14 March 2017

My favourite food of all time is Japanese food and I’m always on the hunt for delicious Japanese food in Dubai. For great quality sushi and value for money, I love going to Sumo Sushi & Bento. They have multiple locations throughout the city, such as Jumeirah, Dubai Media City and JLT. It’s one of the best places for casual Japanese dining. It’s reasonably priced, excellent food, nice ambiance and highly attentive friendly staff.


Sumo Sushi Bento 1


Sumo Sushi & Bento is a UAE homegrown concept, which has managed to deliver a great Sushi experience throughout the GCC for over 15 years. The menu is extensive and the dishes are excellent both in terms of the quantity as well as flavor. The portions are generous and you will not leave this restaurant without feeling full and happy.


Sumo Sushi Bento 2


I love the Sushi Rolls. They are all delicious! My favourite of all time is the famous Samurai roll. It is Sumo Sushi & Bento’s most popular item on the menu. A combination of shrimp tempura, crab roll, salmon, avocado and cream cheese… YUM!! The Sweet Potato Crunch is also another favourite! Prawns, crabstick, and avocado drizzled with a mix of mayo, sweet chili and teriyaki sauce all topped with crispy sweet potatoes… are you drooling yet? The Phoenix and the Emperor’s New Roll are also delicous!


Sumo Sushi Bento 3


I also love the Tuna lovers Bento, a selection on Tuna sashimi, tuna nigiri, and spicy tuna rolls served with a garden salad. The fresh tuna just melts in your mouth! In line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, Sumo Sushi & Bento has started an initiative for sustainably sourced tuna. What does sustainable tuna mean? The Tuna is delivered fresh daily from a 100% sustainable fishery in the Maldives that uses a pole-and-line fishing method. This method of fishing is not harmful to endangered species or the marine environment. The Tuna at Sumo Sushi & Bento has greater color, texture, and quality. The darker red meat is proof that the tuna is fresh and untreated, preserving the tuna’s natural deep red color 🙂


Sumo Sushi Bento 5


The dishes are very creative, using fresh ingredients. The quality of the fish and the presentation for each dish is impeccable. They also have an expanded vegetarian menu and different specials each month. The friendly staff are always around to give you suggestions if you’re wondering what to order.

I would also suggest the following dishes:
Rock n’ Roll Shrimp (Rock Shrimp deep fried in tempura and covered with a spicy mayo sauce)
Golden Ito Ebi (Kunafa spun prawns deep fried to a golden crisp served with a sweet chili dipping sauce)
Poke Bowls (Sumo Sushi & Bento was one of the first to introduce Poke bowls to the UAE)
Japanese Curry Katsu (Breaded, deep fried chicken cutlet served with a traditional Japanese Curry sauce over a bed of rice)
Pomberry Delight (Freshly brewed iced tea shaken with pomegranate juice and muddled blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries)


If you’re a Japanese cuisine lover, and looking for a casual sushi eatery, then this is the place to go! Give it a try next time you’re craving sushi 🙂


Written by Karen McLean - 0 Comments

Masafi Water: Knowing your water source

23 March 2016

I am constantly staying hydrated!! In fact, I drink approximately 2-3L water per day and this keeps my skin looking beautiful. I had the pleasure of working with Masafi recently, on educating people on the importance of knowing where your water source is from. Masafi is considered as the region’s only leading bottled water that doesn’t come from the sea. It is coaxed from deep beneath the Hajar Mountains in Masafi. Not only can you taste the difference but you can feel the difference too.


In the UAE, desalinated seawater and groundwater are the only two main sources of drinking water, the long term future of the UAE bottled water industry will remain stable as with the exception of Masafi most of other leading UAE brands are using desalinated sea water resources for their water source. I learnt that Masafi will always continue providing natural water from our land that is bottled at source that come deep underground from the mountains of Masafi with the same quality and natural health benefits that the original water from the Hajar Mountains of the UAE contains.


It’s important to know where your water source is from… is it natural water or desalinated water that you’re drinking… Natural is the way to go!!! Ask for Natural. Ask for Masafi.


