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JustShouts: Shout, Listen, Review, Discover, Connect

Being a blogger, I've come to embrace the fact that my voice also counts, so I always make it a point to give honest and unbiased views and opinions. I always get giddy when I receive messages from my readers saying how they somehow get to "taste" what I ate just by the way I write.

But I must admit that, in as much as I'd love to, I still haven't mastered doing regular updates in this blog, and so this is where social media and local business rating apps and websites come in handy. With that I can just post a quick review about my experience and share photos of what I ate or where I went.

But then again, it also gets tedious and most of the time hinders the actual dining experience as I'd usually have to take note of every single detail of the experience. Plus, I'm still not sure how far my little voice gets heard, especially by the restaurant management for when I didn't really have a good experience.
Good thing JustShouts came into the scene. It's where you can shout, listen, review, discover, and connect with the world around you like never before!


Staycation at Arjaan by Rotana

While everyone else was busy starting the work week, I spent the first two days of it last week just as how I like it, with pure rest and relaxation. Special thanks to Arjaan by Rotana in Dubai Media City! :D


It was also very timely that my girl friend, Cat, and I haven't seen each other for almost half a year, so I tagged her along for our  much needed catching  up. And we all did this at the comfort of a luxury suite!

Burjuman Arjaan by Rotana: Our Home for a Weekend

Living in Dubai for over a year now, I've noticed how almost everything seems to be fast-paced here. People also seem to be too preoccupied with work. New structures, new attractions, and innovations seem to sprout day by day, all in an instant. Even weekends seem to just go by in a snap and I would always have that where-did-the-weekend-go-conversations with myself in my head.


I must admit that I miss having weekends at home, my HOME. I miss having laid back weekends with my family, if not having weekend getaways with Mark. Weekends where I could just sit back, be lazy, relax, eat and enjoy life's beauty. But of course, I know that I cannot always have that here anymore, because we have our priorities now. And just planning about a getaway is already a struggle mainly because of the lack of time. Going beyond the city is also not really an option for us. So when an invitation for a weekend escape at Burjuman Arjaan came my way, I gladly accepted it with open arms.


365 Blessed Days in Dubai

Today marks my 365th day in Dubai. Wait, what?! It's been a year already? Oh how time flies!

People may see me as someone who can do almost anything, most of the time even without someone having to teach me--cook, bake, sing, dance, blog, paint, draw, name it, and for sure I'll excel in all of it. But only the closest to me knows how big of a coward I am when it comes to being all on my own.

Dubai Miracle Garden - February 2015

Experience New York in Dubai at TR!BECA Kitchen + Lounge


Mark and I found ourselves in the streets of The Walk, in Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR) last Friday, as we were invited for a night of hearty and healthy organic food and drinks at TR!BECA Kitchen + Lounge. It's name was coined from New York City's trendy neighborhood, Triangle Below Canal, and takes a great deal of its inspiration from Manhattan.

Located in Ocean View Hotel in Dubai's JBR, it's as if we were not in Dubai the moment we set foot in Tribeca. The funky interior was what we first noticed as the staff welcomed us and ushered us to our table. We were immediately attended to by one of the staff who gladly took our orders.


Choosing what to have was bit of a struggle, the happy kind of it, as the dishes were all inviting. Tribeca's menu, which is a product of chef Giovanni De Ambrosis' passion, offers a variety of organic dishes directly sourced from regional farmers and fair-trade cooperatives. It is a fusion of contemporary American and traditional Mediterranean cuisine with a bit of Italian inspiration.

Filipino Food Fix at Buongiorno Café


Mark only comes to Dubai on weekends since he works in Abu Dhabi. And because he eats at their camp's restaurant every single day, I make sure that he gets to enjoy his favorite dishes even just on weekends.

Although I love to cook, there are also times when I seem to be infected with the lazy bug. And at such times, Mark's invitations on having dinner outs are a music to my ears!

