Newfound gem hidden inside Dubai Garden Centre: The Roseleaf Cafè

For me nothing beats the definition of a good weekend but good breakfast. Good breakfast meaning good coffee over having intellectual conversations with someone you want to share your life with.

This is what happened to me one weekend when I’ve discovered this cute place hiding inside Dubai Garden Centre. One early morning, me and my boyfriend went there to shop for plants and while we were there, we smelled this good aroma of fresh brewed coffee and then the rest was history.

This cafè mocha is good. Nothing like what your regular “quick coffee fix” place serves.


Heavenly. One of the best carrot cakes I’ve tasted. So moist and not too sweet.


Divine. It was a perfect morning and the atmosphere was so nice and cosy you’ll instantly feel energised and inspired after your breakfast.
The ambience was just like you’re inside a greenhouse. So peaceful and serene plus you get to smell fresh plants and flowers.

Always a good morning with this one. 🙂

Overall, this place is highly recommended. Definitely a must-go for dates, me-time, meetings etc. Service was good too. Ambience was perfect. Somehow, it made me forget that I live in the desert. It already became one of my favorite cafès in Dubai. It’s a delightful experience. Definitely one of the top breakfast spot in Dubai.

 

What does camel meat taste like?

What does Camel meat taste like? Would you like to taste a Camel Burger? How about Camel Pasta alongside a camel Milkshake?

One fine Saturday morning, me and my friend found ourselves wandering in the area of Old Dubai, specifically in the Bastakiya heritage village where there is a restaurant called Local House that serves the infamous camel meat. Located just beside my favorite tea house (Arabian tea House Cafè), Local House is a restaurant that serves traditional and authentic arabian food.
Surrounded by art galleries the area is perfect for a quick walk and sightseeing. You can easily spot the local house restaurant by trying to find the camel statue outside.
Local House
has an arabesque ambiance that goes really well to the whole setting of Bastakiya. When we entered the restaurant it feels like it was an old house converted into a restaurant.
Just look at this cute pepper and salt shakers emirati figures.
The Menu.

I’ve also noticed that a lot of tourists were eating inside. They have outdoor and indoor seating but me and my friend opted to seat at the courtyard and enjoyed the nice weather.
Ok let’s review the most talked about Camel burger. Yup that’s me devouring the Camel burger and my friend who is about to try their camel pasta.
The burger comes with fries and it’s quite big.

First and foremost, to be honest, I wasn’t really a fan of lamb meat or mutton meat, so the idea of eating camel meat was quite weird to me but since I’m always adventurous when it comes to food, i told myself to give it a try. The meat is lean and tough so I quite didn’t like the texture but it is very tasty. Texture aside, it tastes like lamb.
The camel pasta is really good. Not the way as I expected it to be but it was good.  It is more of like Hakka Noodles and I love Hakka Noodles so I really liked it. It’s salty and very spicy.
We’ve also tried one of their camel milk shakes. This one is the Dates flavored. The taste is a mixture of saltiness and sweetness. It reminds me of goat’s milk. Do you know that camel meat is very healthy?  Not only does it contain 40 per cent less fat and cholesterol than cow’s milk, it is also rich in calcium and contains three times more vitamin C, more minerals and iron.
The prices were reasonable. We paid a total of 123dhs for 2 people. As they are very traditional, please be aware that they only accept cash.

All in all, our meal at Local House was quite an experience. If you’re in Dubai and wanted to experience some local flair, I highly suggest to visit this place and try their Camel goodies.

Local House restaurant is located at House No 65, Bastakiya near Al Fahidi Round About Opposite Al Mussallah Post Office Next to Majilis Gallery, Burdubai. You can also visit their website here.

 

Dubai’s Little Manila

Well it would be Satwa (if you really want to have a glimpse of what Manila is like, here in Dubai), but in this case there’s a newly opened restaurant in Murraqabat, Deira that is called Little Manila. It’s not really a restaurant. When we went there, it looks like a mini food court. At Little Manila, you’ll see  six of Philippine’s famous food brands like Binalot, Jay-J’s, Fruitas, Zagu, FifTea, Mochi Crème along with their in house brand Bread Shop and Kwekie Bites.


Like a normal newly opened Filipino food joint here in Dubai (e.g Jollibee, Max’s), it was expected that it will be flocked with dozens of fellow Pinoy so it really wasn’t advisable to visit this place while the hype is still on but since it was EID and it’s a holiday and we’re so stubborn, we still gave it a go.

The moment you enter inside Little Manila, you will hear staff saying order numbers using a microphone. We thought there was a Bingo game happening :D.  As expected, there were so many people queuing on the food stalls and there weren’t any available table for me and my friends to sit in but we’ve expected that so it’s alright.
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Isn’t it weird that the Toilet signage was placed aboved the Binalot signage?

