It’s raining. I mean really raining. Not a sight you see very often in Dubai. As the world and its gran knows, Dubai is a place of extremes. You have the world’s tallest building here. The world’s worst traffic here. You have more glamour than anywhere else here and you have temperatures that soar to the 50’s. So when it rains in Dubai, of course it POURS.
After a lot of drama, above ankle water and me carrying 18 kilos of paper work home from work, I finally arrived back to our apartment an hour earlier than work would usually finish. Thank heavens for always having a pair of flip flops with me here. Lots of places had to shut down today because there is virtually no drainage system for rain water here in Dubai so roads get pretty flooded/dangerous very quickly. Thus, I am settled amongst my cosy, fleeced blanket with a view of the tallest building in the world feeling inspired to write. It’s not every day you get sent home from work.
Today’s post is one that I have been meaning to write for a while but just haven’t gone round to it because I felt each time I tried to write it I just wasn’t doing the experience that I wanted to share any justice. Does that make sense? It does to me. But today this crazy weather has got me feeling pumped and I have already managed to write two new posts that will be coming up over the weekend. I’m on a roll here. Long may it last!
Okay, so last month I was invited to come and experience Bab Al Yam restaurant at the Burj Al Arab Hotel in Dubai. Burj Al Arab needs no introduction but let me begin by telling you a little about Bab Al Yam! The restaurant was completely redesigned and relaunched in December. This was my first time there so I didn’t know what to expect but I genuinely was blown away! You all know I am no food critic and I seem to run out of synonyms when it comes to describing food but the entire experience was probably one of the best we have had in Dubai so far. Let me begin with first impressions.
The indoor part of the restaurant boasts floor-to-ceiling sea views which are simply stunning but when you step outside your jaw will drop. Mine was practically on the floor and our kind server Jomin kind of had to scoop it back up for me. More on Jomin later! When we got outside however, my jaw flew into the Arabian Gulf and swam over to the Burj Khalifa somewhere. The views you get are stunning beyond words. For that reason we chose to sit outside within the spacious terrace which is covered with plush lounging areas where you can sit and have shisha and there is a huge swimming pool there also. Might I add that we chose to go to Bab Al Yam during my husband’s birthday weekend so was delighted that we went when we did! I can’t recommend going there enough for a special occasion because although we went as guests, I genuinely did feel that you get a lot for what you pay for and the price is more than worth it. Okay, so here’s how it works! The bistro chic restaurant offers European cuisine buffet-style and à la carte, influenced by Middle Eastern flavours. The USP of Bab Al Yam is the fresh, local produce that they use and their ‘farm to fork’ philosophy. Now, I’ll be the first to admit – coming from the UK I’m not the biggest fan of buffets. But I tell you what. Nobody does a buffet like the good folks of Dubai. Buffets here are absolutely CRAZY. The buffet at Bab Al Yam didn’t even feel like a buffet because a) they had live cooking stations in various areas of the restaurant and b) everything that we ate was so fresh and constantly being updated. So, you eat all you want for lunch, sit amidst the most divine shoreline featuring the Arabian Gulf on one side and Downtown Dubai on the other all for 350AED per person. Yes that’s about £65 per person but definitely worth if you are dining in a restaurant within a 7 star hotel. Those of you who live in Dubai will know that by Dubai prices that really is quite reasonable. For dinner I think the price is slightly higher! Lunch is served between12.30-15.30. I personally would go during the day so you can see that beautiful view and of course, err, for photos?Now that’s the nitty gritty stuff over let’s talk FOOD! I think I ate so much that day my jeans button nearly popped open and flew into the sea. Okay, I tell a lie but you catch my drift. Actually hold on. I was the one taking notes in between eating everything for the sake of this post. Atteeq was the one who went absolutely wild. But, he was the birthday boy so of course he did. The first time we went round the buffet he waited patiently whilst I was carefully looking at each and every dish, taking notes and clicking away on my camera. After the first round he just gave up and went back and forth