Ravi Restaurant would be our usual dinner  destination when we dine out, but since Mark was craving for Filipino food, we opted for Buongiorno Café, which is just one restaurant away from Ravi. :D I was already delighted when Mark told me not to cook for dinner one weekend night, more so when he craved for Filipino food! Yay!


Eid Mubarak!


May the choicest blessings of Allah fill your lives with love, peace, joy, good health, success, and prosperity from today and always!

Eid Mubarak

Asha's at Pyramids Wafi: Adding a Little Spice to Life


A few weeks back, Wafi Mall created a day of rich experiences and festivities and invited a selected coterie of guests to sample the new menu at one of Dubai's best Indian restaurants, Asha’s in Pyramids Wafi.


Mark and I were privileged to grace the menu sampling. Warmth and elagence radiated from the red-brown-and-orange interiors as we walked into the restaurant. I love how the dim yellow lights also added a romantic vibe.

Royal Iftar at Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Deira Creek


As part of the hotel’s 40th anniversary celebration, Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Deira Creek invites guests to enjoy the vast buffet for Iftar. Mark and I have already tried their Friday Brunch and we enjoyed it, so we obliged when we got another invite for their Royal Iftar on the second night of Ramadan.


We already had our Friday Brunch at The Fish Market and Shabestan (will share more details on my next post), so we chose to have our Iftar at Minato this time. Minato is one of Radisson Blu's restaurant which takes pride of their unsurpassed hospitality and their authentic Japanese cuisine including hand-crafted sushi and teppanyaki.

Enjoy Iftar...the Italian Way, Only at Eataly!



Just when you think that Iftar always has to be an Arabic dinner, Eataly has created a special menu for breaking your fast during Ramadan with an Italian twist . Cherry and I were invited to grace the Iftar preview in Eataly at the Dubai Mall a few weeks back.


We were served with breads and a glass of Jallab while waiting for our orders to be served. As I've read and as what Mark has also been telling me, fasting during Ramadan is usually broken by eating dates first, so I thought having it in a form of a drink was a brilliant idea.

Cinco de Mayo at Rosa Mexicano



Cinco de Mayo, is celebrated in the United States and in Mexico on May 5 and it is a significant breakthrough in Mexican history. It celebrates the Battle of Puebla, when a small contingent of Mexican soldiers, led by General Ignacio Zaragoza, defeated Napoleon III's formidable army.
Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinco_de_Mayo


Aside from it being a celebration of independence, it's also a great excuse to enjoy delicious Mexican food! :D Mark and I were invited to the Cinco de Mayo celebration at Rosa Mexicano, but since we couldn't make it on the day itself, we were given the chance to commemorate this special event the day after. :p

Indulge your Palate this Ramadan at Medley Restaurant in Pullman Dubai Deira City Centre



PRESS RELEASE

Pullman Dubai Deira City Centre is ready to nourish you and your loved ones with a variety of offers to enjoy this Holy month of Ramadan.

Gather your family around the table and relish the Ramadan feast for Iftar and Suhoor prepared by Executive Chef Andreas and Chef Mama’s pan-Arabian delights, traditional sweets and savoury delicacies with a Moroccan twist. With its mouth-watering buffet and best family- friendly setting in town, Medley is the ideal place of choice to experience the true spirit of the month.


Prolong your experience at Pullman Dubai Deira City Centre’s Azure lounge by choosing your favorite flavour of Shisha from 13 different options while gazing over Old Dubai’s skyline.

Maifest 2015 at Grand Hyatt Dubai: Welcoming Spring the Old German Way Right at the Heart of Dubai‬



Thought only Oktoberfest existed? Well, I thought so too. While many are familiar with the German festival of Oktoberfest, which we celebrate in the Philippines too, the spring offering of Maifest is lesser known to me, but it is apparently celebrated in much the same way.


Maifest is the traditional German celebration that marks the arrival of spring and Mark and I got to experience it when it came back at Grand Hyatt Dubai for a third year running, last April 29, just as summer in Dubai has officially started.