I grew up eating at Binalot  as a kid (or Binalot sa Dahon) so when we went there and saw Binalot, I immediately ordered at Jay-J’s lol. I haven’t really heard much about the food from Jay-J’s so I thought although I miss Binalot, why not give Jay-J’s a try. While waiting for our turn to order, I’ve noticed there weren’t so much queue at Fruitas so I immediately went there and ordered their famous Mango shake. I didn’t even bother to try Zagu because the queue was quite long.



The staff of Jay-J’s advised us that order will take about 50 minutes minimum. I know, that’s a long wait but whatever we’re hoping for good food so it should be worth the wait. And because we already knew we’re going to wait long, we’ve decided to grab some mini bites because we’re a bit hungry as well. We tried to queue at Kwekie Bites but unfortunately their cash register isn’t working so they had to stop taking orders. Meh. We went to Bake Shop instead and good thing their Ensaymada didn’t disappoint.
If you’re going to Little Manila, I suggest bring something to kill time. In our case we brought sketchbooks. 50 minutes was over and they still haven’t called our queue number. We were starving, even if we ate Ensaymada. After a whopping 2 hours, we finally got our food but wait there’s more, well the order wasn’t complete as our whole chicken wasn’t really whole and our ensaladang mangga didn’t include alamang or shrimp paste but oh well we were so starving we have no time to complain. We’ve ordered Ensaladang Mangga, Chicken Inasal, Inihaw na Pusit and Chicken Sisig. We wanted to order their Bulalo but unfortunately it isn’t available yet.
Their Ensaladang Mangga tastes like… well it tastes like Ensaladang Mangga. hehe but their alamang (shrimp paste) was really good. It tastes really fresh.
Their inihaw na pusit tastes so sweet which is a bit weird but it was ok.
The chicken inasal wasn’t bad but it was just ok. I didn’t find it mind blowing but it’s good enough for the starved ones.


Their Chicken Sisig is a must try. It definitely was the star of the show. It was so good. You can really taste the mayonnaise (well im not sure but seems like it) but it’s not too overpowering.  It was perfectly cooked although it wasn’t sizzling enough when it was delivered to us.

We paid a total of 158 dirhams for 4 pax. To be honest, I find it  a bit pricey considering the service, taste of food and how the food was presented. I  personally think that they can do better with the plates like maybe instead of using styro plates they can use bamboo plate holders – you know the ones we use during fiestas? and then maybe they can place banana leaves on it to have a more Filipino feel.


Overall, I can say that the food is good though not overwhelming.  If you forget the long wait and queue, it was a good experience. Somehow, they gave us a chance to satisfy our Filipino food cravings. I highly suggest visiting them after the hype is over.

Little Manila is located in K6 Building on Al Muraqqabat Street, Deira, Dubai (opposite Coral Hotel). You can visit their Facebook page here.

 

My Week In Pictures

The past few weeks has been really busy and hectic but it was productive so I thought of sharing the highlights of my week. It started with a very good breakfast by the beach at Leopold’s of London in Jumeirah Beach Residence.

I ordered their September Special which includes rhubarb yogurt, toasts, salmon, turkey ham, asparagus, avocados and eggs. I think it was pricey but given the quality of service they have i think it was fair  enough.

My boyfriend ordered their Eggs benedict and he thinks it was really good (and with this picture you can really tell it is!) For about 40 dhs he thinks it’s worth the price.Their Mocha Frappe is so good!Cappucino.
Nothing beats sipping coffee while enjoying the beach view.Enough with the food posts. I’ve also started to try something new. Since I am kinda obsessed with typography, I am trying to learn the art of Calligraphy. It is pretty tough. You have to mange to do the right angle every time and I kinda suck at it but hey practice makes perfect.Me and my boyfriend started to do skateboarding as well so whenever we have free time during the week we try our best to skate even if it’s freaking 45 degrees outside (even at night time).
We usually go to Emaar Boulevard at Downtown (near Burj Khalifa). It’s quite a nice place to skate to.  Then afterwards we head over to IHOP for some munchies 😀

Whenever me and my boyfriend goes to IHOP, we always try our best to just order appetizers so it’s not too heavy (although most of the time we still can’t finish it).Look at that fluffiness!!!How can you resist not to order some volcano shrimps (although we still think PF Chang’s Dynamite Shrimps are unbeatable).

Appetizers Platter.

This isn’t bad at all for about 120 dhs.

During the week, we always make sure to have time for books, so this week we’re lucky enough to be able to find a time to visit our favorite book shop in Dubai – Kinokuniya in Dubai Mall. It’s our own piece of heaven.

