Week 18 – So much in one day!

Wow, this week has so many new things, all rolled up into one day!

  1. Brunch at Okku, H Hotel
  2. Quick drink at The Vault, JW Marriott Marquis
  3. Hard Rock Café, Festival City

JPEG won a brunch for 4 people at Okku so a bunch of us joined forces and off we went to try out this brunch that we’d heard so many good things about.

It was fantastic – from good service and fun atmosphere to great music and excellent food… especially the chocolate fondant dessert!!! Quite possibly the best I have ever tasted 🙂

While the brunch is normally a little on the expensive side (AED499 for the bubbles package), it is in the Entertainer and at AED250 pp, this is one not to miss!

From there we headed over to the JW Marriott Marquis to see what the fuss is all about over The Vault…. specifically the view. Well! Do yourself a favour and head over there, even if only for one drink as we did. The view is simply superb!

And from there we decided to get a bit more lively and went down to Hard Rock Café in Festival City for some nachos and live music (I’ve never been to this Hard Rock before, hence it being ‘something new’ for me).

All in all a great fun day / night was had by all of us – tons of laughter and giggles, great food, fun times, good music, and the best of all – no hangovers the next day 🙂

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Week 31 – Stereo Arcade Brunch

The week of 4 August (when this should have been posted) was yet another week in which I didn’t have very much planned other than the normal routine of Dubai life…

However, there was a brunch planned in that week – a brunch that I nor any of my friends had done before.

Stereo Arcade, a pub / dance venue located at the Double Tree Hilton, JBR, is a relatively new spot – possibly been open for about a year, give or take.

The idea of the whole place is a games arcade – as you walk into the place there are video games lining the walls and bright colours everywhere… even the toilets have been decorated to make you feel as though you are a character in an 80’s video game!

The brunch takes place in the pub side of the venue (the dance area is only open at night). There is a one-man-band performing – Jeremy, he was very enjoyable – free-flowing drinks of multiple varieties and a small menu to choose your food from.

You are given a starter and a main meal token and get to choose one of each from the menu – there are only about 4 or 5 choices of each so not a huge selection, but as far as pub food goes, it’s tasty enough. The venue is geared more at being a pub for drinks and not a restaurant, anyway.

Unfortunately the day that we went was extremely quiet – not sure if this is the usual brunch crowd here, but there must have been no more than 30 people in the place… and that’s possibly pushing it.

Although Jeremy was doing his best to get the crowd going with his music, allowing requests and picking songs that were crowd pleasers and sing-alongs, the vibe was pretty flat. When he finished his set the DJ came on, but that didn’t help liven the place up much, and once people started disappearing from their seats to go play games, the pub emptied out rather fast and left those inside feeling close to bored…

While it wasn’t a terrible experience – we didn’t experience any bad service or anything going wrong – the brunch needs to find a way to liven itself up. At one of the cheaper brunches around (AED250), you would think that the place would be a lot more exciting.

But, we made the most of our afternoon out, enjoying live music, eating some tasty food (and for once at brunch not totally stuffing our faces), trying something new and getting in a few beers while at it… 🙂

Week 4 – Out of The Box Market

Recently I read up on this new-concept market that is held annually in Dubai where the stalls of the market are set up in shipping containers. It sounded like an interesting place to go check out some local arts and crafts and get me out of the house on  a weekend.

So, this past weekend I roped in 2 of my friends, Al and Roomie, to join me at the market. We picked Al up and the 3 of us headed out to where the flyer told us to go.

But on arrival the place was DEAD. There definitely was no market there, and it didn’t look like there had ever been a market there. We checked and rechecked the map location and we were very sure that we were in the right place. We then decided that we’d drive along a little bit, maybe it was in a slightly different location but in the same area (around Burj Khalifa) so we drove a bit, then stopped again to try looking again and that’s when we noticed the date on the flyer. 2015! Not 2016! 🙂 We immediately killed ourselves laughing and began thinking of something else to do on this fabulous Friday afternoon. Eventually Roomie said that she was determined to find the market for me and after a bit more Google searching Al found details about the 2016 event being held in Burj Park.

We had a vague idea of where that was so we decided to drive to that area and grab a bite to eat since our plan of eating at the market was now ruined and we were all starving.

We chose the Emaar Pavilion for lunch, and they were having a brunch deal on, being Friday and all, but booze-free. We weren’t quite sure on the brunch option but after having a look at the buffet we all decided it looked amazing and we got stuck into the food.

After we’d all stuffed our faces and enjoyed delicious food, which we finished off with coffee’s and a tea, we eventually asked the waiter where Burj Park was… and in the conversation he mentioned that they were having this market there! We’d found it!

So, we promptly paid the bill and headed over to the market.

THE MARKET!!!

THE MARKET!!!

Boy were we glad that we found it! The market isn’t huge but it has a great vibe about it. There was a stage set up which is for evening entertainment, and laid out in front of it are all the stalls selling everything from food to jewellery to shoes and soaps.

We browsed around the market for a while, stopping at most of the stalls to take a closer look at their goods, and ended up buying some gimmicky bits and bobs for JPEG, and I bought myself a stunning bracelet that is made right there at the stall. The artisan is Zeina Kabbara, and he has a company in Dubai – Zee Ateliers. Go check out the website for the huge collection of goods that they sell.

Zee Ateliers

Zee Ateliers

We ended off this fabulous Friday full of new things with an ice cream and headed on home for a quick nap before the evening antics began.

OTB Market in front of Burj Khalifa

OTB Market in front of Burj Khalifa