Monday, April 29, 2013

Things To Do in Dubai With Kids

dubai tower
Burj Khalifah Dubai (Picture taken from Dubai Mall)

We travelled to Dubai with our two young kids (3 years old and 5 years old) in mid February 2013 and our planned itinerary was like this:

Day 1: Dubai Mall - Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, Lunch at Souq Al-Bahar, Watch the afternoon Dubai Fountain and try to go up Burj Khalifah. 

What happened was: 

Arrived at Dubai Mall at 10.00am since hotel concierge says mall opens at 10.00am, had breakfast at the food court but most of the stalls that are open are fast food stalls and an indian stall. In the end, the kids ate Burger King, I had bryani and curry and hubby ordered a humongous burger from Fat Burger. Not really my kind of breakfast but choices were very limited at 10.00am. 

Dubai Mall indoor play inside the Food Court area

After the breakfast, my 5 year old saw a small indoor playground inside the Food Court compound and insisted on going in. (I can't remember its name) It is very small and we do feel like it is a waste of money since my scaredy boy only played with the mini slide and the small ball pit but he was pretty happy.

dubai mall aquarium
Dubai Mall Underwater Zoo

dubai with kids
Fish feeding at Dubai Mall aquarium.

Afterwards, we went to the Aquarium and Underwater Zoo. The Aquarium is about the same as Aquaria at KLCC except that they have penguins and also a dedicated bugs exhibit here. I didn't take much pictures here. We also paid for fish feeding but there's nothing special about it, just us peering into a big tank with the fishes waaaay down there and us tipping the fish feed into the tank. It was a forgettable moment.

After the Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, the kids insisted on donuts and we found it at Horton's very near to the Souk Al-Bahar exit and the water way. I was quite excited since I thought we could also catch the afternoon Dubai Fountain show but turns out we had missed it. 

The Dubai Fountain Schedule if you are interested in going is as per below: 

Afternoon show : 1.00pm & 1.30pm
Evening shows (every 30 mins) : 6.00pm - 11.00pm (Sun - Wed) & 6.00pm  -11.30pm (Thu - Sat)

After the donuts, the kids got cranky and insisted to go back to the hotel.. so we didn't get to see Burj Khalifah. (Actually, in the end we didn't even get to go up Burj Khalifah cos it is so popular, you are advised to book at least 1 week beforehand!) Below is the admission ticket price for Burj Khalifah taken from their website here

dubai tower
Dubai Tower - Burj Khalifah Ticket Prices
We didn't bother going to Kidzania at Dubai Mall cos we already went to KL's Kidzania and SEGA indoor theme park was not suitable for kids under 7 years of age (read that from some reviews on Trip Advisor)

Day 2 Plan : Emirates Mall for Ski Dubai and Penguin Encounter.

What happened was : after the kids were soooo excited (well actually my almost 3 years old was super excited while my 5 year old was not keen on snow) and we arrived at the admission counter, we asked for 2 adults and 1 child ticket since my 2nd son was technically 34 months old (yes.. I was trying to be a cheapskate) BUT to my disappointment.. we were told instead that kids under 3 years old are not allowed in Ski Dubai nor allowed to participate in Penguin Encounter.. oh bummer.. me and my big mouth! I told my husband let's come again tomorrow, I don't think they will remember us but hubby wouldn't hear of it haha.. so basically the day was spent walking around the enormous mall and ended up in the supermarket buying kids diapers and formula the middle of which the kids fell asleep so we headed back to the hotel.

emirates mall attractions
Penguin Encounter Ticket Price @ Ski Dubai

Day 3: Plan: Spend the whole day at Atlantis' Aquaventure Waterpark. 

