food

Theme 39. Arabian Adventure. Four Seasons Dubai, Sea Fu review

Ulia Ali - travel and fashion blogger, fiction writer. Review on Four Seasons Dubai at Jumeirah. Sea Fu restaurant.

Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach - Jet Set Oasis

Dubai has made a name for itself catering to the luxury-minded jet set crowd over the years, so it was only a matter of time before the Toronto-based Four Seasons Hotels group installed their beach-side desert offering: Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach (FS for short because #carpaltunnel).

For those of you who have not had the privilege of gracing the threshold of a Four Seasons, let me be the first to tell you that you are in for a treat should the opportunity arise to visit one of their 109 (and counting) properties worldwide.

Gorgeous Four Seasons
Four Seasons Dubai beach

Like many of their locations, the FS exudes opulence from the moment you approach the grounds. A sweeping paver stone driveway lined with trees lifts you up and away from the bustle of Jumeirah St. Through gaps in the greenery as your drive deeper, you will begin to notice the neutrally colored, Arabian influenced lines of the main building. Terraced construction incorporating terra-cotta and neutral tones is the perfect complement to the landscape, causing one to forget that a city of steel and glass is only 15 minutes away. If you look closely at the buildings, you may notice nods to the Arabian culture in the form of Horseshoe Arches and large, ornate doors standing between you and marble lined lobby of the FS.

Four Seasons Dubai Review

As one would expect from a Four Seasons, the lobby is the crown jewel. Every Four Seasons seeks to make the entry way to each of their hotels a statement. Dubai is no exception. With an attention to detail second to none, the FS unabashedly flaunts the line between palace and hotel. Gold trim, deep brown hues, neutral tones, complex light fixtures comprised of baubles and more flowers than Versailles in spring, the FS transports you.

Now, our engagement on this particular adventure was at one of the FS’s dining venues known as Sea Fu. The FS mantra is about experiencing sensory environments. So, if you can accept that the lobby overwhelms, Sea Fu relaxes, much to the same degree.

Sea Fu Dubai, UAE
Free People dress in Dubai
Sea Fu menu, Dubai

Set in a quasi-outdoor, beachside setting, Sea Fu serves an Asian-inspired menu amongst pillars of wood and beneath umbrellas and billowing fabric. I highly recommend sitting outside as the breeze in winter or early spring is still pleasant. However, should the sun be too harsh, the interior of Sea-Fu is a perfect alternative and a welcome respite from the sun. There is something about an ocean breeze and eating lunch on a terrace that is just…pleasing.

The staff at Sea Fu was, for lack of a better term, phenomenal. From the moment we approached the host stand to announce our arrival, we were treated with near-perfect deference (I say near-perfect because I have a penchant for restaurants that maintain a dress code that includes white gloves for their staff, but that is a story for another time). The truly standout quality however, ignoring the smiles, friendliness and attention of the staff was something that I believe every restaurant should take to heart and do: responsive and thoughtful guidance on the menu.

Best sushi in Dubai
Sea Fu Dubai, Four Seasons review by travel blogger Ulia Ali Pillmore
Four Season's Sea Fu review by Ulia Ali Pillmore.
sea-fu-review

This may sound like a simple task, but the vast majority of restaurants do not ensure that their staff knows the menu.

When I patronize a restaurant I like to ask the waiter or waitress to pick items from the menu that they believe will constitute a meal representative of the quality and diversity of the restaurant. Few get this right. More often than not, the selections are representative, but not of what is good, but what is popular, or what they think I will like based on their judgement. For those of you who know me personally, you will know that I drink and I know things. But you will also know that I eat. I love good food.

Sea Fu understood this. Our waitress selected dishes that complemented one another, were varied enough in their execution to not leave us bored and diverse in flavor to the point that we had to throw in the proverbial towel for lack of capacity. It was beautifully executed and showcased what I love best in a restaurant: mastery of a variety of techniques. 

