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Dubai

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#throwback2015

Last year is another amazing year of traveling for me where got selected to join Malaysian & Singaporean & influencers for a food escape on a US fast food chain in Dubai.  It was a short trip where everything was cramp up and we took the opportunity to explore the ultramodern architecture on available time break that we have. Here you go on my top 15 places to visit in Dubai that I cover it within 1 and half day with private tour and driver.

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First time flying of with Emirates, totally impress with the level of services, inflight entertainment, food and beverage that they have.

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Enjoying my inflight entertainment with great selection of alcohol available for all passengers. Food were decent. 

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Dubai International Airport is seriously huge that also make it one of the  main transit hub for Europe flights.  

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Hotel ()

Got pick up by the driver and head to our hotel. If we complain federal is jam, imagine this 6 lane highway is the same as KL,federal highway during peak hours.

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For the trip, we stayed in Sheraton Dubai Mall of the Emirates Hotel

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Love my breakfast view as there is one section that facing Jumeirah Beach where you can see both famous landmark.

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Breakfast is filled with variety of their local food fare and some are made fresh.

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Attack alot of their juices and yogurt.

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View from my room . .

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While waiting for others to get ready, grab myself a glass at the bar and enjoying the view. 

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For some activities & facilities, you can head to their roof top where the clubhouse, spa, jacuzzi, gym is located up there and it is free for us to use.

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We were given this prepaid card during our stay in Dubai.

Let start to explore the city.

  1. Exploring Downtown Dubai City

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2. Mall of Emirates 

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imagesource from: alldubai.ae

Where we are staying is also known as one of the main malls to visit in Dubai where world biggest indoor ski is in this mall (Ski Dubai). This mall is located about 10-15 minutes drive away from the city and other public transportation you can access is Dubai Metro.

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3. The Dubai Mall 

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In the city itself, you would not miss this place where house the world tallest building and also world largest shopping mall by total area.

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A country where camel is one of their mode of transportation, camel milk is also another produce from it and Camel milk ice cream is rather interesting that you should not miss out. Hunt for this kiosk – Majlis Dubai.

4. Dubai Music Fountain

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In that mall, another main attractions is Dubai Music Fountain .

Dubai Fountain schedule:

Afternoon Shows
Daily except Friday: 1pm & 1:30pm
Friday: 1:30pm & 2pm
Evening Shows
Daily: 6pm to 11pm (Every 30 Minutes)

5. Souk Al Bahar

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Then walk across to Souk Al Bahar for local good shopping follow by head towards the main entrance to the main road, you will ride on their free Trolly.

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7. Riding Dubai Trolly

Might not be in San Fransisco but this trolley tram in bright red with aesthetic gold pin-strips and green trim colours! This is the world’s first hydrogen-powered trolley system that will cover 7 km across the entire breadth of 500 acres of Downtown Dubai when it is completed. Meanwhile, the first phase of Dubai Trolley covers 1km around the Dubai Mall.

Fee: FOC

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Sit on the upper deck to enjoy the great city view, where as for last year only 4 tram stops.

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8. Visit World Tallest Building – Burj Khalifa 

One of the place that every travellers will check in if they are in Dubai. This marvelous architecture is the tallest artificial building in the world, standing high at 828 meters (2,716.5 feet); holding the World Record of tallest man made building in the world

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Tickets can be book in advance thru this website (click here) where there are certain slots that have to buy in advance such as the early morning slots and their best selling ticket is SunSet view at the peak which is 4.30pm to 6.30pm slot – this I would advise to buy in advance to avoid disappointment. Upon booking thru website, there is a online ticket collection kiosk at the main entrance.

We got ourselves on the earliest slot for the day where there are other activities line up for us after this.

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Observatory deck is available at Level 124 and Level 148. We went up to Level 124 (At The Top) and we are allowed to visit the Level 125 as well. We booked the ticket online before travelling, so we got our ticket at the price of AED 130 per pax. Climbing up to Level 148 (At The Top Sky) will be charged at a higher rate. 