What happened was: I had an urgent transfer to be made which required a visit to Western Union while hubby couldn't take carrying my 20kg ++ 5 year old anymore and arranged for a twin stroller rental. So, we headed to the nearest mall to Grand Hyatt Dubai which was Festival City. The kids did some painting work at the kids activity area in front of the Western Union (Al-fardan Exchange) while waiting for mummy to finish her transfer and the twin stroller to be delivered. Then it was lunch at Burger King (again) before heading out to Atlantis Aquaventure Waterpark.

dubai festival city
The kids at Festival City

dubai atlantis aquarium reviews
Lost Chambers @ Atlantis Dubai

We arrived at Atlantis at about 2.30pm then headed to the aquarium "The Lost Chambers"  it was nothing much, if you had gone to the Dubai Mall Aquarium, you can definitely give this a miss. It's just an aquarium decorated with "Atlantis" theme to me. The kids didn't really like the dark mood and there was no signage of the type of fishes on display so I couldn't answer much when the kids asked questions too.

atlantis water park images
The beautiful beach @ Atlantis Aquaventure Water Park 

Next, we headed for Aquaventure at about 3.30pm and bought the Dolphin Experience 4.30pm slot. It was quite a far walk from the entrance to the Dolphin Bay but we couldn't take the buggy because of the twin stroller. The Dolphin Experience was super expensive but totally worth it. Most of the people in my group were parents of small kids and the kids absolutely loved the experience. I mean where else can you get up close with the dolphin in the water while petting them and playing, dancing and even kissing them? My 5 year old was amazingly brave and really loved touching the dolphin while my 3 year old refused to touch it but was recounting the experience throughout the holiday. By the time we finished the Dolphin Experience it was nearly 6.00pm so the kids just jumped into one of the heated pools at the water park but didn't get to go to the kids splash pool (which was pretty big and fun) as it was nearer to the entrance of the Waterpark.

dubai images
The kids at the heated pool @ Atlantis Aquaventure Water Park

We came out of Aquaventure at closing time along with throngs of other people and saw that the queue for the taxi was snaking. So, we went back inside (the shopping and dining option is quite limited here) and had dinner at a chinese restaurant. Food was not bad.

Our verdict for Aquaventure? Definitely worth it but come early in the morning so you can spend the whole day there :) My kids didn't want to go back.

dolphin encounter dubai reviews
Unforgettable experience at Dolphin Bay, Atlantis

My other back up plan for visiting Dubai with the kids were :

1) Children City at Dubai Creek + Dolphin Dolphinarium
2) Aqua Play @ Mirdif City

But these plans were also cut short since my kiddo fell sick during the last 2 days of the holiday and I spent the last two days going to the PD and washing my kids' multiple vomit clothes.. sigh..  

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Jalan-jalan Singapore: Halal Food at Singapore Zoo

If you are thinking of visiting Singapore Zoo and are wondering whether halal food is available, wonder no more cos yes, there are halal food available at the Singapore Zoo. 

You have two options for halal food, one is the fast food chain "KFC" which stands for Kentucky Fried Chicken situated at the entrance of Singapore Zoo, the other is called Ah Meng Restaurant which serves local dishes in an air-conditioned food court inside the Singapore Zoo near Tram Station no 1. 

On one of our visits to Singapore Zoo, we swung by Ah Meng Restaurant for lunch and had these local dishes : Laksa Noodle and Mee Siam. The kids ate hot dogs, fried chicken, fries and coleslaw. 

The laksa noodle's broth was creamy and goes nicely with the soft white noodle. The fish cakes are also fresh, the prawns are the blanched type which I don't prefer but overall quite an ok dish.

halal food singapore zoo
Local food at Singapore Zoo: Laksa Noodle

The Mee Siam was very mild, maybe to cater to kids' tastebuds. Its basically vermicelli with a watery prawn gravy served with boiled eggs and fried tofu. Again, the blanched prawns didn't go down well with me. 

singapore zoo makanan halal
Halal food in Singapore Zoo : Mee Siam

The kids fried chicken, hot dogs and fries were forgettable. 

singapore zoo halal food
Halal Food at Singapore Zoo: Hot Dogs and Chicken

All in all it was a so-so lunch but still appreciated because if not we wouldn't have anything to eat :) 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Resepi Pasta Goreng Mudah - Aglio Olio Lazy Style

resepi pasta goreng
My Ultra Simple Aglio Olio Recipe

Ini adalah bila tahap malas nak masak mee untuk anak dah melampau tapi tak sampai hati nak kasi dia makan maggi goreng.. jadi paling ringkas masak pasta "Angel Hair" dia macam spaghetti tapi lagi halus jadi cepat masak dalam 3-5minit je rebus dah lembut.. 

