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Iftar Preview at Park Regis Kris Kin Hotel



With only a couple of weeks left before Ramadan, aside from our Muslim brothers getting ready for this holy month, restaurants and hotels alike are also gearing up for their Iftar and Suhoor offerings—ranging from traditional feasts to lavish and extravagant ones.

Chalet Grill Plus, Al Barsha



With Dubai's sprawling selection of culinary destinations, it's really hard to pinpoint which is the best. Some claim that they are, while some say otherwise.

Thai Dinner at Bambooda



We had a hearty dinner at Bambooda for Mark's birthday last week.  Haven't had Thai food in a while so I was very much excited for this night, too.

The Hungry Monkey Cocktail Lounge & Pub - Donatello Hotel, Al Barsha, Dubai



When I got an invitation to try this place out, its catchy name made me immediately say yes and I had been wanting to capture a "The Hungry Coach at The Hungry Monkey" photo since then. Hahaha!

Seedology in Al Wasl, Dubai



Have you ever been to a cafe which instantly made you happy? I have. It's actually during our visit in Seedology at Al Wasl in Dubai.

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.

Modern Japanese Cuisine at 5th Taste

Hi dear readers! I'm Gia, contributor of Sweet Nothings. :D Together with Jeffrey Perida, photographer, we were sent by Kriska, my sister and the owner of this blog, to cover the food tasting event in 5th Taste Restaurant last Saturday, July 25.

Hi, I'm Gia! :D

5th Taste is a Japanese fusion restaurant in the Philippines which offers modern Japanese dishes with a twist. As avid fans of Japanese dishes, Jeff and I were very excited for the event and can no longer wait to taste the dishes as we were intrigued with the terms “modern” and “twist” which came with the invitation that was sent to us. We were also thinking what the edge of this restaurant could be from all other Japanese restaurants.

Enjoy Iftar at Home with Max's 4 Sharing Meals


Aside from the traditional Arabic Iftars, restaurants in Dubai also offer non-Arabic Iftar deals to cater to the non-Muslim palates. And with Ramadan ending in a few days from now, I'm sure more families will flock into hotels and restaurants for Iftar. Good thing restaurants came up with Iftar meals for delivery for families to enjoy Iftar at the comfort of their homes.


Exercising Ramadan's spirit of sharing, Max's highlights it's penchant for sharing quality time with family and friends over great food with their "4 Sharing Meals".

Max's 4 Sharing Meals

Celebrating the Ramadan spirit with an innovative and scrumptious spread, you can indulge in Max's 4 Sharing Meal which can be delivered right at your doorstep. Starting from only 149 AED, the meal includes:
  • Max's Whole Regular Fried Chicken
  • 1 Beef or Seafood dish from their menu
  • 4 Soup of the Day
  • 4 Plain Rice
  • 4 desserts
  • 4 Soft drinks

But of course, for families of more than 4, you can always choose to have the same old goodness of any of their dishes from their menu. Max's Dubai was generous enough to let us experience Iftar at home a few weeks back.

Max's Restaurant Dubai (1)
Our Iftar at Home courtesy of Max's

And because I'd like to share the meal with the rest of our household, Mark and I opted for their regular menu items. We ordered for almost the same set of dishes that we had when we were invited to review their restaurant, with Sizzling Tofu now instead of the Beef Sisig that we had before.

Kare kare will always be present on our table if it's in the menu. Just like what I said before, Max's version never really appealed to me because of it's bland taste. It was also a downer that no alamang (shrimp paste) was included in the delivery. Mark still loved it though.

Max's Restaurant Dubai (2)
Max's Kare Kare

The Sizzling Tofu is basically like the usual pork sisig with tofu as it's base meat instead. The tangy and mildly sweet mayo sauce was perfect with the savory tofu. The bell peppers and onions added texture to the dish. I must say though that it didn't satisfy my cravings, mainly because of the state of the food when it arrived to us, which is a given for all food deliveries. Of course it would've been perfect if it's on a sizzling plate, as how it's usually served in the restaurant.

