Kenneth Surat Dubai Travel Blogger and Food Blogger Kenneth Surat

Kenneth Surat

Architect by profession, designer by passion and a travel blogger by choice. Maker of Surat Journals and #TheTravelingJournaProject, I initially intended to do a fashion blog but realized that my passions are traveling, discovering food and appreciating the wonder of architecture. You can read my travel adventures and some travel tips, food finds and design inspirations in this blog. Email me at kennethsurat@gmail.com Image and video hosting by TinyPic Image and video hosting by TinyPic Image and video hosting by TinyPic Image and video hosting by TinyPic Image and video hosting by TinyPic Image and video hosting by TinyPic Free Counter
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Living in the digital world, I can’t help to think why preparing for an upcoming travel became so complicated.

A few months back, thinking about  my soon-to-be adventure made me pushed all the stress I have been feeling at work away. Suddenly, everything was sweet and the world is perfect.

Travel blog planning surat journals digital age go pro canon g16

Now that my trip will be in a week time, I started to feel the stress (well, I think part of it started already when I was applying for my visa)…but that’s not the point of this blog. ^^

In today’s world, documenting one’s trip became a ‘must’ in every adventure that one is embarking. With the presence of different social media platforms, we feel responsible to share our experiences to the world—-and at time we over share (I am guilty of this!!)….I miss the time that all you need is a good book to accompany you (sort of).

Travel blog planning surat journals digital age go pro canon g16

Last week, I bought a Go Pro Hero 3+ thinking that I ‘need’ this in order to capture good videos, better than the ones I took using my camera phone. When I was assembling it, I felt like an old man. I was having a hard time figuring out what goes with what. To add to my ‘dumb moment list’ I even watched a youtube clip on how to open the box——Oh My!!

The sight of all the items inside a go pro box laid on my table was scary. Instead of being excited (as most of you for sure), I must admit that I panicked .

Travel blog planning surat journals digital age go pro canon g16

Now that I was able to figure out how it works, everything became cool and now I am back on being excited haha.

Ok, to go back to my point. The world truly changed in terms of traveling.  I remember the time that we only needed is one instamatic camera (we have a kodak back then) to capture great travel/family moments. Now, for my trip, I will be bringing an HD digital camera (canon G16), a Go Pro, my Samsung Note 8 tablet and my camera phone. With this list, I think I made progress because I will not bring any DSLR. 

Aside from this, I went to an electronic shop and bought a 32 gb and 64 gb memory cards —oh I cant believe that they are very expensive, whew. Why do we need memory cards..why ..why …why!!

Well, I shouldn’t be ranting about this because by the end of the day, it is our choice if we’ll get zap into the digital travel world or we’ll just enjoy the view and keep it in our built-in human memory bank.

Travel blog planning surat journals digital age go pro canon g16 caramoan philippines

Travel blog planning surat journals digital age go pro canon g16 france south sangonis

The beauty of living in the digital world it that, it is now very easy to share our experiences.With a click of a button people will be able to see what you are seeing, marvel at God’s creation and appreciate the beauty of the world we are living in.

As for me, I think we should find the balance of enjoying every place that we are visiting, capturing it in our hearts and share it to the people we love. This  for me the true essence of traveling.

kenneth surat travel blog dubai

Travel Blog: The Digital Age of Travel (Why Everything Became So Complicated)

Ramadan officially started and yesterday I was so excited to receive an invitation to try the traditional Iftar buffet at Na3na3 in The Address Dubai Mall.

Na3Na3 is a Middle Eastern restaurant  famous for its traditional Arabic home style cuisines.—- and I must say, Arabic Food + Iftar = Perfection.

na3na3 the address dubai mall food blog iftar

As me and my friend arrived in the restaurant, we were greeted very warmly and welcomed with a sip of Arabic coffee. This really sets our mood for the night.

na3na3 the address dubai mall food blog iftar

A table full of of dates, nuts and other dried fruits were present also to kick start the night’s feast. Traditionally, after a whole day of fasting, food are gradually being introduced in one’s body. In order to not shock the body’s system, dates should be eaten first  (somewhat a light appetizer—as far as I know ^^).

na3na3 the address dubai mall food blog iftar

na3na3 the address dubai mall food blog iftare

As me and my friend were ushered to our table, I can already smell the strong aroma of an Arabic cuisine. The whole place feels very intimate but at the same time I saw a number of families enjoying the feast (maybe it’s the Iftar vibe).