Aglio Olio pulak pasta paling ringkas dengan bahan-bahan asas seperti minyak zaitun, bawang putih, lada hitam dan keju je.. 

Masa mula-mula try resepi ni yang I jumpa online mak oi minyak zaitun punyalah banyak nak dekat 3/4 cawan isy.. tekak tak boleh telan langsung sebab berminyak.. sekarang ni I modify resepi pasta goreng ni untuk tekak anak kecik seperti berikut: 

Resepi Pasta Goreng Aglio Olio (untuk 2 kanak-kanak)

1. Rebus  "Angel Hair " secukupnya untuk 2 kanak-kanak makan, rebus dengan sedikit minyak dan garam, kemudian tos dan asingkan.

2. Bahan-bahan tumis:

3 ulas bawang putih -dicincang halus
1 sudu makan minyak zaitun
1 sudu makan daun sup atau Italian Parsley yang telah dihiris halus
sedikit serbuk lada hitam
isi ayam yang di hiris (ikut suka berapa banyak)
5 batang cendawan shitake - dihiris halus
1 biji tomato sederhana besar - didadu
1 keju cheddar
sedikit air

Cara-cara memasak Pasta Goreng Aglio Olio:

1. Tumis bawang putih dengan minyak zaitun hingga aroma bawang putih bangkit. 
2. Masukkan ayam dan serbuk lada hitam sehingga masak.
3.Tambahkan sedikit air jika kering dan masukan cendawan. 
4. Masukkan tomato dan keju (tambah air lagi jika perlu) masukkan garam. 
5. Campurkan pasta Angel Hair yang telah ditos dan gaul rata. 

That's it! Senang kan :) Resepi ni sangat mild rasanya untuk kanak-kanak, kalau nak hidangkan untuk orang dewasa.. maybe tambah lebih lada hitam dan jangan guna keju cheddar sebaliknya kurangkan garam dan hanya gaulkan parmesan cheese secukupnya apabila ingin mengidangkan Aglio Olio.

Anda mungkin meminati:

desaru with kids
The Pulai Desaru Review
local food kuala lumpur
Satay Station

Adam Hawa - Islamic Story for Kids

I am currently dabbling with app development and one of the ideas that Mr Husband came up with was an Islamic Storybook app for small kids so that we can read it together with our kids while introducing to them the existence of Allah, the concept of creation, Jannah, the importance of doing good deeds and so on and so forth. 

I was gravitating towards the click and drag app programs available online with a small monthly subscription fee but then I decided that it would be quite limited plus I still need a designer.. so on a whim I contacted someone that I got to know from youtube (yes youtube) and yeay.. the person agreed to illustrate then I sent a few random emails to developers requesting for a quote and the quote came from both spectrum.. in the end I went with what I think was reasonable and after few hiccups and my first app is finally live on iTunes :)

The app is designed for both iPhone and iPad and is called Adam Hawa. It is a bilingual (English and Malay) interactive storybook app that is designed for 3-5 years old. Below is just a quick snapshot of the app in iTunes. I am currently working on the marketing materials and approval by Apple before marketing this app better :) 

Please feel free to check out the app and share with your friends and families. If you like the app, please review the app on iTunes. I would really appreciate it. Thank you. 

islam stories for kids
Adam Hawa on iTunes

Below is a preview of the app in English:

and this one is in Malay: 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Lagu Kanak-kanak: 1-10 Di Dalam Bahasa Arab

 فيديو الأرقام للأطفال

Hmm.. niari takde kerja.. kita godeh-godeh dengan Windows Live Movie Maker.. dan juga "Paint".. saje je nak tengok apa yang boleh terhasil dari tangan I yang tak kreatif ni..

