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If you are missing the Desi homemade food, Ghar ka khana is the place to go. Ghar ka Khana is situated in Cluster N, JLT. They offer tiffin services in and around JLT area.  They have daily, weekly and monthly plans.  Their meal plans include some delicious healthy ingredients like Quinoa, Avocado and Chia Seed.Just like the home made food, each dish is freshly prepared without any canned or frozen ingredients.

Recently I had been to the restaurant to celebrate the International Women’s day. We tried a variety of dishes from their menu and loved the simple, nutritious food this place has to offer.

We tried a variety of starters.

Quinoa and avocado salad 

Quinoa chicken Seekh kebab & Beet chicken tikka



Pan fried fish


Masala Chia  Idli

I loved the salad,  Quinoa Chicken Seekh Kebabs and the Masala Chia Idlies. The masala Chia Idli was really unique and I loved the crunch of the chia seeds.  The King fish was pan friend to perfection.

For the main course we had:

Kurkuri  Bhindi

Butter chicken and a Paneer Dish

Beetroot Daal

Quinoa Biryani and Chicken Biriyani

The Kurkuri bhindi was delicious and addictive. We all devoured it in seconds and had to order one more plate. The Quinoa Biriyani was also rich in flavors. The curries were well balanced. The Rotis served were hot and soft.

For the dessert, we had the Rose infused rice Pudding. The taste reminded me of the Rice kheer my mother prepares back in India.

Overall, the food tastes like how we prepare it at home.  I love the fact that they do not use extra taste makers and additives to enhance the taste.  Their meal plans are affordable and good value for money. I am surely going to order from them soon.

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The concept of customizable food has always intrigued me.Recently had a chance to try out the Wok Boyz restaurant at the Dubai Internet City Food court and thier Woks are 100 % Customisable.

Wok Boyz is an Asian Street Food concept restaurant. Their DIC outlet is situated in the Building 3 food court. The food court has outdoor seating which is near the DIC lake. The outlet has very cool graffiti and funky artwork! Loved the artwork depicting various tourist hotspots of Dubai.

We went on Friday evening and as it was a holiday, the place was empty. But the place was buzzing with phone calls for online orders. They also deliver all the way till Discovery Gardens.

I am waiting for my order from Wok Boyz today as I write this review

So, coming to the things we ordered: For the appetizers, we chose the Prawn Tempura and the Spicy Korean Wings.

Prawn Tempura

The prawn tempura was crispy and flavorful. The Spicy Korean Wings was the star of the evening. This signature dish by Wok Boyz is one of the best wings I had in a very long time. I love Spicy food and this was perfectly spicy and flavorful. It can be a bit messy, but finger licking good.

Bring my order already!! (30 minutes to delivery)

For the drinks, we chose the tender coconut and the Sprite. I am not a fan of Thai coconuts, to be honest, but natural drinks are always welcome.

Coming to the Wok, we just ordered one Customized Wok. We can create our wok in 5 easy steps at WokBoyz and the cost depends on the customization.

For the base, we chose the Egg Noodles. PS: I have tried the Udon Noodles but hated the texture and feel of the Noodles. It is wiggly! Uh!!

Egg Noodles

For the proteins, we chose chicken.

Next up, the Veggies – We chose Mushrooms, Red Onions and Mixed Peppers.

For the Sauce, we were suggested to try the Gangnam style (Mild Spicy & sweet Korean Spice) and Wok Boyz special sauce- (Chilli Basil). You can also choose the consistency and spice level of the Wok- We chose ours to be saucy and spicy.

Last but not the least, for the toppings- we chose the spring onions.

Extra Ingredients like protein, veggies, sauces, and the toppings can be added at extra charge. Since it is a customizable wok, the prices vary according to your choices.

Our wok tasted perfect, just the way we wanted it to be. We loved every bite of it.

The food was served in cartons here, so sharing the wok is a bit of a problem. The boxes look small, but the portions are very filling. The prices are also justified for the quality and the quantity served.

I am already a fan of the Korean Wings and the Egg Noodles, which is why I have ordered from them again today.

Have you tried the WokBoyz? If not visit them at their DIC and trade center outlets

Bye !! I am off to have some Wings!

