Friday, March 29, 2013

Al Mina Modern Cuisine, Abu Dhabi : New & Improved!

the first time I went here was early 2011. I knew this place as ‘Mina Modern Kitchen & Restaurant’, and I had a disappointing experience. however, the restaurant has since changed its name to ‘Al Mina Modern Cuisine & Restaurant’, with great improvement!

in the old place, I had an unfortunate experience with the mediocre food, the less-than-warm service and slightly smelly seating area. now the new the place under the name ‘al mina modern cuisine & restaurant’ has got better food, better ambiance, better seating area – altogether a better restaurant that deserves the reputation as ‘the best place to get mandi rice in abu dhabi’.

I still stand by what I wrote during my first visit to this restaurant (because it really WAS that bad!), and that is why I’m so glad to write this new posting to give praise to where praise is due.

(click here to read my ranting on the OLD version of this restaurant, just to give you a comparison.)



combo plate of mandi chicken & lamb


this was my review on the food the last time I was there :

“..the rice is dry, the chicken not as juicy, and the lamb is hard – like a day-old hard, or one that they simply re-heated for the next day..”

I’m happy to note that the new and improved place served a most delicious mandi rice that is very well-presented (see picture)! a normal plate of mandi rice looks yummy, but this plate includes cut-up tomatoes, lemon and capsicum. looks really attractive when they play with colors and your taste-buds!

nampak menyelerakan! definitely A-plus for food presentation!




the taste was as good as it looks like.

the rice was soft and juicy. the chicken was delicious, hot and fresh. the lamb was tender, easily shredded from its bone and well-marinated. altogether a delicious plate of mandi rice.

I applaud the new chef, (there must be a NEW chef because there’s such a significant difference from the old mandi rice that they serve!) – great improvement in taste, texture, and presentation!



the soup was just tasty as it should be and my boys LOVED it. deliciously salty and hot. even I enjoyed slurping soup after each handful of rice, and I seldom do that in a mandi restaurant!


* * *




‘al mina modern cuisine’ is very near the fish market, and fishing area with fishing boats docked right opposite the row of restaurants, so it’s no surprise that the menu includes many varieties of seafood dishes – sherry, hamour, king fish, squid and shrimps – grilled, or fried.


* * *



upon entering…



the walls look a little rundown, but overall the place has a much better ambiance compared to the last time we went here. more airy, with better lighting.



there’s a waiting place (my guess) which is simple yet I appreciate their effort in having this small corner complete with a pretty set of arabian teapot and teacups.



in the old place, the family seating areas were separated using what look like shower curtains! it was dark, with slight unpleasant smell like damp carpet. they’ve certainly revamped the place well with hard panels as ‘walls’, new majlis (the arabian cushion seats) and new carpets. it looks way better!



one of the majlis. looks reasonably comfy to sit cross-legged as you enjoy mandi rice



at the family area, you could also opt for the table and seats area instead of the majlis



this is the family seating area at the furthest back, and the largest. it’s bright, spacious, comfy – fit for a whole party of people!



it’s important for a restaurant to have a clean washroom. aside from being clean, ‘al mina modern cuisine’ even decorated its washroom with scenic pictures on the wall. classy! haha. but seriously, it’s important to have clean toilets and wash basins, so A-plus for this!



the exterior has changed too. with mengkuang-like walls and new signboard too 


‘al mina modern cuisine & restaurant’ is situated in the vicinity of a ‘fishing’ area in abu dhabi, it’s very close to the fish market near the corniche. susah nak cari for us, but when you know the way, the restaurant is very obvious.

you have to look for this 3 buildings near the fish market, drive right into, passing this one gate until you see the signage ‘fish market’.

there are a quite number of restaurants in the rows of shops opposite the boat-docks so you gotta keep your eyes open to spot ‘al mina modern cuisine & restaurant’.

good luck!



this is the sight opposite of ‘al mina modern cuisine & restaurant’

Monday, March 25, 2013

Being ME 2–(Muslimah Empowered) : Get Your Tickets NOW

I’m sure many of you lovely muslimah have heard of the women-only islamic conference Being ME since its successful run last year at Matrade. my sisters yong, syidot and azot attented the day event and had a wonderful time.

this annual conference is BACK in Kuala Lumpur for a second time this 29th June with the theme ‘Divine Liberation’, dedicated to aspiring female leaders around the globe.

got kids? no babysitter? husband main futsal? maid balik indon? bring the kids along! aged 6-12 can join as there are many fun activities for them to enjoy too! no worries, mommies!

(this is still tentative, but insyaAllah I will be in Malaysia around that time. fellow bloggers, jom jumpa kat sana!)



