Travels to the Middle East!

Okay maybe the title sounds a bit fancy but in a quick work trip, I managed to bring back a whole lotta Dubai! For those of you who are still contemplating travelling there, I insist you go there now! It’s where I grew up and going back after all this time was so exciting! Why? Because its got a makeover! And its gorgeous – its absolutely bursting at the seams on the culinary horizon. New restaurant openings every week, international chefs giving live cooking demos at some of the world’s best hotels, gourmet supermarkets, cafes and of course cupcake bakeries are only some of the exciting things happening in my most favorite city.

I managed to lug back some Dubai goodness – sumac powder and some fresh za’atar* (There’s a Lebanese themed dinner in the works soon) apart from tons of Aero, KitKat and some Hersheys. I also managed to finally visit Magnolia’s Cupcake Bakery  – a shrine to cupcake lovers (not literally). Its part of the newly opened Bloomingdale’s in what I believe is Asia’s largest mall. I also managed to visit Galleries Lafayette, an equally famous store/mall from Paris that’s opened in Dubai too. If you dream of Paris and cheese and Paris and cheese – you can always stop by here.

In other happy news, I finally indulged in some fancy equipment to my bustling ‘baking’ cupboard and 2 more books. I sincerely believe one can never have too much Nigella. Her new (to my bookshelf) book ‘Feast’ is full of little notes and handy hints – you know when you have everyone coming over? Yep, this book is perfect for cooking larger quantities. Oh, and the second amazing addition – Magnolia’s Bakery Cookbook by the owners themselves! Yes, its all in here – even the recipe for their legendary banana pudding and Red Velvet cupcake. I foresee some happy baking ahead!

* P.S – Za’atar is a spice akin to oregano, thyme etc that is generously used to flavor arabic dishes, especially Man’ousheh which is essentially a tart with a spicy filling, served at breakfast. Sumac, on the other hand is partially Greek in origin and is used a top Hummus and other such dishes. I plan to make some spicy Shawerma! 

Some pictures from the trip:


Cupcakes from Sugar Daddy at Galleries Lafayette, Dubai Mall
Photo credit: Riya Vatnani

Cupcake from Sugar Daddy at Galleries Lafayette, Dubai Mall
Photo credit: Riya Vatnani

The world’s best Double Chocolate Chip Cookie at Potbellys, City Centre
Photo credit: Riya Vatnani

Hershey’s Chocolate Chips!

Oh-so-fresh Za’atar!

Sumac powder – so, so red!


One response to “Travels to the Middle East!

  1. Thanks for the hot spots in Dubai ! Visit Dubai quite often but always went for the family/meeting relatives/sightseeing. Never explored it from a foodie angle. Will definitely stop by at Galleries Lafayette and Magnolia's next time I'm there.

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