Discovery Delivery Eats

Food delivery has made my stay at Discovery Gardens easier. When there are times that I am too lazy to cook, it’s comforting to know that dinner (or sometimes lunch) can be made available to me with just one phone call. I’ve narrowed my list down to my/our top five. My boys don’t like fast food much, they are happy with rice and sinigang (something they didn’t get from me!) I on the other hand like to eat unhealthily   (it’s my only bad habit – oh! that and shoes! plus bags! Plus… hahaha) Tonight as we spend our last night in this apartment it’s a bit bittersweet but life goes on and we should certainly carry on.

Before I go, I’d like to leave you with a few of our favorite delivery eats at Discovery Gardens:

1. The Kebab Shop

shop no.1, building 19, zen cluster 3, discovery gardens,
tel: 04 4475457
info@tks.ae

This is my current favorite place. I call them for a Briyani fix and of course kebab, my latest obsession is what they call the New Yorker. It has briyani rice with chicken and salad on the side and french fries on top.

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Photo from Kebab shop website

The french fries I share with the kids, the salad I eat for lunch and the chicken and briyani I eat for dinner. Now if that isn’t a sulit meal, I don’t know what is.

2. Chicken Cottage

PHONE: 04 4405994
 ADDRESS: Street 1 A, Discovery Gardens, Dubai

When I crave for KFC but don’t have enough budget for it, this is my go to place. They started out really good but lately I feel like they’ve used re used oil to fry their chicken (I may be wrong) but their chicken tastes different to me compared to when they started.

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Photo from Chicken Cottage website

Another favorite of mine from them is their chicken wraps, combo meal is less than 20 AED and is good enough for a full meal. So when my boys ask for rice and ____ for lunch, I feed them that and I call Chicken Cottage for a wrap! (#bestexampleever) When the kids feel like having nuggets I prefer getting from this place because I can see that they use REAL chicken breast to make their nuggets as oppose to the chicken nuggets from a certain Mc D’s…

3. O’Porto

PHONE: 04 4586465
ADDRESS: 5, Building 13, Zen Cluster, Discovery Gardens, Dubai

Their roast chicken used to be a family fave, that’s before I perfected (naks!) mine! haha But it is still our go to place when I’m too lazy to cook anything. They have Filipino dishes which they can also make in big servings so it’s ideal for potluck dinners or for entertaining at home. I do this when I want to have people over but don’t want to cook. hehe

5. NKD Pizza

http://www.nkdpizza.com

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They are NOT based in Discovery Gardens but this is our go to for good pizza. Ever since we had this pizza we haven’t ordered anywhere else. Their ingredients are all fresh and their pizzas are not greasy.

There are lots more of delivery food options at Discovery, these are just the ones we call the most. It’s 2:00 AM and looking through all my food pics is making me hungry, I better stop before I stand up and call for pizza! haha

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Agent woes

Wikipedia defines a Real estate agent as follows:

real estate broker or real estate agent is a person who acts as an intermediary between sellers and buyers of real estate/real property and attempts to find sellers who wish to sell and buyers who wish to buy.

or in our case RENT.

My ranting is coming from the wake of me going to DEWA to have electricity of the new place reconnected only to find out the apartment has some outstanding balance that has to be cleared first before I open our account. Same thing happened when I went to the district cooling office. These are important things we need to have when we move in, isn’t it suppose to be the agent’s job to have all this cleared before he even puts the property on the ads? 

Is it wrong of me to expect a little more service from them? I mean I found the ad, we went to see the apartment on our OWN, we met him at his place of convenience to pay for the deposit, we came to him when it was time to sign the papers, we came to his office to pick up the keys and on top of that we paid him  4,000 AED ($1,089) for the little work that he has done. 

It seems to me that being a real estate agent is a very lucrative profession in Dubai maybe I should look into it. I’m not asking for much, all I ask is that at least have the apartment ready for new tenants. Like the back charges on the electricity, I would’ve avoided 3 trips to DEWA if the back charges were cleared before we came into the picture. The balance for the cooling is still not cleared up to this day and we are moving in 3 days, so it’s a possibility that we are moving in without AC (which is not an option in this part of the world).  

If to the normal person all this seems taxing imagine me coming and going to these offices with a toddler in tow who may or may not be in the mood to wait in line. I would’ve managed a trip once, maybe twice if I’m lucky but on my third attempt this morning – not so much.