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View up here is amazing where I am impress how the city is being transform from a huge desert and filled with all mega structures around.

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Where you climb a level up to Level 125 which is much quieter.

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With Malaysian Influencers – Bloggers Vkeong, Christine & Ivy along with Instagramers – @lesliepng & @jadechin  

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Bought one of Lego Architecture – Burj Khalifa back too.

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9. Visit Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo

Dubai Aquarium and Underwater zoo is also known as one of the largest suspended aquariums in the world. There are few packages available and we went for their Researcher Package (AED 100) which includes Aquarium Tunnel, Underwater Zoo, Back of house tour and Underwater Observatory. 

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Great white shark . . and discovery tour comes with a guide that bring you thru how the whole place is being manage and fishes are fed. It feels like you are in behind the scene of Jacky Chan Movie – Police Story 4: First Strike.

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One of the main highlight is this King Crocodile which being capture at Australia then being transferred here for well beings as he weight 750kgs with measurement of 5 metres in length. This Aquarium is huge where it is part of Dubai Mall. Impressive!!!

Opening hours:
Mon-Fri: 10am to 10pm,
Sat-Sun: 10am to midnight

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10. Head out to Adventure Desert Safari (Sand Dune, Camel Riding, Sand Boarding)

If you got time in Dubai, then head out from the city and set adventure for Desert Safari. Time is very tight for us as we could not follow most of the tour package being offered, we managed to get a private tour to suits our timing where we engage North Tours. It costs us AED 1300 for this tour and it is shared among the 5 of us (with pick up and drop off). Corresponding with them might be a bit challenge so do be patient and do everything black in white in email.

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The trip is 90 minutes out from the city to reach this huge massive desert place and be sure the car have a bar to allow you to hold on the top if you are going for Sand Dune.  (where the car will be rushing thru the landscape of hilly sand, making sharp turn and instant drop from top to bottom of the mini hills, that is when you need to grip onto the bar)

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First stop for toilet break that will allow you to ride on this (additional cost where it is not include in the package).

Our first Adventure is Sand Dune that will ride you thru for at least 15-20 minutes (advise do not come with full stomach as you might want to vomit or feel nausea after it)

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After the ride, we are given 20 minutes for picture taking around the area. Then follow by 30 minutes ride to this campside where it feels so Star Wars.

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Sand boarding at your own comfort and climbing to the hill top is a challenge. They did not provide you any other equipment where just only a board for you. So we just sit and ride down from the top. 

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Last is camel riding. 

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11. Visit Burj Al-Arab & Jumeirah Beach

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A hotel that house many re-owned eateries, where  a photo with this world’s tallest hotel, standing high at 321metres on its own artificial island on Dubai coastline not to be miss.

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Jumeirah Beach: White sandy beach that stretch along with coast south of the city’s historic district to the junction with The Palm Jumeirah and terminates between the southern ends of Jumeirah Beach Residence.

12. Dubai Marina Yacht Club & Jumeirah Lake Towers

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13. Explore  Old Town Dubai – Bur Dubai and Diera (Souks – City of Gold/ Gold Market, Perfume, Utensils and Spice Market)

If Dubai city is too modern for you, then you can head 20 minutes out from the city where you will reach Dubai Old Town to see the early stages of Dubai. 

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Dubai City of Gold have a meaning on it where this gold souk is one of the largest gold retail markets in the world. Located in Deira, just about 5 mins walk from old souk marine station; this is the market filled with glittering shinny accessories and decors, made of 18, 21, 22 and 24 carat gold. Aside from gold, the souk also trades in precious metals such as platinum, diamonds, and silver, hence the reason for the name.

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There is a big board of market rate for you to refer. 

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Besides gold, it is also a place for souvenir where you can show your skills set of bargaining power from this  moment onwards.