In the words of Paul Prudhomme: “You don't need a silver fork to eat good food.”. Fine by me, the FS (and Dubai) happens to prefer gold anyway.

Until next time,

- BAP

Free People dress in Dubai
Desert in Dubai. Sea Fu at Four Seasons review.
Lotus Flower Sea Fu
Sea Fu review
Impressive deserts of the world
Dubai food - Sea Fu Four Seasons review

P.S. For the curious among you, here is what we had for lunch:

Small Plates: Edamame, Spicy Chicken

Sushi: Yuzu Tempura Roll

Raw Bar: Hokkaido Scallops

Main: Seared Black Cod

Dessert: Mochi Selection, Lotus Flower

Four Seasons Dubai

SHOP MY LOOk:

My Dress - Free People (it comes in 4 colors and it is my favorite dress EVER!)

Bag - Louis Vuitton (It was a Christmas gift from my hubby)

Jewelry - Sequin Jewelry (My favorite Jewelry company! Everything is so gorgeous)


Week 30: Utah. The Most Romantic Restaurant in the United States!

The Most romantic restaurant in The United States. Beautiful fairy La Caille.

When Ben and I were in Utah, he took me on a surprise date. I didn't know where exactly we were driving, but from the moment I saw the gates of La Caille, I knew I would inevitably fall in love with the place. The grounds of La Caille are like a magical fairytale land with stunning scenery a la Narnia in Winter or SnowWhite's little castle in summer.

We drove through the beautiful snow-covered forest towards the French-inspired Chateau, passing a frozen lake with a lonely, graceful swan white as winter, greeting us like a wild guardian. Have you ever seen a single, wild swan on a frozen lake? It is more magnificent that you can ever imagine, and reminded me of the Swan Princess fairytale (yes, yes, I love fables!).

La Caille Restaurant
Beauty and the Best USA restaurant
La Caille
La Caille Restaurant. Fairy Tale Castle

But the surprises didn't end there. After we parked and started walking to the main building, we saw peacocks - brightly coloured, proud and magnificent sitting on the snow dusted branches of trees, or strolling around, almost guiding us to La Caille's entrance. I was already imagining myself as Belle from Beauty and the Beast, secretly wondering if all these wonderful creatures were under some sort of spell. A few seconds later I noticed an abundance of fluffy bunnies and hares jumping around. Squealing with great delight like a 5-year old, I was finally dragged by my already freezing husband inside the little 18th-century Chateau. He knew I could spend hours just chasing bunnies and petting exotic birds, and we would probably never get to the actual dining experience if he let me do that :)

The decor of the castle is no less than a feast for your eyes, especially if you like opulent French style and a Marie Antoinette vibe. The story of this hidden treasure of Utah, is also fascinating,and deserves its own TV series: steamy affairs, multi-million dollar legal battles, and a murder-suicide of the owners, husband and wife, who fulfilled a pact to end their lives together on Christmas night a decade ago.

Such a tragic Shakespearean love story only adds to the mystique of La Caille, the most magical restaurant in the United States, that will put you under its spell the moment you set your foot on its grounds.


Need I mention that food at the restaurant is FANTASTIC?! From the most delicious cocktails to mouthwatering French dishes, and original desserts, La Caille will amaze even the most sophisticated gourmand. La Caille also has beautiful gardens, a huge greenhouse, and an amazing vineyard you should definitely check out.

Ladies, if you are looking for the perfect wedding destination, I seriously recommend you look into La Caille.

You won't regret it! To be honest, I cannot wait to visit La Caille in Summer, and bring more people to this little piece of a fairytale land in our mundane world.

The most beautiful restaurant in the world! La Caille
Photo of Ulia Ali
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Monkey Lamp in French Restaurant
Gorgeous door
La Caille Restaurant
La Caille sculptures
The most beautiful restaurant in the world
La Caille
La Caille fire
The most romantic restaurant in the United States.
La Caille restaurant
La Caille bathroom
La Caille gates
Gorgeous romantic fairytale castle open to public. Restaurant.

