Friday, 28 August 2015

A Taste of Far Eastern and Fusion Cuisine @ Bamboo Lagoon, JW Marirot

Bamboo Lagoon

Another buffet night. Me and my partner are crazy for buffet. Well, that's why our diet plans never seem to work before. Today we choosed somewhere more interesting and tacky. With bamboo designs and bamboo-looking-structure, bridges, indoor ponds, straw-roofs and life entertainment. Very beach-like style in a fine hotel. And of course, all-you-can-eat Buffet.

We headed for Bamboo Lagoon in JW Marriot. For a taste of far eastern and fusion cuisine.

Inside JW Marriot
Bamboo Lagoon Entrance

I love the interior of the Hotel. Quite unique. Is like a city within a building. The Bamboo Lagoon Restaurant was interesting too. It was a great experience.

Hello Friday
Starting with Japanese

There was a good spread of variety like Japanese, Thai, Chinese, etc. Love the teppanyaki life station, where you can choose your seafood or ingredients for stir-fry noodle/rice. The cooking was fine although not excellent.

The Japanese Food Station
The Thai and some mixture Life Station
Lovely Desserts
Chinese Cuisine
Teppanyaki Seafood. Lobsters@!
Lovely Cakes
Lovely Partner

We did enjoyed ourselves. Very interesting buffet venue. Within this lovely relaxing dining experience. Good live band with a pretty cool bamboo stage in the right in middle. 

Location : Bamboo Lagoon, JW Marriot, Deira, Dubai
Buffet Price : AED 215 (Including Drinks) and above.
Rating : 3.5/5.0
Critics : Food was fine but wasn't execellent!?! No variety on desserts.

Will i be back? Erm... Maybe!

Monday, 24 August 2015

A Taste of Indonesia, Betawi @ Jumeirah Lake Towers

Chilling at Jumeirah Lake TOWERS

Another day. Thinking of dinner again. We have been eating out quite often or ordering take aways. Cooking at home will be too time consuming. Also causing our apartment to stink of food and  lots of cleaning needed to be done. 

Getting bored of having our dinner at Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates, the only malls that are decent and convenient to go from our location. We decided to hunt for some asian food, something Indonesian, so we headed to Jumeirah Lake Towers (JLT). There is one good Indonesian Restaurant there called Betawi.

Betawi Entrance

Finally arriving at Betawi entrance, yumm, time for a taste of Indonesia. The entrance was quite stylish. A small restaurant but lots to offer.

The Restaurant

Loved the ambiance and the interior decoration. The interior was very simple but quite interesting. Service was pretty quick too. What i enjoyed here was the authentic food. It felt like having a meal at a local restaurant in Malaysia or Indonesia. As most asian restaurant here have slightly altered their recipe to better suit expat taste buds or due to ingredients availability in a foreign country.
Cendol (AED10.00)

We started of with the Cendol. It was quite sweet but nice. Quite strong in coconut milk flavour. A little more ice will be perfect.

Mie Goreng (AED32.00)

Main Course. Ahhhh... Mie Goreng! As always, Always Sedap!. Stir fried egg noodles in sweet soya mixed with chicken, egg, vegetables and served with crackers. Was really good, but only for us asians, needed to get used with the price. As we usually have a very delicious plate of Mie Goreng easily below AED10.00.

Pecel Ayam Special (AED35.00)

The Pecel Ayam Special. Grilled chicken with fried tofu, sayur asem soup, orek tempe and sambal terasi in a bamboo basket. This was delicious. But very spicy, the soup and sambal. Will suit people that loves spicy food. Chicken too small!

Karedok (AED30.00)

I love this one. Karedok. Fresh vegetables with delicious peanut sauce. It tasted like our chinese "lou sang". Love it.

Location : Betawi, Cluster D, Jumeirah Lake Towers, Dubai
Rating : 3.8/5.0
Critics : The chickens is too small. Vegetables not too fresh. Crackers? Come on, needs to be crispy!

Will i be back? Yes! For more asian food.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Vacation to Moscow #my top travel destination

Moscow. A truly iconic, vibrant and modern city. One of the most iconic and wealthy city in the world. Unlike any other city. Travel Moscow! 

Moscow. Not a familiar name to us Asian parts? The word “Russia” will ring the bell. Yes. Moscow is the capital of the Russian Federation. We know this “power house” country very well. 