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Walk further down, you will reach Spice Souk where the air is filled with the mix of aroma of herbs and spices

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You can easily see sacks of colourful spices, rose petals, dried fruits in front of the shops.

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Located closed to Deira, Deira Old Souk Abra Station and Gold Souk

We were there at the wrong hours where most of them are closed, is only because that’s a timeline we got to visit this place. 

Opening hours:
Saturday to Thursday: 10am to 10pm (but closed between 1pm and 4pm);
Friday: 4pm to 10pm 

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Next to Spice Market is Utensils Market.

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14. Ride water taxis -Abra at only AED 1 on the Dubai Creek

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A ride that most tourist would do is this water taxi at this busy river. 

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Water is quite clear as you can see those on the edge of the dock.

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15. Dubai Mosque & Museum

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The main museum in Dubai, UAE; housed within the beautifully restored Al Fahidi Fort, also the oldest existing building in Dubai. If only we had more time for this, we will definitely enter into the museum and soak up with the rich history and culture heritage of Dubai

Opening hours:
Saturday to Thursday: 8.30am to 8.30pm
Friday: 2pm to 8.30pm

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Food:

The main reason for this trip is to pay a visit for these American chain food.

texas roadhouse1. Texas RoadHouse

Sounds pretty interesting and with the word Texas certainly gives you a certain expectation to lift up. Outside do look pretty decent and upon walking into the outlet, you will be transporting into another dimension with their nice cowboy town interior look and it would be certainly better if some of the staff wear cowboy/cowgirl outfit.

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2. Shake Shack  

One of a better burger joint I have come across.

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3. Le Pain Quotidien (PQ) 

Is founded in Brussels nearly 25 years ago, the Le Pain Quotidien brand of bakery-restaurants has spread its wing across the globe, from New York to London, Mexico City to Mumbai to Moscow, Istanbul to Tokyo to Sydney.

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4. P.F Chang’s

P.F Chang’s is one of the most successful Chinese Bistro brand in Middle East. Making its wave into the market four years back had since quite become a place for most Dubai folks to patron on this.

Constantly this outlet is pack with customers from it open its door till late night. It is also a very well known brand in the States as this is an American owned restaurant with Chinese Cuisine menu that I would say its a fusion Chinese Menu.

IHOp

5. IHOP 

Initially stand for International House of Pancake which is quite a well known joint from California,US. Being quite establish in the market since 1958, they have gain its popularity among many local diners since its penetration into the UAE market since 3 years ago.

Cheesecake factory

6. Walk through the front doors of The Cheesecake Factory and you will know you are in for something special.The Cheesecake Factory menu boasts more than 200 selections made fresh from scratch daily in each restaurant including Small Plates & Snacks, appetizers, pastas, fish, steaks, salads, sandwiches and pizzas, also their private dining room is overlooking on Dubai Ski.

It would be a land of heaven for me if they Open in Malaysia as they have more than 50 legendary cheesecakes and specialty desserts

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It was a fun trip where got to know alot of Singaporean influencers. miss you guys.

Others that I have miss and do explore if you got the time.

Abu Dhabi:

1) Ferrari World
2) Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
3) Emirates Palace
4) Yas Marina Circuit
5) Manarat al Saadiyat

During my trip for one of the best dinner food would be The Cheesecake Factory in Dubai Mall. Love their ambiance where it certainly do reflect those Hollywood movie or a night in the museum kind of interior, not to mention the outlet is huge too.

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Right at their front, their cake counter is filled with alot different types of cakes that just make you drool. Every cake of it is well decorated and you can just see the amazing texture on it. The only thing that we are not used to is the size of the cake. It is quite gigantic where a slice over there can consider 2 slices of our cake back in Malaysia.

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In  The Cheesecake Factory, we are all then being hosted in this private room where you will be enjoying their ski slope view. This room can easily fit around 50-60 pax per seating.

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Menu is pretty crazy huge as there are alot of pages for you to browse through.