XOXO

PB

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Last week, I had the pleasure of attending a cocktail master class at the Manzoni Bistro Bar. This classic Italian Bistro is at the Pullman JLT hotel, Dubai.

Manzoni Bistro Bar is named in honor of the famous Italian poet Alessandro Manzoni. The interiors are elegant and classy. The place is very lively and the open kitchens and the beautiful fireplace add to the warmth of the place. They have outdoor seating as well.

We were welcomed by the Staff at the Pullman JLT and the Manzoni Bistro. Before the master class, we were treated with some authentic Italian delicacies and a ginger infused mocktail.

Ginger Infused Mocktail

For the antipasti, we tried the Caprese Skewers, Bruschetta and the Mushroom Arancini (served with Truffle Mayo). The appetizers were great. Then we were served the Veggie Pizza. Nothing like having freshly made Pizza that was prepared right in front of you. The ginger infused drink was soothing.

Caprese Skewers

Bruschetta Mushroom Arancini Veggie Pizza

To start with the Masterclass, the in-house Mixologist Corina introduced us to the basics of Mixology. She told us about her grandma’s sugar syrup recipe and all the homemade ingredients that go into her cocktails. We were preparing one of the exquisite and signature mocktail- Manzoni in Love.

My Workstation

The ingredients we used were Martini Rossi, Lemon Juice, Gin, a Spices infused Sugar syrup (secret ingredient), and lots of Ice.
The next step was to blend them in the cocktail mixer and serve after garnishing.

The Magic Mix

Corina made sure we all had fun while learning the art of making this amazing cocktail. The drink was delish.

Manzoni in Love

After the session, we were in for yet another surprise. The desserts. I am not a desserts person. But the desserts served here made me have extra servings.

Tiramisu

We first tried the Tiramisu, a must at every Italian restaurant. It was ah-mazing.!!! Next up was the unique one of a kind dish by their new pastry chef. It was red hearts with gold flakes. (A Valentine’s Day special dish) It was sweet on the outside and a hint of spice and berries on the inside. We all were mind blown by this dish.

This was my first time at the cocktail master class and I thoroughly enjoyed the cocktail making session.
If you and your friends (minimum 5 members) would like to try something like this, get in touch with the restaurant. They conduct customized classes upon request. It is so much fun to learn to make your own cocktail.

I loved the steps taken by the hotel management at the Pullman JLT to reduce plastic waste. They use pasta straws instead of the plastic ones. The tissues are also replaced by the cloth napkins.

Thank You Alina, Suren and Team Manzoni Bistro for the fabulous evening.

Address:
Mazoni Bistro Bar
Pullman Dubai Jumeirah Lakes Towers Next to Damac Properties Metro station Cluster T, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, P.O. Box 9268 Dubai UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

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Khasab is the capital of Musandam province which is an exclave of Sultanate of Oman. Khasab is a popular destination in the Middle East and is famous for its gorgeous fjords and scenic Dhow Cruise Rides. This is the perfect international weekend getaway with family and friends (without having to actually take a flight out of the city).

Best time to Visit: November to April, while it is cooler in the middle east.

How to Reach :

There is no direct bus/flight to Khasab as it is one of the remotest areas of Oman. UAE residents usually visit the place in their personal vehicles. There are various travel agencies that take care of Pick up and drop off to Dubai.

We booked our Khasab Dhow Cruise tour which had the pickup and drop off to Discovery Gardens (We were charged extra because DG is quite far from the main pickup point)

Visa: Our Oman Visas were taken care of by the agency. They had taken our passport and UAE visa copies and all we had to do was get the UAE exit stamp and Oman Entry stamps at the respective border crossings. The entry is different for different nationalities and the residents of the GCC region. I would suggest checking the government websites for the visa requirements.

We started off at 7 AM in a Mini Van.  There were other tourists as well.    We reached the Omani Border (Via Sharjah-RAK) at around 9-9:30 AM. There was a little waiting time at both the border checkpoints for UAE exit stamping and Oman entry stamping.

Enroute the Harbour

The Road leading to Khasab is scenic with a stunning coastline. Since we were on a group tour, our driver did not stop anywhere for the pictures.  We had booked a half day Dhow tour in the traditional Omani dhow. That is the best way to enjoy the scenic Fjords. Once we reached the harbor, we boarded the Dhow assigned to us at around 11 AM. We were almost 20 people in the Dhow.