Mercy Mission Malaysia is hosting this second annual women-only conference ‘Divine Liberation- Being ME Malaysia 2013’ which will be filled with captivating talks, enlightening workshops and exciting bazaar.

this is the moment to discover you true potential to be a better muslimah, and to strengthen bonds between fellow sisters in Islam. as muslimah, to understand our role in society, economic and politics, and in family development. to recognize our daily challenges and overcome it. to liberate ourselves from total dependency of the duniawi. to be free!

click here to learn more.




Details, up close!

Event: Being ME (Muslimah Empowered) 2013
Theme: Divine Liberation
Date/Time: 29th June 2013 / 10am-10pm
Venue: Putrajaya International Convention Centre (PICC)

Ticket Prices
Early Bird (until 30th April 2013)

  • Children (aged 6-12) - RM50.00
  • Adults (aged 13+) - RM99.00
  • Students (with valid student ID) - RM99.00

Normal Price (1st May 2013 onwards)
  • Children (aged 6-12) - RM75.00
  • Adults (aged 13+) - RM150.00
  • Students (with valid student ID) - RM99.00

e-mail to purchase your tickets!

  • Thought provoking lectures
  • Bazaar
  • Workshops
  • Sisters' Corner
  • Entertainment & Muslimah Award
  • Mothers' Room
  • Daddy Daycare (RM50 per child)

  • Sister Zohra Sarwari (US) - parenting expert; international speaker; author; entrepreneur
  • Prof. Dr. Muhaya Mohamad (MY) - renowned ophthalmologist; TV personality; motivational speaker; author
  • Prof. Dato' Sri Dr. Zaleha Kamaruddin (MY) - IIUM Rector
  • Sister Tasneem Ghauri (CA) - da`eah; motivational speaker; counselor
  • Sheikh Daood Butt (CA) - Al-Kauthar instructor; international speaker
  • Brother Yusha Evans (US) – founder and co-founder of two Islamic television stations in North America, also a multiple discipline Black Belt holder (wow!) & runs a martial arts academy
this includes a special appearance by Fatih Seferagic, imam muda dari Bosnia who will recite Al-Quran in his beautiful voice. owh pardon me, but he’s too cute!


Fatih Seferagic, imam muda dari Bosnia 


if you think this is something that can benefit you or your families/friends, please help us to spread the word!

bawak mak, makcik, opah sekali. pergi dengan adik kakak. ajak kawan-kawan. jemput sahabat handai! jom pergi ramai-ramai!


* * *


take note, people!

there’s still time to get the EARLY BIRD price ticket!

ticket price for Early Bird: RM99 (adults) & RM50 (children between 5-12 years old)

early bird period ends 30th April 2013.

e-mail to get your tickets!


* * *


my bro-in-law nash is the sales manager for this event, so I’m promoting this event all the way from dubai hihi on his behalf. very proud of him to get involved in such a beneficial event for us muslimah. show some love and support, ladies!

if you had attended last year’s Being ME and had blogged about it, could you please leave the link on the comment section, so that other bloggers can read what you have experienced and benefit from the conference, in return become more interested to participate in this second one. thanks!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Masterchef Selebriti Malaysia Musim Ke-2 : Pendapat Aku

yay! aku minat sgt masterchef selebriti malaysia tahun lepas. so sangat ternanti-nanti musim ke-2! adoi. kena tengok dari dubai lagi. tahun lepas berjaya tgk masterchef selebriti finale kat malaysia. tahun ni sempat tak?

mula tayang 22 april. tak sabar!


masterchef selebriti 

maaf ade yang aku tak kenal sebab aku tak ikut drama melayu (aku kat dubai, malas nak tengok kat youtube dan website) dan aku tak berapa kenal peserta-peserta rancangan realiti tv yg berlambak kat msia. tapi berikut aku beri anticipation aku terhadap karektor2 warna-warni yang bakal memeriahkan masterchef selebriti malaysia musim ke-2 :


MasterChef Selebriti


* * *

afiq muiz – ok sape ni? tak kenal. tapi nampak macam hensem. pencabar terdekat zain saidin yang comel. harap-harap bukan stakat hensem tapi pandai masak dan klaka macam jehan miskin dalam musim pertama.

aznil hj nawawi – yes, aku nantikan komen-komen witty dan menghiburkan dari pengacara ulung realiti tv ni! aku memang minat aznil yang sentiasa kreatif, lucu dan bijak menarik minat penonton. semestinya favorite peserta aku! aku tengok azwan dulu dalam laser2 dia, dia amat humble depan chef, dan sentiasa menerima kritikan chef juri dengan positif. kita tgk reaksi aznil pulak yang dah biase hos rancangan sendiri!