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This is certainly the American version of milkshake where you will be instantly hit with sugar rush, and their milkshake is addictive. Thick, flavourful and it is about a size of a Carlsberg pint.

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nachos  with in house special sauce dip is a snack that you should hunt for.

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Their beef straganof is done to perfection where it is cook medium to my liking and the gravy just balance it off nicely without overpowering the beef taste.

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Here comes our favourite which is the Cake part. Every bite is filled with satisfaction, as the density of cake is just nice yet not too solid.

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Food here is just amazing, and we highly recoomended the owner to bring this brand over to Malaysia as this will easily beat TGI Fridays and Chilis Grill and Bar. If you are around Dubai, one of a recommended restaurant.

Location:
The Cheesecake Factory
Dubai Mall, Dubai, UAE

 

#Throwback some of my memory last year where this outlet still emerge one of a better food that I have come across for serving breakfast or brunch. This brand Le Pain Quotidien (PQ) is founded in Brussels nearly 25 years ago, the Le Pain Quotidien brand of bakery-restaurants has spread its wing across the globe, from New York to London, Mexico City to Mumbai to Moscow, Istanbul to Tokyo to Sydney.

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Been walking pass this outlet a few times and constantly it is pack till our final day for the trip we head here to try out their food.

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Love the outlet interior with its wooden concept that gives the feel like a home bakery and no doubt that they have great range of french patisserie and also delicious looking good desserts.

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They are also well known with their jam that I bought 2 flavors back.

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As you are seated, you will be serve with complimentary bread with a sampling of spreads of their best seller jam.

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With the huge crazy bunch of foodie from both Malaysia and Singapore, this are the food damages that we have done. Nearly ordered 70% of the menu and I must say the food here is near to perfection that every single dish that is serve out not only on time but also on perfection of taste. Hard to find any error in there and service standard here is a whole new level if were to compare to Malaysia.

I would certainly recommend this place for brunch or lunch as they do serve great food. 

Location:

Le Pain Quotidien
Mall of the Emirates, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

IHOP initially stand for International House of Pancake which is quite a well known joint from California,US. Being quite establish in the market since 1958, they have gain its popularity among many local diners since its penetration into the UAE market since 3 years ago.

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Ambiance & décor is pretty straight forward where in one glance you will felt its a comfortable family-friendly place with its menu concentrated on pancakes and waffles.  

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Being a Pancake House of course their specialty will be pancakes.

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There is this flask sitting in nearly all the table. There is a reason for being there as it is empty. Upon ordering, it will be filled up and for this edition, its free flow. 

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Coffee latte to kick start off with. Not too acidic yet just nice. Just too hot for me.

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At first I was very curious on the small little jug placement on the side and till I read it it’s a IHOP signature sauce. Among the 4,, Old Fashioned is my top favourite as its quite a classic maple syrup. Other syrups and sauces are available too for their savoury version.

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Love their lemonade as its thirst quencher . 

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This is our first day and my pair partner is Sean. We ordered quite alot for us to test on the food.
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To kick start for pancake stacks, we were advise to try on their classic original to see the differences of it. Indeed, its fluffy and bouncy and can be stayed at that condition for 30 minutes. Impressive. 

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Next is this New York Cheeze Cake Pancake @ Dhs 42. Built with layers of cheese in between where you can get the sweetness of strawberry and the jam yet to pair with mild salty from cheese to balance it up. Just perfect.
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Something which is rather new to me is Chicken & Waffle @ Dhs 45. Never had this combo therefore could not really get into my brand. However, do eat it spate then will be pretty good, as the waffle can par with their own in house waffle.

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Next there is something quite unusual is the Breakfast Sampler @ AED 46. Love their hash brown series, as its more like a slices of potato being pan fried together. Serve with veal sausage and egg.

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When comes to omelette, this is not our ordinary omelettes as this Beef Bacon Temptation Omellete is serve pretty huge. Rich and punch with flavors of cheese yet its quite addictive, quite generous with its ingredients too. @ Dhs 46

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Next if you like something healthy, then Chicken Fajita Omellete. Its not a bad dish as you get the strong flavour of spinach and the cream cheese to balance it up.

