Lapita Hotel’s daycation brunch: why it’s perfect for families

lapita

Before I continue to write about my huge backlog i.e., blog posts about our travels last summer, let’s take a break and see what we’ve been up to lately. I can’t believe it’s November already. Wasn’t it just yesterday when the new year rung in? It’s scary how fast time flies. One more month and then boom, there goes another year gone.

There were so many changes in our family this year – the husband had quit working in Saudi Arabia since last April (he was in Saudi for one whole year, 3 months each time with a 2-3 weeks break in between) and started working in Abu Dhabi. He still isn’t home everyday but at least we’re in the same country and can be with us on weekends or some days, if his work schedule permits. This past year, the kids and I have gone to places without him and whenever we get a chance, we go back to the awesome places to show to him and to let him experience it too when he is here in Dubai.

One of those places is Lapita Hotel & Resort at Dubai Parks and Resorts. We’ve been to Lapita for the first time in February when they first introduced the Daycation brunch. We thoroughly enjoyed it however, it was too cold to swim in the pool at that time. We wanted to go again – the kids wanted to go again, with their dad this time. And we did!

The Daycation brunch at Lapita was back right after summer and we scheduled to go last week which was perfect because their Halloween celebrations were in full swing. The setup was awesome and scary enough for the little one.

halloween entrance

And before we could start eating at brunch, we went around to appreciate what they have prepared. The hotel’s F&B crew did a really good job with all the spooky food! Look at these works of art.

[envira-gallery id=”78672″]

Honestly, up until we visited, I never realized Halloween was such a big craze here in Dubai. Now, Halloween has passed but know that Lapita could be one of your best bet for Halloween themed brunches next year. ūüôā

Also, what’s wonderful with Lapita’s #DaycationBrunch¬†is that it’s buffet brunch¬†+ pool access. Swimming is a really great exercise to burn some of those calories away, you know?

Not many people were in the pool though the time we were there from 4pm. Benjamin was overjoyed to have his dad swim with him.

pool time with dad

There’s also a shallower pool for kids with a water play area and a lazy river.

waterplay

lazy river collage

The adult pool.

pool 1

pool 5

There’s a special buffet for kids, too and they can enjoy the Luna & Nova Kids and Teens Club between 1pm-5pm. There are hotel staff who can supervise and watch the kids leaving parents some time of peace and quiet while brunching.

Do I recommend the Daycation brunch at Lapita?

YES! Great food with lots of emphasis on fresh ingredients (the only problem you’ll have is how to get a taste of all the varieties in one visit), beautiful setting – where else can you get the laid back tropical Polynesian vibes without ever leaving town?

lapita outside food stand 1
lapita outside food stand 2
Additionally, the hotel is a unique gateway to endless fun at Dubai Parks and Resorts, which is the home of three world-class theme parks and one water park, as well as Riverland Dubai. All guests staying at Lapita Hotel & Resort will enjoy unlimited multi-park access for the duration of their stay, in addition to complimentary Q-fast to all parks.

General Information:

When: Fridays, 1pm-5pm
Price: AED195 with soft drinks; AED295 with house beverages; AED95 for children up to 12.
Contact: +9714 810 9999, website

Seville's wafi sangria

Valentine’s day at Seville’s

 Seville's wafi sangria

I’ll tell you a secret: we never celebrate Valentine’s day, even during the time when we were still dating. And now that we are married and have kids, Valentine’s day is just one of those normal days: we both have work, and one of us works really long hours. But my husband is sweet enough though to sometimes take me out to dinner when he is free and never fail to give me chocolates. He knows me too well – it’s always chocolates and not flowers.

It’s a gesture I appreciate because being Japanese, it should have been the other way around. Valentine’s Day in Japan has a weird tradition.

Anyway, this year, Valentine’s day fell on a Saturday so we both didn’t have work. We thought a night out would be great. We wanted to try something different, something new and something we don’t normally go to, location wise and cuisine wise.

We went to Spain. Without purchasing plane tickets. And came back to Dubai after 3 hours.

Seville's Wafi

Kidding.

If you love Spanish food, tapas and a good sangria, I would recommend you go to Seville’s Spanish Tapas and Bar at Wafi’s Rooftop Gardens. I was at Seville’s a couple of weeks back for their 14th anniversary. it’s been FOURTEEN years since they opened in Dubai and we all know, with the very competitive Dubai dining scene, to survive for fourteen long years and still going strong means they must be doing something right!

We started the night with a clink. Seville’s traditional Spanish sangria is the best sangria I’ve had so far in Dubai. Best tasting and that sangria that will make you temporarily forget you have work the next day. I call it my ‘happy juice’. But never underestimate the effect of sangria (it contains alcohol), especially if you have work the next day. I will not elaborate but take it from me.

sangria at Seville's

Happy (though a bit groggy..already?!), we moved on to tapas – Tapas are wide variety of appetizers or snacks in Spanish cuisine. These succulent starters are guaranteed to open up anyone’s appetite! There were plenty of tapas in the menu so we requested the friendly staff to recommend some of the restaurant’s most popular (can you tell we’re really clueless about Spanish food?).

AUTHENTIC, FLAVORFUL SPANISH FOOD

Check this: Seville’s full menu.

tapas at Seville's

Upper left: Presa Iberica en Adobo (one of the best secret cuts of the Iberico pork, dressed with Spanish adobo and served as carpaccio) – I loved this from among these 4 tapas we ordered.  “Adobo” comes from the Spanish word adobar, which literally means “??to marinate”?¬Ě. The meat is tender with the right rub of adobo spices with a distinct touch of garlic and paprika, my two favorite spices.

