Showing posts from July, 2015

Iftar at Bistro - Marriott Courtyard, Abu Dhabi

The Courtyard by Marriott continues to entice guests to its downtown property with an ideal location and access to the World Trade Centre and Central Souk. From a culinary perspective, its team under the guidance of executive Chef Saurab Saxena is making the most of the intimate settings in its two principal outlets, Fifth street Cafe and the venue for its iftar, Bistro. I attended its iftar and a couple of talking points emerged.

Use of Space

I refuse to accept the view that one has to accept standing in line as part and parcel of the iftar experience. The first thing that dawned on me as I made my way through the iftar at Bistro was that while the restaurant was full, the flow of people was steady and there were no major lines that developed. Restaurants are often handicapped by space constraints, but the team at Bistro managed its space very well. 


The dishes were what one would expect at an iftar with an obvious emphasis on Arabic favourites.  A great selection of salads was pr…

Amerigos for Mexican - Park Inn, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi

As someone who tends to dine out on a Monday and Tuesday, I have had my fair share of empty restaurants or evenings where there was a  mere sprinkling of diners. However, as I walk in to Amerigos, the Mexican restaurant at Park Inn by Radisson on Yas Island, I have to check again that it is a Tuesday; at 7.30pm it is already quite busy, a good omen for an enjoyable evening.

Three talking points


Amerigos is super casual, making for a relaxed and laid back environment. It has a bar area that lays the foundation for an ideal evening for some drinks with friends. A large TV screen also serves to please sports nuts who wish to have a drink while watching their favourite teams in action. However, it is primarily a restaurant serving up Mexican dishes. The dining area lends itself to serving families as well as  groups of friends. Finally,the terrace is arguably the place to be, and in the cooler months I can think of few places that will offer the picturesque views on Yas island that A…

Tribes Restaurant: the call of Africa - Mall of the Emirates, Dubai

There is simply no continent like Africa. It is primal. Earthy. Alive. It is a continent of smiles and warmth, and renowned the world over for its hospitality. Tribes, a restaurant in Mall of the Emirates in Dubai, claims to capture the energy and colour of this fascinating continent with a menu that reflects the diversity of the cuisine found there. As I walk in to Tribes, it is the 'Africanness' that strikes me immediately. 


Africa is a colourful continent, or to use Nelson Mandela's metaphor for South Africa, a rainbow nation. I  feel this as I walk in to the restaurant; as if I am entering a cave, a design that recalls the deep history of Africans who lived in caves many years ago. Images of tribes can be seen on the walls of the 'cave'. Warrior shields and Ndebele dolls are also there to create a one of a kind ambience. At the back end of the restaurant are African drums, which are not played today as it is the Holy month of Ramadan, but I am told that …

Wellness & Massage Spa - Khalidiya Palace Rayhaan by Rotana, Abu Dhabi

Not many people know this, but Khalidiya Palace Rayhaan by Rotana has a Wellness & Massage Spa offering a compact but comprehensive range of treatments. I recently visited them for an Intense Muscle Relax treatment.

The Spa is part of the Beach Club and is accessed from the ground floor, where a staircase leads me to the 1st floor. On my way,  I pass the gym, what appears to be an aerobics session and a couple squash courts, and then as I turn the corridor, I see some lanterns on the floor, serving as beacons, leading me to the Wellness & Spa area. Suddenly, the sound of rubber shoes on the squash court's wooden floor is drowned out by silence. Peace. Serenity. Yes, this is the spa. 

I am greeted by staff, and my therapist, Bee from Thailand, guides me to the waiting room where formalities are completed. She checks on any areas I want her to focus on. Soon after, I visit the change room where I slip into a bathrobe and slippers. It is simple and no fuss - I like it. 

There ar…