For more information about Masafi, visit:


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Dubai Food Festival 2016: #DubaiFoodFest

6 March 2016

Dubai Food Fest 2v2

Dubai Food Festival 2016


The Dubai Food Festival 2016. WOW!!! What an incredible experience!!! I can honestly say that this year has been bigger and better than previous years! Every year it celebrates Dubai’s emergence as a gastronomic destination. Offering a calendar of exciting food-related events and promotions, highlighting Dubai’s unique food scene, its personalities and it’s world-class dining experiences. The world’s best food trucks have flown in, Kite Beach is set up as a foodie hub and the city’s finest restaurants have prepared affordable three-course menus. There is something for everyone! 🙂


Dine with the Stars 1v2

Australian Celebrity Chefs

Dine with the Stars 2v2

Star studded dishes

DINE WITH THE STARS: Dubai Food Festival 2016 introduced the first ever ‘Dine With The Stars’ concept on Friday, 26th February, to a sold out crowd. The magical night at Armani Pavilion at Armani Hotel saw food lovers gather to taste the most delicious dishes prepared by the top five Australian Celebrity Chefs!! Gary Mehigan and George Calombaris from Aussie MasterChef, the lovely Matt Moran and Shannon Bennett, and Frenchman in Australia Manu Feildel (who reality TV fans will know from My Kitchen Rules).


The Dine with the Stars menu for the night included:
– Marron, Tarragon, Coral (My favorite!!)
– Dukkah crusted Salmon with pumpkin and liquorish puree, honey dressing
– Roast Chicken & Carrots, Yellow carrot hummus, parsnip crunch, jus gras
– Veal Brisket, Shitake Bonito Tea
– Peach Baklava


Chefs Table 1v2

Meeting Andy Bates


Chefs Table 2v2

Dubai Chef’s Table

Chefs Table 3v3

Amazing dishes by Andy Bates

DUBAI CHEF’S TABLE: This was an opportunity of a lifetime! A 3 course meal prepared by celebrity chef, Andy Bates who is known for his hearty street food. His modern twists on classic dishes are fuelled by his international travels and a passion for re-discovering and cooking great British food. I was given the opportunity to be amongst a lucky 8 people to dine in a pop-up style 3 story shipping container on Sheikh Zayed Road. What an amazing experience!!


Chef’s table menu for the night included:
– Scotch Eggs
– Proper Fish & Chips
– Custard Tart


The menu was so simple, yet so unbelievably delicious!! This is a big call, but I would have to say that this was the best Fish & Chips, I have ever had!! Crispy on the outside, not too oily and melt-in-your-mouth fish inside, which has been cooked to perfection. WOW!!!!


Cook off 1v2



BEACH CANTEEN: There are many fun attractions and entertainment and Beach Canteen. One of my highlights was my cook off with Chef Faisal who is a 1/2 Emirati and 1/2 Kuwaiti. What an honor!! We did a simple demonstration on how to make Alfredo Pasta using only 3 very simple ingredients: Pasta, butter and parmesan cheese. Chef Faisal plated his dish in a restaurant style, whilst I served mine, home style, showing how easy it is to make it at home!! I must admit, I did put half as much butter in my dish, than in Chef Faisal’s dish 😉


Eat the world 1v2

The Cheese Truck

Eat the world 2v2

Milo & Hector’s

EAT THE WORLD DXB: London’s best meals on wheels flew in for a special food truck festival as part of the Dubai Food Festival. This was such a cool experience as it was such a great day to spend in the park with lots of entertainment and of course, FOOD!!! It’s very exciting to see the food truck scene growing in Dubai, and London has been setting the example for years. My top picks were the grilled cheese sandwiches from The Cheese Truck and ice-cream sandwiches from Milo & Hector’s. YUM!!!!


Beach Canteen 1v2

Beach Canteen

Beach Canteen 2v2

Fruit Salad Ting Irie

For more information on the Dubai Food Festival, visit:


Written by Karen McLean - 1 Comments

Dubai Food Festival 2016: Etisalat Beach Canteen

1 March 2016

Beach Canteen 1v2

Etisalat Beach Canteen at Kite Beach


It’s my favorite time of the year!!! The Dubai Food Festival 2016 is here!! 🙂 YES!!!!! The Etisalat Beach Canteen is one of the most popular attractions during the food festival and there is no reason to say why, because it’s in a fantastic location, amazing food, great atmosphere, lots of activities and funky music. I just love it!!! Especially during these cooler months where we can make the most of the weather!!


Beach Canteen 2v2


Beach Canteen 3v2


Seventeen outlets, mostly home-grown brands, have pop-up dining concepts where you can have a taste of their delicious food offerings! There is a range of food which suits everyone’s taste and what I love about it most is that you can just eat your way around the canteens 🙂 These include Jambo’s Grill, Ting Irie, Pinza, Shawarma Station, Karak House, Moshi, Classic Burger Joint, Mantoushe, Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management , WOFL, The Hot Dog Stand, Barsalata, Khameer & Dough, Mokha 1450, Häagen-Dazs and Sugarmoo.


