Summer House, Zighy Bay

Lil T is an easy boy to care of.  He already sleeps 12 hours straight from 8pm-8am.  We brought his nanny along only so hubby and I can go out on a date after 8pm 🙂

Our date that night involved a smorgasbord of food.  We might be small compared to our Western counterparts but boy can we take in a meal, especially after a day of swimming.

Even from afar you’ll notice that Summer House Restaurant’s terrace was set up with low lighting and candles.  This time of the year allows for cooler temperatures and you can very well have an excellent dining experience outdoor.   It was just so romantic and serene.  I found a couple already cuddled together, their food getting cold (blush).

Appetizers and deserts were located inside but everything else, you can find outdoors.

I always liked live cooking stations even if it’s just for an omelet. Food cooked before your eyes enhances your dining experience.  

As expected in Arabic Buffet, there’s a lot of lamb and chicken, alone or in the form or shawarma and shish taouk.  Here they also had BBQ for beef, prawns, calamari, and fish. Yum yum yum yum!!

We found the staff efficient and knowledgeable, also very friendly.  The F&B Manager, Rei, realizing that we’re new to the region shared little anecdotes about Dubai and Oman.

He also recommended for us to try their Umm Ali, a traditional Arabic dessert.   It’s sort of a bread pudding with lots of milk.  We have tried this before in other restaurants but something was always off.  Here at Summer House, I believe they got it right.   It quickly became my fave version of the dessert.  I’m craving for it now just thinking about it.  You know the feeling when you’ve paid top dollar and you’ve been ripped off?? Well, that certainly is not the case here.  The food was exceptionally delectable.

My pictures are very few, it was really dark outside.  And these I have shared with you don’t do justice to the food. Forgive 🙂

This was one of the most enjoyable Arabic Buffets we’ve had.  The warmth shared over our dinner plate is an unexpected plus.

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Our Tasty Brekkie at Limetree Cafe

Our alarm buzzed at 8:00am and Lil T was nudging us to wake up. I was just too lazy to battle the question, “What shall I cook for breakfast?” and hubby coincidentally was also in the mood to eat out.

Our friend had long suggested this well-liked resto-cafe along Jumeirah Beach Road called “Limetree Café”.  Probably all of Dubai has eaten here but for those new or here on holiday, here’s a quick post.

As you enter the resto, you’re bound to notice an array of sandwiches, salads, etc peeking from glass counters.   It’s as if everything is saying, “Pick Me!”.  While I thought a preview of your food would make ordering easier, it wasn’t.  This space can hold up a queue as your eye wanders from one fresh food to the other.  Decisions, decisions.

We ordered Grilled Aubegrine salad with pomegranate dressing, the Big One (Full Breakfast),  Banger, and Limetree’s Carrot Cake.

Everything was great, with special mention on the utterly delectable carrot cake.  While, the salad was undersized and the toast of the Big One was so hard it felt like a rock, we still relished the food.   I would have wished everything was perfect but taste of the whole lot overcame these trivial glitches.

The resto is not all hype.  Fine, it’s got a great location but it’s popular for a reason.  And that’s not because it has great interiors—there’s an outdoor area that has more cheer but inside (snore) it’s dark and dull.  And in contrast to most deli-type restaurants, I’m happy to say that the food here is as tasty as they are healthy.  Everything was truly savored.  This is how breakfast should be.

(I dont think Lil T liked the sun outside but he sure did enjoy the food inside)

Shakespeare & Co.

“She’s beautiful, and therefore to be wooed; She is woman, and therefore to be won.” (Shakespeare: Henry VI Part 1 – Act 5, Scene 2)

Well, Shakespeare, you wooed me alright.

Last Thursday marked Lil T’s 13th month.  Every month since he was born, we would treat ourselves out.  I thought we’d stop by time he was one but I guess one more wouldn’t hurt 🙂

We took him to Madinat Jumeirah last Sat.  The beach has always been our favorite place in the world, but that’s another story.  I promise to tell you about it soon.

That Thursday night, however, we went to straight to Souk Al Bahar.  Lil T eats dinner early so I had to pick a place before 6 pm.  We just walked from our apartment (the perks of living in downtown).

Near the Souk’s entrance was this pretty pretty restaurant that caught my eye.  Extravagantly ornate decorations, lace, flowers, knick-knacks, and richly patterned fabrics were used liberally throughout the place.

The moment you enter, you can’t help but sink in to its romantic interiors, evoking charm and intimacy of slower, older times.  I wouldn’t be surprised if a poet came to me and started reading Shakespeare’s lines.

Our waiter (he wasn’t a poet) came with a unexpectedly cute high chair.  Too bad it was pink.  Lil T didn’t mind.

The menu offered salads, crepes, saj, sandwiches, pizza and pasta, among others. It was still early for our dinner hunger pangs so we just zeroed in on 2 dishes– the Soujok with cheese and the Pollo al funghi.