Be Burger Obsessed with Gourmet Burger Kitchen



Mark and I found ourselves at the Promenade level of Dubai Marina Mall as we were invited for dinner at Gourmet Burger Kitchen one fine weekend. It was both our first time at the mall and at the restaurant so we were both excited. I read that GBK aimed to change the UK burger scene forever and have taken pride of themselves up to now by serving up a variety of handcrafted burgers, combining 100% prime beef with the freshest ingredients and burger sauces every day, so this dinner was very much anticipated. :p


Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Dubai Marina Mall

Devouring the New Menu at Circle Café #SimpleGoodFood



Circle Café is a simple, fresh, and delicious casual dining restaurant owned by the Radius Group. It started from a simple yet compelling proposition of NYC-style bagels and has evolved its menu to present appetizing options for all palates – from freshly tossed salads and handcrafted sandwiches to homemade desserts.


The founders, Rama and Mira, wanted to create a genuine café experience: a place where authentic food creates connections, where people eat, converse, relax, and work in a friendly atmosphere, thus the "Simple Easy Living" tagline. And that's definitely what Circle exudes with its homey and relaxed, yet very stylish and dainty interiors.


I fell in love with the dainty lights, white chairs, and those rose table accents. Simple yet classy and chic!


Circle introduced its extensive menu of homemade dishes to the media and bloggers at its new location in Bay Square, Business Bay, last  Tuesday, April 28, as part of an ambitious expansion plan, and Mark and I were lucky to be part of the 'Circle'. :)

We were able to not only experience the 'Simple Easy Living' vibe, but we also got a taste of what #SimpleGoodFood is as we devour the dishes in their new menu.



We were first served with drinks and bagel chips when we were settled on our seats. I enjoyed the Watermelon Juice more than the Kale-Lime Juice. The Watermelon Juice was refreshing, Mark and I both had rounds of it, while the latter was a bit pungent and overpowering for our palates. I also didn't like the aftertaste that came with the latter.

Watermelon Juice and Kale-Lime Juice

The Bagel Chips with Tamara Truffle was served for appetizer. The labneh dip provides a hint of tang while the roasted sesame seeds not just added texture but also gave the bagel chips a distinct nutty flavor. We both enjoyed munching on this thin, crispy, and flavorful bagel chips. This definitely whetted our appetites.

Bagel Chips with Tarama Truffle and Labneh Dip

For the salads, we were served with three: Circle Greek Salad, Circle Crab Salad, and Whole Wheat Salmon Pasta.

Tomatoes, cucumber, onions, olives, ice berg lettuce, and feta cheese were all generously coated with the tangy olive oil dressing. The combination of salty, sweet, and savory goodness from the feta, cucumber, and tomatoes was what I loved the most in the Circle Greek Salad.

Circle Greek Salad

I also loved how the softness of the feta deviated from all the crunch from the veggies.  This dish shouts out freshness! The vibrant colors of the veggies also made this dish such an eye candy.

The Circle Crab Salad is more like the Japanese kani salad, but a notch higher. I love kani salads so this one immediately became a favorite!

Circle Crab Salad

The shredded crab meat and crab sticks, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce, and creamy Yuzu dressing were a heaven in every bite. The freshness from the sweet crab meat and crab sticks were very evident. The sweetness of the cherry tomatoes and cucumber balanced out the tangy Yuzu dressing and gave a play of texture together with the crunchy lettuce.

With baked salmon, capers, cherry tomatoes, pine nuts, dill leaves, and Italian dressing, the Whole Wheat Salmon Pasta got the characteristics of a healthy salad, but fills you up nonetheless!

Whole Wheat Salmon Pasta

However, it was the least of our favorites among the three salads. Mark and I both agreed that it kinda tasted bland. I also thought it was just 'whole wheat pasta with tomatoes' as the baked salmon was nearly evident. There were only two small chunks on our dish. :p

Brie, Mexican Veggie, and Crab sandwiches were what filled our tummies next.  With the freshest ingredients sandwiched in toasted bagels, these handcrafted goodness were an instant hit!