Bottom line, all this trouble would’ve been avoided if only the agent made sure everything was cleared before he signed new tenants in the apartment. 

I hate to rant, especially on this space since this is my happy place but it’s been eating me up these past few days and I’m loosing precious sleep thinking about it.
I’ve aired my concerns and this is the end of it – Good Night! (kaya?)

Lila Cafe

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This hidden gem somewhere at the Tecom area was the venue of a children’s party we recently attended to. I wanted to write and share about it because it was my first time here and I thought the place looked interesting for a party venue. I like how the space is wide and open with high ceilings. With it’s all white walls and contemporary furniture any event would surely be perfect for this place (with the right styling – of course!). More than an event space, it’s a café first and foremost plus they also serve shisha in the evenings at their outdoor space. I’m excited to spend some quiet mornings here once Adrian starts school at Regent, which was only about two blocks away from this space.

As for a kid’s party venue, (which was the reason we were there) I would suggest to get a good entertainer. With all the kids hyped up on sweets and with a big open space it’s a recipe for a chaotic afternoon. Which is what happened to us, the boys were running all over the place going up and down on the WHITE chairs because there was no one to rally them all together and keep them entertained.

The host did share with us that they chose the place because they heard from a friend that they had a  chef/cook that was Filipino. So with that information alone, I was sure the food was going to be to our liking. For parties, they told me you can choose your dishes from a menu and from your choice of dishes dictates the price. So I’m guessing they can cater to any budget you have.

I’m sorry my pictures don’t give the place any justice. But if you are in the hunt for a unique event place in Dubai, I suggest you give Lila Cafe a visit, I hear they have good sandwiches (might be worth a try).

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Lila Cafe:

Ground Floor, MCN Hives Building
Tecom, Dubai, Near Ramee Rose Hotel
PO Box: 454834 Dubai
Telephone: +971 4 454 3064

I’ve attached an article from AHLAN! to give you more information on the café: http://www.ahlanlive.com/restaurant-review-lila-cafe-258386.html?page=1


Smiling BKK

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I’m excited to share with you this evening’s dinner because as you know by now, I love to eat, but more than this I love to eat THAI FOOD. It’s not actually a new discovery, I’ve heard about this place a lot and long time ago but never really got around to try it. Their original branch is in Satwa near the post office in Al Wasl road. Don’t ask me more details on this because I don’t know. The branch we ate at was at Al Wasl Square opposite Safa Park. I waited for so long (drama) to eat here and tonight there was an opportunity and I grabbed it with both hands (arte!). I was excited and giddy just like how I imagine my boys feel when we say we are going to the toy store! Haha

The interior is for better lack of term eclectic. There’s all sorts of gimmick at the restaurant to make your dining experience memorable but the bottom line is the food  if it ain’t good no one is coming back, right? Husband says he’s had better (in London – yabang!). I, on the other hand loved every bite. I’m happy to eat anything that I don’t cook and even happier when it’s good authentic Thai food. Kids ate a fair amount of food, not as much as I would have liked but enough to fill their little stomachs. Adrian even referred to the Tom Yum as sinigang.

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There are more items on the menu than what we ordered tonight but I’m definitely coming back to try MORE!!!

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Poh Pia Goong
prawn vegetable and glass noodle spring roll

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Tom Yum
Oriental soup flavored with Lemon grass

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Pad Thai
need I say more?

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After Dinner the weather was nice so we decided to walk around and explore the square more. There are lots of small interesting cafes and  restaurants around, I even found a Japanese bakery that I cannot wait to try. I imagine since the weather is conducive now for outside dining that it would be a nice place to meet up with friends after work. The only downside I can think of was the parking – it’s not free so you have to keep putting coins on the RTA machine for every hour that you sit and dine.

For more info on the restaurants in Al Wasl square I found this website as a guide: http://www.mymetrotalk.com/restaurants-and-cafes-in-wasl-square/176


I am a Filipino.

There are so many things that have been said and written about the Philippines these past few days mostly because of typhoon Haiyan. This letter caught my attention because it is something different, it’s a letter from an expatriate to us Filipinos telling us how special he thinks we all are.

In times like these it’s nice to know someone appreciates who we are and the things we do.

