From a land where I had no blood relations to a land where I have my brother and family was such a welcome. But first thing first, I wasn't disclosing the city because I wanted to surprise my friend Z who had moved from Yanbu last year. I spoke to her husband and got the address and I decided to go during the day and surprise her! After F left to work, for the first time in years, I moved out alone. Walked past the main road and hailed a taxi and thankfully got a helpful driver who didn't advantage but instead helped me get to the right street.
So, the small-town girl is now in 🇦🇪 and already feeling lost in the crowd! 😂 The first thing I did was run to my Yanbu friend @zainimailing giving her the surprise of her life and feeling good myself 😄Our #majlistime with the best #moroccontea brand called #saba some #baklava and #mammoul to cope with the change. My major chunk of followers reside in UAE and I am so humbled with so many offers to meet up. InshaAllah hope to meet all of you! I will be moving in and settling in Abu Dhabi InshaAllah.... until I have a kitchen up and running, you will see some throwbacks of what I made in Yanbu. 😊
The next day I planned to meet Rafeeda of The Big Sweet Tooth!
I was starving by the time I met Rafeeda. How I reached her place is a story I love to share in full detail over a cup of chai 😂 From getting lost while looking for the metro station, a free car ride from a kind-hearted man to my first metro ride to burjman was the start to the adventure. Meeting her was relaxing...all I could feel was Hungry. 😂 She won’t tell you that I had her share of rice too. 😬 To me a #vegetarianmeals is a kind of detox. 😜 Pic credit @thebigsweettooth Restaurant: Royal Garden And then returning to my hotel should have been a breeze but I got off the wrong exit (Dubai metro users will know what it means) and again got lost and finally resorted to a taxi 😂 #thingstouristsdo Now in another hotel in another city. #abudhabi #alhamdulillahforeverything❤️
I know I should be running to meet my brother first, I had no courage to find my way through Sharjah! So waited for F to rent a car and we drove to meet my brother and his lovely family. A quick homemade dinner by my ammai and fun with the two munchkins. 🙂 No pics to share.
F's cousin's sister with her kids drove and came by to surprise him! We were working on the timings over the phone and chatting. It was a beautiful moment that I captured.
Thursday night we drove to Z's place and we all went to Al Hallab restaurant in Dubai Mall for dinner.
I received updates about our cats from the new adopters.
My brother helped us arrange a taxi to get us from Dubai Internet City to his home in Sharjah and then from there to Abu Dhabi. It was a Friday and we reached his home around the afternoon after Jummah and there was biryani!
We reached Abu Dhabi by asr and checked into City Seasons Al Hamra which was our home for a month!
Welcome to Abu Dhabi! Nice to meet you! 😂 Swipe to see more... Even though it seems like I am having the time of my life, we have our own struggles too. Relocating on short notice with so many things undone is stressful. But when you get served good Food... it heals mind and body. #alhamdulillah At least for time being. 😬 This was our dinner at the hotel in-room dining because he was under the weather. I had this #shishtawouk sandwich wrap and he had some #chickennoodlesoup I am a very picky french fries person... usually I don’t even touch them but these were superior! So fresh, crispy and oil-free to touch - not a crumb was left! 😋😋😋 Are you enjoying my stories of exploring Abu Dhabi restaurants? Btw, I am on zomato now 😊
The first restaurant we tried was Al Saj!
OMG!!! the amount of “cafeterias” and restaurants around here is countless! 😱 We found @alsaj_cafe during our evening stroll. I thought it must be another mallu venture 😄 but guess what it was a #lebanesecafe 😍😍😍 As soon as I saw #manakeesh on the menu, I didn’t care to turn any more of the pages. Ordered #akawi #muhammara #laham manakeesh and F was like “you stopped at this page and didn't want to look further?” 😂 I just wanted to taste this popular bread for a very long! They served fresh and hot. I felt they were very similar to thin-crust pizzas 😬 so nothing new there! #bubbleburst I then checked the other pages, they had the usual grills too. You will love this place for its ambience and service and the fresh hot snacks! Any place you highly recommend I try for the best Lebanese food in auh?
I finally got to try the much-loved Oman Chips!
Update from our boys
Met a friend for life!