Haven’t yet planned a vacation to the capital of Russia is definitely my biggest miss in my travel list. Missing out especially the popular attractions in Moscow such as the Kremlin, the Nine Domes of St. Basil’s Cathedral, Lenin’s Mausoleum, Bolshoy Theater and always my favourite activity, walking around in the heart of the city, Red Square, randomly hoping to pass by interesting shops, cafes and historical sites.

When will I travel to Moscow? Well, definitely my one of my top picks “asap”. Moscow is a cold country. Peak seasons are around May through September when it is slightly warm. Having to enjoy more daylight for travelling and warmer weather. Usually during the snowy winter months are low travel season due to the extreme cold weather. However, you get different travel experience. For me, I do enjoy the extra kick of the snowy weather. Beautiful views. Getting the chance to play snow balls. More extreme, snow activities like snowboarding and skiing. I believe high chances I could be planning my trip to Moscow mid or end of next year! It is the same for me, I enjoyed both travel seasons.

Where to stay? I would book apartment in Moscow. Yes, holiday apartments are my choice now; I enjoyed the pleasant homestay kind of experience. You know, the homely furniture and well equipped kitchen with appliances. Further the prices are usually lower than hotels and you still enjoy experience that are quite similar, and definitely better than low cost hostels. 

Any traveller will always have one question in common, how safe is it in Moscow? That’s a silly question to ask since we are talking about one of the most iconic city in the world. There are many tourists, and even Russians are tourist themselves in many of these places. Since Russia is such a huge country, hence, Moscow is a top attraction to many of their residents from other parts of Russia. Well, when travelling, always be responsible on your own safety.

Moscow. My top travel destination. I highly recommend to book apartment in Moscow.

Friday, 14 August 2015

Looking for some delicious Lobsters, Red Lobster @ Dubai Mall

Red Lobster

We went to try out Red Lobster tonight. One of America's best seafood restaurant in the Middle East. Famous for their delicious and daily fresh seafood, especially lobsters.

We wanted to try it out quite awhile now, however, it looks expensive (looking at the restaurant's design) so we usually avoid. To my surprise, this restaurant is something like TGIF, Chilis, etc. when comes to pricing and food. Glad that we finally stepped in.

The Entrance. Got this from the Website.

The ambiance was certainly nice, food was well prepared and tasteful. You get to choose fresh living lobsters too!

The Menu

My favourites as usual, starting with complimentary Cheddar Biscuits, slightly salty but quite delicious. Then moving on to our soup, Clam Chowder (AED 17.00), one of my favourite soups. Very creamy, very tasty.

Cheddar Biscuits
Clam Chowder, Cup Size (AED17.00)

Next our drink, the fresh and flavourful Mojito (AED 18.00). I enjoyed this drink for its freshness. Then moving on to our main course, firstly my choice, all-in-one, Wood-Fire Grilled Lobster, Shrimp & Scallops (AED 119.00). A split of lobster tail with skewered shrimp and scallops. Delicious buttery garlic finish served with wild rice pilaf. Was pretty good. For my partner, as usual she went for Steak, this time is Steak Lobster & Shrimp Oscar (AED109.00). A wood-fire grilled NY Strip smothered with buttery lobster and shrimp sauce. It was delicious.

Mojitos (AED18.00)
Wood-Fire Grilled Lobster, Shrimp & Scallops (AED119.00)

Steak Lobster & Shrimp Oscar (AED 109.00)

To really enjoy this place you need to be a seafood fan. Yes i am a seafood fan, but am also allergy to seafood! So i carefully chow down the dishes, having more steaks than lobsters. Ensuring nothing happen every minute hehe.

Location : Lower Ground Floor, Dubai Mall, 
           Near to the exit for the Fountain.
Rating   : 3.8 / 5

Will i be back? When i am craving for Lobsters.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Need another big feast, this time @ Absolute Barbeques, Media City


Craving for buffet again. Somewhere with lots of meat. BBQ Style. All you can eat. So, today we decided to visit the highly rated Ab's Absolute Barbeques Indian Restaurant by the Zomato Website. There are many good reviews. Customers that been there have been very impressed with the place and food. 


I must admit, unfortunately, my experience there was nothing great besides having the grill experience, which was pretty unique. Unfortunately, the grill seems useless besides keeping the kebab hot. The meats with skewers were already cooked in advance before serving. Therefore, there isn't any bbq cooking experience.

The marinate was nothing special, i was expecting something good since it is indian and their spices. Meat was extremely dry, not juicy. Salty. Shame no special BBQ sauce to make good.

The main course was fine, with some variety of indian curries. However nothing stood out i must say. Dessert was ok, wasn't used to indian desserts. My favourite will be the starter served, which is cheesy baked potatoes and coated corns. There are very delicious.