Pengajaran pertama: Bila melukis dengan "Paint" memandangkan saya tak mahir dengan illustration, saya tidak tahu bahawa paint tidak menghasilkan image .png oleh itu terpaksa guna background "putih" untuk menyembunyikan kegunaan jpegs instead of pngs :)

Ok, tapi at least jadi lah jugak video ni, only the arabic numbers je hasil tangan I sebab susah nak cari di alam siber ni :p gambar yang lain semua under Creative Commons License..

Lagu.. hak cipta terpelihara.. dengan suaraku yang tak berapa merdu.. haha.. yang penting bermanfaat buat siapa yang perlu..

Lagu Mengira 1-10 dalam bahasa arab :)

Jangan segan-segan share kalau anda suka ;)

Thank You!

Anda Juga Mungkin Meminati:

aktiviti prasekolah
Aktiviti Pra Sekolah - Bahasa Arab
ajar anak
Kad Imbas Alif Ba Ta DIY
bahasa arab pra-sekolah
Video Mengenal Bentuk

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Pre-School Phonics : Usborne Very First Reading Phonics Workbok 1-4

pre-school phonics
Usborne Very First Reading : Phonics Workbook

All mothers know the importance of teaching your kids phonics, phonics has become so important in teaching our kids literacy that seldom do we introduce to them the letters without also touching on the letters sound. 

english learning for kids
Phonics Workbook: Tracing the letter "a"

english for toddlers
Phonics Workbook : Tracing the letter "n"

One of the activity books that I really like when introducing letters and phonics to my small kids is the Usborne Very First Reading Phonics Wokbook Series. I like it because its colorful and the illustration are really nice. My kids like it cos the writing exercises are kept very manageable for their super short attention span and for the colorful stickers!

letter tracing activity
Phonics Workbook : Writing the letter "n"

bahasa inggeris untuk kanak-kanak
Phonics Workbook : Writing the letter "m"

The Usborne Very First Reading Phonics Workbook is not arranged in alphabetical order, rather letters are picked based on the frequency of the letters in forming common words.. so the first workbook introduces the letters "S,A,T,P,I,N,M,D" so that your kid will be able to sound out the words "SAT", "PAT", "MAN", "MAT" and so on and so forth from the first workbook. Genius I say!

ABC stickers

I got mine at MPH Bookstore at The Curve.. a bit pricey I guess but my kids love it :)

Sounding Out and Writing 3 letter words 

pre school english
Sounding out and writing 3 letter words

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Satay In Kuala Lumpur - Satay Station @ Mont Kiara

I was craving for some satay last week and was thinking where to get nice satay in Kuala Lumpur? I don't quite prefer the satay at Rasta TTDI and I also do not favor Satay Hj Samuri.. the closest satay to the ones in Singapore that I have tasted in Kuala Lumpur is by Satay Station.. but that was at one of the branches near to Sungai Chongkak.. which is quite far off..

We remembered having seen a deserted and dimly lit Satay Station at Mont Kiara (near Dominos) but never really tried it cos the setting just doesn't look "promising" but since we have tasted the satay at another branch before, we decided to give this one a try. 

local food kuala lumpur
Delicious Satay @ Satay Station Mont Kiara

The place is really basic and they only sell satay (by half dozen - lamb/chicken/beef) and mee rebus. That's it. Kind of lacking in choice.. but we were there for satay of course and the satay didn't disappoint. Juicy, tender and flavorful. Pricey though considering each stick only comes with 2 chunks of meat and a chunk of fat in between.. The ketupat (rice dumplings) are soft and goes well with the satay gravy, fresh crispy cucumber and sliced onion comes as accompaniment. The gravy with a thick layer of oil on top, was sweet, not too spicy and embellished with crunchy peanuts.. super sinful and fattening dinner!

what to eat in malaysia
Mee Rebus at Satay Station Mont Kiara

The mee rebus.. hmm.. it was spicy.. too spicy for my kid, it also has more bean sprouts than noodle (I do not favor bean sprout) maybe if you are used to this kind of mee rebus, you will like it, personally I find it too watery and just spicy and sweet. I prefer Mee Rebus Javanese Style. 

