Monday, April 29, 2013

Dapoer Kita : Kitchen of Indonesian Dishes

found a new indonesian restaurant in dubai : ‘dapoer kita’ which means ‘our kitchen’ in indonesian language. it offers similar indonesian delicacies that can be found at most indo restaurants here in dubai.


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one of our favorites : ayam bakar – grilled chicken, indonesian style.


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‘dapoer kita’ is situated in karama at sheikh mohamed building 2, very near fish market and the new lulu hypermart. it’s opposite the cluster of apartments.


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you can get indonesian lauk pauk (chicken and meat dishes) like our nasik bungkus. mr. khairul is happy to note that his favorite gulai sapi (beef in yellow gravy) is in abundance, and tasted delicious as it should be.

it also offers many other typical indonesian dishes like the nasi timbel (rice wrapped in banana leaf), nasi pecel (rice served with fried chicken), bakso (meatball, noodle and soup), iga (ribs), and buntut (oxtail).


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you can also get these indonesian keropok (fish and prawn crackers) – crispy and tasty.


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we got our favorite; a straightforward indonesian dish – sweetly marinated grilled chicken, served with steamed white rice, fried tofu and tempe (fermented soy), cut-up veggies and the infamous super spicy indonesian sambal (shrimp paste cili sauce). everything is freshly prepared. simple yet satisfying dish.


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delicious grilled chicken


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ordered one of our favorite indonesian drinks – the soda gembira. it’s basically rose syrup mixed with condensed milk and ice-cream soda. this one is too sweet. too much condensed milk.


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rose syrup + condensed milk + ice-cream soda = soda gembira. mixed them up to become a sweet, tasty pink-colored drink. but seriously dapoer kita, this is too sweet. easy on the condensed milk next time ya!


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we also tried the chicken satay, indonesian style. the chicken satay itself is delicious! well-marinated, tender and juicy. it’s served with nasi himpit (steamed rice rice compressed and cut into cubes) and indonesian peanut sauce.


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now while the satay meat has similar texture and taste with the malaysian satay, the peanut sauce is significantly different. the malaysia peanut sauce is spicy, the gravy is thick with traces of peanut bits. absolutely delicious. however, the indonesian peanut sauce is more fine and not spicy at all.

still a tasty treat for us. bole la kalo dah rindu sangat satay malaysia!


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(image : google) inside ‘dapoer kita’ is spacious. indonesian batik is used as table cloth. the walls are painted yellow (my favorite color) so I absolutely loved it! overall a nice, clean place.


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yellow walls with a few framed pictures here and there. plants in a corner. nice and sweet.


feel like having indonesian food today? call ‘dapoer kita’ 04-3795501 for more information, and directions!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Feed Camels, Giraffes, Goats & Zebra @ Emirates Park Zoo, Abu Dhabi

want to have a giraffe extend its long neck to munch leaves from your outreached hand? dare to feel camels’ tongue on your fingers? look at a the beautiful monochromatic zebra literally face to face? stand few inches from a hungry monkey? pat a baby goat?

head on to ‘emirates park zoo’ where you and your kids can experience all that!

emirates park zoo is in 12th street, al rahba city, abu dhabi. comparatively small for a zoo, but the zoo’s pretty brick walls painted in patterns of giraffes and zebras are hard to miss.



my favorite shot of that day : khaleef was feeding the giraffe when he poked his head so far inside the seating area – that khaleef can almost pet his neck. amazing!




been living in UAE for almost 5 years now, it’s a shocker that we’ve never even heard of this place before! this is ‘emirates park zoo’ in abu dhabi; a quaint little place that combines zoo and resort. yeap, this is also the first time I came across a place where you can stay a night inside a zoo!

hmm. imagine the smell! haha.

but I must say, emirates park zoo abu dhabi is actually one clean zoo, free from foul smell, and even from the entrance you can see how pretty the place is. hihi.