Upper right: Chicken Flamenquines (classic tapa from the south of Spain. Breaded chicken breast stuffed with turkey bacon and cheese) – No doubt this is very familiar among the Japanese diners as it is so similar with breaded chicken cutlets in Japan. The mustard dip seals the deal in this savory tapa.

Lower left: Spanish omellete –  we had the most common version, the one made only with eggs and potatoes, and possibly onion. 

Lower right: Esqueixada de Bacalao (traditional Catalan cold starter with roasted vegetable, codfish and freshly grated tomatoes) – Sorry, I didn’t like this. Maybe because I am not a huge fan of fish and seafood but we wanted to give fish a try. My husband finished this off and actually liked how the fish went well with the fresh tomatoes. 

As if we aren’t full with the tapas (the servings are generous and could make a full meal if you order many) and glasses (take note..plural) of sangria, we needed to order the main dish and we all know visiting a Spanish restaurant and NOT ordering Paella is a crime.

chicken paella

Normal people would order the traditional paella with beautiful open mussels and all sorts of seafood in it. Not us. We are allergic to shrimps (and other seafood creatures except fish) so chicken paella it is. There’s also a vegetarian version if you aren’t a meat eater. This chicken paella is a crowd pleaser, we suppose, it’s easy to like this: moist saffron flavored al dente rice (is there such thing as “al dente” in Spanish cuisine? The rice wasn’t soft as what we’re accustomed to eat at home, it was like it’s half cooked but I’ve read that that’s what a good Paella is all about). It’s all about the rice and Seville’s is a winner with this one.

beef cheek stew

My main dish is called Carillada de Ternera con patatas y pipparas, in English, beef cheek stew with baby potatoes, gherkins, green beans and Spanish sweet peppers. I am a huge meat eater. I don’t know how many times I have mentioned that when I talk about food in this blog. My finger automatically points to anything meat in the menu book. I liked this dish except that I wished all the parts were tender. There were some parts where I can’t cut the meat fibers but the flavor was very tasty. The gherkins? I am not sure why they’re there – it’s either you’ll love it, hate it or ignore it. Personally, I neither hated it nor liked it but it was a nice finish though this will be eaten together with the meat or potatoes? I don’t know.

grace and desserts

What is a Valentine’s day date without desserts? We ordered two. First one was called Torrija Caramelizada, the longer description would be…I’m trying hard here…think French toast made from brioche soaked in lemon and cinnamon infused milk, fried, then dusted in cinnamon sugar or sweet syrups. The shorter description would be, INTOXICATING. And the shortest description is YUM. I won’t lie, I was afraid to eat this because I am avoiding bread in my diet (I get migraines when I consume wheat) but I do make exceptions. I choose my battles and this one’s worth fighting for! Do not miss to order this when you are in Seville’s. Repeat, do NOT miss!

The other one is Seville’s Crema Catalana or Catalan Cream is the Catalan name and version of the French dessert, cr√®me brul√©e. It has lovely hint of lemon and cinnamon, a delicious twist to the usual flan. I like this too.

ROMANTIC, CHILL AMBIENCE
I wrote so many things about the food, but have to share about the ambience as well. Seville’s has that rustic feel, romantic and very cozy especially if you are seated outside where you can dine under the stars. Perfect when Dubai’s weather is very pleasant during the ‘winter’ season.

We wanted to sit outside for a change but I was told there will be an event near the garden and music could be loud and distracting (for some diners). I, for one, would like to hear what my partner has to say especially on rare kid-free dates like this so we opted for the indoor seating. Little did I know that the “event” was an Abba Revival Tribute Concert! It seems that there will be the same event next year, so I have marked that in my calendar!

Speaking of events, Seville’s will be celebrating Feria de Abril, Spanish Flamenco Fiesta on 21st April to 25th April 2015.

We would like to go back with the kids and I see that this place can be family friendly too as you can request for a table next to play garden area so you can keep a watch on the kids and enjoy your meal in peace.

Our Valentine’s day date at Seville’s was very nice and by the end of the evening we were asking ourselves what took us so long to discover this place.

Iftar at Radisson Blu Deira Creek Hotel

Another week and the holy month of Ramadan comes to an end. Have you tried the best Iftars in the city? We were guests at the grand Iftar at Radisson Blu Deira Creek Hotel – one of my favorite hotels in Deira. It has majestic views of old Dubai, Dubai Creek in particular.

10567371_10152629788886667_296522451_n

We were seated at the Persian restaurant, Shebastan, but actually Iftar guests can sit in other areas like in Minato Japanese Restaurant among others. They have an upcoming restaurant called Aseelah that specializes in local Emirati cuisine. The Iftar spread has Emirati dishes as a sampler to what they will offer when they open later this year.

Aseela
Arabia

The Iftar at Radisson Blu takes you to the Middle East (Persian), to India, China and Japan. They also serve various international dishes and live cooking stations. Don’t miss the one whole room just for desserts!

One tip: the Peking duck is a very popular section with long queues so be there early but don’t be disappointed if they run out!

 Asia

On this special season, Radisson Blu Deira Creek Hotel, in collaboration with Beit Al Khair Society offers 20% discount on their Iftar offerings if you bring donations such as clothing or food.

The Iftar buffet is priced at AED 149 per person inclusive of soft drinks and special Ramadan juices. Radisson Blu Deira Creek Hotel is located at Baniyas Road, along the Dubai Creek. Tel: 04-205-7333.