May 18

Fancy lunch during the Holy Month of Ramadan 2017?

There are plenty of places open for lunch and breakfast too …

As we head towards the Holy Month of Ramadan in the UAE, Foodiva and I have put our heads together and yet again bring to you a list of independent eateries that we know are open during the day. This list has been painstakingly researched and many hours have been spent ensuring that the information is correct. However we know that things change all the time so we recommend that you call ahead to confirm.  If you hear of any other independent eateries that are open during the day, please let us know.   By Law all hotels must have one outlet open, these do not feature on our lists.  The outlets highlighted in red are the ones that have adult drinks available.  You can find Foodiva’s Dubai list here and her list of outlets open in Abu Dhabi here.  For those of you who are particularly interested in Jumeirah Lake Towers then check out JLT Dining.

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Apr 22

Doner Deli

Doner Deli, do they serve a good German Doner Kebab?

I was recently invited to the opening of new Doner Deli store, but I rarely attend press events these days.  You don’t get a real feel for the place and the food is always good. However the invitation did remind me about their branch in Al Barsha, which I had driven past many times.  We love nothing more than a good doner kebab, so off we went today to check out Doner Deli.

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Apr 13

Mama Fu’s Asian House

Move over PF Changs, there’s a new kid on the block ….

Its Saturday morning, the sun is shining and people are talking about John Lewis opening in Dubai Festival City.  Dubai Festival City is the opposite side of town for us but in less than half an hour we found ourselves in the new swish extension.  Very impressive and worth a visit I have to say. However what impressed me more was all the new food openings!!  This is where I found new kid on the block Mama Fu’s Asian House.   Asian food has to be one of our all time favourite cuisines.

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Apr 09

Famous Dave’s BBQ

Famous Dave’s opens in Dubai 

A few years ago I was listening to the radio, I had tuned in half way through a show and picked up the tail end of an interview about Famous Dave’s coming the UAE.  Dave was obviously very famous in America for his smoked BBQ restaurants and I was desperate to pay the outlet a visit.  However, they were opening in Abu Dhabi and I rarely visit Abu Dhabi these days. I felt a pan of disappointment at this news.   We recently paid a visit up to Riverland at Dubai Parks and Resorts and I can’t tell you how happy I was to see Famous Dave’s had opened there! 

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Mar 13

Healthy food is too expensive

How many times have you heard that comment?

For many years now I have watched every program on the TV that is about healthy eating, lifestyle and dieting.  Nine times out of ten the biggest complaint is that people can’t afford to buy healthy food.  I am not going to say that all health foods are affordable as clearly not all of are, but the basics to our diet are more than affordable.  

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Feb 25

24 Karat

24 Karat opens at the JW Marriott in Jadaf

As I sit down to write this restaurant review, I never in my life time thought that I would say the following words … Jadaf has a hidden gem.  Yes you heard right, the industrial area of Jadaf has got itself an absolute gem of a restaurant quietly hidden in the JW Marriott Hotel.   Hidden gems crop up everywhere these days, I remember a few years ago when I wrote about Tom & Serg in Al Quoz, never did I think I would be talking about Jadaf of all places.

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Feb 20

All aboard the Costa NeoRiviera

All aboard the Costa NeoRiviera

Last year for the first time in my life I very anxiously boarded a cruise ship.  It was a strange feeling as I actually love all those little boat trips that are available to us here in Dubai. This was a whole different ball game, this was huge and it was going to be home for the following 5 nights.  To say I was anxious was an understatement.  Well it turned out to be that good that I did that cruise not once but twice last year!!  

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Jan 29

Supermarket Wars

Are we starting to experience supermarket wars here in the UAE?

Do you remember a time when you headed down to the High Street to do your weekly shop? When you popped into the individually owned fruit n veg shop, the local butcher, the friendly baker?  I do, clearly though I am guessing many of you who are reading this really are the generation of supermarket shoppers, who never got to know the family owned local shops. Many of these shops had been owned by the same families for generations. Recently everyone I speak to has commented about how expensive it is to live here in Dubai, this time the topic of conversation though is the supermarkets not the rents.

For many years I used to hop into my car and head to Spinneys to do my weekly shop.  I have no recollection of checking the prices of any items that ended up in the trolley, nor do I recall having conversations with people about how much I had spent that week on grocery shopping. That is all different today, what you spend on shopping and how you can save on your weekly shopping bill has become a hot topic.  So much so that I feel a shift in the attitude of the major supermarkets here in the UAE.