entrance ticket is aed25 for adult, and aed10 for kids. now this sounds pretty reasonably cheap in my opinion – considering it’s abu dhabi/dubai – however, the catch is you need to pay an extra aed15 to watch a seal show once inside. what? I’ll tell you more when we get to the seal show!



kahfi goofying around


granted it’s a significantly smaller zoo than al-ain zoo abu dhabi, it has its gems. the most wonderful thing about emirates park zoo is that, we get to feed the animals at close quarters. monkeys, goats, sheep, giraffe, zebra, camels – like, really close till the camels can actually extend its-head-and-grab-your-cap-from-your-head-kind off close!

better watch your young ones!

the fact that it’s a smaller zoo actually makes it easier for parents to have a walkabout with their children – the kids won’t get too tired too soon, and still get to see a lot of different animals in a short span of time.

also, despite emirates park zoo being small, they do have other significant animals like the tiger, hyenas, meerkats, kangaroos, and all sorts of reptiles and amphibians.




right at the entrance, a staff awaits at a table full of bunches of tied up leaves – aed5 a bunch. we bought two bunches which is just nice to be fed to all the animals that we were about to see.

we went to emirates park zoo very early in the morning since we’re starting out from dubai. it was a great idea because the zoo was completely ours for that morning! haha. it was serene, it was peaceful – albeit the noises from monkeys calling for breakfast!

oh, not to mention the excited noises from my ‘three little monkeys’ too! haha.



empty zoo! all ours! it only gets more and more crowded by the time we were about to go home.


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feeding the animals was really fun, and educational too – not just for kids, but for us parents as well! never have we come so close to these animals, especially the camels, giraffes and zebra – it’s amazing!

my boys were able to look at the animals closely, study their behaviour, sounds and movement in that brief encounter between man and beast. quite an experience for the boys.



feeding the freakishly people-like monkeys. super adorable. super cheeky.



this is the closest ever I’ve gotten to a camel. the boys were completely excited. all this while they have been spotting camels along the road when we drive in the highway. they are really gentle creatures, quietly munching away.



see! what did I tell ya – the camels extending his head to take a bite!



then there are the goats and sheep. there’s this one big black sheep that keeps banging the metal fence, greedily demanding to be fed – gotta watch out for that one, mommies! the kids (baby goats) are the most adorable!



owh, there’s such an overwhelming feeling when you’re face to face with a giraffe. it’s the tallest existing mammal currently walking on the face of the earth – possibly as tall as a medium-sized dinosaur. amazing when you think about it.



such adorable, gentle creatures. I constantly watch them in awe. sungguh indah ciptaan Allah!



this is the seating area right smack next to where the giraffes and the zebras are. there’s a small kiosk there that sells snacks and drinks, and we can enjoy them as we watch the animals roam the field. there’s no fence, no glass windows – the giraffes could just peek their head into the seating area to see what you’re having for picnic at the zoo! opps!



this is really the first time ever in my whole life, being THIS close, and face to face with a zebra. have you ever really looked at a zebra? it’s SO lovely. it has black and white stripes on its body. we know that from books and watching from afar, but have you REALLY looked? this monochromatic animal is such a sight. beautiful!

membuatkan aku nak pi cari tudung belang-belang hitam putih!



yes, the kids get to feed the fish too! buy the fish food for aed 2 a packet. of course they were on the lookout for the most popular fish among kids – the clown fish aka nemo!


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like I mention earlier, emirates park zoo abu dhabi is also a resort – offering rooms for those animal-nuts; nuts enough to spend the night amidst birds cooing, monkey-lovin and goats chattering away.



emirates park zoo is wheelchair-friendly with ramps everywhere. very accessible for mommies with strollers too, definitely!



the washroom for female in emirates park zoo is at the fish area. clean. fresh smelling. important! I think the male washroom is at the amphibian area. buaya betoi! haha



emirates park zoo is not only clean, but also offers a lot of comfortable seating areas to rest or eat.



another seating area right by the bird area. again, clean and no bad smell. such tranquility when you hang out over here amidst chirping and cooing of birds.



the bird area – mostly flamingos and peacocks – flightless birds



a really gorgeous – but very garang bird!



the area where we can see the seal show. everyone needs to sit on the stone stairs on the right, and the show takes place right in the middle of the area.




alright here we are – the seal show.

remember aed25 entrance fee to the zoo is cheap, right? well, you gotta pay an extra aed15 to watch the seal show. yeap. any other zoo would offer multiple shows, complimentary! with the ticket price! there would be bird show, seal show, even dolphin show or elephant ride even!

the seal show IS cute though, and entertaining. it’s just not worth an extra aed15 just to watch one seal show, for less than 30mins.

oh well – it’s your call.