Indian Desserts
Live Station

I am very disappointed, not with the restaurant (i enjoyed), but the bias reviewers in Zomato. The food is not up to standard for a 4.8/5.0 rating. There should be a clear explanation that it is value for money. As you don't get much buffet in Dubai with such prices and quantities. Mostly are double the price of what you get here. 

The bias reviews mainly by "own" people themselves trying to support their "own" may have back fire the restaurant. This restaurant is "great", but such bias reviews have given people the wrong impression and having too high expectations before even going. Honestly, i was expecting something really Really REALLY awesome experience with such HIGH RATING. Even 16 Michellin Star Mr.Gordon Ramsay's Restaurants does not have a 4.8/5.0 rating!

Location : Shop G05, Sidra Tower, Dubai Media City along Sheikh 
           Zayed Road
Rating   : 3.8 / 5

Price: Buffet
AED 59 Lunch  12 Noon to 3:30 PM Mon-Thu,Sun
AED 80 Lunch  12 Noon to 3:30 PM Fri-Sat
AED 75 Dinner 6:30 PM to 11:30 PM Mon-Wed,Sun
AED 85 Dinner 6:30 PM to 11:30 PM Fri-Sat

Will i be back? Yes, it is value for money whenever i wanna have a big feast.

Friday, 7 August 2015

Why i chose to Travel?

Irvine at Beamish Museum, Durham

Today was another day at work. Seems like a quiet day. Project Manager ain't running around shouting. Nobody seems rushing. Client wasn't around peeking on progress. My manager no where to be seen. Got a little bored and started stalking updated news feed on facebook. Usual day for a typical Gen-Y like me... 

Something caught my attention. Someone posted a short comic, those that you can find in the daily newspaper. It goes something like this.

A : Hey B, how many hours you work a week?
B : Erm.. 64 hours.
C : You s**k. You need to work that hard just to keep your job?
Irvine at Highlands, Scotland

Travelling is not about escaping from the life we had back there. To me it is about finding life. When you see life, you control work, not let work control life. Many people plan their life following the flow of work. You should at least go for vacation minimum twice a year. Local or overseas, does not matter.
Irvine at Ainu Village, Japan

When you are around at work, you are always important. People just can't have you leaving for more than a week. Everything will go wrong. COME ON, just leave, when you are not around, you are actually not that important. People just make you important, because people need someone to throw responsibility to.

Irvine at Berlin, Germany
Just like many people around the world, i started Travelling when i got the opportunity to study in the UK. Newcastle Upon Tyne. Working hard, earning cash for travel and living expenses. Working few part-time jobs while studying, going from Stadiums, to Ball Rooms, to Horse Races Events, to restaurants, to Bars, to Pubs. After my studies, working full-time jobs in restaurants from waiter to dish washer with additional on call part-time jobs.

Irvine at Disneyland Paris

Later on back to Malaysia, working hard, advanced to senior position. I think i left work average 7pm everyday and working during weekends. Am a workaholic. But, spoil market.!

Irvine at Guinness Brewery, Dublin

Getting stagnant. I took a bigger step ahead. Now working global in Dubai (great excuse for more Travel). Although i travel a lot, looks like i spend a lot, but i do have few investments. Actually quite a lot for someone at my age. secret*. People do say, "i am a man with a plan". cough*

Irvine at Ibiza, Spain

You work hard to get the life you want. Not work hard for to survive only.

Irvine at Snow Money Park, Japan

If you are not convinced on the benefits of traveling, nothing probably will. Everyday in our life is a journey. So which way you are taking...

Irvine at Desert Safari, Dubai

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Irvine's Diary - The Arrival of Lexi #Family

Remember my post about Malaysian Chindian Wedding? Yes, my sister got married.Live goes on. and on. and on. And now, we are welcoming Lexi to our world! The "Chindian Lexi" LOL.

You should be here (Malaysia) Irvine!

Sis Getting Ready

Well was never worried about my sister. She is tough. So, well, easy job. cough*

YuP! Too easy!

Did you watch the youtube where the lady just gave birth in the car while her husband was recording secretly? It just slip out just like that. Well, just that easy. cough* (you know i was kidding right!, but the video was true!)

The Chindian Dad, Nic

Welcome Lexi

One can never imagine life having their own baby. But one will need the courage to have a amazing family.

Thanks for reading. Please do not miss this top posting!

Thank You For Reading Irvine's Spices