Just a disclaimer before I start discussing about food. I am not an expert in Arabic Cuisine so I will be blogging mainly on what I experienced and tasted. If any of the food I mentioned was wrongly described (and spelled) please do let me know—- thanks ^^

na3na3 the address dubai mall food blog iftar

na3na3 the address dubai mall food blog iftar

The first thing I grabbed was a plate of salad, feta cheese and hummus (plus a warm Arabic bread). They presented a wide selection of appetizers, dips and rice dishes (mostly I can’t pronounce) . Foul salad, modardara and  mohammara just to name a few.

na3na3 the address dubai mall food blog iftar

na3na3 the address dubai mall food blog iftar

na3na3 the address dubai mall food blog iftar

(yey my starter plate—- I love these labneh balls and of course,  HUMMUS!!!)

na3na3 the address dubai mall food blog iftar

After a light starter, let’s move on to a heavier meal. This time around, I got a chance to try a more familiar Arabic food. A wide selection of meat dishes can be found in the warm food stations.

na3na3 the address dubai mall food blog iftar

na3na3 the address dubai mall food blog iftar

Firstly, you can find some traditional treats such as a very tasty kibbeh, a spinach fatayer, lamb sambusek and a cheese spring roll (I forgot the name of this)—let’s call it a cheese stick.

na3na3 the address dubai mall food blog iftar

na3na3 the address dubai mall food blog iftar

Also, In the same station, I  got excited to see a casserole of already shredded chicken shawarma, shish tawook, chicken biryani and beef shanks (to be paired with cucus).

na3na3 the address dubai mall food blog iftar

I have to make two rounds to taste all of them and I must admit, even though I already felt full, I was able to finish everything on my plate.

na3na3 the address dubai mall food blog iftar

na3na3 the address dubai mall food blog iftar

Feeling full (as mentioned already), I forcefully convinced myself that I still have room for some desserts. Middle Eastern desserts are known to be one of the best in the world and I for sure will not miss a handful of those during this Iftar.

na3na3 the address dubai mall food blog iftar

na3na3 the address dubai mall food blog iftar

na3na3 the address dubai mall food blog iftar

The cheese konafa and the um ali became two of my favorite desserts of the night.There’s something about warm desserts that I found mouth watering (although I am not a fan of rose water—I didn’t mind that night).

Aside from the wide selection of Arabic sweets, they also offer a number of international desserts such as a very cute carrot cake cups (shown below—cute right?) and a shot of  tiramisu. 

na3na3 the address dubai mall food blog iftar

na3na3 the address dubai mall food blog iftar

If you like to experience authentic home cooked style Arabic food, I will highly recommend Na3na3. I truly enjoyed spending my Iftar here. Good food, reasonable price and a very nice location.

Of course, aside from food, Iftar really is a time to bond with family and Na3na3 for sure has a good enough space and food selections for the whole family (and FYI, children below 6yrs old are free ^^)

Iftar buffet price is AED 195 (inclusive of unlimited drinks)

Time: Sunset until 9:30pm

Location: The Address Dubai Mall

Aside from Iftar, Na3na3 also have regular restaurant hours (with doors half open during Ramadan)

Breakfast: 630am -11am (11:30am on weekends), AED 140

Lunch: 12:30pm -5:30pm, AED 155

Dinner: 9:30pm - 11pm, AED 195

to know more about Na3na3, check out their facebook page and website below:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theaddressdubaimall

Website: http://www.theaddress.com/en/hotels/the-address-dubai-mall/dining/na3na3.aspx

kenneth surat travel and food blogger dubai

My Dubai Food Blog: Iftar at Na3na3 The Address Dubai Mall

I first saw Raw Coffee Company as a suggested post in my FB account. Ever since, I’ve been curious about it and really wanted to visit and try their coffee offerings. Sadly, because the only info. I got was, it is located in Al Quoz, my not-Al Quoz-friendly GPS mind blocks immediately everytime I am thinking of going to this place. 