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apart from being a zoo AND a resort, emirates park zoo also has this small corner for kids to try out wall-climbing, for a small fee. super cool! this is the first time khaleef tried wall-climbing and although slightly nervous, he was eager to try.



khaleef in action!


that weekend at emirates park zoo is an unforgettable memory for my boys. kahfi had his arm licked by a camel, khaleef was literally side by side barely inches from a giraffe’s face, and kazim was just screaming in excitement all the way.

I’d highly recommend this place for you folks out there with young kids. it would be an awesome experience! visit the emirates park zoo abu dhabi official website for more information. click here.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Deported From Saudi Because Too Handsome!

it was reported that the three pak arab from UAE were about to attend some festival in riyadh when they were stopped by the religious police and later deported (ha?!) because “they are too handsome.”

handsome sangat ke sampai tak boleh masuk saudi?

well, judge for yourself – i present to you, one of the men – his name is Omar Borkan Al Gala. he is a photographer, an actor, and a poet! alahai! a poet!


meet, the, man, who, got, deported, from, saudi, arabia, for, being, "too, handsome",


“a festival official said the three Emiratis were taken out on the grounds they are too handsome and that the commission (for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vices) members feared female visitors could fall for them," elaph, an arabic newspaper reported.

is this really true? well, this is the first time i heard men were deported for a crime of being too HOT! looking at omar borkan al gala’s pictures, I’m sure he IS guilty as charged! haha. *swoon*

click here for full story.


Omar Borkan Al Gala was allegedly forced to leave Saudi Arabia because he is too handsome.


you can see from his facebook page, women from all over the world flocked to offer their compliments (and some, their undying love!) caucasians, arabs, indonesians, and some writings in chinese too! instead of preventing saudi women to ‘fall in love’ with this ridiculously handsome man, now this piece of news is the one sending every women to his facebook page to have a look!

he seemed like some kind of don juan too – romanticising his fb status with charminng quotes : like, “last night i looked up into the stars and matched each one with a reason why i love you. i was doing great until i ran out of stars.”


and this : “if you're alone, i'll be your shadow. if you want to cry, i'll be your shoulder. if you want a hug, i'll be your pillow. if you need to be happy, i'll be your smile. but anytime you need a friend, i'll just be me.”

dah la handsome gile, romantik ya amat pulak! omar borkan al gala seemed to be the ULTIMATE man!



nways, few questions popped up in my mind :

  1. who was it who first said, “hey, that guy looks too handsome to enter our country. stop him!”
  2. is there a specific job description at the airport whose job is to spot handsome guys and stop them from entering the country?
  3. has there been previous incidents involving women falling for handsome men that lead to catastrophe? hihi
  4. based on this, am I to assume that if you were allowed entry into saudi, it means that… huhu



ok, so if you ARE allowed to enter saudi, ekhem – paham-paham je la. you’re not THAT handsome hihi. “let me see, hmm ok turn around. *look at your passport picture* ok you’re hereby considered NOT handsome. no saudi women will fall desperately in love with you. you may enter.”




ok ladies, I will leave you with this last picture of God’s beautiful creation. man, those eyes! omar, you can come to malaysia anytime! we won’t deport you! haha

all images from the magic of google.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Best Madfoon Meat with Mandi Rice @ Bait Al Karam

ever wonder where is the best place to get fresh goat meat marinated in rich spices along with sweet cut up potatoes and sliced onions – cooked so well in the oven inside the aluminum foil that when it’s unfolded, the steam is enticing, the aroma makes you salivate, the texture melts at the tip of your tongue – and the taste – a symphony in your mouth…

my husband mr khairul the mutton meat-fan enjoyed it so much that he made that bold remark – the best madfoon meat in dubai is at ‘bait al karam’. no contest.