Our Iced Tea and Iced Milo

Drinks were -as usual- Iced Milo for my no 2, Iced Tea for my no 1 and teh tarik for me (and this time) hubby too.. nothing to comment except too sweet for our liking. 

Teh Tarik @ Satay Station

Our dinner of 1 dozen Beef Satay, half dozen Chicken Satay, 1 bowl of Mee Rebus and 4 drinks costed us RM80++ eeks!! So expensive!! That's why they can survive there even though the place is not jam-packed with customers.. I guess that's the price you have to pay for great satay in Kuala Lumpur..

Satay Station is at:

G-2B Mont Kiara Meridin (19 Jalan Duta Kiara)


View Larger Map

Kraftangan Kanak-Kanak : Harimau Belang Dari Kitchen Roll

aktiviti kraf pra sekolah

Hmm.. Mikail cuti lagi.. ear infection.. lepas makan antibiotics and panadol, mula lah dia merengek boring.. minta aktiviti.. so mummy pun rummage craft supplies, terjumpa a few things:

1) 1 kitchen roll
2) 2 googly eyes
3) black marker
4) glue
5) 1 black and 1 orange pipe cleaner (untuk ekor) 
6) drawing block
7) orange paint

1 - Hmm.. mula-mula I gunting kitchen roll separuh, separuh untuk badan, lagi separuh tu i potong buat 4 kaki (ikut suka ketinggian) 

2 - Lepas tu I gunting shape muka harimau.

3 - Minta Mikail paint kan oren semua, tunggu sampai kering.

3- Ambil marker, I outline kan stripes lepas tu minta Mikail color kan the inside of the outline.

4 - Decorate muka tiger ikut suka, guna marker dan gamkan mata.

5 - Buat lubang di bahagian belakang dan twist kan pipe cleaner tu selang seli oren dan hitam jadilah ekor.

6 - Nak tampal muka agak susah so, I gunting drawing block besar sikit, gamkan tepinya di bahagian dalam tissue roll to act like a base, lepas tu I gamkan muka harimau tu atas kertas putih tu.

7 - Bahagian kaki ni, susah sangat nak lekat, tengok2 gambar kraf lain, orang guna "cork" hmm sebab tu boleh diri, yang kita guna tissue role ni susah sikit, kalau rajin, tebuklah lobang, awal2 tu buat kaki panjang sikit pastu gunting sikit bahagian atas, lipat kan dan tampal kat bahagian dalam tissue roll..hmm.. tapi i masa tu dah terlajak buat, jadi tak boleh nak buat apa2, nak buat baru pun tissue roll dah habis, jadi I tampal je pakai double sided tape.. of course tak tahan lama dan harimau tu pun jadi decoration je lah.. tak boleh lasak2.. kesian Mikail..takpe.. next time try lagi!

Surau / /Prayer room at Grand Hyatt Singapore

Oh yes, you read that right, there is a prayer area at Grand Hyatt Hotel Singapore.. problem is it is only for hotel's guests and patrons. That means if you are there for meetings, functions or just enjoying the food at Straits Kitchen. Cos if you are staying at the hotel then I would assume you would just go up to your room to pray. 