The first one was a great appetizer.  The grilled pita with spicy beef sausage and halloumi cheese arrived fresh and warm.   It was delicious in a non-filling way—light and tasty.

The pizza had a funny smell (“funghi”—smirk).  But you really can’t go wrong with sautéed chicken breast, mushrooms, zucchini, mozzarella and tomato sauce.

For desert, you’ll find a mini Temptation Island with quite the selection of artisan cakes, pastries, croissants, and other sweet creations.

We decided on a dark chocolate cake.  I guess it wasn’t their best but it was quickly devoured, nonetheless.

I actually was a tad surprised that this place offered main courses, and even shisha, which you can smoke at the outdoor dining area.

The restaurant’s cozy interiors invite you to come back again.  As Shakespeare said, “Who ever loved that loved not at first sight?”

(even my takeout bag’s pretty!)

A Sweet Review of Patchi

My hubby’s old friend and apparently our neighbor (what a small world), gave us a petite avocado green box of chocolates on her first visit to our home.  My hubby is the ultimate choco junkie!  He is drawn to sweets like bees to honey, with no reserve, as if it were his body’s greatest need.

Wrapped mostly in gold, silver, or bronze foil, slowly undressing these things is just bittersweet.   Once opened, you’ll notice nice detailing on all the chocolates.

How lovely is that?! For others, this may go unnoticed, but I love seeing things like these.  You can tell they actually made an effort on appearance.  Food quality isn’t just taste afterall.

The chocos seem to have a shiny, solid texture on the outside.  On the inside, you never know what you’re going to get.  The box offers a rich assortment of flavors.  Some fillings are crispy, some are nutty, some are really sweet, and some have wafers.

Janice, my hubby’s former law school classmate, explained that Patchi is a Middle Eastern brand—Lebanese to be exact.  It’s the leading luxury chocolate brand in the Middle East with a menu of chocolates with all-natural and premium ingredients.  The brand also has a presence in the UK, USA, and Canada.

While I will always be forever loyal to dark chocolate (it’s a preference), eating Patchi was truly a treat!  For me this brand measures up to the more popular chocolate brands in the world.  I’ll definitely follow Janice’s lead and gift my Dubai visitors and friends back home, with a taste of the Middle East..literally!

Mad About Deals

Guess what I got?? Vouchers! Oh joy! My heart does a little leap when I receive things like this.  I consider myself a smart shopper.   A good find for me is of great design, decent workmanship, unmistakable durability, and well, not pricey or at least not overly pricey.  A good find gets even better if you get them on sale. Or discounted as with these vouchers.

I browse through it quickly.  There are over 100 offers to be redeemed.

Shop More Spend Less on Weekdays is valid from Sunday (yes Sunday is a weekday in Dubai) to Wednesday, 10:00am to 3:00pm. The Booklet includes “Special Sundays”, offers valid exclusively on Sundays from 10:00am to 3:00pm.

My husband found them at the lobby of our apartment building.  Just there on the table next to local newspapers and fastfood delivery pamphlets.

I’ve probably just bypassed it before.

If you enjoy deals like I do, check to see if you have these in your area.  For those who cant find these red little booklets in your apartment lobby, I made a quick call to The Dubai Mall for you and found out that this is also available at Guest Services.  Just go to the information desk at the main entrance (near Cartier) and ask for your complimentary booklet 🙂

In addition, I’ve also subscribed to groupon and cobone for more Dubai deals.

Since we’re already at it, get yourself a copy of The Entertainer too.  Everything there is buy one get one free! Ahhh! I can’t believe I don’t have one yet.  This has been advised to me by newfound Dubai friends but in the middle of our move, I forgot all about it.  My sis reminded me just now when I told her about my little red booklet. I will get one stat!

Social House, Dubai Mall

Our friend invited my hubby, myself, and another friend to the Social House at the Dubai Mall.  It’s located next to the Dubai Fountains, but with all the people who have lined up in front of you with cameras, and shopping bags, and strollers, it’s not the perfect place to watch the dancing waters. I didn’t enjoy watching as I had in a different venue. (See similar post)

Anyway, we went to the Social House for the food.

Once inside,  you’ll notice that the place exudes charm and character with its bookshelves, fruit and vegetable baskets, and (fake) trees.   A lot of conversation starters.

It feels as though you’re inside a huge treehouse. I got comfy quickly and couldn’t wait to eat.

Our wait staff was friendly and helpful. With all these cheer around you, how can you have a bad mood?

The menu had lots to offer with both eastern and western sections.  We decided on Vietnamese Spring Rolls, Sushi, Beef Short Ribs, Duck Confit, and a Fish dish (I forgot what it was, didn’t give much of an impact).

We generally enjoyed everything but what I found really delicious was the Duck Confit.  Since we ordered for sharing, I had just a few bites of this tasty dish.  I definitely plan to go back for my own plate of Duck Confit 🙂

This is my kind of place for our kind of group—not too fancy, just easy and comfy…so you can socialize! I guess that’s why it’s called, “Social House”.