cat farish – aku minat dia masa kat ruffedge je. lepas tu macam biase-biase je. kita tunggu dan lihat. ntah-ntah pandai masak macam angah!

celina khor – musim lepas ade soo winci yang sgt sweet. musim ke-2 celina khor pulak. suka sangat dia masa mengendalikan 3R. beauty with brains. mesti menarik jugak dia dalam masterchef selebriti ni!

michael ang – tak kenal jugak. hasil google mendapati beliau rupanya pengarah filem dan drama bersiri dengan beberapa kontroversi seperti paparan adegan lelaki tak berbaju. hmm. kita lihat macamana seorang yang dah biase beri arahan pada pelakon dan kru produksi terima arahan dari chef juri pulak!

enot – aku tau dia pelakon komedi. tapi aku tak pasti samade akan terhibur dengan lawak dia di luar layar kaca tv. kita tunggu dan lihat.

keroz nazri – macam comel tapi aku tak kenal. carian google memberitau aku dia penyanyi dan komposer yang menang naib johan program realiti mencipta lagu ye ke? aku tgk video ‘suatu hari nanti’. uish boleh tahan sedap suara. lagu pun best. ok, aku tak sabar nak minat personaliti ni! haha, ayat.

kenchana devi – lagi satu pelakun komedi. hebat sebab satu-satunya pelakun komedi wanita berbangsa india yang berjaya masuk industri yang dominasinya melayu. aku nantikan lawak-lawak kelam kabut yang menghiburkan dari dia.

lydiawati – pelakun jelita 80-an yang sekarang dah ayu bertudung. mesti macam mak-mak kat dapur kan.

sabhi saddi – tak kenal jugak. siape dia ni? google kat youtube, ha ambik kau – gile sedap suara dia. terus jadi hensem. haha. aku dengar lagu ‘nadiku’. maaf terlambat tapi sukanya lagu ni! kenape aku tak pernah perasan dia ni!

norish karman – bosan. tak minat. tak minat lakunan, tak minat in person. perasaan macam haliza misbun kot. haha.

radhi – wah! kejutan betul radhi OAG nak memasak. pernah jumpa dan amik gamba dgn radhi masa dia buat gig untuk youthquake di ipoh. aku expect dia akan gila-gila sikit dalam kelam-kelibut. pasti menarik! eh, kot-kot pandai masak rendang tok!

rozita che wan – tak minat. bosan. tapi lepas zain saidin meluahkan perasaan cinta pada dia, aku tertarik utk tgk dia beraksi di luar layar drama tv. best sangat ke sampai zain yang comel muda rupawan tu bole tergila bayang? cinta itu buta! lagi satu nak tgk rozita che wan masak pakai bulu mata palsu (ini mmg quote dari dia ok!)

sathiya – lawak! aku suka! tapi harap-harap dia tak mengoverkan nk melawak. harap-harap bersahaja mcm farouk.

zain saidin – comel. sasa. tapi sebab aku ni minat muka melayu, jadi aku lebih tertarik nak tgk sabhi saddi atau keroz nazri mahupun afiq muiz. aku nantikan bibit-bibit manis (erk!) antara dia dan rozita che wan.

sharifah shahora – macam kenal tapi, macam tak cam. pelakun drama ye? mungkin bosan bagi aku sebab tak kenal sangat, tapi mungkin jugak sweet dan menarik mcm pendapat aku psl siti sarah musim lepas. aku tak minat sgt siti sarah tapi personaliti dia sweet je.

syanie –  aku lebih prefer syanie dari enot. tak sabar tgk dia masak!

syura – penyanyi kan? yang suara macam siti nurhaliza ke? ntah lah. lupa. tapi manis je dah pakai tudung. ini pun stok-stok macam siti sarah kot. aku tak minat tp mungkin personaliti menarik. kita tunggu dan lihat!

yassin – aku prefer lawak dia dari lawak over apek. rilek. bersahaja. jadi aku harap dia kekal dengan lawak bersahaja dan bukan dibuat-buat sekadar nak melawakkan masterchef selebriti.