musolla orchard road
Musolla at Grand Hyatt Singapore

So, yup.. if you are just shopping at Orchard Road and you have to perform your prayers fast, you are better off heading to the opposite side Royal Plaza on Scotts as the surau there can be used by public (May Allah protect the Sultan of Brunei for His generosity) (The Surau at Royal Plaza on Scotts is near the restroom, take the steps up to the car park and before reaching the car park door, there will be the surau entrance on your right) 

hyatt surau
Surau at Grand Hyatt Singapore - Telekungs provided

If you are a guest/patron of Grand Hyatt, then to use the Surau (accessible from the car park area) you would need to approach Concierge or any staff I would think (I just approached a bell boy) and they will accompany you to the Surau and unlock it for you. A separate ablution area is also provided. 

surau di orchard road
The sign at the entrance of Hyatt's prayer room

I actually didn't want to blog about this since the use of the surau is restricted but since someone googled about it and landed on my blog, I feel compelled to write it down since I already have the information. Hope this lil info help you too.

Cara Pakai Sk ii

Hmm.. memandangkan usia dah semakin meningkat dan sejak kebelakangan ni kulit asyik break out je.. I was looking around for a new cleanser. Then that day balik Singapore, tengok kulit adik I yang problematic macam dah clear balik ala-ala time dia remaja dulu (yes.. both of us had clear skin during our teenage years only to have problems in our mid 20's..) I pun tanya what have you been using? and she said sk ii facial treatment essence AJE..tak pakai benda lain pun.. cleanser pun tak.. pagi2 cuci muka dengan air then dia dab kan sk ii facial treatment essence tu dekat muka dia.. waaahh... so good ah??

Oklah, kita pun try! Jalan-jalan at Isetan, ternampak ada starter kit at SGD99.. ada 40ml toner (dia panggil sk ii Facial treatment clear lotion), 75ml sk ii facial treatment essence and 1 pek sk ii mask..I tambah beli sk ii facial treatment cleanser and a moisturizer (dia panggil sk ii facial clear solution) sebab masa tu dahi banyak sangat biji biji yang kecik kecik tu (ruam panas eh?) and kulit pun everytime period mesti break out.. 

pakai skii
SK ii Cleanser

Salesgirl tu kata, I need a gentle cleanser and a gentle moisturizer sebab muka tak oily, ada tempat kering pun, tapi keluar jerawat.. hhmm.. tak teruskan dengan yang gentle dulu untuk clear kan skin..pastu dia advice ada orang masa mula-mula pakai sk ii facial treatment essence akan break out, tapi kena pakai juga sampai 1-2 minggu nanti dia reda ikut hormon badan kita.. eeerrmm.. nasib baik lah i pakai tak break out, kalau break out tak rasa I boleh sabar 1-2 minggu..confirm I stop!

cara pakai sk ii
Sk ii Products:left to rigth: Toner, treatment essence and moisturizer

Memandangkan nama-nama produk ni pelik2 (apalah susah dia letak, cleanser, toner, moisturizer, cream etc etc) lepas tu label pulak bahasa Jepun.. I suruh lah cik salesgirl tu tulis kan step by step apa yg I kena buat.. sebab memang best ye ye ye depan counter, balik rumah "apa ek dia cakap?" 

So di bawah adalah cara-cara pakai sk ii (kalau u beli sama product macam i! haha):

1 -  Sk ii Facial Treatment cleanser : biasalah, basahkan muka, picit sikit cleanser at tangan, tambah air sikit, gosok-gosok kat muka tu pastu bilas...

2 - Sk ii Facial Treatment Clear Lotion (This is the toner) : dab sikit on facial cotton pastu dab satu muka kecuali eyes and lips..

3 - Sk ii facial treatment essence: ah.. ni ada dua cara: 

 a) cara salesgirl: amik 2 cotton wool, basahkan dengan facial treatment essence, pastu dab satu muka, pastu asingkan cotton wool tu layer by layer pastu you letak on your problematic area on the face for 5-10 minutes (sebab tak nak waste FTE yg ada at cotton wool tu..)

b) cara nak save (ini adik i punya kawan punya cara) picit sikit je kat tangan pastu dab at muka (supaya 1 botol kecik boleh bertahan berbulan2)

4 - akhir skali moisturizer! nama dia "sk ii facial clear solution": yang ni biasa je lah, squirt sikit pastu dab at face. 

