A journal, inspired by my love for my daughter, that embraces quality food, service and experiences which make life worth living. In the words of Tennyson's Ulysses, " I cannot rest from travel. I will drink life to the lees." Seeking that incredible dining or hotel experience and writing about it. Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
Galito's Flame Grilled chicken - Yas Mall, Abu Dhabi
As a father, I am often compelled to eat something in a mall because I have an 8 year old. Hunger is hunger. Having long abandoned food courts (although I must say that Dubai and a mall or two in Abu Dhabi have some quality options in their food courts), we have committed ourselves to trying to eat better. Ubiquitous American fast food chains are not part of our lives, but one still has to eat in a mall. Having heard of the South African flamed grill chicken company that is Galito's, I had to try them. Galito's prides itself on the freshness of its product, with no preservatives - in fact they claim that they do not use frozen chicken.
Galito's has managed to get prime terrace seating at Yas Mall, with views of Ferrari world, but more aesthetically, it is right by the fountains which entertain guests every half hour. It is dazzling and colourful; enough to mesmerise. It offers the best of options, especially with the coming hotter months there is enough indoor seating for diners to enjoy its chicken.
While my favourite item on the menu was not available - the Chicken livers - I opted for the Chicken satay with peri-nut dip. With a strong Malay population in South African, this dish clearly paid homage to them. The nutty sauce is a little sweet, which was a great counter to the overall heat coming from other dishes - a lovely dish not found on many menus. The classic Galito's Peri peri peri chicken was what I wanted - juicy and tender chicken with my choice of spicy heat, giving me a fine piece of flame grilled chicken. For the really hungry, the Espetada looks amazing - espetadas are skewers of chicken or shrimp on them. We had a portion of both. I loved watching the sauce drip down both the shrimp and the chicken. Wow.
My daughter's Honey Chicken strips
Apart from the chicken obviously, another highlight was definitely the mocktails. Colourful and fruity, it was worth ordering three for the table to see the colours. I recommend the Laranja and the African Blues - the former a wonderful sweet sour experience of orange and strawberry, while the latter brings together lychee and peach. I am not a mocktail aficionado by any stretch of the imagination, but these were the best mocktails I have had. To end off the evening, for dessert we had the Sticky Toffee pudding. Indulgent and decadent. Very cleverly they have teamed up with Bloomsbury who has created the dessert menu.
Galito's is an ideal restaurant for families that will take away concerns of bad mall food. They offer great tasting chicken especially, that also eases fears of oily food. It is flame grilled after all. I particularly liked the experience because of the setting. Malls can be soulless, merely copies of other malls, but sitting outside, I was able to appreciate this location. Good food and a great view - now that is a fabulous evening.
There are those things we aspire to in life and the luxury of first class travel will be on many mortals’ bucket list. It is an almost hallowed space on the plane, separated by that dreaded curtain, and in today’s changing flying climate, it is even more sought after as airlines cut down on first class routes.For those who love champagne, it might be a fabled label that has attained almost mythical status in your life as one to be enjoyed. Now bring together first class travel and champagne on one of the world’s finest airlines, and you have something pretty special. My recent flight on Qatar Airways’ ultra luxurious A380 in First Class to Bangkok showed that bucket lists are there to be realized. More than that, it allowed me to have some of the best champagnes available in the sky right now.
The cabin is indeed luxurious, but it is understated, calmingand soothing on the eyes. There is none of the bling that is often associated with airlines in the region. Amenities are functional, …
Brunch. We all know what a big part of expat culture it is in Abu Dhabi. Last year I had the opportunity to try a lot of brunches with the aim of honing in on the top brunches in the city. People ask how one judges a brunch because they are so diverse and it is impossible to compare a family brunch to one that is more geared towards adults. That is true to some extent, but not entirely because there are certain criteria which cross all concepts. Nowadays, value for money is a very important factor. This doe snot mean a brunch has to be cheap though! Excellent Service is one of those things that you want at a brunch regardless of the concept. Also, remember that a brunch without atmosphere is just a lunch - a big difference. Quality of ingredients and dishes and drinks are crucial too. Finally, the most important factor for me is the concept. With so many brunches morphing into one another, I looked for a brunch that will be memorable; a brunch where the concept tries to break the mo…
There is something about Q's Bar & Lounge as my guest and I walk in. There is a sophistication about the venue that also has, in the same breath, a decidedly relaxed feel. It is small and intimate, and therein lies the beauty of this place. People are gathered around the bar, while some are seated at small tables. Cool. Chic. Trendy. Chilled. These are my first impressions of Quincy Jones' bar at the luxurious Palazzo Versace Hotel in Dubai. We start off with a glass of the hotel's house champagne, the Ruinart 'R de Ruinart' Brut Champagne. It is, after all, one of those occasions that I feel I will not forget. The anticipation builds as we await the arrival on stage of multi-talented American performer Sheléa.
I remark to my guest that the bar is really a great equaliser. You have the overt opulenece that is the hotel, from the moment we walked in. But now we find ourselves in a space, while still having Versace touches like the signature cushions, just has ex…