UAE Travel Diary – Part 4

Hey there,

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.

Iced Coffee, Starbucks, Gloria Hotel, Dubai, UAEStabucks, Gloria Hotel, Dubai, UAE

Caffeine cravings satisfied, we headed out on a walk before settling on The Noodle House for lunch. Having had been here on our previous trip and really enjoyed it, we had really high expectations.

The menu is presented as a notepad with a pen and you simply tick off the items that you want to order.

Menu, The Noodle House, Gloria Hotel, Dubai, UAE

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.

Passion Sensation & Strawberry Lemonade, The Noodle House, Gloria Hotel, Dubai, UAE

Starters and mains were brought out together but let’s stick to the correct order!

Chicken satay:

Chicken Satay, The Noodle House, Gloria Hotel, Dubai, UAE

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:

Vegetable Pot Stickers, The Noodle House, Gloria Hotel, Dubai, UAE

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:

Vegetable Char Kway Teow Noodles, The Noodle House, Gloria Hotel, Dubai, UAE

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.

Brisket noodles:

Brisket Noodles, The Noodle House, Gloria Hotel, Dubai, UAE

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.

Entrance, Dubai Mall, Dubai, UAE

This waterfall is so extravagant.

The Waterfall, Dubai Mall, Dubai, UAEThe Waterfall, Dubai Mall, Dubai, UAE (4)The Waterfall, Dubai Mall, Dubai, UAE (3)The Waterfall, Dubai Mall, Dubai, UAE (2)

We headed on to Souk Al Bahar.

Souk Al Bahar Bridge, Dubai Mall, Dubai, UAE

Love this building.

Souk Al Bahar, Dubai, UAE

These lamps are so pretty…

Lamps, Souk Al Bahar, Dubai, UAE

Crazy big chandelier.

Chandelier, Souk Al Bahar, Dubai, UAE

We headed into Baker & Spice for a little afternoon pick-me-up.

Baker & Spice Entrance, Souk Al Bahar, Dubai, UAE

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.

Burj  Khalifa From Baker & Spice, Souk Al Bahar, UAEDubai Mall From Baker & Spice, Souk Al Bahar, UAEAbra Boat From Baker & Spice, Souk Al Bahar, UAEView From Baker & Spice, Souk Al Bahar, UAEBottom Of Burk Khalifa, Baker & Spice, Souk Al Bahar, UAEDessert Menu, Baker & Spice, Souk Al Bahar, Dubai, UAE

I went for an almond cake with a cappuccino whilst Mr Man opted for the Mexican hot chocolate.

French Almond Cake, Baker & Spice, Souk Al Bahar, Dubai, UAE

The cake was nice and moist but didn’t really blow my socks off.

Latte And Hot Chocolate, Baker & Spice, Souk Al Bahar, Dubai, UAE

Mr Man found the hot chocolate a little too dark but I quite enjoyed it when I sampled a sip.

Bill, Baker & Spice, Souk Al Bahar, Dubai, UAEBurj Khalifa From Souk Al Bahar, Dubai, UAE

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.

Siddharta Lounge Entrance, Dubai, UAE

Really nice vibe to the place, great ambience, and I do love the lighting.

Stairs, Siddharta Lounge, Dubai, UAESeating Area, Siddharta Lounge, Dubai, UAEPalm Trees, Siddharta Lounge, Dubai, UAE

Not feeling too peckish yet, we ordered drinks and I went for a starter whilst Mr Man opted for a dessert.

Pina Colada, Siddharta Lounge, Dubai, UAEStuffed Olives With Cheese, Siddharta Lounge, Dubai, UAE

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!

Creme Brule, Siddharta Lounge, Dubai, UAE

Mr Man went for the creme brulee, which didn’t have a thick enough sugar shell but was still nice.

Chilling, Siddharta Lounge, Dubai, UAE

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!

Dubai Maria At Night, Siddharta Lounge, Dubai, UAEShami Restaurant, Dubai Marina, UAE

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.

Shish Taouk, Shami Restaurant, Dubai Marina, UAE

Very pleasantly surprised. Perfectly grilled chicken, bit of salad, chips and a variety of bread too. Yum!

Shish Taouk Takeaway, Shami Restaurant, Dubai Marina, UAE

The falafel wrap was where it was at. Crisp fried falafel with all the trimmings – tahini, salad and pickles. Drooling.

Falafel Sandwich, Shami Restaurant, Dubai Marina, UAEReceipt, Shami Restaurant, Dubai Marina, UAE

^ 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…

JBR, Dubai Marina, UAEJumeirah Beach Residence, (JBR), Dubai, UAE

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.

The Beach, Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR), Dubai, UAEShake Shack Logo, Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR), Dubai, UAE

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.

ShackMeister And Shack-ago Hot Dog, Jumeirah Beach Residence, (JBR), Dubai, UAE

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!

ShackMeister Burger, Shake Shack, Jumeirah Beach Residence, (JBR), Dubai, UAE

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?

Cheese Fries, Shake Shack, Jumeirah Beach Residence, (JBR), Dubai, UAE

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.

Cars In Jumeirah Beach Residence, (JBR), Dubai, UAEView From Bedroom, Torch Tower, Dubai, UAE

Bye room! Definitely missing this view!

Deira Coach Station, Dubai, UAE

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.

View, Coach From Dubai To Ras Al Khaimah, UAECoach From Dubai To Ras Al Khaimah, UAE

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!

Suite Living Room, Mangrove By Bin Majid Hotels & Resorts, Ras Al Khimah, UAEBedroom, Suite, Mangrove By Bin Majid Hotels & Resorts, Ras Al Khimah, UAE

Not sure why he gave us twin beds, but there you have it.

Bathroom, Mangrove By Bin Majid Hotels & Resorts, Ras Al Khimah, UAE

Poolside view:

Poolside, Mangrove By Bin Majid Hotels & Resorts, Ras Al Khimah, UAE

Having had scoured The Entertainer book (mentioned in my first post), we decided to hit up Al Bahar restaurant at the Hilton for which we had BOGOF vouchers.

The resort set up is really lush, huge pool, tonnes of palm trees and an overall feeling of luxury.

Pool At Night, Hilton Resort, Ras Al Khaimah, UAEPool And Palm Trees, Hilton Resort, Ras Al Khaimah, UAEPalm Trees And Pool, Hilton Resort, Ras Al Khaimah, UAE

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.

Salads And Starters, Al Bahar, Hilton Resort, Ras Al Khaimah, UAEHot Starters, Al Bahar, Hilton Resort, Ras Al Khaimah, UAE

We ordered our standard mojito and pina colada duo, both were really enjoyable and well made.

Mojito And Pina Colada, Al Bahar, Hilton Resort, Ras Al Khaimah, UAEPitta Bread, Al Bahar, Hilton Resort, Ras Al Khaimah, UAE

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.

Shish Taouk, Al Bahar, Hilton Resort, Ras Al Khaimah, UAE

The food was amazing, can’t fault it…

Lamb Kebab,  Al Bahar, Hilton Resort, Ras Al Khaimah, UAE

It did, however, take absolutely forever to get delivered to our table.

Desserts:

Umm Ali, Al Bahar, Hilton Resort, Ras Al Khaimah, UAEFresh Fruit And Desserts, Al Bahar, Hilton Resort, Ras Al Khaimah, UAE

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.

Deck Chairs, Hilton Resort, Ras Al Khaimah, UAEDeck Chairs And Pool, Hilton Resort, Ras Al Khaimah, UAE

Final edition coming soon!

– Kay

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