These are the products that I use, kalau u punya lain range.. maaf ye.. I tak tahu cara-caranye.. hee.. Alhamdulillah setakat ni memang puas hati pakai sk ii, tapi kalau stop pakai, kulit macam kusam balik.. boring! high maintenance lah gini.. anyway, walaupun kena pakai siang dan malam.. i pakai pagi je eh.. sayang nak pakai banyak2.. ni pun pakai once a day, result quite good :) 

Of course maybe ada factor lain jugak kot.. yang pertama: I try to juice more fruits and vegetables to clear toxins from within and yang kedua.. I dah jarang pakai make up.. takut clog pores.. just pakai baby powder je sekarang.. certain occasion, I just use Laura Mercier pressed translucent pressed setting powder..very lightweight and senang basuh :) 

Jalan- Jalan Dubai: Street Food - Karama & Deira

After a few days of eating at Dubai mall restaurants, we were craving for some real street food. Cheap and good eats... was told by a taxi driver that Karama area is the place to head for and the place opens early for breakfast. So one of the days, we decided to try Ravi's Restaurant opposite Burjuman Mall at Karama for some rotis. The restaurant got good reviews on tripadvisor but I neglected to see that most of the reviews are for lunch and dinner.

dubai street food
Breakfast at Ravi's Restaurant @ Karama, Dubai

Breakfast at Ravi's is definitely different from breakfast at any indian stalls in Malaysia / Singapore. For once, their prata are different, thicker, oilier. I ordered puri since I wanted something light and fluffy and guess what? everyone went for that when the dish came instead of the prata. Keema (minced meat) was ok, shaksuka (something like scrambled eggs with tomato) was a bit bland but the dhal was fine. I think we got complimentary "halwa" some sweet dessert that tasted like semolina but we are not accustomed to very sweet dessert for breakfast -errmm.. well.. malay desserts are an exception :p - Teh tarik? sigh.. nope.. only strong tea with sugar overdose.

makan murah dubai
Street Food Dubai : Eat where the workers eat

So, really, Ravi's? I am pretty sure that it's the same Ravi's that is reviwed on tripadvisor but breakfast didn't really impress me that much. You might want to check it out during lunch or dinner instead.

On another night, we wanted to check out Deira Souq and grab dinner somewhere at Bastakiyyah after taking the Abra tour but we were stuck in the traffic and arrived at Deira Souq at about slightly past 8pm and were ravenous. So, we asked the people hanging around for some good restaurant and they pointed to the other direction (away from the Deira Souq entrance) and said "just walk straight, you will see an Indian restaurant (which is not what we are recommending), walk past it and you will se a Yemeni restaurant serving delicious Mandi Rice" and we did just that. Walk straight ahead opposite the direction of Deira Souq entrance and the place didn't disappoint.

deira souq
Jalan Jalan Dubai : The Deira Souq - walk in the same direction of the man in the white robe to head to Aden Restaurant

The place is called "Aden Restaurant" and it has two levels, lower level for men and the upper level for ladies with family rooms too. The flight of stairs were quite high though. The restaurant is simple with a view of the  dubai creek and Bur Dubai (old dubai). It was nice. We ordered Lamb Mandi and Chicken Mandi with some "shurbah" i.e. soup since we are not accustomed to eating our rice dry. We also added some fresh salads and drinks were Arabic Tea. The dinner at Aden restaurant was our simplest so far but it was the most memorable and satisfying. Our Yemeni waiter was also very friendly and especially nice when he knows that we are Muslims and we can converse in -partial- arabic :)

dubai cheap restaurants
Cheap Restaurant Dubai : Aden Restaurant serving delish Mandi Rice

We spent quite some time there that by the time we went back to Deira Souq it was already near 10pm and most of the shops are nearly closing. I didn't manage to look around so I just went in to one shop and asked for some Abayas, was also quarrelling with the shopkeeper since I keep asking for a smaller size and he went "This is your size, if it's too big just alter the size later" and I am like "Why can't you just give me 2 sizes smaller so I don't have to alter it???" Until it dawned on me that the sizes are because of the "length" they don't care about your body proportion, they just want the length to fit you and you can alter the fitting later"  and with that I accepted the size he recommended and lo and behold when I tried it at the hotel the abaya actually fits nicely with no need to alter haha! Sorry Mr Shopkeeper!