LOVE LETTER TO FILIPINOS ||David H. Harwell, PhD

I am writing to thank Filipinos for the way you have treated me here, and to pass on a lesson I learned from observing the differences between your culture and mine over the years.
I am an expatriate worker. I refer to myself as an OAW, an overseas American worker, as a bad joke. The work I do involves a lot of traveling and changing locations, and I do it alone, without family. I have been in 21 countries now, not including my own. It was fun at first. Now, many years later, I am getting tired. The Philippines remains my favorite country of all, though, and I’d like to tell you why before I have to go away again.

I have lived for short periods here, traveled here, and have family and friends here. My own family of origin in the United States is like that of many Americans—not much of a family. Americans do not stay very close to their families, geographically or emotionally, and that is a major mistake. I have long been looking for a home and a family, and the Philippines is the only place I have lived where people honestly seem to understand how important their families are.

I am American and hard-headed. I am a teacher, but it takes me a long time to learn some things. But I’ve been trying, and your culture has been patient in trying to teach me.
In the countries where I’ve lived and worked, all over the Middle East and Asia, it is Filipinos who do all the work and make everything happen. When I am working in a new company abroad, I seek out the Filipino staff when I need help getting something done, and done right. Your international reputation as employees is that you work hard, don’t complain, and are very capable. If all the Filipinos were to go home from the Middle East, the world would stop. Oil is the lifeblood of the world, but without Filipinos, the oil will not come from the ground, it will not be loaded onto the ships, and the ships will not sail. The offices that make the deals and collect the payments will not even open in the morning. The schools will not have teachers, and, of course, the hospitals will have no staff.

What I have seen, that many of you have not seen, is how your family members, the ones who are overseas Filipino workers, do not tell you much about how hard their lives actually are. OFWs are very often mistreated in other countries, at work and in their personal lives. You probably have not heard much about how they do all the work but are severely underpaid, because they know that the money they are earning must be sent home to you, who depend on them. The OFWs are very strong people, perhaps the strongest I have ever seen. They have their pictures taken in front of nice shops and locations to post on Facebook so that you won’t worry about them. But every Pinoy I have ever met abroad misses his/her family very, very much.

I often pity those of you who go to America. You see pictures of their houses and cars, but not what it took to get those things. We have nice things, too many things, in America, but we take on an incredible debt to get them, and the debt is lifelong. America’s economy is based on debt. Very rarely is a house, car, nice piece of clothing, electronic appliance, and often even food, paid for. We get them with credit, and this debt will take all of our lifetime to pay. That burden is true for anyone in America—the OFWs, those who are married to Americans, and the Americans themselves.
Most of us allow the American Dream to become the American Trap. Some of you who go there make it back home, but you give up most of your lives before you do. Some of you who go there learn the very bad American habits of wanting too many things in your hands, and the result is that you live only to work, instead of working only to live. The things we own actually own us. That is the great mistake we Americans make in our lives. We live only to work, and we work only to buy more things that we don’t need. We lose our lives in the process.

I have sometimes tried to explain it like this: In America, our hands are full, but our hearts are empty.

You have many problems here, I understand that. Americans worry about having new cars, Filipinos worry about having enough food to eat. That’s an enormous difference. But do not envy us, because we should learn something from you. What I see is that even when your hands are empty, your hearts remain full.
I have many privileges in the countries where I work, because I am an expat. I do not deserve these things, but I have them. However, in every country I visit, I see that you are there also, taking care of your families, friends, bosses, and coworkers first, and yourselves last. And you have always taken care of me, in this country and in every other place where I have been.

These are places where I have been very alone, very tired, very hungry, and very worried, but there have always been Filipinos in my offices, in the shops, in the restaurants, in the hospitals, everywhere, who smile at and take good care of me. I always try to let you know that I have lived and traveled in the Philippines and how much I like your country. I know that behind those smiles of yours, here and abroad, are many worries and problems.
Please know that at least one of us expats has seen what you do for others and understands that you have a story behind your smiles. Know that at least one of us admires you, respects you, and thanks you for your sacrifices. Salamat po. Ingat lagi. Mahal ko kayong lahat.

Please Like & Share, Thanks!


moving forward

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Most people dread moving because they think that it’s stressful. Even though I have to agree that IT IS stressful, I on the other hand don’t dread it, in fact I’m kinda looking forward to it.