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Move on next, we got ourselves a savoury crepe stuffed with scrambled eggs, spinach, Swiss cheese, mushrooms & onions, topped with hollandaise sauce and diced tomatoes is not bad. @ Dhs45

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Simply Stake Staker @ Dhs 44 is a food what we thought a disaster by its look turns out to be something impressive. Steak slices do look overcook however upon eating eat, the flavour of melted cheeze that cover with its meat yet cook to perfection is something that would could not ask for more.

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There is nothing to shout about for their Beef Burger @ Dhs44, since their pancakes and waffle have won our hearts over. 

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Its a pleasure to meet Sean in person finally and I must say, if this hits Malaysia, other cafe with Panckes and Waffles do watch out. Its by far one of the best that I have come across.

Location:
IHOP – International House of Pancakes
Dubai Emirates Mall
Near Food Court, Level 1,
Mall of the Emirates, Dubai

P.F Chang’s is one of the most successful Chinese Bistro brand in Middle East. Making its wave into the market four years back had since quite become a place for most Dubai folks to patron on this.

Constantly this outlet is pack with customers from it open its door till late night. It is also a very well known brand in the States as this is an American owned restaurant with Chinese Cuisine menu that I would say its a fusion Chinese Menu.

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In the menu, it is not your typical Chinese menu as they have pretty good mix from char grilled duck, from hong kong with a fine twist and many other more.

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Upon stepping into the outlet, it certainly feels that you are actually stepping into a fine dine restaurant as the ambiance is quite porch, with some classic Chinese art on the ceiling, lovely dim lights, nice plate setting as it bends towards more contemporary dining. So fear not, as the pricing is not as high as what you thought.

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Apparently, if you are a single or a pair diners, you can get to choose to sit at the bar as it is nicely set up and you can see the bar tender in action. Friendly staff too.

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Menu is pretty straight forward as its one pager and next columm will be their American version dessert which is more on cakes. (click here for more)

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Being served with 3 types of sauces, we were thought how to mix it and follow the explanation, it end up to be good as the spicy you add in last.

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This is totally another dimension of Sweet & Sour Soup. All I can say that it is not taste as what we used to have, I would say its quite a Middle East version.

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Chang’s Chicken Lettuce Wraps @ Dhs 44 is another popular starter here. Scoop a spoonful and place it on lettuce is the way how to eat on this this. Sweet in taste for first bite, then slowly the aroma of spiciness slowly builds up. 

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Upon ordering, I also do notice this Dynamite Shrimp @ Dhs 47 is being ordered on nearly every table as not only that. It is ordered by every individual per portion each, that turns out to be their best seller. Serve in a tall martini glass, as how it is presented that the aroma of the mild spicy is there and the shrimps are extremely fresh, nicely battered with a crunchy texture. Love the spiciness of it as they infuse with some Sriracha chili sauce in it. Pretty good stuff. No wonder so many people are ordering it.
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Salt and pepper calamari might work well with a glass of beer

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Looks fantastic when it was served and smells very good. Wok Charred Beef @ DHS 71 is done pretty well as Sauce is painted to perfection on the outer area as when you bite, its soft and juicy. After awhile towards the end, the taste went off.
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Star of the night is this Oolong Seabass @ Dhs 134 which do import their fish and Cook to perfection, that its well merited on the outer layer yet not too salty and just perfect. One catch is, did not taste any hint of Oolong .

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Wok Charred Beef is another of my favourite as this is not your typical Asian dish. Beef is cook nicely as its still very soft and juicy, and to go along with a bowl of rice would be great.
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Sweet and sour chicken is something quite good. Eatch of the pop corn cubes uses chicken breast/ surprisingly, they still manage to cook with the chicken not too dry yet still moist. Taste is pretty interesting as can tasted, garlic, fresh other ingredients.