It was already a quarter to 11pm and had my mother-in-law be up for it, hubby and I would have really liked to take the Abra tour, the big ships were brightly lit and the sights of Bur Dubai especially was nice against the Dubai Creek.. on a different occasion with different company, I would have taken a leisurely stroll down the sidewalk and just go crazy snapping pictures. This to me is the Dubai that I want to see and appreciate, not the shopping malls, not the modern tall buildings that is about the same in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong... hopefully.. another chance will come.  

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Abra Tour & Dinner @ The Meat Co - Souk Madinat Jumeirah

madinat jumeirah dubai
Souk Madinat Jumeirah : Abra Tour

It was our first evening in Dubai and we didn't really want to venture far since we were still a bit jet-lagged but the restaurant at Grand Hyatt Dubai was fully booked so we decided to go to Souk Madinat Jumeirah and see what's there. 

abra tour
Souk Madinat Jumeirah : View from the boat ride

The setting is set to imitate the "old feel" of a souk but the building is new and clean. It was quite confusing going around since the signage wasn't really very helpful especially if you are trying to locate restaurants. We passed Dome at the entrance with a sign that says (more or less) "Eating here won't break your wallet" and it was amusing but we found out why only when we were paying for our dinner at The Meat Co (haha..) There were a few push cart stalls selling souvenirs that looked quite nice but I didn't enquire about the prices. 

where to eat dubai
Dinner at Madinat Jumeirah Dubai : The Meat Co

Walking towards the "marina", we saw a restaurant called "The Meat Co" and hubby being a steak fanatic wanted to give it a try. The place is not really big on kids meal since it's named "The Meat Co" they serve mostly meat and no pasta, but they do serve prawns. So, the only meal suitable for our kids is the burger but still the portion is huge.. 

dubai eats
Dinner at Madinat Jumeirah Dubai : The Meat Co

Service was prompt, ambience very romantic with the table overlooking the water way and the romantic candle light... sigh.. how I wish it was just the two of us :) the place is very popular too, we could only manage to get a table because we were very early for dinner (around 7pm) and they only give us that the table under the condition that we leave by 8.30pm as it is reserved by another party. 

Madinat Jumeirah Dubai
The Steak @ The Meat Co - Souk Madinat Jumeirah

Food however was just so-so for us. Hubby wasn't really impressed with the steak, my kid didn't really like the burger but my prawns were nice and we really enjoyed the complimentary (I think) warm cranberry bread. It was really delicious. 

souq madinat jumeirah
The Kids' Burger @ The Meat Co - Souk Madinat Jumeirah

After dinner, we took the Abra tour at Souk Madinat Jumeirah but I guess this is not the famous Abra tour (which is near the Spice Souk), the tour at Souk Madinat Jumeirah is just a tour of the water ways of Souk Madinat Jumeirah and what you mostly see (in the dark) is the compound of AlQasr Hotel. We weren't really interested in looking at the ridiculously expensive "Villas" of Al-Qasr Hotel, so it was just chill and soaking in the nice weather and romantic ambience for us. It was really difficult to get good pictures too since its really dim and the boat keep moving too much for us to use the night mode.  

jumeirah al qasr
Our dinner view :) 

boat ride madinat jumeirah
At the start of the Abra Tour - Madinat Jumeirah

My verdict? A nice and romantic place for dinner for couples but nothing much for families with kids and not really the "souk" to head for if you are looking to experience the "old" dubai.