Archive for January, 2011

I’m no criminal!

Monday, January 31st, 2011

i'm in dubai for a couple of days - it’s been a while since i visited the city so i noticed a few changes – emirates landed far away from the main terminal which was a real hassle as we had to take the bus for a 15 minutes trip to the main terminal – this might be ok when you travel during the day, but when your flight lands after 1:00 am then it’s no fun, at all – then upon arrival, and despite entering with my canadian passport, i've been requested to go through an eye scan!!! so i had to stand in line with the rest of the "suspects" to undergo an intrusive operation - so this officer asks me to look straight into the scanning machine and open my eye, which i did - but apparently the scan didn't work, i had to open my eye wider, much wider - i tried my best and failed again - well it was over 2 am and i just couldn't make that kind of effort!! so i gave it my best shot and finally it worked and the officer releases me! releases??? not so sure, now they know me inside out and there is no escape! COME ON!! I AM NO CRIMINAL!!!

Some contradiction…

Monday, January 31st, 2011

"thank you for not smoking" this giant ashtray says! excuse me but i don't get it, if you don't want me to smoke then what's this ashtray doing here? how about removing the sand from that bin and change the message to "non smoking mall - please do not throw cigarettes in the bin".

Support freedom of speech – Support 2:48 am

Sunday, January 30th, 2011

his & hers posted news on 2:48 am being sued by benihana following a bad review by mark - we believe that this is totally unfair and that people are free to speak their minds - if a product sucks then it is not the customer's fault - constructive criticism make people raise the bar and not fake opinions - we call upon all bloggers to support 2:48 am and support freedom of speech!

Snobbish shopping carts!

Sunday, January 30th, 2011

i came across these classy and snobbish shopping carts - they just look great don't they? love them, though shopping carts are commodities that need only to be practical, these look like jewelry items! way to go okko!

Naranj, an exquisite Syrian restaurant at the Olympia

Sunday, January 30th, 2011

naranj, better known as bitter orange, is a new restaurant that opened recently at the olympia mall in salmiya - the location is pretty good as you can access it from gulf road - naranj has a nice authentic syrian touch that you can feel as soon as you walk up the stairs through this beautiful traditional fountain.

the interior set-up is quite spacious, the tables are set in such a way you can enjoy privacy without crowding the place, and the shisha tables are set in isolation right at the entrance of the restaurant which drives the smoke out and away from the main tables - great for the kids! you don't really worry about second hand smoking.

the interior decoration is superb, hanging down the the ceilings a variety of beautiful traditional syrian chandeliers - the walls are framed with syrian book covers like "the real existence" written by abdul ghani alnabulsi, photos of syrian historical sites and buildings like alhijaz station, photos of zenobia a 3rd century syrian queen of the palmyrene empire who led a famous revolt against the roman empire. in addition to syrian political figures like adib ibn hasan shishakli, syria's military leader and president (1953–54).

even the menus are nicely done, the covers are well designed with a modern, yet traditional arabic touch with nice calligraphy and color combination.

the food was great in general with sporadic subjective comments here and there - the meza or entrees were very good, though i would have preferred the batenjen biltahina to have a stronger garlic taste, my wife on the other hand liked the subtle taste of garlic - my tabboula was very dry, i had to mix it to get the sauce out but once that was done it tasted great, just the way i like it with a strong lemon pinch - the presentation of the dishes looked good and the fatayer had original shapes.

we don't remember ordering lahem bil3ajin bidebs elremman (meat pizzas), but we were so glad they landed on our table, they were absolutely delicious!

what you see above was our biggest surprise - we thought that these dishes would come in small plates and we ordered them just to have a taste of the main dishes, but what landed on the table was colossal, truly gigantic portions! both bourghol bitfine and bourghol bil banadora were succulent! just like home-made food and the meat was so tender it melts in your mouth like marshmallows.

what strikes you most at naranj is the generosity of the owners - both the fruits and the sweet basket were on the house and let me tell you that the sweets were heavenly! and that's not the end, kenafah was also offered for free! can you imagine that? this restaurant's generosity is unbelievable.

as for the service, it was great! the waiters are so friendly, running around the tables serving you food... fantastic team, really, they were so nice the kids, who hate arabic restaurants, wanted to come back! - the background music played george wassouf, well this goes without saying..

