Monday, July 24, 2017

April

What an amazing month March turned out to be, we celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary for an entire week, starting of at Le Meridien Al Aqah and finishing at Al Maha Desert Resort and Spa, with a trip to Jumeirah Beach Hotel and Emirates Golf Club inbetween!!  The weather has finally broken and we are experiencing a rise in temperatures, it's no secret I prefer the hotter months over the cooler ones. It's Easter this month, so I hope the Easter Bunny is really kind to you all. Have a fabulous month wherever are you are.

GA

I can't start to tell you how excited I was to be invited to Al Maha Desert Resort and Spa to spend some quality time in their famous kitchen.  I have always wanted to visit the resort but never had the opportunity to do so, so yesterday was a big day for me. I was out of bed early and headed up the Al Ain Road looking forward to the rest of the day.  I was not disappointed ....

Arriving at The Resort for the first time is so exciting, once you come off the Al Ain Road it is a good 20 minute run to the actual Resort, which quite literally is in the "middle of the desert".  We arrived and were greeted by our host for the day Chef Sebby, a lovely lovely Kenyan man with a huge heart which he wears lovingly on his sleeve. We headed off to the kitchen and were kitted up in fabulous aprons and hats. After a quick explanation about how the compact, yet functional kitchen runs we headed into the cold kitchen to whip up some crab fishcakes. Chef David knows I have tried to make these in the past and failed, I know how to make them now! Chef Thaya lovingly showed us how with some very simple ingredients and a bit of patience you can make the perfect crab cake.  Preparing good food is not about the quantity of ingredients, but quality and freshness of simple ingredients. 

From the cold kitchen we were ushered into the hot one where we met the lovely Chef Nipu.  He showed us how to make the perfect risotto, a dish I have never been overly keen on but I am definitely going to make it at home as I really enjoyed it.  We then went onto how to cook Fish and King Prawns perfectly, yet again it is not about how many ingredients were used, just straight forward simple food. Chef Nipu had created a marination from mainly coriander and a few other spices which was painted onto the Sea Bream before the fish was gently fried.  The King Prawns were expertly cut into a butterfly shape, the marination painted on they were shallow fried before being popped into the oven for a further 5 minutes. Plain, simple, perfect.  Needless to say they were eaten!!

You can't visit a kitchen and not check out the Dessert Kitchen, we weren't disappointed to find Chef Anas preparing Creme Brulee with Pink Grapefruit, one of my favourites, it was turning out to be a better day than I could ever have anticipated!!!  With the aroma of vanilla pods and shortbread biscuits in the oven!   Chef Anas talked us through how to make a perfect Brulee, and how to whip up tasty shortbread in just five minutes. Whilst the brulee's were cooking we took a look outside and checked out the restaurant with Chef Sebby. Chef Sebby also gave me a quick peep at one of the Bedouin "Tents" where guests stay, but I am going to tell you more about that when I stay at Al Maha.  By then the brulee's were ready, the BEST brulee I have had in a long long time, smooth, rich, creamy, just delicious.

Al Maha Desert Resort and Spa truly is a little slice of heaven in the middle of a Desert, the views from the terraces are spectacular. I can only imagine what it must be like to spend a sunset sat on that terrace watching the natural beauty of the desert turn into darkness. I have taken alot of photographs of the day which you can find by clicking here

All it takes now is for me to thank all of The Team up at Al Maha for just the most amazing morning ever, I didn't want it to end but sadly reality called and I had to head back to Dubai and return to being a Mum, but thank you for making me feel like a Chef for just one day. I will be back with my apron soon!

You can find Al Maha Desert Resort and Spa on Facebook and Twitter.  You can also find my Facebook page here.

Well it would be if I was actually suffering from hair loss!  Yesterday I went back to the Hair Spa to experience a consultation and treatment to stimulate hair growth, The Geordie One came along as she gets rather excited about anything relating to hair and being touched, more of that later.  My original article can be found here.

Firstly we filled in an extensive questionnaire about ourselves, this covered our current/previous state of health and a bit about our diet, our diet can affect hair growth/loss extensively.  We were then taken into see Mike Ryan aka @Dubaihairdoctor (yes he has a twitter account), he ran through our histories and we discussed at length how hair actually grows and what can affect hair loss.  It's not as straight forward as you may think as many things contribute to a healthy head of hair.

After this it was into the hotseat to check our scalps and the condition of our hair with a tiny machine which magnifies the area onto a small VDU.  It's amazing  you can actually see the hair follicles with the hairs and the condition of our scalps.  We both had chlorine on our scalps due the water but all in all we are both in tip top condition apart from the grey hairs! There are some photos which can be found here, (don't forget to like my page).

We then went onto have a hair treatment to stimulate our hair follicles, followed by a massage, a session under the steamer then 5 minutes under a lazer to stimulate growth.  If you did have hair loss issues this would be a regular weekly treatment, the duration determined by Mike in relation to the severity of your problem.  Personally I hate being pampered but The Geordie One was in her element, I can see her going back even though there is nothing wrong with her!!  or just to check out Mr Sheybani, might be worth adding that these hair doctor folk are rather handsome.

The services offered at the Hair Spa are so extensive I am not even going to start listing them, the way forward is a Consultation with Mike Ryan who in his no nonsense way of Trichology will get you back on track to a healthy head of hair, and for those of you who are a bit self conscious all consultations and treatments are 100% confidential.

Enjoy!

(this is a pic of me after my treatment)

Which put into English means the folk on Twitter are having a night out.  Yes there seems to be a whole new language to learn when you enter into the world of Twitter, it's all harmless good fun however.