Max's Restaurant Dubai (3)
Max's Sizzling Tofu

Max's Fried Chicken was the star of our Iftar! While the quality of the food was compromised for the Sizzling Tofu, it was otherwise for the chicken. I loved how the chicken maintained it's crunchy skin and juicy and tender meat. It's sarap-to-the-bones goodness never failed to satisfy our palates. I noticed though that the sweet potato fries, which is usually served with the chicken, were also missing.

Max's Restaurant Dubai (4)
Max's Fried Chicken

I also made sure to get my favorite Caramel Bars, but unfortunately, this one also didn't quite appeal to my liking. Not sure if it's because the delivery came in a bit late, but the bars seemed a little tough and wasn't as good as the Caramel Bars that I fell in love with back home.

Max's Restaurant Dubai (5)
Max's Caramel Bars

Aside from the quality of food being compromised during delivery, there was also a miscommunication between the staff and the management which made our food delivered a bit late than the supposed time. The 4 Sharing Meals are also offered for dine in so I guess it's always best to just have it in the restaurant.

Nevertheless, we all still enjoyed our Iftar that night. Nothing really compares to enjoying a feast with family and friends. And most of the time, it's really not about what food you're having but who you're having it with. :)

Enjoy Iftar at Home with Max's 4 Sharing Meals
Thank you, Max's, for our Iftar meal! :D

For updates about Max's Restaurant, Dubai, you can visit and like them on Facebook: www.facebook.com/MaxsRestaurantME or follow them on Instagram: @maxschickenuae and Twitter: @MaxsChickenUAE. You can also visit their website: www.maxschicken.com.

MAX'S RESTAURANT, Dubai
Spinneys Bldg, Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Road (Trade Centre Road)
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
+971 04 325 7797
www.maxschicken.com
Nearest Metro Station: Burjuman (Red Line)

Our meal was complimentary, but as always, this post is sincerely written and all views and opinions are my own.

Iftar at Liwan in Al Ghurair Rayhaan by Rotana


A couple of weeks back, I got to indulge into another lavish Iftar buffet, this time at Liwan restaurant in Al Ghurair Rayhaan by Rotana. I was actually invited to the Iftar night for bloggers and media, but it's a weekday and my schedule didn't permit. Good thing Ferry was able to arrange a night for Mark, Cherry, and I on the following weekend.


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.

Pantry Café at Bay Square #HeyGoodLiving



I was first introduced to Bay Square during the opening of Circle Café. Noticeable there is a stretch of café and restaurants starting to sprout like wild mushrooms, which slowly makes Bay Square another haven of gastronomic adventures in Dubai.

The latest addition to this haven of good eats is Pantry Café’s new branch located in Bay Square at the ground floor of Building 6, which Cherry and I got to try.


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.

Burger Hood: The Way Burgers Should Be



We got to visit another burger haven in Dubai a few weekends back. Mark got invited by his client, who happens to be the owner of Burger Hood, to try out their specialties, so he tagged me and Cherry along. Yay! :D



Burger Hood was initially opened to serve high-quality gourmet burgers to Abu Dhabi’s community, until it eventually branched out in Dubai. And I'm sure glad that they did. :D

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

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

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.

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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.

Make Life Remarkable with Icons Coffee Couture



Coffee shops, having sprouted like mushrooms over the years, aren't really something that tickle my fancy. So when I got an invite to do a review of Icons Coffee Couture in Souk Al Bahar, I must admit that I wasn't that ecstatic. I didn't even check their site out to see what they have to offer, as what I usually do when invites come my way. Nothing.

Add the fact that our fun and enjoyment at the Al Ghurair Dub Fest 2015 had to be cut short as we needed to go from Deira to Downtown Dubai.

But although there wasn't a single diner when we came, the minute I set foot on Icons, I already felt that it wasn't just an ordinary coffee shop.


With its black and white interiors, photo wall of fashion icons, and a zebra print accent wall, I knew that Icons has something more to offer.

