort's breakfast buffet was nice too. As for their spa, it was spectacular, from the massage therapist to the massage room (or can I say hut) to the treatment!
Scenery outside the villa (I saw gazelles running around the trees)
At dawn
I loved their prayer mat and it's stitching!
Bye Bye Banyan Tree!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

You Talk..

Ok, I have done enough talking  (or writing) everytime I post. And I'm sure most of you aren't into reading long texts as I am. So I would like your help in something. I'm going to ask and feel free to answer in the comment box or send an email.

What does one do in Dubai nowadays? Be detailed. Be Specific. Give me restaurant names, mention their locations (hotel or area)? New shopping malls? New adventures? New hangouts?

And when I say new, I mean new as since January of this year.

Note: Don't tell me Dubai Mall or Mall of Emirates. I'm a very very frequent Dubai visitor and have done enough of those. Except if you know of a new shop, cafe, or restaurant in these malls.

I've done enough planning and organizing your trips you guys, its your turn. Wow me!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Glaze's Pistachio Lavender Cake

I can't believe I'm a week late in posting about this amazing piece of art. The holy month is almost over, and if you want a bite of this ever so delicious cake, place your order now with Glaze. The Pistachio Lavender Cake. Some of you have seen this cake on their facebook page, and may have turned to look at the next picture, not knowing you have done the wrong move of dismissing it. It not only looks good! It tastes great!

I wanted to order it for a special occasion. What better way than one of my besties birthday. I placed and order, urged her to pass by, very late at night, surprised her with it, candleless. But she was in awe. I knew we had very similar tastes especially in dessert. The icing is lavender glaze. The cake is pistachio with a very light vanilla cream cheese filling. Its perfect very light. My sister thought this was old people's kind of dessert, she tended to put me down, but her actions showed otherwise, she ate the whole slice without showing any disapproving facial expressions. So its a winner.
 Telephone #: 50077878