Harbour

The Dhow had lower and the upper deck, and was very clean with traditional carpets and cushions to sit on. We decided to take the lower deck as the upper deck was an open one. We were welcomed warmly by the staff who served us fruits and Rose tea on arrival.

Once the trip commenced, the guide on board briefed us about the safety procedures and general rules to be followed. We spent the first hour lazing on the deck and enjoying the beautiful fjords that were formed over thousands of years. Honestly, we couldn’t get enough of the views.

Occasionally the tour guide showed us the tiny villages by the coast. Boats are the only means of transport to those fishing villages. However, the government has provided all the villages with power supply, mobile network, and potable water.  The place is so remote that the kids have to take boats every day to reach schools in the mainland.

One of the Villages in Khasab

We also spotted pods of Dolphins. This was the first time that I was seeing the dolphins in their natural habitat. But I was saddened when I saw other cruise guys trying to hamper the dolphins and trying to take their motorboats over them. It is one thing to enjoy seeing them swimming happily and another trying to disturb their habitat.

After an hour or so, we reached near the Telegraph Islands. The name as “Telegraph” comes from the telegraph-cable repeater station built on the island in 1864 by the British. The place is abandoned and is an eerie reminder of the bygone British Era.

Telegraph Islands

We stopped a bit ahead of the Telegraph Island for Snorkeling. The Dhow Cruise is equipped with the life jackets and the snorkeling gear. As I  don’t know to swim, I was very close to the Dhow and just ducked my head into the water. The underwater life in the region is really mesmerizing. We spotted a few coral reefs and cute colorful fishes. Mr. M had ventured further into the sea and unfortunately, he jagged his leg to one of the rugged rocks.  The water was freaking cold and it also started to rain. We all had to board the Dhow because of that.

After a quick change of clothes, we had our buffet meal on the Dhow. The meal was simple yet sumptuous. It consisted of Kubbus, Hummus, Biriyani , Rice and Curry, few salads and cool drinks to go with it.

I remembered to take the Pic after I started the lunch

After that, we spent more time cruising around and the guide showed us some really interesting rock illusions like the rocks in the shape of birds and animals. The cruise almost took us around 5 hours. The hosts in the Dhow made sure we are hydrated throughout the trip. There was all you can have a supply of water and cold drinks. We returned to the harbor at around 4:30 PM.

Like I said earlier, this was a group tour and we were not allowed to have the pitstops. I would have loved to visit the Khasab fort and other local fishing villages. Well, there is always the next time

We reached the Omani border around 5:30 and finally back home around  8 PM.  I will definitely recommend visiting this place if you have an extra day in hand on your trip to Oman or UAE. It would also be great to spend the night in the Khasab area so that the entire experience won’t be rushed like ours.

Here are some Pro tips if you are planning to visit Khasab or Musandam

•    Carry your original Passports. Copies are not accepted.

•    Carry a pen with you. The visa checkpoint needs you to fill the entry form.

•    Keep the UAE currency handy to pay at the border crossing.

•    Do not click pictures near the border crossing checkpoints. They confiscate the phones. ( Happened to me and later had to apologize and delete the pictures in front of the authorities )

•    Carry spare clothes if you are planning to get into the water for snorkeling.

•    Jackets are recommended if you are visiting during the winter.

•    Check out the insurance requirement if you are driving your own vehicle.

•    Keep the road map handy and also check the fuel before leaving.

•    Carry an underwater camera if available. Unfortunately, we couldn’t capture those images.

•    Carry your own food /medicines that are specific to you/your kid. Even though there are first aid kits in the Dhow, specific items will not be available easily.

•    Dhow rides can get boring, if you are going as a couple or alone, carry your own entertainment.

Have you been to Khasab Musandam? How was the experience? Any more tips that you would like to add? Comment below  

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ChowKing is a Filipino restaurant Chain that serves Filipino and Chinese dishes and is well liked by expats here in the UAE. Recently I had been to their JBR branch in Dubai to try out their chef’s special menu.
The JBR branch is at the prime location, right opposite to the Hilton Hotel. There is an option for outdoor seating as well. We chose to sit inside. The interiors are minimal with sofas and tables. They also have a party hall on the first floor.
Coming to the food, First up was the Hot and Sour Soup. This was perfect for the winter sniffles.