* * *


ini semua pendapat peribadi aku je ok, dari diri aku yang tak berapa kenal sgt sesetengah peserta ni. jangan lah emo sangat kalo korang peminat norish karman atau yg lain yg aku tak berapa kenal. lepas tgk masterchef selebriti ni kenal lah!

hmm. tapi kan, pendapat aku lah kalau dah ade syanie patut xpayah ade enot kan. ramai sgt pelakun komedi dlm musim ni. sathiya ngan kenchana devi lagi. yassin pun ade. hopefully they don’t try too hard to be funny. aku rasa penerbit masterchef selebriti ingat rancangan ni nak bank on funny dan humor. tapi tak semestinya pelawak je bole contribute humor. mcm thanuja dan jehan musim lepas bukan pelawak pun tapi komen-komen diorang ade je lawaknya.

lagi satu, musim lepas ade angkasawan dan ratu cantik (bukan dari bidang hiburan) jadi musim baru ni patutnya jemput sekali ahli sukan atau pembaca berita untuk jadi peserta. kan?

ok tak sabar nak tgk! (tolong laaa upload kat youtube!)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Happy 34th Birthday, Honey!

mr. khairul turned 34 on 8th march. I’m never this late writing something nice for him but 1) never say never, 2) better late than never, and 3) it’s never too late to say something nice about someone you love hihi

so honey, HAPPY 34th BIRTHDAY!



we had steak dinner (standard when it’s anyone’s birthday! hihi) at our fav steak haunt ‘butcher shop and grill’ at the walk JBR. the steaks here are delicious, in large portion and reasonably priced.



birthday boy’s steak. nyum. always satisfying.



kazim & kahfi. slurrp!



anong khaleef. nyom nyom.


* * *





hey, you’re thirty FOUR,


mi amore!




your wife,



* * *


I’ve been writing birthday poems for him since he turned 30. check it out :






* * *

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Chocolate Cake Cheesecake VS Cheesecake Pancake

the battle is between two of my favorite cheesy desserts found in dubai! one is a cake from the cheesecake factory and another one is a pancake from IHOP!

which one do I like more?

any dessert is sweeter when shared with a BFF! my classmate in high school putri was here in dubai a while back and we spent time eating and talking. and then we eat some more. haha. we went to the cheesecake factory in dubai mall, and the IHOP in JBR the walk.

click here for my first trip to the cheesecake factory, and click here for my review of IHOP where we celebrated khaleef’s birthday.


* * *



meet our first contender : it’s called the ‘30th anniversary chocolate cake cheesecake’! in 2008, the cheesecake factory celebrates it’s 3rd decade of devilishly delicious cheesecakes, and this cake started out as a limited edition, which obviously stayed on due to its popularity.



in the menu, this is described as ‘layers of original cheesecake, fudge cake and chocolate truffle cream’. yes, that’s the swirl of choc truffle cream on top! you’d think that by looking at it, it would be this lump of sugary sweet icing on a cake – but it’s actually yummy rich chocolatey nutella-like cream! not too sweet, and really goes well with the moist cheesecake underneath.



..and on the side, there are these chocolate shavings and crunchy chocolate chips-like that gives a juxtaposed texture to the moist cake. imagine sinking your teeth into soft cake, and then greeted with a crunch of chocolate? heaven!



this is probably one of the more simpler types of cheesecake in the cheesecake factory : just a clear-cut layers of cheesecake and chocolate fudge cake. no coconut cream or lime taste, or hidden walnuts in between or caramel swirls in the middle – very straightforward cheese and chocolate. a beautiful marriage. for my tummy. haha.


if you’re looking for good chocolate cake cheesecake, this is IT.



me & put after munchin cheesecake!


* * *



ladies and gents, meet the challenger : the ‘new york cheesecake pancake’. the new york cheesecake itself is essentially cheesecake with sour cream. I can taste the marvelous cheesecake and feel the smooth texture as I fork through the moist pancake. delicious and melts in the mouth!



in the menu, this dessert is described as ‘four fluffy buttermilk pancakes, loaded with creamy rich cheesecake pieces and crowned with cool strawberry topping, powdered sugar and whipped topping.’ yum. the ‘strawberry topping’ is just a sweet delight to the pancake. however, I feel that the pancake dish would be perfect with fresh strawberries instead of this pickled ones.



I don’t care much about whipped cream, so this is an okay addition for me. sure makes the dish looks good, but I won’t complain if I miss it.



my gal pal put enjoying a late afternoon snack at JBR the walk : it was very windy and so cold after awhile that we can’t wait to leave!



put at IHOP in the walk JBR


* * *


…and the winner is -------

are you kidding me?

you can’t ask me to choose between two heavenly desserts! it’s like making me choose between thor and captain america. or lamb chop and lamb mandi. or ferrero rocher and kinder bueno. or mulder and scully. I love them all equally!

so the battle between the chocolate cheesecake and new york cheesecake pancake continues…

…oh, man. and now I want some!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

World’s Most Expensive Abaya : RM55 Million!

abaya is basically a black, loose robe-like dress worn by muslim women in most parts of the middle east.

this is the most expensive abaya ever made and has been dubbed the ‘red diamond abaya’ due to the usage of a very rare red diamond as the centerpiece. the designer is british debbie wingham who will showcase her selection of abaya soon. fancy a brit designing abaya for middle easterns, huh?



launched in march, it really does like any typical black abaya with beautiful red embroidery. look closer and you’ll see that it’s made of diamonds…

tengok laaaagi dekat, dah macam manik-manik labuci beli kat jalan kuala kangsor kat ipoh tu. huhu.



