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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Jan 07

The Coffee Club

Another Australian coffee shop concept – The Coffee Club …

I think its fair to say we aren’t short of the odd coffee shop or two from the land down under. I honestly can’t remember when I heard about The Coffee Club, probably on the radio or via a social media channel.  My thoughts were, here we go again, another Ozzie coffee shop with over priced food set in some trendy suburb of Dubai. No thanks.  On a recent trip to Times Square, I spotted out of the corner of my eye The Coffee Club.  I thought I would take a quick look to see what they had on offer. I was, I have to admit, pleasantly surprised at the beautiful menu with its shiny pictures of perfectly presented good looking food. Today we paid a visit to The Coffee Club.
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Dec 22

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to you all ….

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds;
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow,
Gave a lustre of midday to objects below,
When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny rein-deer,
With a little old driver so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment he must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
“Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donder and Blixen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”
As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to the housetop the coursers they flew
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too–
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a pedler just opening his pack.
His eyes–how they twinkled! his dimples, how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly
That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight–
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

by Clement Clarke Moore

Hope you all enjoyed that, now its just time for me to wish you all Happy Christmas

and to thank each and everyone of you who dropped by to share my passion for food

Love Geordie Armani

 

Dec 18

Quattro

Vegetarian Mexican and Italian restaurant under one roof? 

When I heard about this new opening in Dubai it certainly caught my attention, not only are there two cuisines under one roof, the franchise has wound its way from Mumbai, India. That can’t work surely? Further investigation revealed that Quattro does in fact have an excellent reputation in Mumbai.   I read a few reviews singing its praises and stored it into my memory food bank.   I knew that at some point in time I would be in Kuwait Street and fancy a bit of Mexican food …..

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Dec 16

Don Corleone

Don Corleone re-opens its doors at the new Metropolitan Hotel

The original Metropolitan Hotel opened in 1979, I didn’t live here at the time but I do know a few people who did and it was a grand momentous affair by all accounts.  The hotel had a special place in my heart as it was the hotel where myself and my bridal party stayed the night before my wedding.  My husband and I also stayed in the hotel on the night of our wedding, that was nearly 15 years ago.  Dubai has changed a lot in the last ten years, The Metropolitan Hotel was pulled down about 4 years ago to make way for the new canal project.   Don Corleone was relocated to Metropolitan Hotel in Deira and basically was never heard of again.  

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