The Union Co-Op 

Its been around forever and has always been a firm favourite with our Emirati friends.  Earlier this year all of their Tamayaz card holders were informed of a 50% sale on all toiletries, for one day only. This was subsequently followed by 50% off all their fresh chicken products.  You don’t have to be a Tamayaz card holder to avail these special discounts.  It was the first time I had ever heard of a promotion of this nature ever.  Information can be found about the Tamayaz card via this link.

Carrefour

I knew it wouldn’t belong before Carrefour retaliated to the one day discount days at the Co-Op. We didn’t have to wait long to see them also offering 50% off all toiletries, but they took it one step further and offered 50% of all their cosmetics too. The Carrefour loyalty card, the Club Card I am guessing the probably the most popular card among shoppers in the UAE. 
The more points you rack up on your card, the more rewards you get.  There are regular promotions in store offering you extra club points for buying certain products.  Shopping is a real science these days at the people at Carrefour are taking it all rather seriously.   One week I bought no fruit and vegetables at all, when I paid for trolley of shopping the till generated a voucher enticing me to spend 80 AED on fruit and vegetables, to receive 200 Club points.  Anyone in the know with Carrefour knows that 500 points results in a 50 AED voucher to spend in store, clever?  very. The message is clear, if you are loyal to them, then they will reward you.  Details about the Club Card and its benefits can be found here.

Geant

Geant are regularly holding huge discount sales, mainly on electrical items.  They have also launched an app which offers benefits to its shoppers.  Personally I feel it doesn’t give as much in terms of benefits as Carrefour does.  Their HappyMe app can be found in the app store, its worth downloading if you are regular shopper at Geant.

Spinneys

If I had a dirham from every person who had recently told me how expensive Spinneys had become, I would be a rich woman.   My relationship with Spinneys ended a long long time ago.  I do pop in occasionally but in terms of a shopper it gives nothing back. They hold Monday Market days where selected items are offered at a reduced rate.  No loyalty card to encourage you to part with your hard earned cash. No point.  However they do offer Air Miles to shoppers, which I am guessing appeals to some people.

Choithrams

With all this talk of supermarket wars I didn’t find it surprising when out of the blue two weeks ago Choithrams launched Twos’day Tuesdays.  One day only event where selected items are slashed by 50% and other items are buy one get one free.  I have visited on both Tuesdays and picked up some great bargains.  You can register your telephone number in any store to receive whatsapp updates on their promotions. No loyalty card yet but trust me all of the supermarkets not offering loyalty cards will be looking into their options.  

Lulu

I used to do all my shopping in Lulu (not meat though), but in the last year I have jumped ship to Carrefour.  The prices in Lulu in my opinion have slow crept up and up.  The fruit and vegetable section will always be fresh and second to none as I think the majority of their customers are vegetarian which explains why their Butchery is not the best.  Another big player that I reckon will be introducing a loyalty card in the not too distant future.  Watch this space!!

I could write about many other supermarkets who are all enticing us to spend our money with them, but I think the main players above are enough for now.  A couple of years ago I wrote a piece about Grocery Shopping on a Budget, many of my comments still stand.  You can find a copy of that here.

To summarise my first paragraph about shopping being done in different shops, I think there is a shift in how we shop these days.  I think people will shop around and visit more than one supermarket to make sure they get the best deals.  I know it isn’t always easy with the busy lives we lead but if you can you should keep an eye on what ALL the supermarkets have on offer.  This should make your dirham go that little further.  

 

 

 

Jan 19

Miele Dubai Restaurant Week

Ten days, fifteen restaurants, Miele Dubai Restaurant Week

 

The Dubai Food Festival is taking place this February, with various food related events taking place from the 23rd of February until the 11th of March. This annual event culminates with Taste of Dubai which is taking place on the 10th and 11th of March at Media City.  This annual gastronomic event is one of the highlights of the food calendar here in the UAE. However for me the main highlight of the Festival is the Miele Dubai Restaurant Week.  

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Jan 07

Want to save some money in 2017?

How to save money in 2017, buy the Entertainer Apps at a discounted rate!

We all want to save money and we all enjoy getting a bargain, who doesn’t?  This year I am again working with the team from the Entertainer.  I wrote about the benefits of the Entertainer a few years ago when they launched their app. Prior to the launch of the app I had bought the books but never felt that I got the full benefit from them, as I kept leaving the book at home!!!

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