because I was just being too slow for him.The food really is of a very high standard and one would expect nothing less of a restaurant within the Burj Al Arab. Everything was just so flavoursome and I got to try so many new dishes! One of my favourite dishes were the tiger prawns freshly made for us by one of the chefs. I just stood there like a creep watching her cook them, as you do. Atteeq was particularly happy with the section where the chefs had various types of chicken breast ready to be cooked for you fresh. He is obsessed with protein. Meanwhile I’m just a carb. There are a variety of stations situated around the restaurant such as salads, sea food, Italian, Indian and of course Arabic. I tried an Arabic dish called Moghrabia and it was so good! That’s the one thing I like about buffets – you always end up trying something you would be too scared to choose off a menu. There was a huge variety of food to choose from so the lunch buffet is definitely worth trying. Do not even get me started on the deserts! The ice cream/sorbet section was super refreshing to end the meal but since I’m not much of a deserts girl, I tried apple sorbet. Yum! Atteeq had carrot cake (imagine having a cake made out of a vegetable for heaven’s sake) and tried the chocolate tap. Yes, they had a chocolate tap. Our server Jomin told us about how the chocolate was one of a kind in Dubai and no other restaurant/hotel had it because of the fact that no oil was used to make it. Now, I’m no chocolate connoisseur but it sure did taste like no other chocolate I’ve ever had before so I will take his word for it!
Okay, I did promise you Jomin didn’t I? Och, he was just the sweetest guy who served us for the whole two hours we were there. The service was impeccable. Now, I know you may think; well you were invited so of course the service was impeccable but I had my beady wee eye out and EVERYONE was being treated like royals. The staff simply couldn’t do enough for you and our server Jomin went above and beyond. Atteeq said that he stayed behind an extra hour after his shift just so he could finish serving us. Now, if that isn’t a man who loves his job, I don’t know what is. A special thank you to Jomin and the rest of the team for making us feel so welcome that day, for being so knowledgeable and just for the chat! You know how I just love the chat.
Our experience at Bab Al Yam was just lovely and when I am invited to places I always think to myself, would I come here again and pay for the same service? The answer is definitely yes. I already want my sister to come to Dubai again so I can take her. I don’t think she would even eat though, she would literally just stand and take pictures. Speaking of pictures…
I apologise in advance. There’s about 9 million pictures of my outfit coming up.
Since we were in such a gorgeous location, of course I had to shoot a look for you girls. I really loved this look and hope you girls do too because it was so easy to put together and you all could too! Jeans – Forever 21
Top – Zara
Sunglasses – Aldo Accessories
Bag – H&M
Shoes – Steve Madden
Watch – Daniel Wellington There’s that bag from my previous post. Seriously, the best buy EVER. Can’t believe I only paid 70AED for it. My sister said I’ve to bring it home when I go back to the UK so she can steal it. It just adds that pop of colour I so love whenever I put together something quite simple. Okay, the overall look was nothing but simple but the actual clothes were. How cute is the blouse? Those of you who have been reading my blog for a long time know how much I love ruffles and bows and things. I think I mixed about 6 billion shades of red on my lips that day but it was mainly a sheen lippie by Sleek in the brightest red you have ever seen as well as Mac Ruby Woo.
Husband spoiling my picture…
I swear the sea reflecting off the exterior of the Burj Al Arab creating that blue literally gave me LIFE. I think it gave my husband life too because he was all ‘take some of me too’ which really is something because usually I have to force him for pictures but I guess that’s what happens after 6 months of marriage eh.
So, on this day we were treated to a beautiful meal amongst breath-taking settings and were served by a kind man named Jomin who couldn’t stop smiling whilst speaking to us. We got some cute photos together that I can’t wait to scrapbook (yes, I still do those) during my summer holidays to remind us of the most amazing day spent at Bab Al Yam.
I’m sure most of you have aged about 5 years getting to the end of this post. If you have gotten to this section right here at the end and you actually read every single word and didn’t just scroll to the bottom? YOU are amazing!