What’s on your plate? 

Do you decide what to wear depending on the cuisine of the restaurant you choose to dine in? While I may not always do that (like come on, what do you expect me to wear to an Egyptian restaurant?), I somehow dressed up just right for my visit to Aseelah.

My knowledge was limited to Aseelah (located at Radisson Blu Hotel, Deira Dubai Creek) being a Fine Dining Emirati restaurant, which stands true, but it’s worth mentioning that it has a modern twist to it. The dishes have a perfect blend of Emirati spices served in a modern way.
While the dining area is warmly lit, the entrance stands to be my favorite part of the restaurant.


Starting with Date and cheese manakish and saffron water, we picked the items from the menu and went to explore in and around the restaurant.

Currently, there is an Iftar buffet option too during the month of Ramadan which lets you choose from the array of restaurants including Shabestan and Minato, Fish Market and of course Aseelah.


It was my first experience at an Emirati restaurant (yes, even after having stayed here for n number of years), I was nothing but impressed.

With Fennel and Orange salad, we went in for Lentil soup and Spiced Parsnip soup. It’s pretty obvious what my choice would have been. We were happy with our choices.

Did I tell you that this is the only Emirati restaurant in UAE for now, that serves alcohol?

Our mains included Aseelah Signature Chicken Roulade (suggested by our server) and Home Smoked Rack of Lamb.


I was amazed with the Chicken Roulade which had the right amount of spices served with freekeh risotto and smoked eggplant puree. It was nothing less that outstanding.

My friend equally enjoyed her Rack of Lamb which was served with Apricot cous-cous, sautéed spinach and saffron (her favorite) cardamom infused gravy.

For desserts, while my friend went the traditional way and opted for Date Pudding, I went in for Baked Cardamom Cheese cake. The lime and laban ice cream served with the cheesecake was quite refreshing.


Mr. Tawfik, the Restaurant Manager, enlightened us with the concept behind the restaurant from the menu to the interiors. Each detail has been carefully thought about and holds a meaning.

My friend and myself are already waiting to experience the outdoor lounge which is expected to open once the summers of Dubai start receding.

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Winter in Dubai

  
I came back from a short trip last night only to be welcomed by the beginning of Winters in Dubai today, 22 December 2015, bidding a farewell to the Autumn season. 

Winter solistice, day with least sunlight, is witnessed around 21 or 22 December in the Northern Hemisphere while Southern Hemisphere witnesses it around 20 or 21 June where the sun is farthest from the Sun. 

  

While it doesn’t get end up snowing here, except on the peaks in other emirates of UAE, the change is welcome from the gruelling summers, which is borne for most of the year. It’s good enough to pull out the sweaters buried deep in the wardrobe. 

How could I not go on clicking photos? 

   
 

Connect the dots

Traffic is not a recent hurdle but something I have been stuck in quite often, recently. Have I been traveling more? I think. 

It was no surprise when I saw standstill traffic when I looked out of my window on a early bright sunny evening, except it was on the opposite side of the road. What was I missing? 

Twitter refused to upload the photo I clicked and my query to the media was unable to get through. 

Google maps was surely stunned by this situation, the traffic pile up it showed, was unimaginable. 

  
Just when I concluded it was a mere security stunt, I see Dubai Media Office’s photos on Twitter of Sheikh Mohammad on an inspection tour of the streets of Dubai with the Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

Welcome to Dubai! (This was just a part of the trailer.) 

And it all came back 

Unrelated and yet related to the photo. 

Not that I can stop thinking. Not that I haven’t been wondering. Not that I would forget. 

And then this photo came by. 

My heart beat stopped for a micro mini second. It couldn’t have been any longer than that, possibly way lesser, yes. 

  
Photo courtesy @candidclick on Instagram 

Even today I open the laptop and see ‘the’ photo sitting on the background.  I may not have expressed but only I know what it means to me. 

A photo so similar and yet not the same. Made me wonder, did the city look the same at every turn?   

Scrambling through emails I tried searching for the location where the original photo belonged. My memory fails me and so does my Inbox now. It got to be somewhere though. 

I cannot hear a word against nor for. Though yes, I want to know without the sources being involved. 

Too many questions unanswered. I cannot shut off even if I want to. 

That innocence, that purity, that belief is something I can never forget and something no one can compete with. I cannot be less sure about that. 

I live with the hope to be forgiven and have a word before heading out to face the world. Nothing else would calm the storm inside me. 

It can’t get any simpler #ThinkCareem

With a speedy internet at everyone’s disposal in this region and apps for every move you want to make, life has become a smooth journey.

And Careem makes it even better.

The thought of heading to Sharjah drains out all the energy from one but what more could you ask for when Careem assures you a smooth and luxurious journey.

Prompt lunch plans with a friend in Sharjah cropped up and the heat outside was just dreadful. That’s when I chose to book a car for myself through Careem.

The Careem app is very user friendly and in minutes one can do the booking simply by entering the Pickup point. Entering the destination at the time of booking is optional. One gets to choose from Economy cars, Business cars, SUVs, First Class cars and Careem kids (new).

Once done with the booking, I got an SMS too informing me that I got an automatic upgrade to Business car from the Economy car I chose (Isn’t that simply wonderful!)

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One can track the driver’s location through the app. I hardly got to wait for 10 minutes before the car landed at my doorstep.

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And they do send you an SMS too upon your driver’s arrival.

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A white luxurious Lexus driven by a very courteous driver who confirmed my name as I sat and offered me water safely stored for his customers.

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While we passed through my favorite roads of Dubai

 

I think I may have started liking Sharjah

 

This Song Will Save Your Life ~ Leila Sales

I judged this book by its cover and I should say I enjoyed reading it.

This is a story of a girl named Elsie who thinks she is born to be unpopular since she has tried everything to be otherwise but concludes to say that it is not so easy to change yourself.

She spends her entire summer trying to change herself, to be like others, to please others, only to go unnoticed on her first day back to school.

Her failed attempt to seek attention only got her grounded and her parents to get worried even more. Unable to sleep, she secretly started wandering out at nights. Her idea was to get tired so she could fall asleep once she was back home.

Elsie found an underground nightclub where she found happiness. She met people who gave her the attention and importance she wanted. Her talents were recognized and she was even offered a night to herself to become a DJ.

The journey of Elsie from being a no one to her name appearing in the newspaper is very engaging.

I had imagined this book to be filled with songs in every other page or something on those lines but it turned out to be much better. There are mentions of some songs, all of which are unheard by me but I would definitely give them a listen soon.

It is just a matter of time till you recognize what you are capable of.

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