Week 24: Candy Shop. Best Candy Stores of NYC + Willy Wonka is coming!

Best Candy and Chocolate Stores in NYC, New York. Full list on Pastiche.today

Ben calls me a "fat kid on the inside" because of the amount of candy and chocolate I consume. If I see a candy store I always run to indulge my sweet tooth, while my husband sighs and mumbles something about me getting diabetes. Naturally, I explored a fair amount of chocolatiers and candy bars in New York this year, and I would love to share my yummy list with you!

1. Dylans Candy Bar

Founded by Ralph Lauren's daughter, Dylan Lauren, Dylan's Candy Bar is one of the biggest candy stores in the world! Dylan revealed that she was inspired to create her candy boutique by Roald Dahl's famous story, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.

There are several locations all over New York (as well as other US and international locations!), but my favourite is their flagship store located on 60th Street and 3rd Avenue. Dylan's Candy Bar has been featured in films and TV series many times, including Gossip Girl.

best candy stores in new york.
best candy store in the world.

Bonus Tip: Everything I have ever tried in the store was AMAZING, except the macaroons. Go to Macaron cafe or Laduree for macaroons. 

2. MarieBelle

MarieBelle yummy

The most gorgeous and sophisticated chocolatier in New York. You can find the sweetest and most original gifts in beautiful packaging here.

My personal favourite is Marie Antoinette's chocolate ganache cake in an antique book box. You can keep the box after you eat the DELICIOUS cake and use it as a decor item or a secret storage compartment.

3. Vosges Haut-Chocolat

Vosges is a luxury chocolate boutique that offers unusual and creative flavours. My husband often likes to treat me with a box of outstanding chocolate truffles with flavours like Indian curry & coconut, banana pudding, anise with fennel and absinth and many more. I literally have never tasted anything like Vosges chocolates before! 

Best chocolate in NYC.
Vosges chocolate

4.  Godiva

Godiva's gold boxes filled with high quality chocolates are always a great gift idea. For men I would recommend the chocolate cigars. I gave them to Ben on our second date and it was my first ever gift to him!

5. Hersheys, M&M's

Cute little candy store on Times Square stocking a great range of Hershey's chocolate and collectibles. By the way there is a great M&M's store super close by as well!

6. Leonidas

If I crave delicious fresh Belgian chocolate I go to Leonidas on 3 Hanover Square.

oldest candy shop in New York

7. Economy Candy

Not as fancy as the other candy stores on this list, Economy Candy is the OLDEST candy store in NYC which makes it kind of worthy of a visit.

 

 

 

 

 

Did you like the list? Which of these candy stores have you already visited?

And as promised, I am sharing bonus Candy News with you! The most candilicuous show is back on Broadway. Charlie & the Chocolate Factory the musical will be in NYC in Spring 2017, and you can already buy tickets here. Happy Sweets Days to you!

Week 18: Summer in NYC. After the Sun Goes Down.

What to do in New York at night! After the sun goes down

There is always something to do in New York at any hour of the day. However, when museum doors close and shops start politely shooing everyone away, many people obligingly go to the nearest take away place, and go either home or back to their hotel, abandoning the exciting wonders of nighttime Manhattan. Wouldn't you want to have a proper night dance with the city?

I decided to give you a little 5-step guide of what to do this September after the sun's last ray disappears somewhere behind 14th Street.

1. It's SHOWTIME!

Let's start the evening at a Broadway musical. One of the newest, and already celebrated shows, is Cirque du Soleil PARAMOUR, a magical marriage of a classic musical and amazing Cirque du Soleil performances. Ben and I sawit a few weeks ago and thought that it was overall very aesthetically beautiful. To be honest, it is not the best musical we have ever seen, nor is it the best Cirque du Soleil show we have ever witnessed, but it is certainly a show worth seeing at least once!