Before heading to the books section we usually check out the art supplies first. Copics, Pencils, Moleskines, Sketchbooks and the likes. Then we head on to the graphic design books and graffiti books section although we dont usually buy them because most of the time, the books that we like are pretty expensive but we love to kill time though browsing and skimming the books over this section. If we really like one book we save up for it.
This week it was pretty unusual for me because instead of graphic design books I found myself on the cook books section of Kinokuniya. lol. This book called Adobo Road by Marvin Gapultos kind of caught my attention and I actually bought it which is not really normal haha. I guess I liked the cover that’s why. I just feel that it’s not your usual Filipino cookbook featuring Maggi Savor and Ajino Moto.
Well, that’s pretty  much it. Most of the week was spent on work. I’m a corporate slaveeeee. On another note, I’m starting to like working on an advertising agency but I miss working inhouse though. It’s so stressful but it’s fun and I’m learning quite a lot.

 

Tasty Eats at Taste Kitchen

In celebration of Eid Al Adha, me and my friend decided to ditch the overrated malls in Dubai (e.g. dubai mall, mall of the emirates and the likes) because we’re pretty damn sure it’ll be overcrowded. Instead we’ve decided to go to Mercato Mall in Jumeirah.

We really wanted to eat at Paul but we saw this nifty restaurant called Taste Kitchen. We saw their ads inside the mall and since we’re suckers for healthy clean food, we decided to try it. Apparently it is owned by Nick Alvis & Scott Price, the creative guys responsible for Table 9 (ehem, Gordon Ramsay trained chefs).  Think of fresh ingredients, creative cooking and friendly service in a very relaxing ambience, this is Taste Kitchen.

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Sushi Express Café: Not just another sushi place

There’s a new sushi place in town called the Sushi Express Café. It’s located at Jumeirah Lake Towers (Dubai marina) side. Since we are big fans of sushi and it’s just a couple of walks near our office building me and my colleague Cathy decided to check it out.

Ok let me start out by saying the staff was VERY VERY nice! Especially the manager, they are all very accommodating and friendly. Although when we entered the place we greeted them first but that’s because we’re just too friendly.

They are almost too nice we were being checked on by the staff every few minutes. The best thing is they are all fellow Filipinos. According to the manager, Mr. Romy Banoyo, the place is owned by a Pakistani and Japanese couple. It’s a very unique combo don’t you think? It’s good to think that the place serves authentic sushi because Romy said that everything on the menu is planned and prepared by the Japanese owners. There is a window to the kitchen so you can see the chefs at work, which is very nice, but the best thing is the quality of the food.

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Arabian Tea House Café: a haven in the midst of a busy city

After visiting the infamous Dubai Museum (read more about it here) and Bastakiya Neighbourhood and you are in the mood to take in some fresh air and at the same time enjoy some tea or coffee then Arabian Tea House Cafe (formerly known as Basta Art cafe) is the place for you.

Away from the hustle and bustle of the modern city, Arabian Tea House Café is a place where serenity and calmness coincide, waiting for a romantic couple, group of friends or a happy family to spend unforgettable moments under the branches of old acacia or narra trees to relish delicious and mouthwatering food.

Located in the heart of Bur Dubai, this place is inside a bastakiya. Bastakiya neighborhood is named after the place where migrants from Iranian region, Bastak, resided. It was preserved, restored and maintained for every tourist, foreigner or otherwise.

I am telling you, the moment you enter this place, it is magical. Once you get in there, it will get into your mind and you’ll not forget it as long as you are alive. I was like, am I really in Dubai? I felt like I’m in a scene from the Secret Garden. The whole place is surrounded by greenery and blossoming pot plants like bougainvilleas. This leafy courtyard café makes you feel you’re a million miles away from the hustle of Bur Dubai. Arabian Tea House serves vast bowls of salad and tasty wraps, accompanied by freshly squeezed juices, a variety of teas and Arabian coffee. Books, craftwork and jewellery are also sold in their little shop.

This place will instantly remind you of the backyard of your house: serene calm and beautiful. The setting is very simple and comfortable under a huge tree with pretty flowers.

 

The stone walls house a cool and tranquil environment out of the sun or you can bask in the sun in the courtyard. Beautiful and rustic feel.

Arabian Tea house cafe delivers both atmosphere and tasty food. I couldn’t ask for more.  They offer 150 different teas. It is served in a pot, which you pour into a pretty little glass to drink the steaming tea.

We asked the staff what’s their best seller and she instantly recommended  1001 Nights Tea from Sri Lanka. I’m not exaggerating but by far, it’s the best tasting tea I’ve ever tasted in my life.

Arabian Tea House Club House (not so bad but not so special as well)

The pastries are heavenly.

The food is served in large portions and is a good value for the money. The only downside is the service is so unfriendly. Probably because they lack staff? There is only one girl attending to all the customers. Anyway, you can just sit back and relax while waiting for the server.

The contemporary bill box

The bill was exceptionally reasonable. For only 55dhs the Afternoon Tea comes with a couple of Pastries.

It isn’t so bad to hang out there at night as well. :)

While the weather in Dubai  is still bearable make sure to drop by to this picturesque cafe! As of writing, this restaurant / cafe is now one of my favourite places to visit here in Dubai. If I will go on a date or something like that I will definitely go here. It’s so relaxing.  :)