Beach Canteen 7v2


Beach Canteen 4v2

MOKHA 1450

Other attractions include cooking demonstrations, food and film nights and lots of fitness classes!! Each day the Etisalat Beach Canteen features a different class: HITT (High Intensity Training), beach yoga (morning, and evening), Hula Hoop Jam, Fitness and Fun for Kids by MyGym, FlyBarre and beach Pilates. Amazing!!! 🙂 There is also loads of shopping and many attractions for the kids including comfy bean bags and grass to play.


Beach Canteen 6v2



Ahhhhhhhh I met Manu Fieldel!!!! Such a cool guy!!! If you don’t know him, he is a celebrity chef from the popular TV Show, “My Kitchen Rules” and this was such a fan girl moment!! Etisalat Beach Canteen-goers enjoyed top culinary tips and tricks from Australia’s most legendary celebrity chefs during interactive demonstrations at the live chef’s theatre. These famous Australian chef’s included George Calombaris, Gary Mehigan, Shannon Bennett, Matt Moran and Manu Feildel. What a line up!!!


Beach Canteen 5v2



And if this all wasn’t enough… the sunset at Kite Beach will literally take your breathe away!!! Have a wonderful evening and I hope to see you at the Etisalat Beach Canteen!!! xoxo


For more information on the Etisalat Beach Canteen, visit:


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Best-Kept Secrets: Comptoir 102

11 March 2014





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Comptoir 102 was definitely LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT and I instantly fell in love with this fabulous cafe! It’s bohemian chic, sophisticated and perfect for a relaxing weekday or weekend breakfast or lunch. The cafe and dining space is attached to a little shop full of fashionable jewellery, beautiful homewares, textiles and interiors. The space is so inviting and attractive, it’s hard not to be drawn in and look at EVERYTHING!! It’s the perfect place for a girly catch-up and then be tempted by all the beautiful designer items in the shop 🙂







Wholesome healthy food. Dubai needs more cafes like this which provide simple, yet delicious and nutritious food! Cafe Comptoir 102 offers a small menu which includes raw, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free or sugar-free options resulting in something really special and truly unique. The daily menu is ever changing according to the local organic produce that is available that day. A la Carte includes a selection of sandwiches, salads, freshly pressed green or fruit juices and smoothies made with organic homemade almond milk. It’s so DELICIOUS!
Green Smoothie: Spinach, fennel, pineapple, avocado and mint. A happy outside starts from the inside! I love Green Smoothies and this was made just how I like it!
Skin Glow: Pomegranate, cucumber and apple. Ooooooh yeah! This was so refreshing! Pomegranate is extremely rich in antioxidants, which helps improve skin quality. YUM!
All Green Salad: A bowl full of vitamins: Romaine, avocado, cucumber, fennel, walnut, parsley, spring onions, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, gomaiso and organic argan oil. I loved how this dish showed off the fresh local organic produce and packed full of goodies!
Fennel, Feta & Pomegranate Salad: A delicious combination of shaved fennel, crumbed feta, juicy pomegranate seeds, roasted pine nuts, radish and coriander.
Avocado Crostini: Gently toasted cereal bread topped with homemade fluffy macadamia sauce, alfalfa sprouts, avocado and cucumber slices, served with house salad. This was definately the dish of the day! I was so tempted to lick the macadamia sauce off the plate – so smooth and creamy… mmmmmmmm
Quinoa Nori Stack: Wow! Soft fluffy quinoa, avocado, cashew cream. It was a surprisingly delicious combination of flavours!
Choco Petit Pot: Satisfying and health conscious chocolate ganache (sugar-free, egg and dairy-free). Decadent chocolate mousse without the added nasties! Very Secret Squirrel xx.
Banana Chia Delice: This dessert is full of calcium, protein and healthy fats (sugar-free, dairy-free, gluten-free and vegan). Lovely ripe bananas mixed with coconut milk and chia seeds. I was so tempted to order another one! Yum, yum and more YUM!


There is a beautiful garden courtyard behind the cafe with lots of greenery and comfy seats as well as a front terrace area where you can lounge around in the sun chatting and sipping green smoothies all day! Alfresco dining, sunshine, nutritious healthy food, trendy fashionable cafe… it’s LOVE at first sight! ♥


For other great suggestions in the Dubai Food Festival Gourmet Trail: Best-Kept Secrets, please refer to:






Written by Karen McLean - 4 Comments