  • it is adorned with hundreds of diamonds
  • hand-stitched with white gold thread
  • and of course, the tiny rare red diamond on the chest area
  • the fact is that the red diamond is only found one in millions regular diamond, once in 50 years – that makes it so rare
  • the abaya costs aed65 million or RM55 million, and that rare red diamond alone costs RM20 million



how could anyone even begin to WEAR this? beautiful and unique as it may seem, it defeats the purpose of the humble, demure abaya which should serve to cover the aurah and not attracting too much attention.

I hope it’s just for exhibition…

(pictures from google)

Friday, March 1, 2013

Authentic Chinese Dish @ Qinghai Hu Restaurant With MCKK Bros

I absolutely LOVE chinese food. not too spicy, uses a lot of herb and spices that I like, and the style of cooking is just simple yet satisfying!

there is an ‘international city’ in dubai and a little china district in there where a lot of awesome chinese restaurants are, serving good authentic chinese dishes at cheap price. loved it! this include our favorite chinese restaurant there called ‘lan zhau noodle restaurant’.

(click here for my review of ‘lan zhou noodle restaurant’.)

and this latest one that we tried : ‘qinghai hu restaurant’ was recommended by abg nizalman. looking at the menu, there seems to be an endless choice of chicken, meat, lamb and duck dishes to try plus soups and even desserts. spoilt for choice!

qinghai is named after the largest lake in china, located in the northwest part of large country.  (source : wikipedia)


* * *


since this was our first time here at qinghai hu restaurant, we let abg nizalman do the ordering. everything looks good! like seriously, I’m not even joking – I really don’t know what to order!



this is deep-fried marinated chicken & dried chilli with sesame seed and capsicum. the best of the day. loved the crunch outside, loved the tender meat inside. yum!




qinghai hu restaurant’s version of satay? this is beef on a skewer, and I’m not a fan of beef satay so I would just say that the texture was really good, but I’m still on the fence with this. beef-fan should try it!



this is one of the must-try – homemade noodle with this comot-looking kuah with beef. I can’t remember what’s it called but I loved it. it will be difficult to try and order this again next time since I can’t remember the name of the dish!

however, as much as I LOVE this dish, in my opinion, the noodle and gravy at ‘lan zhou noodle restaurant’ is much more delicious!



..or you can also eat the noodle with this less spicy soup – with beef and white carrots. delicious especially when it’s piping hot!



this is curry fried rice. yes, CURRY. it’s spicy but you know how the chinese-food version of spicy kan? takde la spicy sangat pun. but I like it. it’s – different!



this is the ONE dish that I know : the yang chow fried rice or yang zhou fried rice – popular in malaysia too – what we malaysians know as simply ‘nasik goreng cina’! with mix veggie, cut-up chicken and prawn, fried with eggs, what’s NOT to love? this is one simple and satisfying meal.



weirdly delicious meal. I don’t like tofu when it’s so soft but I like the fact that it’s got that deep-fried crunchy outer layer. so it’s crunchy on first bite, but there’s the soft tofu waiting inside.


* * *


qinghai hu restaurant is clean and comfy, just a nice, simple place to eat good food, and cheap!



the general eating area is upfront, but you can head back to the family seating area which is really rooms – very comfortable and provide privacy to eat sesuka hati hihi



the wallpaper is impressive for this little chinese restaurant! over kau haha. not my favorite of course but I appreciate the effort to beautify their restaurant for the patrons.



even the tea cup makes us feel like royalties! haha



tada~ there’s even a couch inside the ‘family room’ – we were like, “eh macam bilik karaoke!” hihi. see, nice and comfy!


* * *



we were hosting mohsein aka moqq, mr. khairul’s mckk batch mate who was here in dubai on business. next time come back for pleasure ok! haha




together with us are (from left) suhaimi v00 (in cap) and bro nizalman v90 (in blue) – who was the one who recommended this place to us. thanks abg nizalman! now we have more choices to eat when we’re around dubai international city.



mckk brothers : kay v96, nizalman v90, mohsein v96, suhaimi v00

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