Crab, Brie, and Mexican Veggie Bagel Sandwiches

The Crab has crab meat, tomato, iceberg lettuce, eggs, and Isabelle sauce. The Brie has a slice of apple, walnuts, fresh basil, pesto, and balsamic reduction sauce. The Mexican Veggie had fresh avocado, spicy tomato salsa, sweet corn, coriander, iceberg lettuce, and caramelized onions.

Crab, Brie, and Mexican Veggie Bagel Sandwiches

Flavors and textures were bursting in every bite. The bagel with toasted sesame seeds was what I liked the most. There's no denying how delectable these three were, but I must say that the Mexican Veggie is my personal favorite!

Three main dishes with sides were served next. The Corn Fed Baby Chicken was not very appealing but wait 'til you get to taste it! Coated with mustard crumbs and baked to perfection, with an herb-y taste and that kick from the mustard, the chicken was fork-tender and juicy and it was so good as is that the gravy that came with it was left untouched. It was perfect with the Polenta side.

Corn Fed Baby Chicken and Polenta

The Polenta was divine! The combination of creamy, mushy, and slight chunkiness from the cornmeal and cream was perfect. Mark loved the Polenta so much that he wiped the bowl clean after I took a couple of spoonfuls! I think we both prefer polenta over mashed potatoes now. :D

This next dish was a downer. The grilled entrecôte was cooked medium well and it's a premium cut of beef so I was expecting it to be tender.

Entrecôte and Risotto

It turned out to be a bit dry and hard to chew. If there's one consolation though, there was no blood oozing out, there was no raw taste, and the meat was flavorful and was perfect with the blue cheese sauce. Another let-down was the Risotto. It was bland and I can still chew some uncooked grains.

The Circle Lamb Kofta and Vegetable Couscous redeemed Circle back. Mark and I love the Middle Eastern-flavor so this one satisfied our palates.

Circle Lamb Kofta and Vegetable Couscous

The lamb kofta has that distinct Middle-Eastern spice taste which I have already become accustomed to. I liked that the spiciness was tolerable for my palates. The yogurt dip also helped tone down the spiciness. The vegetable couscous was a revelation. My palates suggests that the same spices used to cook biryani rice was used here. I love chicken biryani so loving the vegetable couscous was not really hard for me. :D

The addition to the menu was definitely a lot that we barely had room for desserts. But tell me, how could you resist these?

Chocolate Tart with Marshmallow

The Chocolate Tart with Marshmallow has everything that will definitely satisfy your sweet tooth. The toasted marshmallow has that crunch from the outer crust which mellows down into a chewy core. Decadent dark chocolate ganache gently oozes out as you dig in and cut into the crunchy chocolate pastry. Oh I'm drooling now! :-p~

Chocolate Tart with Marshmallow and Lemon Tart Meringue

The Lemon Tart Meringue didn't pale into comparison. It was equally enticing! I love how the sour kick from the tangy lemon was balanced out by the sweet meringue and pastry.

Lemon Tart Meringue

While Mark indulged into the chocolaty goodness of the Chocolate Tart with Marshmallow, I just can't help but savor the goodness of the Lemon Tart Meringue!

Aside from the food, I liked how the founders and the staff were very hands-on to their guests. The founders, Mira and Rama, mingled with the diners and even served the dishes themselves.


They even had their family members attend to the diners, like this cute little boy, Ali, who was very enthusiastic in making sure to attend to our needs. :D


Melita, from Greece, was also very keen in enlightening Mark and I about the dishes that she's serving.

IMG_4014 IMG_4036
Mark and I definitely enjoyed the night. We left the restaurant with happy hearts and tummies! Thank you so much, Circle Café, for having us! ♥

Glad to be part of the 'Circle'! :) Thank you very much for having us!

Thank you, Mira and Rama and to the rest of the Circle team! :)

Circle Café branches are currently open at the Dubai World Trade Center, Studio City, Media City, Healthcare City, Business Bay, and Jumeirah Beach Plaza in Dubai. In Abu Dhabi, outlets are creating hearty food at the First Gulf Bank HQ and Al Raha Gardens Plaza in Khalifa City A.