Good thing, on a sunny Thursday morning, I was assigned to go to our furniture manufacturer and I was excited to see that Raw is directly in front of their warehouse. PERFECT

raw coffee company food blog al quoz dubai uae

Without any hesitation, after finishing my tasks, I went inside and found myself in coffee heaven. If there is a headquarters for hipsters or hipster wannabe, THIS IS IT!

raw coffee company food blog al quoz dubai uae

raw coffee company food blog al quoz dubai uae

raw coffee company food blog al quoz dubai uae

Piles and piles of coffee bean sacks were on display and I am guessing for sale also. The way the warehouse were transformed to create this environment looks so awesome. As an architect/designer, people may seemed to think that creating such environment was easy—they are wrong—-but I must say, for sure they had fun.

raw coffee company food blog al quoz dubai uae

raw coffee company food blog al quoz dubai uae

According to their website (cause I didn’t have time to interview them), 

”..we (Raw) started off as boot legers, bringing our beans back into Dubai in our suitcases from favourite roasteries around the world.  We love coffee, and we were seriously tired of the sad old offerings available here ~ Raw was born, established in July 2007 to fill the gap in the market for freshly roasted specialty coffee.”

GENIUS!!!

raw coffee company food blog al quoz dubai uae

So start it off, I tried their lunch offerings. They offer a good selections of salads and quiches. As I am on ‘healthy’ eating spree, I ordered a chicken avocado salad. 

It’s a mix of pumpkin seeds, fresh avocado, smoked chicken, cherry tomato, mixed lettuce, parmesan cheese, cold pressed extra virgin olive oil ceasar dressing. 

To be honest, it was a bit expensive (AED 40) but delicious nonetheless. I love the mix and the tangy salad dressing.

raw coffee company food blog al quoz dubai uae

To add with the healthy touch, every salad is served with a mini gluten free chia bread roll and a mini gluten free multigrain bread roll.

raw coffee company food blog al quoz dubai uae

Now for my coffee, (disclaimer: I really didnt get that much information on what I ordered) I asked the barista on their bestsellers. I said I want dark coffee, strong but smooth. She then told me bout a filtered coffee through a procedure called ‘chemex’.

I think that is why i didnt get that much information because hearing the term ‘chemex’ I blanked out immediately.

According to my research (aka googling):

Chemex Coffeemaker is a manual, pour-over style glass container coffeemaker. The coffee is brewed by first placing the paper filter and the ground coffee in the neck of the flask while heating the water to a boil in a separate vessel. Then moistening the ground coffee by pouring some hot water a top of the dry coffee……and finally, by pouring the desired quantity of water (number of cups) over the ground coffee, and awaiting it to percolate down, through the coffee and the paper filter, into the flask.

raw coffee company food blog al quoz dubai uae

raw coffee company food blog al quoz dubai uae

The result of this is a strong and smooth coffee blend. I love strong coffee and this one was really strong. For those looking for a lighter blend or a more creamy one, you can ask your barista about it and for sure they will be very much eager to serve you your special artisan coffee.

raw coffee company food blog al quoz dubai uae

raw coffee company food blog al quoz dubai uae

I was very happy with my first Raw experience, Although finding it is a bit challenging at first but the trip will surely be worth it….better if you will buy a coffee bean to take away.

Cheers to all coffee lovers out there! We indeed found our new favorite place.

To know more, check out their website and follow them in their social media:

Website: www.rawcoffeecompany.com

FB: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Raw-Coffee-Company/126866607324618

Instagram: http://instagram.com/rawcoffeecompany#

kenneth surat food and travel blogger dubai

Have you ever tried a peri-peri chicken before? The first time I tasted a Portuguese flamed grilled chicken (also known as peri-peri chicken)I made it instantly as one of my favorite chicken recipe of all time (along with Korean Chicken and Chicken Joy).

A spicy flame grilled chicken drizzled with a touch of lemon and dipped with a signature peri peri sauce—ohhlalala. ….I think I made my case.