the acid test for any restaurant are the washrooms - we were positively and pleasantly surprised by the cleanliness of the washrooms - not only they smell nice and feel clean, but a cleaning boy stands there permanently making sure everything looks neat - the tissue dispenser has a sensor, all you need to do is pass your hand across that red light and the tissue will roll out automatically! wicked!

cleanliness doesn't stop at the toilets, there's a dedicated cleaning boy wearing orange wandering the restaurant picking up stuff and tidying up the place - these guys are really good!!

as for the check it was a bit expensive at first glance, a total of 41 kd for 2 adults and 2 kids - but i must admit that we ordered a lot and the food was good enough for 6 people so that's ok.

i am sure you're waiting for the bad stuff, so here it is but very subjectively - on my way to the washroom, i spotted this nice poster showing an old map of syria, however looking at the legend, it read: "damascus, urbs nobilissima ad libanum montem, totius syria metropolis" meaning "damascus and mount lebanon, total syrian metropolis" - well as a lebanese this must piss you off!! it's like a kuwaiti walking into this great iraqi restaurant only to spot a map of iraq that includes kuwait!

nevertheless, a very strong recommendation to visit naranj, regardless of that map...

well done naranj!

Couple stoned to death by barbarian Afghans for having an affair

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

a few weeks back we started a new category called human rights - though this has nothing to do with malls, technology or fashion trends, this blog refuses to stand silent when something as barbaric is still going on around the world - come on for god's sake, is this acceptable by any law or any religion? i don't believe that any religion across the globe is pro killing people willfully - stop these barbaric acts and respect human life!

Promod downsizes, shares space with new Gymboree brand

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

promod is renovating its shop at marina mall, however half the shop will be dedicated to a new children brand called gymboree - gymboree is a specialty retailer operating stores selling high-quality apparel and accessories for children under the gymboree, gymboree outlet, janie and jack, and crazy 8 brands, as well as play programs for children under the gymboree play and music brand - best of luck.

Zippo fragrance?! Why?!

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

when brands look for growth they go into new product lines - but sometimes the new product just doesn't make sense! if you go to the zippo website, you will find product lines that make sense, like windproof lighters and the outdoor products are beautiful like hand warmers and fire starters - so anything that makes fire or warm you makes a fine line extension product but a fragrance?? i tried it out, it doesn't warm you, it doesn't light your fire - it is just another gimmicky perfume bottle that opens up like a zippo lighter - as for the sales promoters... well, they were colder than a witche's tit!

Starbucks still on Eid vacation

Friday, January 28th, 2011

i was at the avenues' starbucks yesterday quietly sipping my coffee reading some magazines, so i pick up the bazaar magazine and quickly found out that i was reading old news, and eid celebrations so i looked at the date of issue and it was september's - i thought this was a loose copy so i walked into the coffee shop and checked the magazine stand only to find out that it was filled with the same - the people responsible for replenishing those stands should be ashamed! you guys have missed october, november, december and january's issues and in a couple of days you will be missing february's issue too - you either remove those magazines completely from your stand, or update them regularly with fresh issues, how difficult is that? wake-up eid is over!

Mall’s directional maps going blank due to frequent tenants’ turnaround

Friday, January 28th, 2011

it's no secret the retail industry is suffering from negative market conditions resulting in some brands closing down shops across the malls - but shop closure is more acute in that blind stretch under the avenues' food court where camper has obviously closed down for good and porsche design also closing down only to be replaced by marcolini chocolate - first victim is the mall's directional maps, obviously the mall cannot change the maps every time a shop leaves the mall - so far the directional map for that area is vacant, maybe until things settle down a bit.

Carluccio’s set to open “tentatively” tomorrow, or on the 30th

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

i passed by carluccio's today to check whether the restaurant is ready for the grand opening - they're almost there as i gathered from the people already working today that the restaurant might be opening tomorrow, otherwise it will be for the 30th - to learn more on carluccio's, read our earlier post here

Congratulations Marina World for a new Guinness World Record!

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

further to our post on jan 20th, marina world entered the guinness world record yesterday with the longest balloon chain in the world! the chain length measured was over 14,000 meters made with over 70,000 balloons! visit marina and witness the record while it lasts! mabrouk guys!

old record: 5,040 meters - 56,400 balloons

new record: 14,255 meters (14 and a half times the length of burj khalefa in dubai) - 70,650 balloons

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