Dinner Cruise at the Al Mansour Dhow in Radisson Blu



Mark and I do not really go out on "romantic" dates. You know, all the dressing up, dinner  by candle light, slow soothing background music, and a romantic setting, it's just not our thing. Although I, I mean the hopeless romantic in me, must admit that from time to time I'd picture ourselves in that setting too. Ehem! Ehem!

It was also only once that I decided to arrange a "romantic" dinner for us via a dinner cruise along Manila Bay when Mark and I were still back home, but it was postponed once until it was finally put to a halt and never materialized because of the bad weather. You can read the story about it here and here. :) And since then, I decided to just let go of the idea and just stick with our usual dates. But I'm still not closing my doors. Hi Mark! Hahaha! :p

So imagine my delight when I got an invite from Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Deira Creek, for a dinner cruise on board their Al Mansour Dhow. And of course, the hopeless romantic in me suddenly awakened and got more excited too!


So there, last Friday, Mark and I finally experienced a dinner cruise that we never got to have back then. Seeing the Al Mansour Dhow as we were nearing the Dubai Creek already got  me all giddy, more so when we mounted the vessel.

Filipino Food Fix at Max's Restaurant in Dubai


Living in Dubai for more than half a year now, I've already come to love the food here. But I must admit that nothing still beats the exquisite dishes that we have back home.

There are a lot of restaurants back home which offer authentic Filipino food, but I guess one of the brands that has redefined the Filipino Cuisine for today's discerning food crowd would be Max's Restaurant.

Good thing Max's Restaurant is also in Dubai! It opened some time in 2011 and has brought to Dubai a selection of world famous Filipino dishes that will satisfy your cravings for Filipino food and will surely resonate in the hearts of local diners too. It's food delivery service is actually one of my life-savers whenever I get lazy to cook. :p


And did I tell you that it's just a 5-minute walk from where I live? Uh huh! So when I got an invite to have it reviewed, I certainly obliged and tagged Mark along. :p We had our fix for Filipino food last Friday at Max's Restaurant.

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With the long queue of diners waiting for their seats, the crowd, the ambience, and the vibe, I really felt like I was immediately transported back to the Philippines when we got to the restaurant. I even kept telling Mark that it's as if we're not in Dubai. :D

Seeing the diners and hearing them enjoy as they devour the food on their tables suddenly brought back a lot fond memories. Max's has become one of my family's favorite picks, well Jaoey's especially, whenever we dine out. It has also become a witness to almost every celebrations that we have back home. And it was nostalgic to somehow be "back home" here at Max's.

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Mark was the more eager one when he knew that we'd be dining at Max's, so I wasn't surprised when he took charge of the orders without even looking at the menu. :p

He of course ordered his forever favorite Kare-Kare and as always, it was a hit! If he has one comment though, it would be the meat being quite few. I on the other hand, being someone who could cook a variety of dishes (delicious dishes if I may brag :p), have somehow become more meticulous when it comes to food.

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Max's Kare-Kare never really appealed to me mainly because I don't like bland-tasting peanut sauce, otherwise, everything would be okay.  And it has been the same with every branch that I've been to, including here in Dubai.The peanut taste was there, it wasn't sweet too, but I thought a little saltiness would make it good. I loved that the vegetables were cooked just right and still maintained that crunch, though.

Of course Kare-Kare wouldn't be complete without the alamang (shrimp paste). It usually makes the Kare-Kare a lot delectable. But I guess luck was not on my side that time because even the alamang (shrimp paste) was a let down, well for me. It didn't taste fresh and seems like the oil used wasn't fresh as well.

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But then, again, Mark enjoyed eating the Kare-Kare, so who am I to complain? I just had a couple of veggies and gave everything for him to devour. :p

I was supposed to get the Sizzling Tofu, but Mark talked me out from the idea because we just had tokwa't baboy (tofu and pork) plus arroz caldo for our breakfast, so he just ordered Beef Sisig instead.

