Okku Restaurant Review

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Lobster Salad

They say chivalry is dead, but you’d find a rare breed of extremely lovely staff at Okku that’ll prove you wrong. The ambience at this fine dining dream is subtly lit with an amber-bronze tenor adornment; you walk into an elegant setting, reminiscent of Nobu, yet one that bears its own flair. Okku is a favorable night-spot if you’re into good Japanese food with great setting. Continue reading Okku Restaurant Review

BLOGMAS 15: DIY Hot Chocolate Mix + Recipe

What is Christmas without chocolate? Nothing, really. For me, no celebration is complete without the inclusion of this dark, decadent, naughty delight (and yes, I can describe chocolate in any number of adjectives!).

I’ve been looking at these adorable tutorials on Pinterest to make DIY Hot Chocolate Mix in Mason Jars and really wanted to give them a shot for a dear friend and here’s how it went!

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Things you’ll need:

  • 1 Pack of TESCO Salted Caramel Drinking Chocolate (ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS!!) 
  • Mini marshmallows
  • Mini Christmas Cards
  • A festive ribbon
  • Mason jar

And it’s all very simple after that, pile on the hot cocoa mix in the mason jar and add a layer of marshmallows. If your hot cocoa doesn’t have sugar, you can just add a layer in the beginning which will give a cool three layer effect.

Tie the festive ribbon around the rim of the jar and add a card to write your greetings.

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Recipe:

Measure the cup you’re going to use to pour the hot chocolate into. Fill it with full-fat milk around 3/4th of the way. Now pour the milk in a bowl and bring it to a boil.

I’d say you will need a tablespoon of the Drinking Chocolate but feel free to amend it to your taste. I also added a tsp. of Vanilla extract and Cinnamon.

Pour in your festive mug and fill it up with Marshmallows!

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Happy times!

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Diptyque La Collection 34 Launch and thoughts…

Fragrances, like people have layers, different notes of character, that develop over time, have a few awkward phases and yet, manage to come around to their balanced state (a.k.a their end note). This description goes to explain the new Diptyqie La Collection 34. Taking stories from their address 34 blvd st germain, Diptyque’s iconic first boutique, this collection explores the past, the passion and the personalities that developed this fragrance haven.  Continue reading Diptyque La Collection 34 Launch and thoughts…

Vince Camuto FW14

 

 

Last week, I had the privilege to attend one of the hottest collections for FW14 – Vince Camuto. The pantones of the entire collection was focused towards simplicity, and darkness, and modernism, and mystery. Some of the highlights were uses of block dark shades paired with a statement cuffs, zippers and buckles.

The accessories on the other side were edgy and urbane at the same time. I personally find prints hard to pull off so it was quite happy to see the use of block muted to dark tones making such an impact and ensuring the versatility with fall’s rock-chic to classic trends. I have a lot from the below to take off my bucket list until fall truly hits Dubai.

See the images for yourself:

 

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Special Vegetarian Biryani

The Story:

You know I’ve been reading a lot of food blogs and there are so many out there I love. However, it made me sad that mine looked no different than many. In my endeavour to add flair (and drama) to mine, I’ll be sharing a brief story of every recipe I do from now on. If you want to dive straight to the good stuff, move on ahead.

This dish is a bit of blur in my family. We’ve never made a biryani, ever! So on my search to make something every Indian restaurant boasts about in Dubai (but never comes close to the real deal), I developed this special recipe. It has my twists and turns; it also has many layers and steps. But I assure you; nothing beats a homemade biryani made with homemade curry paste. Now go on, prepare yourself some desi comfort food.

“NOTHING BEATS A HOMEMADE BIRYANI MADE WITH HOMEMADE CURRY PASTE.”

Continue reading Special Vegetarian Biryani

Day to Night Smoky Eye – Collaboration with Blend n Smack

Collaborating with the queen of creative makeup, seriously, her blog is just full of awesome reviews and creative makeup tutorials. So when we decided to collab, this seemed the right choice. I will be doing a day time smoky eye look – simple and standard while Sarah from Blend N Smack will be doing a super creative night-time smokey eye and let me tell you – She looks like a total bombshell! Continue reading Day to Night Smoky Eye – Collaboration with Blend n Smack

YOU can change a life

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Beauty aside, this blog was suppose to be helpful to those of us who have touched the dark side and are surviving. If I were to be honest, as the blog started growing, I got embarrassed discussing my past, present and everything in between because now people had seen my face, they related it to someone and it was all too much. So it takes courage talking and discussing this again, so I do ask for some acceptance.