The reason why I am saying this, last Saturday, I was invited to try the new branch of Barcelos located in Ibn Batuta Mall in Dubai to try their world famous Peri Peri Chicken and other signature dishes in their menu along with a fellow Dubai blogger Ion of www.boydubai.com.

barcelos IBN Batuta Peri peri chicken dubai uae

This is their 2nd restaurant in Dubai. The first was along Sheikh Zayed Road in Sama Towers (directly opposite Dubai World Trade Center).

barcelos IBN Batuta Peri peri chicken dubai uae

To start the night, we were served a refreshing Mango Milk Shake. I have to honest that I am not a fan of anything ripe mango (green mango is my favorite), but I must say, this mango shake is really good. This is actually their bestseller drink according to the branch manager.

barcelos IBN Batuta Peri peri chicken dubai uae

For appetizer we were served with 2 signature dishes, their Chicken Wings and Chicken Liver. Because some people in our table doesn’t go for the spicy option we were served a tangy lemon flavor.

barcelos IBN Batuta Peri peri chicken dubai uae

barcelos IBN Batuta Peri peri chicken dubai uae

The beauty of it, eventhough we all have different preferences and tolerance for spicy food, on all the tables in Barcelos, you’ll have five variants of sauces which you can compliment with anything  from their menu. I added a mix of very peri and mild peri then my food is now perfect! My favorite will be the chicken liver. It reminded me of our local food in the Philippines which is the chicken liver adobo—-just add a lot of red pepper in it.

barcelos IBN Batuta Peri peri chicken dubai uae

barcelos IBN Batuta Peri peri chicken dubai uae

After the delicious appetizers, the star of the night arrived. The peri peri chicken! I must say, the moment it landed on our table, I cant wait to take my share and munch on it. It didn’t disappoint! Haha.

I really love Barcelo’s signature sauces and dips. Aside from being spicy (my preference), it is very rich in flavor and consistency. They are perfect to combine with the Peri-Peri Chicken.  You can partner this dish with spicy rice (as a side dish) or a Protugese roll. Iike it with the roll.

barcelos IBN Batuta Peri peri chicken dubai uae

barcelos IBN Batuta Peri peri chicken dubai uae

The time that I finished my part, my whole head (hair and scalp) was sweating like crazy—-but still I want more!

Aside from the Flame Grilled Peri Peri Chicken, it was joined with another mouth watering friend. The Chicken Picante. It was my first time to try this dish and I was good. It is sort of their version of a cordon bleu but healthier.^^

barcelos IBN Batuta Peri peri chicken dubai uae

 To finish it up, we were served with one of their famous dishes in the menu which is a Chicken Espetada. It is a very big chicken barbeque..of course, marinated with the same peri- peri sauce base. The serving size is good for 2-3 light to moderate eaters. (I love the presentation)

barcelos IBN Batuta Peri peri chicken dubai uae

barcelos IBN Batuta Peri peri chicken dubai uae

For the main courses, we were given 2  refreshing drinks the Mint Lemon Juice and Barcelo Sunrise.

barcelos IBN Batuta Peri peri chicken dubai uae

barcelos IBN Batuta Peri peri chicken dubai uae

As a finale, our meal will never be completed without something sweet on our table. We were served with 2 dessert variants. The Cheesecake and the Chocolate Ganache. This is pretty good thinking that from appetizer to main course I have been munching on spicy food after spicy food. A perfect way to clean my palette and neutralize all the spices that I have been eating.

barcelos IBN Batuta Peri peri chicken dubai uae

barcelos IBN Batuta Peri peri chicken dubai uae

I can say that I was a good meal. Should I come back here? Definitely yes. Aside from this is a healthier option compared to other fast food chains in the city, the serving sizes and flavors are really right on the money…

I have been a fan of this restaurant since they opened their first branch in Dubai and now, I am happy that they opened another one easily accessible to those who are working around Media City (like me) and Jebel Ali and especially for those who are living near Ibn Batuta Mall.

kenneth surat dubai travel and food blogger uae

Nowadays, who doesn’t have a selfie trick on his bag? I saw this clip and it made me want to pack my bags and travel again! Oh what a beautiful world we have.

I started a similar project before, but sadly this put it into shame and I think I will not show my videos to anyone again haha. I don’t have a GoPro (yet) so I just used my Note 8 to take my (I thought would be) ultimate selfie.

…but then again, atleast I started.

Check out this video by Alex Chacón and be amazed, but most of all, be  inspired!