Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Review: Pei Wei - Marina walk

I am a big fan of PF Chang's (Dubai Mall and MOE) and seeing the advert of Pei Wei from the same group got me really excited to try it! To add to that I kept coming across jobs at the restaurant on the internet.
I did finally end up going there on a Thursday evening with friends. The first impressions were how empty the place looked for a Thursday evening. They’ve tried to develop a novel concept with menu displayed as digitised hoardings which showed photos of dishes. 

We had a a lady help us to understand how to order using the hoardings. We were made to order and pay at the till first but then served on the table. The concept didn’t work for me especially seeing that they were over staffed and could have easily taken a traditional approach, i.e. waiter takes the order at the table.
The food was good but maybe not good enough to make us go back. We ordered a thai style stir fry and vegetarian noodles. The portions were pretty big and the service was satisfactory.
Good try Pei Wei, but sorry, it just didn’t work for me.

Pei Wei Marina Walk
The digital menus to order from

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Furniture Shopping

I have spent the last one year in Dubai heavily shopping for furniture for our flat. And for everyone who is new to Dubai or re-doing their interiors in Dubai, I have compiled a list of things to bear in mind:

1. Do not bother buying all your furniture at once. We can live without the extra table or chair as you will come to realise.

2. Do start with an air-bed which provides a close substitute to a real bed, is quite reasonable, is readily available (at Carrefour in UAE) and is easy to store and use in the future.

3. Online shopping is highly mis-representative of the real items so I’m sorry but there aren’t short cuts to you getting out and doing this yourself in Dubai.

4. I would highly recommend a few places to start with like Marina Exotic Homes (Umm Suqim Road, Al Qouz), The One (MOE/Outlet Mall), and Al Huzaifa (Karama). IKEA is of course the default value-for-money option. I will keep adding to the list as I continue with the search myself.

5. Shops in the malls like HomeCentre, Crate and Barrel, Q Homes etc. do good deals from time to time especially on home accessories and kitchen items. I was lucky to move in Dec- just in time for the January sales.

6. A few other shops like Pier Imports (Mazaya Centre), Indigo Living, United Furniture (Oasis Center) and West Elm (Dubai Mall) also deserve a good mention.

7. In Dec-Jan most of our friends recommended Pan Emirates (Barsha) as a reasonable option. The first time I went, I was terribly disappointed with the appalling taste, I would definitely not recommend getting any major pieces of furniture from there but maybe consider it for supporting items like puffies/ desk chairs etc.

8. Depending on your priorities and the intended stay in Dubai, you may want to order items and wait for them to be imported (nothing is manufactured in UAE). Our sofas (From Mobilia in Times Square Mall) took about 10 weeks before they got delivered from Malaysia but were totally worth the wait.

9. For the satisfaction of exhausting all options, it would be worth your while visiting the furniture area in Karama and on Sheikh Zayed Road between First Gulf station and Oasis Center. Dragon Mart is also meant to be good for office furniture, curtains, wallpapers and the like- we haven’t liked a lot there but it is worth a visit to know what all is available.

10. I can't stress this enough but try and think of the room as a whole instead of just about the item you are buying now. It may make sense to invest the amount you save on big pieces of furniture on home decor accessories instead like photo frames, decorative pieces, paintings, flower vases, candelabras to really give it your personal touch. God is in the details J

11. Most importantly, enjoy yourself through the process. Its not everyday that you get the chance to do/re-do your interiors.

Happy Shopping :D