Paramour Cirque du Soleil on Broadway review.

Alternatively, you still have time to book the last available tickets for one of the greatest musicals of all time, Les Miserables, which is having its last show on the 4th of September. Book your tickets here before they are gone.

2. Feed me!

Musicals and plays are rarely shorter than 120 minutes, so chances are you tried to fill yourself up with overpriced pretzels and jellybeans sold during intermission, but you are stillreally hungry. I suggest you have a late night dinner at the amazing Italian restaurant, Marea, which specializes in seafood and has two Michelin stars. Prices are actually quite reasonable for such a high-end, gorgeous restaurant, but book your table in advance!

3. Midnight in New York

Ben abnd Ulia

Nothing is more romantic and surreal than midnight at the top of the Empire State Building. My husband took me there on our third date and it was one of the best experiences I have ever had. Usually crowded, the Empire State Building is quite empty at that late hour, so don't miss your chance to admire a bird's eye view of Manhattan by night.

4. Party like a VIP

If you want to party in the top rated nightclubs in New York, sit at VIP tables and have access to exclusive events, contact Blue Circle NY. Just call and tell them whatever your energetic heart desires (from bottle service to partying with celebrities). No need forstanding in that line to Marquee anymore and loosing precious time!

5. Drunk cravings or Feed me part 2.

Your night was crazy and fun, but suddenly you realise that your alcohol infused body desperately wants some delicious food. The majority of cafés and restaurants are closed and you promised to yourself to not eat at McDonalds anymore. Luckily, New York has a few great 24/7 places. I recommend Katz’s Delicatessen (205 E Houston St) or Ukrainian eatery, Veselka (144 2nd Ave).

So there is your 5-step guide to an intense NYC night! Do you have any other ideas? Comment or message me on our Facebook page

Week 18: Summer in NYC. Wearing 'Rosegal' in Bryant Park.

Rosegal online store review by NYC Blogger.

It's the last two weeks of August and I’ve decided to have a 'Summer in NYC'  theme on the blog. I usually have pretty specific themes on Pastiche.Today, inspired by iconic films or glamorous actresses, but this week I am going to share my more casual everyday looks, write about my life in The Big Apple (including what it is like to live in hotels full time!), and share tips on what to see and what to do in one of the greatest cities in the world.

Nyc's loveliest park - Bryant Park.

Everyone knows how gorgeous Central Park is, but there are over 1,700 parks and playgrounds across the five boroughs of New York City. One of my favourites to visit is Bryant Park. The park itself is not big, but it has a lot to offer: free yoga classes, jazz concerts, poetry readings and much more. I especially love that you can play board games for absolutely FREE in the park. Ben and I played the Game of Life last time we were there. Yes, the board games are often not in the best condition, but it is still amazing that you can come and have a great time playing with your friends.

Rosegal navu striped top. Blogger's review.
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I wore this pretty Rosegal off-the-shoulder top with white J.Crew shorts to the park to meet up with my friend Agnes, who also took these photos of me (thank you, girl!). This is my first package from Rosegal, but I am pleasantly surprised by how good quality the clothes are, considering they are AMAZINGLY affordable.


SHOP THE POST:

top (+ similar here )  | shorts | similar bag | Nikes


Rosegal top

There is the gorgeous Bryant Park Cafe and Grill in the park, but my friend Agnes and I decided to try the celebrated Mille Crêpes at Lady M. The cafe is very minimal in decor, but has an decadent dessert menu. We ordered the Green Tea Mille Crêpes and Coconut Mille Crêpes. To be honest, I think the idea of the crêpes-cake sounds much more delicious than it actually tastes. We both felt that the cakes were too sweet, and even though I loved the first few bites of my cake, I couldn't even finish half of it! 

I think I might have to return to the Lady M soon to try their other desserts because they all looked so mouthwatering. 

ladym_millecrepe_slice_h2.jpg

check back all week to see my other casual summer outfits and read about my personal NYC experiences!