Circle Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
CIRCLE CAFE, Business bay
Business Bay, Bay Square Building 7
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Tel No: +9714 552 1403
+9714 552 1416
Working Hours: ‎7:00am – 10:00pm everyday
Nearest Metro Station: Business Bay (Red Line)

We were guests at Circle Café and our meal was complimentary, but as always, this post is sincerely written and all views and opinions are my own.


Kids Are Kings Family Brunch at the Fish Market in Radisson Blu



Mark and I had such a fun experience during our dhow cruise dinner care of Radisson Blu Hotel in Deira. So when I got another invite from Radisson Blu, I knew that it would be something not worth missing out on.

We were again invited by Radisson Blu Hotel in Dubai Deira Creek a couple of weeks back to try out their Kids Are Kings Family Brunch at the Fish Market, which offers a delectable sea-worthy selection inspired by Fish Markets of Thailand.

IMG_3631 IMG_3632
Mark was still nursing an injured leg, so I had to walk him through the buffet spread first so he can choose. I was only expecting plates of seafood not until I saw the rest of the spread. The brunch is apparently a collaboration among Radisson Blu's restaurants and Fish Market is just one of the hosts.

Angt’s Nonions Now Available for the UAE Household



SPONSORED POST

ANGT’s NONIONS, a premiere range of 100% natural, preservative-free onion base now available for the UAE household

  • ANGT believes in innovation and providing convenient solutions to its customers by introducing ready to use onion paste in major supermarkets all across UAE, Bahrain & Qatar
  • NONIONS ready to use onion paste is available in 4 forms – Sautéed Onion, Fried onion, Boiled Onion and Sautéed onions with tomatoes ginger and garlic.
  • The advanced processing & retort packaging helps ANGT to extend the shelf life to 18 months at room temperature for all its products without having the need to add any preservatives, artificial colors or flavoring.
ANGT, a UAE based pioneer food manufacturer, has recently made accessible its varied range of 100% natural and preservative free food products to the common household in the UAE. Manufacturer’s star brand - NONIONS is the world’s first ever pre-cooked, ready-to-use onion paste. ANGT’s other brands include MIRAYA and SIPPY that offer the same benefits and fulfil its promise towards a healthy food and lifestyle.

After being successful in supplying the food industry –Hotels, Restaurants and the Catering Cos. (HORECA’s), NONIONS is now being introduced to the individual consumer in supermarkets and grocery stores. The product’s main advantage is the ease of use. The ready-to-use pastes removes all the pre-preparation steps like peeling, chopping, crying & frying the onions, in turn saving time and tears. It is available in four types – Sautéed Onion, Fried onion, Boiled onion and Sautéed onions with tomatoes ginger and garlic. Once opened the packet needs to be refrigerated and consumed within 30 days. Each retail packet is 200g in quantity and one table spoon of NONIONS is equivalent to one medium onion.
Sauteed onion with tomato ginger garlicSautéed Onion with Tomato, Ginger, and Garlic
Fried onion pasteFried Onion
Headed by father and son duo, the company primarily focuses on 100% natural and food innovation and has been growing successfully in various countries in the food service sector. ANGT food products are processed and packed at their manufacturing plants in India, using advanced processing & retort Japanese packaging technology of the next generation. This ensures preservation of nutrients, flavour, aroma and texture of the product naturally, without having the need to add any preservatives, artificial colours or flavours.

CMD at ANGT, Dr. Vinod Ruchani says, “We are extremely pleased to introduce NONIONS, ready to use onion paste to the retail market. Our food products provide convenience to all be it a housewife or a working mother who loves cooking. We believe in offering products that are innovative, convenient and natural in taste & flavour. All the raw ingredients such as the red onion, ginger and garlic are produced in India and the manufacturing plants are ISO 22000 & HACCP Certified.”

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