Competition: Win Fa Oud Elixir Goodies

Monday, June 29, 2015

Update (July 21, 2015): Winners announcement! Congratulations to the following:

Cheryl Ciudad Saleem
Nipa Gandhi
Seema Shelat
Nafisa Sadia [July 26: A new winner, Selma Romola has been selected as the previous one did not provide her details within 72 hours of the announcement].

 Please message me through Facebook with your details. Thanks to everyone who participated.


One of the best things to come from the Arab world is oud. No, not the musical instrument but the fragrant oil. I love oud and if you have been acquainted with authentic oud, you will appreciate it even more.

I grab almost every opportunity to own something oud based provided it gives off a pleasant fragrance. There are several global brands that have jumped on the bandwagon and have had success. But you have to leave oud (and bakhoor) to the Arab world, because we do it best.

What better way to let you in on oud than gifting them to you? I've collaborated with Fa to give away goody bags containing their latest Oud Elixir range. It is perfect for Ramadan (and Eid)! The line-up comes in White Musk, Golden Amber and Desert Rose fragrances that are laced with oud. The fragrances are true to their names and my personal favorite is White Musk. The oud based soaps are quite a delight as well. Fa, can we please have a shower gel within the same oud range?

Want to take this prize home?

The Food Byte: Iftar At Citymax Hotel, Dubai

Iftar in Dubai hotels is quite an experience. At some venues, it's an extravagant feast fit for weddings while others provide reasonably good portions. I'm all for eliminating food wastage, I hate to see untouched food go straight to the bin.

Among other things, Ramadan is also about what new savory/dessert you can put on the table. At hotels, each restaurant aims to whip up traditional and unique dishes catering to all. Would you believe it if I said there's a restaurant that's serving seafood iftar? It's true! I can't digest the thought of consuming seafood right after fasting for hours (that and the fact that I'm not a seafood fan). I usually play it safe with local cuisine- who can go wrong with freshly cut greens for salads, fatayer, hummus and the likes? I recently paid a visit to City Cafe at Citymax Hotels for an Arabic iftar.

The Food Byte: Bloomsbury's, Dubai Mall

Sunday, June 14, 2015

As a kid, I visited several different carnivals, picnics and birthday parties. And every time I attended these, there were 2 things I eagerly looked forward to. The fun games we would get to play and the candy we would get to gobble.

Halloween was one of those holidays which was almost like the Black Friday of candies.  And it was also quite special because it arrived in my birthday month. I'd round up my friends and go from door to door, chanting "trick or treeeeeeat" in unison and heading back home towards the end of evening to count how long our loot would last. Trust me when I say, we were disappointed that some of our neighbors gave us cash as opposed to candy.

I get my sweet tooth from my dad. I am forever experimenting and making desserts at home and I absolutely appreciate places in Dubai that put in that extra effort into making your whole experience delightful. There are several quirky and unique dessert venues in the city but only a few of them score high on food, quality, service and other elements. And I discovered one such place, Bloomsbury's located in Dubai Mall.

The Food Byte: Peppermill Restaurant, Dubai

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Indian food isn't easy to make. There are several non-Indian restaurants in Dubai that attempt to do so and don't score big. Nonetheless, the city does have its good spots when it comes to this particular cuisine and once in a while you stumble upon restaurants that make you go, "Why am I only finding out about this place now?".

Being born in Dubai exposed me to several different cuisines, some of which I love and some...well, let's leave it at that.

 I've been to and ordered from a fair share of Indian restaurants in the city. Suffice to say, only a few make me want to dine with them again. It's a medley of service, quality, food, atmosphere, ease of locating the venue, parking etc that makes me recommend it to friends and family. I recently paid a visit to Peppermill Restaurant in Barsha and it has become a firm favorite.

Soap & Glory's Summer Essentials

Thursday, June 4, 2015

In Dubai, we have something known as perpetual summer with temperatures rising up to 48 degrees. We get about 3-4 months of winter and then before you know it, summer's back. The good thing about summer is that you get to wear those maxi dresses, floppy hats and airy tops.

Summer also means beach time for about 80% of the population here which translates to perfectly tanned skin that reflects a golden sheen under the sun. 

The Food Byte: A Moroccon Iftar at Pullman Hotel, Deira City Centre

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The month of Ramadan is quite special for Muslims. It's a month where things change for several people and to some extent, it is almost a new year for us. One of the best things about Ramadan is the time of breaking the fast, also known as Iftar.

For me, it is the time when my brother and I sit across each other and not fight (like cats and dogs). It is also a time to eat (more like chow down) all the amazing dishes mom prepares especially desserts (who doesn't like mohalabiya?). I mean, after a day's worth of fasting you have got to consume sugar to kickstart those energy levels, right? 

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