Next Friday (16th March) the local twitterati  have decided to have a bit of an offline get together at The Dubai Harbour Marriot Hotel, in the fabulous setting of the AZ.U.R Restaurant.   Dinner kicks off at 8 pm with two dining options, 160 dhs a head without the collapso, and 240 dhs a head with the collapso, the menu is an International Buffet. 

You really do need to reserve as the Organiser @digi_designer_  needs to liase with the hotel to confirm table bookings etc.  You can find all the information via this link.

If you are new to Dubai, or just fancy meeting a new group of friends don't be shy, get yourself along to the Tweetup, trust me you will enjoy it. 

GA

 

 

All week I have been fancying having some fish/seafood so this morning I asked what people thought of Jimmy's Killer Prawns, the response I got back was not good so instead we decided to check out Barracuda Restaurant on the Beach Road, and I am so glad we did!! The restuarant which is located between Al Manara and Al Safa on the sea side of the Beach Road is quite small but big enough if you know what I mean, the decor whilst tasteful is a little drab but the place was very clean.  We got there around 1 pm and it was pretty quiet but was nearly full when we left, let me tell you why.

The concept of Barracuda Restaurant like most fish restaurants is that you buy the fish, get it weighed and then sent off for cooking. The fish was beautifully displayed in a glass cabinet at the back of the restaurant. The types of cooking they offer are Singary, Lemon and Oil, Lemon and Oil Sizzling, Radda, Potatoes, Potatoes Shredded, fried or Tagine.  I decided to have the Lemon and Oil Sea Bream (53 dhs/490g) and my husband opted for the Sangary Sea Bass (75.00 dhs/625g).  Whilst they were off preparing this were presented with a small trolly of starters to choose from, all at 10 dhs a dish, we took some hommous and bread. The hommous was superb, real nutty flavour to it. 

We ordered a green salad (15 dhs) which was huge so if you do go make sure you order to share as one is too big for just one person, same with the french fries big enough to share.   Eventually (after 45 minutes) the fish arrived, it was well worth the wait, absolutely fabulous. I tried my husbands Singary, very tasty with just the right amount of spice. My Lemon and Oil was also amazing, I could actually taste the lemon through the fish.  The fish was also served with a side dish of tiny limes which complimented the dishes so well.

I noticed on their menu that they have a Seafood Mixed Grill which contains fish, three prawns, crab meat and grilled cuttlefish at just 105 dhs, I thought that was good value for money and will probably try that the next time we go.  They also had a calamari Pane, firm favourite of mine at just 35 dhs. Our total spend today came to 193 dhs.

Nothing more to say other than I have found myself a fabulous fish restaurant and can't wait to go back!!  I have uploaded some photos of our experience to my facebook page, click and like, thank you!


Barracuda Restaurant aren't on Twitter or Facebook but you can call them on 04 3940408

A couple of weeks ago whilst tuned into Dubai Eye my interest was heightened when I heard that the gentlemen guest on the show as infact a Trichologist.  I have always had an interest in hair and hair products and I think it's fair to say we waste a fair amount of money on product that really doesn't give us any results.

Anyway I wrote down the name of the guy on the radio, I like him straight away and knew he has was new to Dubai as he was telling the truth, in that kind of straight way new people do, not telling people what they think you want to hear which is so Dubai these days. I contacted the straight talker himself and later that week went down to the Hair Spa to meet him.

Now firstly I didn't know The Hair Spa existed and secondly I had no idea that you could get things like non surgical hair transplants done in Dubai, well you can and the people you need to see are Mr Shebani and Mr Ryan (the new straight talker) from the Hair Spa.  They cover everything hair related from loss, to alopecia, thinning, baldness, you name it if you have any problems with your hair they are the folk to see.

We had a great chat about hair and about how we can look after our hair and scalps. It doesn't matter what hair type you have you are never happy with it are you?   curlies want straight, straights want curls!!  This week I am visiting the Hair Spa for an assessment so I will update you with what condition my hair is actually in a bit later this week!!  I have uploaded some pics to my facebook page which you can find here.

If you are interested in booking a consultation about any hair related issues, you will be pleased to know that the initial consultation is just 200 dhs, which I am ashamed to admit is about the same amount of money that I recently spent on shampoo and conditioner!!

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Enjoy!!!

 

Last week we were warned that there was going to be a cyclone hitting the Dubai coast around about lunch time on the day that I was planning lunch with The Geordie One.  With this in mind I thought it best we stay locally so we headed off to Links at The Academy. The Academy is actually a state of the art golf teaching facility, adjacent to the Montgomerie Hotel, but we weren't there for golf, we were after some lunch and shelter from the impending cyclone.

Major major plus point about The Academy is that there is loads of parking, I really don't like having to park in a Mall to dine especially at lunch time.  The Academy restaurant is light and spacious and decorated in lovely tones of beige and green, very relaxed.

We ordered the tuna tartare, capers, parsley, gherkins, garlic mayo and brown bread (45 dhs), which is actually of the starter menu.  My friend ordered the griddled fillet of salmon with green pea sauce, asparagus, brocolli, garden peas, dill and new potato (70 dhs), which was from the main menu. I have uploaded some pictures here.  The food was well presented and served quickly, however I did feel that for 45 dhs the tuna tartare was on the small side, portion wise.

All in all a great venue for lunch with dining al fresco which would have been perfect if we hadn't been waiting for the imminent cyclone!!  we left The Academy at 2 pm expecting to be confronted with a cyclone, the car park was peaceful and there was very little wind....

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