I am so grateful for my life in Yanbu that it allowed me to start a blog and virtually meet like-minded people who look out for you. #alhamdulillah So, I met this girl 8 yrs ago for less than 2 mins on a busy road in Bangalore as a friend’s fiancé. I lost touch with the friend but she was following my Instagram and we occasionally chat. Guess what?? We met as friends in Abu Dhabi 😍 And we are set to explore the city together! InshaAllah. Our first meet-up was lunch at #calicutnotebook 😋 She is a vegetarian by choice and I wanted a break from meat 😄 so we relished a #vegetarianmeals The food was good but was not hot enough for me... but then, we were talking a LOT so didn't care much about food 😬 so I really don’t know if it was cold when served or became cold because we were busy listening to each other 😂 @reshminavaneeth we never have enough time 😄 @calicutnotebookabudhabi #abudhabirestaurant #keralafood #indianfood
A Srilankan Dinner
When I saw the banner at our hotel @cityseasonsabudhabi lobby that mentioned “Monday dinner buffet #srilankancuisine for 59AED”, two things came to my mind...1. @thebigsweettooth ‘s #wattalappam and 2. The only Srilankan blogger I know Jehan @islandsmile178 😍 The curry leaves loaded food only brought back a taste of home. And the wattalappam was to die for! I am in love with #srilankanfood 🤤🤤🤤🤤 #abudhabirestaurant #lifeinasuitcase #nocookingdays #eatasmuchasyouwant
There are so many restaurants around and all are just a walk away... Something which was never the case in Yanbu!
“I miss cooking” and never thought I would say this 🤣 I am loving the strolls we take every evening around our neighbourhood. We were looking for Chappan Bhog but found @viadelhi and decided to go in for it because he was starving! We placed order for #Momos, #butternaan, #ajwainparatha and #chickenchangezi ! Loved every bite! I saw @fromykitchen had posted a recipe for #chickenchangezi and that's why I ordered it 😊 On a different note, Zomato is addictive- agree or agree? 🤑
Met Shanaz Rafiq of shanazrafiq.com
I had a true fan moment when I got to meet the real person behind a blog that I love for the amazing recipes with videos 😍 @rafiqshahnaz Never in my dreams, did I think I would get to meet her. 😍#Alhamdulillah 😍She even took the time to bake me a #bananabread with #chocochips 😋😋😋 We had a good two-hour chat at @timhortonsgcc with #cappuccinowithcaramel and #tuscansandwich Back at the hotel room, I had 90% of the cake because he is at work and it was hard to save it. 😄 #bakedwithlove #atewithlove #bloggerfriends #bloggersmeetup
Ghee Rice was a restaurant!
I am actually getting tired of posting restaurants' food pics. 🙄 But am never tired of #keralafood 😜 #Dinner @gheericerestaurant with #varutharacha #chickencurry #beefularthiyathu #neychor #porotta and ended with classic #sulaimani☕ 😋😋😋😋 It's been more than two weeks of hotel life and eating outs. I hope we find our new nest soon. #abudhabirestaurant #livingoutofsuitcase #eats
On our first Friday in Abu Dhabi, we walked to Sangam for south Indian food!
Our first weekend in #abudhabi started with an early morning walk to #southindianbreakfast 😄at a highly recommended place. We didn’t even check the menu as we just wanted #masaladosa 🤣 It was not as good as I expected but for someone who was deprived of it for too long it was food from heaven! #southindianfoodtantrums #southindianfood #abudhabirestaurant
Another night we tried Zaatar we Zait!
I have been sharing our UAE restaurant exploration experiences chronologically. And mostly it is dinner as that's the only meal we can have together. 🙄We walked to @zaatarwzeituae one early evening and were welcomed by exemplary customer service! 😍Food freshness as promised. 😋Quantity and quality are great.🤤 Our first visit and we are so impressed! 🥰They offer free wifi for 1 hour. 😃Refill for the iced tea which we chose to take away in a bottle. 😎 F ordered for #swissboom which was flavourful and I went for the #halloumibeefbacon which was exactly how I wanted... nothing else to overpower the mild taste of halloumi... The #mealsampler was a medley of fried snacks... which actually was too much for two...Definitely will go again! Happy Weekend! #zaatarwzeituae #abudhabirestaurant #dinnertogether #stayathotelwife
And then I found Zomato!
But we still enjoyed stepping out as we were still hunting for an apartment.
Lots of coffee, shortlisting addresses of flats to check out, meeting my friend for lunch, and then going out with F in the evening. This was becoming my routine.
The one place that we went to every single evening while at the hotel for the fresh milk chai. In a few days...we didn’t even have to order... when he sees us.. he goes “Rand fresh milk chai...kadupam kudathil mathiram kurichu” (two chai very strong with less sugar...) They also have some amazing snacks and wraps and burgers... a neat and tasty cafeteria. Recently I learnt they serve breakfast too and it includes #puttu 🤤 #holeinthewallcafe #kingkarak
Another Friday, another south Indian restaurant - Saravana Bhavan
Taste of home - Sri Krishna Sweets
The one and only @srikrishnasweets and their melt-in-mouth 🤤🤤 #mysorepak My dad used to pack a few boxes of #gheemysorepak for his piyapilla every time I returned to Yanbu 😁 Now, we have it here in Abu Dhabi! Yay!! In the order of most loved: Mysorepak Jangri Motichur ladoo Badusha Rosgolla? Peda 😋😋😋😋 Which is your favourite??!!
I got addicted to Zomato. Order food, click, eat, upload pics and review!
Shanaz invited me home for lunch! She is an amazing cook! I loved all that she served!