Looking at the dish, those red and green chili slices were a nice addition as it added a play of color. The dish is definitely an eye candy. But I immediately removed them after I took a photo of the dish. Haha! I'm not a fan of spicy dishes, the pungent taste from spices I can take but I just have a low tolerance when it comes to the heat.

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If I remember it right, we have Chicken Sisig in Max's Restaurants in the Philippines, so this one is new to me. Good thing it didn't disappoint. It's not a show-stopper, but at least it's not a let down as well. I love the combination of sweetness from the sauce, which as my palate suggests is seasoned mayo, plus the tangy kick from the lemon juice.

I prefer crunchy sisig over the usual soft ones, so I was glad that the pork rinds were there. Not sure if they were pork rinds really since pork is not allowed in restaurants in the UAE, but I just loved it! The crispy pork rinds plus the chunky onions added texture to the dish and worked well with the tender beef slices.

IMG_2607Max's Spring Chicken™ (Half)

Dining at Max's Restaurant of course wouldn't be complete without having what made them world-famous, their fried chicken.

Max's Spring Chicken™ is our usual order because of it's distinctive characteristic which is the tenderness of its meat, since the chicken is harvested at a young age. My photos may not give justice but this one is definitely a hit, as always! Aside from the tender meat, I love that it wasn't oily at all and the skin was so crispy.

IMG_2608Max's Spring Chicken™ (Half)

Up until now, I just can't distinguish what spices were in but it's definitely what I love and what I grew up with and is definitely what made Max's world famous and a Filipino institution.

IMG_2604Lemon Iced Tea and Strawberry Iced Tea

We also had Iced Tea for our drinks, lemon for Mark and strawberry for me. And for our desserts, we opted for the Dessert Sampler which includes, from left to right, Ube Creme Decadence, Buko Pandan, Leche Flan, and Chocolate Cream Cheese Brownie à la mode.

I've become uninterested with sweets in general when I actually started making cakes and cupcakes as we would always have a piece or two of the left over cupcakes and cake trimmings at home every time I get an order. And I would just usually have cravings for sweets just when it's the time of the month, if you know what I mean. :)

IMG_2609Dessert Sampler

So I wasn't really up for desserts during our lunch. And although the plate was an eye candy, I just had Mark finish it all. If there's one thing in the plate that I liked though, it's the Ube Creme Decadence. I'm not a fan of ube so it really didn't appeal to me at first. Mark also said it was just so-so when he first took a spoonful. So I gave it a try to check and fell in love with my first spoonful. I think I scooped too much that I got to dig into the ube halaya (purple yam) at the center of the cooked cream!

It was so good that it instantly became a favorite! Even Mark who was at first turned down just couldn't stop digging in. The mild sweetness from the cream was just right and brings out the natural sweetness from the ube halaya (purple yam). I also love the play of texture from the smooth cream, chunky ube, and ube cake crumbs.

IMG_2617Ube Creme Decadence

Over-all dining experience was good. Although there were a few misses in the food, well at least for the ones we got, service was commendable. Joy, the staff who was assigned to us, was very attentive and always checked on us and made sure that we are having a great time. The restaurant manager, Marinel Lacida, was also very hands-on. And I must say that it's not just because they knew that I'll be doing a review because every staff in the restaurant is also doing the same for the rest of the diners. I guess it's the Filipino hospitality which is very evident from the staff that sets Max's apart from all other restaurants in Dubai.

So if you want to know what made this restaurant world-famous or if you just simply need a quick fix for your Filipino food cravings, do drop by and try it out at Max's Restaurant!

For updates about Max's Restaurant, Dubai, you can visit and like them on Facebook: www.facebook.com/MaxsRestaurantME or follow them on Instagram: @maxschickenuae and Twitter: @MaxsChickenUAE. You can also visit their website: www.maxschicken.com.

MAX'S RESTAURANT, Dubai
Spinneys Bldg, Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Road (Trade Centre Road)
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
+971 04 325 7797
www.maxschicken.com
Nearest Metro Station: Burjuman (Red Line)



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

Follow @kriskamarie