So to add relevance to the image in this post, I literally just found this on Tumblr. As soon as I saw it, I saved it to my desktop knowing one day I will address the words in this image, talk about the realities and explore my case as an anecdote.

Over a strong cup of coffee and a dose of Sia’s music, here it goes. Depression is essentially cancer minus the symptoms. There are literally no red flags, no heads up, something just takes over you and you react (In some cases, you don’t and suffer in silence with a numbing sensation). That is basically it. And just like cancer, it grows until you don’t address it’s roots. The mind-numbing question is – How do you address it? And that is a question I cannot answer. Each person is different and there are many different reasons why someone is feeling so down all the time. But, I can tell you something else. I can tell you how to support them. It’s a simple two-step program –

A. Don’t be a jerk – Mocking about someone’s issues is NOT funny. Even if they’re sarcastic or dry humored themselves, it’s only because they’ve just never seen the light in the situation. If you’re trying to help, try to change their negativity to positive affirmations.

B. Show that you care – When someone confides in you with their deep rooted depression, chances are they know, they’re closer to the edge of taking a wrong step. So hear them out, make it easier by being there no matter what.

I can vouch for this personally, those who suffer from depression hate attention, do not appreciate pity, we appreciate the truth, we appreciate people who see the light and accept us with our ‘issues’. Most likely, we’ve grown up with an insidious sensation of ‘not being enough’ or ‘why can’t I be more like her/him?’. Don’t judge, be yourself and let them be themselves. That is literally all you need to do to make a difference in someone’s life.

I know there are some who have made in mine 🙂

Dining at Vogue Cafe

I’m a bit of a cafe hoarder. Strong coffee and delicious accompaniments always have me coming back for more. So how could I say no to experiencing Vogue Cafe again, this time for dinner. Here’s the thing about Vogue Cafe, it’s fashionable (Duh!), it is located at a very fancy spot (amidst Level Shoe District!) and has some really good drinks and dishes. Without any further delay, let’s get into business, shall we?

What we ordered: 

  • Berry Blast
  • Zaatar Crusted Chicken Strips with Pomegranate Dip.
  • Shrimp and Lobster Spring Rolls with Lime, Soy and Ginger Sambal
  • Grilled Organic Salmon, Broccolini, Stuffed Gnocchi, Cherry Tomatoes and Tarragon Vinaigrette
  • Corn Fed Chicken Breast filled with Ricotta Cheese served with Wilted Spinach and new potatoes
  • Pistaccio Creme Brule with Honey Madeleine
  • Hot Chocolate Pudding with Cherry Hibiscus Sorbet

DSCF6080 DSCF6077 DSCF6075 DSCF6074 DSCF6072 DSCF6068My favorite bit of this experience was the Hot Chocolate Pudding with Cherry Hibiscus Sorbet. Loved the idea of hibiscus sorbet and it did deliver in the perfect counterbalance to a decadent pudding. The starters were both lovely. But, if I had to change anything that would be the dressing for Shrimp and Lobster, it just did not float my boat.

 

The main courses were both lovely (Don’t worry the other one was all for my friend, I did not just have two main courses!) The meats were cooked to perfection and to be honest, this was good cafe food. Certainly, these dishes are not the most innovative, they are safe, they are delicious, and I’m okay with that. Good food, good company and great service – I’d highly recommend this for a fashionable escapade with your girl friends. If you would like to read my previous review, here you go – http://amplearabia.com/2014/02/01/where-fashion-and-food-collide/

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Disappointing Product – YSL Kiss and Blush Review

I’m actually sad writing the review because I genuinely love YSL’s products and this was an exciting launch from the brand and the though behind it was also great. I’m the kind of girl who likes to have some cohesiveness to her make up, especially lips and cheeks. I really wanted to like this one, but after 5 failed attempts, I give up. This one is just not for me.  Continue reading Disappointing Product – YSL Kiss and Blush Review

Brand focus – Nars Cosmetics (Plus a sneaky wish-list)

NARS and I go a really long way. I’ve had a love-affair with their gorgeous products for a long while now and couldn’t be happier that I wont be relying on British blogger swatches and reviews on the colors and products of this brand as it is finally coming to Dubai! In October that is, and in Sephora of course. So save up, every penny spent here will be worth it. In light of this beautiful launch, I’ve been testing out some new products from the brand (which were provided to the bloggers at the event). Continue reading Brand focus – Nars Cosmetics (Plus a sneaky wish-list)