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it’s by coincidence that we stumbled upon ‘bait al karam mandi & madhbi restaurant’ while on the awesome makan place guide, ZOMATO. since it’s nearby our place, we decided to try it out.

it is situated in discovery gardens, and actually the closest mandi rice restaurant to our place in dubai marina. before this, the nearest is ‘bait al-mandi’ in al-barsha, or ‘marhabani’ in jumeirah road – the other GOOD mandi restaurants are far away in deira or bur dubai. I’m pretty excited to make this discovery since it would be easy pizzy to do delivery from there to my home!


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as mr khairul declared ever so confidently – to him, this is THE BEST madfoon meat he has ever tasted – and he has tasted meat from mandi rice country-of-origin – yemen! 


he said that this is THE BEST madfoon meat he has ever tasted because he absolutely LOVED the spices that envelopes the meat – deliciously rich, well-marinated, and in the right amount. even the potatoes (which are marinated and cooked together) tasted so delicious and sangat berempah.

and the way it was presented – it was served with the rice while still wrapped in the aluminum foil, I’m guessing super-fresh from the oven. the staff unfolded the foil right in front of us, straight onto the rice – steaming hot – with all its glorious spice and juices. awesome!

he also said that the texture is just unbelievably soft and tender – it was so easily shredded from the bone, and melts in your mouth! THAT soft and juicy!

he enjoyed every morsel!

now while I totally agree on the texture part – it is SO soft! – but I am not a fan of putting too much spices on my food – so to me it’s actually a minus point that it’s so full of spices! to me, it’s TOO much spices! oh well, that is exactly what mr. khairul loved about it!

it’s up to your own tastebuds then – this dish is certainly full of spices, whether you like it or not! regardless, it is a must-try when you’re at ‘bait al karam’!


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the modestly delicious chicken mandi


as a chicken-mandi-rice freak, I find the chicken mandi rice at ‘bait al karam’ on the mediocre side.

but don’t get me wrong – to me, I love mandi rice so much, that even the mediocre ones are still pretty tasty! it’s just that I’ve tasted much more delicious chicken mandi rice at ‘al-tawasol’ in deira and at ‘mahareb & madfoon’.

the texture is as soft as it should be, but the taste is a bit salty. still tasty, but I’ve tasted better.


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the restaurant is fairly new (just opened less than a year), as you can see from the interior and spotless wall. it’s kind off bare but because of that, it also looks spacious. oh, it’s got pretty fancy chandeliers. hihi.


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from the entrance, there is another doorway that leads to the sitting area or majlis. here you can sit cross-legged as you enjoy your mandi rice. it’s a long, spacious area, as you can see from the picture below.


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there are two other smaller rooms or majlis for family who wants more privacy, but it was a tad too small for my boisterous boys (and also a bit malap), so we chose to sit at the long spacious sitting area. also because the area was empty. so we can conquer the whole place haha


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pretty pretty chandelier


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sipping arabic tea after a hefty mandi rice dinner


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I just had to mention the bathroom mirrors – like, woah! haha. so poshy woshy! appreciate the cleanliness and poshness of the mirror frames!


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the choices in the menu. all sounds delicious! call for home delivery 04-4324556 if needed!


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‘bait al-karam’ in building no 2, discovery gardens. I can’t remember the other shops left and right but the restaurant is not facing the main road, so you have to make a turn into the back of the row of shop lot to find the restaurant.

I also have to add that we received one of the best services by the waiting staff. he was warm and friendly, and he was excited to give us suggestions as first-time-comers. I didn’t get his name, but people like him is a gem in the service industry.

the mandi chicken at bait al karam may not be memorable, but we might come again JUST for the madfoon meat.

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