                                                                                         Hot n Sour Soup

Next, we ordered the Dim sum Platter. It had 2 types of dim sums, spring rolls, and crispy Chicken balls. The dimsums were well cooked. My favorite was the crispy spring rolls that came with a sweet chili sauce to dip in.

                                                                                  Dimsum Platter

For the Mains, we had the Fish Manchurian, Thai Red Prawn curry along with Chicken Hakka Noodles. I loved the flavors in the Thai Red Curry.

                                                                           Red Thai Prawn Curry

The Manchurian sauce in the Fish Manchuria was really great and the Fish was very soft and tender.

                                                                             Fish Manchurian

Hakka Noodles has always been my comfort food. The Hakka Noodles at Chowking tasted just the way I liked it, only a little more oily than usual.

                                                                   Chicken Hakka Noodles

To down the food, we ordered the Iced Tea and Fresh Pineapple Juice.

I was very eager to try out the Halo-Halo, which is one of the famous Philipino desserts. I was very intrigued by all the elements and textures in the dessert. Honestly, I did not like it much.

Halo-Halo


If you are looking for a budget-friendly Chinese restaurant around JBR, this is the place to go. Do try the Thai Curry and Chicken Hakka Noodles.


The staff is very friendly and helpful. Shout out to Salman who helped us in selecting the dishes and for the prompt service.
Surely coming back for more Chinese.
Which is your favorite Chinese Place? Comment Below.

XOXO
PB

Budget-friendly restaurant in Dubai Chowking Dubai, Chowking JBR, ChowKing

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Chowking is a popular Philipino Restaurant Chain in the UAE and is known for its Chinese food. Recently they have launched their new Menu-  The Chef’s Special Menu

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If you are searching for an Asian Restaurant that serves breakfast, your search ends here. AsiaTang has launched the new breakfast menu and it sure will have you coming back for more.
Asia Tang is an Asian Restaurant at Spring Souk, Emirates hill. The place is very cozy and beautifully decorated. I was in love with the classic interiors and attention to details. The elegant oriental paintings on the wall and the beautiful hanging lamps added to the charm of the place. The marble-topped tables make this place 100% Instagrammable. The plants in the restaurant make the place so soothing and cool.


Coming to the new menu, the menu has the image of each item. I love it when a restaurant has a menu with images. It makes deciding the food so much easier. The names are simple and non-fancy. I often struggle with the pronunciations at Italian and South Asian restaurants. These easy names ensure your order without stressing yourself out: P

Now to the food, the food at Asia Tang is great. I tasted almost everything from their breakfast menu and they all tasted delicious.
The Duck wonton soup is a must-have here. The soup was so comforting and full of flavors. It was my second-time tasting the duck and it was delicious.

The Chilli Crab bun has to be one of my favorites here. The spice level was just right and the taste was fabulous.

We also tried the Omelet with the Thai pad krapow, which was served with bread. A simple and healthy dish.


Next up was the Poached eggs Quinoa with Asian Greens and Soya Sesame Vinaigrette. If you love Quinoa Salads, this one is a must-have.

My friends tried the egg benedicts with veal bacon and classic Hollandaise and they loved it a lot.


Finally, to satisfy our sugar cravings, we called for freshly made waffles with berries and whipped cream. It was really yummy so we ordered three more of them.

We ended the breakfast with some black tea. AsiaTang has a variety of teas to choose from. Each tea has different prep time and they give a cute tiny hourglass set to check the time.


Altogether, it was a great breakfast. We enjoyed each and every dish served. The prices are a bit on the expensive side, but the portions and the taste make up for it. I found very less vegan /Vegetarian options on their breakfast menu.
The staff was really cordial and well aware of the items on the menu. A long ride to spring Souk is totally worth just to visit this restaurant (If you stay on the other end of the city) I am definitely coming back to try out the other Asian Delicacies.
My overall ratings:
Ambiance: 4.5/5.
Service:5/5
Taste: 4/5
Value for money: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5

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