here’s the penultimate edition of the UAE travel diary series!
We didn’t really have any solid plans for days seven and eight, minus meeting a few friends, so this edition is mostly a food diary! woke up pretty late and headed on out to grab some coffee at Starbucks.
We woke up pretty late on our seventh day and headed on out to grab some coffee at Starbucks.
The menu is presented as a notepad with a pen and you simply tick off the items that you want to order.
First up, drinks, Mr Man opted for a strawberry lemonade, which I thought was slightly too sweet but other than that a good blend of flavours. I opted for the passion sensation, which was pretty good, but, the passion fruit notes were pretty subdued.
Starters and mains were brought out together but let’s stick to the correct order!
Marinated tender skewers of chicken, grilled and served with a peanutty sauce alongside a crisp onion and cucumber salad. Waaaaay too much ginger for our likings which kinda ruined it. One of them was also undercooked which was a pretty offputting.
Vegetable pot stickers:
These were my absolute favourite last time round but, this time, were lacklustre. Barely browned / toasted, devoid of proper dressing and overall quite soggy and bland. A bit of a chore to eat. Soo disappointing!
Vegetable Char Kway Teow Noodles:
A medley of vegetables stir-fried with fresh noodles in a slightly sweet, salty, garlicky sauce, topped with crispy fried strips of noodle. If the noodles hadn’t been overdone and soggy it would have been amazing. Sadly, another disappointment.
Mr Man also went for a noodle based main. Cubes of tender slow cooked brisket (almost too much meat to noodle ratio!) with a slightly tomatoey sauce. Probably the best of the four dishes, good but again, not amazing.
This place was definitely one of our favourite meals on our previous trip but easily one of the worst this time around. Such a pity…
After settling the bill, we hopped in a cab and went over to Dubai mall to check out the shops.
This waterfall is so extravagant.
We headed on to Souk Al Bahar.
Love this building.
These lamps are so pretty…
Crazy big chandelier.
We headed into Baker & Spice for a little afternoon pick-me-up.
We decided to sit outside and enjoy the view. The waitress was very helpful and even moved over a large drum fan so we could have a little breeze.
I went for an almond cake with a cappuccino whilst Mr Man opted for the Mexican hot chocolate.
The cake was nice and moist but didn’t really blow my socks off.
Mr Man found the hot chocolate a little too dark but I quite enjoyed it when I sampled a sip.
We headed back to the flat to freshen up and drop off our stuff before heading over to the Siddharta Lounge to meet a friend.
Really nice vibe to the place, great ambience, and I do love the lighting.
Not feeling too peckish yet, we ordered drinks and I went for a starter whilst Mr Man opted for a dessert.
Pina colada and some green olives. The former wasn’t amazing, I don’t think the barman used the creamier part from the can of coconut cream as it wasn’t thick and the excess pineapple juice watered it down a fair bit further. (I mentioned the drinks weren’t great on the feedback form when we were paying up and kudos to them, because the manager came straight over, apologised and then asked me a few follow-up questions on how to improve it before offering to make me a new one. I didn’t take him up on it but it was a really nice gesture nevertheless.)
The olives, however, were perfect. In fact, I’d rather like some more now!
Mr Man went for the creme brulee, which didn’t have a thick enough sugar shell but was still nice.
We ordered a couple of shishas and just chilled for a couple hours, catching up. Once done, we headed back to the flat through the marina before stopping at the little takeaway downstairs called Shami Gourmet. Can’t get over how pretty it is!
These guys have a really extensive menu – everything from rotisserie chicken to pizzas to full on grilled meats and mezzes. Rather than eating in, we grabbed a shish taouk and a falafel sandwich before heading back up to the flat to tuck in.
Very pleasantly surprised. Perfectly grilled chicken, bit of salad, chips and a variety of bread too. Yum!
The falafel wrap was where it was at. Crisp fried falafel with all the trimmings – tahini, salad and pickles. Drooling.
^ All that for like a tenner. Definitely winning! We spent the rest of the evening packing an overnight bag for the final part of your journey.
Th next day, we were scheduled to meet another chum, who was also on holiday in Dubai, for lunch. We made our way down JBR without having decided on where to eat…
We headed down to the beach before settling on Shake Shack, from where you can eat with a lovely view. Also Mr Man, having gone all of yesterday without a burger needed a fix, ha.
Mr Man ordered for the both of us while I got comfy: the new burger in town, the Shackmeister, the Shack-ago hot dog and a big portion of cheese fries and a fizzy drink to share. Yum.
I didn’t try the hot dog but when I asked, Mr Man told me, there’s “too many vegetables.” This is where we disagree, I could happily go vegetarian for 80% or so of the time whereas Mr Man is all about the meat / chicken, he will usually only begrudgingly settle for a meal without. Anyway, it’s a beef dog, with relish, onions, pickles, tomato and mustard.
Let’s get to the burger. Just look at this monstrosity!
A slightly charred meat patty, topped with melty American cheese and a generous helping of complimentary, perfectly soft, marinated shallots coated in a crisp batter, a lick of the Shack Sauce, housed within a squidgy, buttery, potato bread roll.
And the fries… Where do I even begin?
The crinkle cut means that they are perfectly shaped for a slightly crisp exterior, and fluffy potatoey goodness inside. The best part is probably the cheddar and American cheese sauce, drizzled generously over the chips – gooey, creamy and shiny.
After hanging out and catching up with our chum, we headed back to the flat via JBR to pick up our belongings and head on over to Union bus station.
Bye room! Definitely missing this view!
I think the coach leaves every hour or so, but timetables are hard to come by; and when it’s full, its full. Plenty of people got left behind so it’s just as well we got there between buses… On the plus side, it’s really cheap, 20AED, so under a fiver.
A couple of hours later we arrived in Ras Al Khaimah, from where we hopped into a cab to our hotel. We had pre-booked a standard room at the Mangrove By Bin Majid, but the guy on reception, after enquiring about my background, kindly upgraded us to a suite. Turns out, my Indian-ness is good for something after all!
Not sure why he gave us twin beds, but there you have it.
The resort set up is really lush, huge pool, tonnes of palm trees and an overall feeling of luxury.
Part of me wished we’d come in the daytime to ogle, but, it was deserted by nightfall, giving it its own charm.
Anyway, on to the food… At Al Bahar, you simply order mains – starters, salads and desserts are put out in a buffet style set up and you can just help yourselves.
We ordered our standard mojito and pina colada duo, both were really enjoyable and well made.
After waiting for like an hour (they did apologise…) our mains turned up – I opted for a chicken shish, whilst Mr Man went for the lamb equivalent.
The food was amazing, can’t fault it…
It did, however, take absolutely forever to get delivered to our table.
Overall, it was a good meal but terribly expensive. I think it was overpriced even with the BOGOF vouchers, it came up to around £45, without, it’d have been just shy of £100.
After dinner, myself and Mr Man just sat around on the deck chairs and chilled for a bit – also, free wifi, so we planned the next day’s activities before heading back to base.
Final edition coming soon!