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Lo Mein @ Dhs 51 is not bad for a fusion restaurant. It would be much better if it was fried slightly longer and with ‘wok hei’.
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VIP DUCK @ Dhs 85 is another underdog that caught our attention after we tried. Both part are well season and marinated. I would want to say I highly recommended this as its not an ordinary duck. This is PF Chang special Duck range.

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Kung Po Shrimp is quite a westernize version. Salty in first bite with mild spicy end. Still prefer our local ones.

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Hot fish is rather interesting as they are using groper fish as cook along with black bean sauce turns out to be alright.

Overall for a American restaurant with Chinese concept, they are not bad. The only catch will be there are quite number of items to fine tune if they were to penetrate Malaysia market and definitely will be a big market for our Muslim friends. A pretty good fusion dining. 

Location:

P.F Chang’s Chinese Bistro

Waterfall Promenade, Lower Ground Level, Dubai Mall, Dubai

Phone: +971 4 325 3341

Operating Hours: 11am – 11pm

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Texas RoadHouse sounds pretty interesting and with the word Texas certainly gives you a certain expectation to lift up. Outside do look pretty decent and upon walking into the outlet, you will be transporting into another dimension with their nice cowboy town interior look and it would be certainly better if some of the staff wear cowboy/cowgirl outfit.

BOK_4216 Love the props that they have on the wall with deer head wooden barrels on the side and other wood elements build up seating area and others is certainly a great way to emphasis on a cowboy town.  You know what will be great? A birthday celebration as they have a unique way of celebrating it with the Birthday boy/girl.

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Not only that, as the waitress told us that we can choose any of a nice Texas songs from the jukebox.

BOK_4217 In the display fridge you are greeted with a nice cut quality of beef .  .

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For their signature, every table is place with a mini bucket of home roasted peanuts. Peanuts are kinda big with slight salty end, go along with beer will be perfect.

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While waiting for your food, they serve you with their signature freshly baked bread rolls with their signature cinnamon honey butter which is so addictive. Bread is soft and warm that you cant stop spreading the butter and munch it.

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Then during every 30 minutes I believe you will be greeted with Texas line dancing from the floor staff.

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Smoked Buffalo Wings @ Dhs 39 is also know as one of their signature, at first bite it is quite salty but you have to dip with their sauce provided to tone it down and will give you extra flavour balances over it.

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Love their Chicken Tortila soup. Pretty dense yet pungent in taste. Would say it’s a concentrated version, just nice for a small bowl.

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Since I am pretty full from my brunch, I decided to go along with their Ribeye Steak Combo. Love their rib eye cut with some fats in between that cook to perfection from my request medium rare. Meat is still juicy, as for the ribs they are just good, soft, aromatic with the sauce, and meat is easily fall off from the bone. 

Got mushroom as one of the sides, which I think I still should choose on my classic option – Fries.

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Fillet cut is one of the outlet top seller, as I still prefer my ribeye cut.

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Another which is their Jalepeno Burger. Will be slightly salty if you eat it on the meat but if you eat it one mouth full you will get a full blast of flavours. Love their homemade bun which slight crips on the surface and soft.

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Steak lovers might fall in love with this as Ribeye with bone is one of their top seller that is serve at least 550g and trust me, its pretty huge that it can be shared by 2 easily from our end. According to the manager, it is a single portion for most of their customer. 

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For the end, we chose another dish Grilled Shrimp @ Dhs 34 (single skewer) that’s seasoned with garlic lemon pepper butter. Great simple dish where prawn is fresh, big and suculent. Love thier 2 simple slices of garlic bread too.

A great place to be for hangout and if you would want a change of ambiance. Yeehaa. . .

Location:
Texas Roadhouse
The Dubai Mall (LG112-2)
Fountain Restaurant Area
Lower Ground Level UAE

Operating Hours: 10am-11pm

Contact :+97144190266

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