In my almost 10 years here in Dubai, I’ve moved a total of 4x and it amazes me how every time I move I noticeably accumulate more and more stuff. A very good analogy to the amount of stuff I’ve accumulated through the years is the type of transportation I’ve used in my moves.

The first time I moved, all my stuff was crammed inside a Toyota Corolla (with room to spare). The second time, we hired a pick up truck to help us haul our things from one place to the other. Next move, a friend offered his truck, which was a GMC Sierra so between that and our trusted Honda Civic, we moved ala bayanihan style. The last move, the one to our current house, I didn’t dare ask my friend this time since it might take about 3 trips because of all my things and since I didn’t want to lose a friend in the process we hired a moving truck (not a big one, a mini one-if that exists). Now while I study the things that I have, it seems that I would have to hire a cargo truck, I exaggerate but not so much (haha).

An Analogy of my growing number of things through our transport system:

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So if it isn’t obvious by now, we’ve finally found a place!!!

We started searching seriously as soon as Arnie arrived 10 days ago. Booking agents, discussing rent prices, terms of payments, etc etc. And then last thursday we hit a wall – HARD! Things were not going our way and the flats that were available to us were simply not making me house proud. I asked Arnie if he wanted me to like the last flat we looked at (pa cute) because we were simply out of options and he said that if I didn’t like it then let’s not go for it – simple! And that we didn’t have to move anyway.

I was feeling so low and with nowhere to go but up we thought of just to look at a place at Sky Courts Tower, the rents in this area were exactly in our budget but it wasn’t in our radar because of the long drive we thought we would have to do to get there. But turns out it wasn’t so bad and like everything in life we will just have to learn to ADAPT!

To make my long story short, we paid the reservation fee then and there and will just sit on our hands and wait for the go signal to move in. I wonder how many men and what type of truck will help us this time around…

Photo Credit:

http://iwritehome.com/less-stress-when-moving/
http://media.photobucket.com/user/MeMurf/media/moving_truck1.jpg.htmlfilters%5Bterm%5D=moving%20truck&filters%5Bprimary%5D=images&filters%5Bsecondary%5D=videos&sort=1&o=8
http://www.dragtimes.com/GMC-Sierra-Timeslip-1340
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_Corolla_(E120)

London, sweeter the second time around

Without meaning to sound ungrateful of my first trip, I really enjoyed our trip to London this time around. During our first time 2 years ago, we were so focused on seeing everything in our guide-book that everything started to look blurry and confusing and because we had limited time in the city, there was no time to sit and enjoy the experience that London had to offer.

This time around because there was no pressure to explore, we enjoyed our time doing fun stuff that we think the boys would love.

Legoland was number one on our list and the London zoo was a close second. Because we did these two places one day after the other this allowed us to spend the day at each of these places and not hurry up to go to another place. It was so much fun watching the boys play and point out things they like that really made me feel happy we had this opportunity. Adrian still talks about our trip up to now (one month after).

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Because we missed St. Paul’s Cathedral last time, we did this on our third day, when the boys were still so happy from their zoo and Legoland trips that they didn’t notice we were going somewhere “adult friendly”. Big mistake was to go to St. Paul’s on a Sunday because there was no tour available, there was a Sunday mass by 11 (I think) so that was a spiritual experience to another level. Sadly, cameras were not allowed inside the cathedral. The Tate Modern Museum was a bridge walk away from the cathedral and that was nice to do on a Sunday. Our day was pleasant up until Adrian realized that there was nothing to do there but look at art, then he started complaining and it was time to go.

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Before we left the UK we stayed one more weekend in London and we visited the Natural History Museum – my advice: go straight to the DINOSAUR exhibit FIRST because the line to enter was CRAZY, then do all the other stuff later. Of course my son enjoyed the BUG exhibit (I’m just saying)

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Because we were flying from GATWICK airport (cheaper flights) we decided to move to a hotel across from the airport. Remember we were traveling alone (just the three of us) so we checked in the day before and Arnie flew out for Amsterdam early monday morning to go to work and we stayed behind a bit longer until it was time for us to almost board the plane (#bestdecisionever).  You have two choices at Gatwick, Premier inn and Sofitel, I guess it depends on your budget. But I have to say the Premier inn did not disappoint.

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I enjoyed this trip very much because I was with my boys. Adrian was soaking up all the sights that UK had to offer that I hope he will never forget and maybe even share some of his memories to his little bro.

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