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Mąka i Woda

Food has been at the heart of our lives ever since we were born. From the functional eaters to the weight watchers to the indulgers food is at the core of everything we do. We break many times to eat food so that we nourish, enjoy, reward, fuel, comfort and sometimes avoid any feelings. Many different reasons fuel our desire to eat. As with everything else the way we consume food has evolved and from being eaten at home with family we have moved it outside to a cafe with our gadgets in tow. Less communication, more chow chow. 

The urban food scene is all about grabbing that Matcha latte or one of those cold drips with a good breakfast preferably in your neighbourhood in your fancy athleisure, deliverooing your lunch to office and perhaps grabbing a cocktail and a dinner at a new buzzing place with your friends or special someone. Pre-lockdown I embarked on a  trip to Warsaw and I was besotted by the urban vibes and the fun and inventive food scene, especially on the vegan side. Sometimes even finding that vegan options were better than their non-vegan counterparts. Amongst the many beautiful places I tried I have to have to mention Mąka i Woda (pronounced Mawka Eee Woda) translating to mean Flour and Water. True to their name flour is the base of their food menu specialising in pizzas and pasta. They have the most amazing pizzas with the thinnest of crusts with the mostest of flavour and freshness. This truly is gourmet quality served up with a casual vibe.

Before I get into talking about Mąka i Woda, I wanna say that the experience of eating is so much more than just food. It is about the setting, staff, vibe, service, love and the taste. I’m going a bit off tangent here but in my past travels I always find I remember a place not just because of its food but also because of its service. I have had few experiences where I have loved the food but because I was made to feel lesser by the way the staff served us perhaps because I didn’t fit in their usual flashy fashionable clientele the food tasted a little less tasty. But of course Mąka i Woda is far from that. They are young, hip, busy and always overbooked. On my first ever visit there they accommodated us in a side kitchen just so that we could eat there. I mean that is something to be said for hospitality. There is also no judgement just a lot of good, fast and consistent service. 

My first visit to this pizza heaven was a weekend late lunch, where we were made to sit in their side kitchen just because it was so full. It was probably as close to sitting in a private room of a restaurant that I got to be and it felt like a safe haven in an otherwise bustling place. If you closed the door it was quiet and if you opened it was like there was a whole world of people to see and know. We ordered the Diavola pizza consisting of mozzarella di bufala, basil, chilli, parmesan and the greatest ingredient of all salami picante. We also added the Porco, a mouth-watering and juicy slice made up of mozzarella di bufala, datterino tomatoes, speck, rucola, parmesan and olives. I had stopped craving pizzas a long time ago after years of sustained Dominos / Pizza Hut overdose but when I went to Mąka i Woda I craved a pizza every week and I still do now that I’m back in Dubai. To be fair to Dubai I haven’t even looked because as I returned the corona furore increased and I haven’t ventured to find new places or places outside of my delivery radius.

For drinks we ordered Limoncello and a Browar Lancut ( a lager) they were both on par as drinks are considered but the Limoncello was a true winner as it was so refreshing. Moving on to the most important course – the desert course – we ordered a Budino, Panna Cotta, both safe bets, and we gambled on the pistachio flan and boy was it the best gamble in a while. Budino is like a caramel mousse with milk chocolate and sea salt and some chocolate shavings served as a garnish. Pistachio flan is served up with goat’s yoghurt ice cream and a cripsy caramelised biscuity thing. When you break open the flan out flows some goey pistachio sauce and it’s the best surprise I have had in a dessert in a while. Panna Cotta is so-so served with some berry compote and grapes.

Obviously as this had turned to a weekly crush I did go back and try a few more things. I tried the Asparagi, a mix of mozarella di bufala, asparagus, culatello ( Google tells me that this is the best ham to try), eggs and pecorino romano. Boy oh boy it was exceptional and I would so love to eat it again and again. I also tried their natural ginger lemon tea perfect for the cold weather at the time.

I’m sat here in Dubai on a hot hot afternoon craving the watery delicious ingredients of a Mąka i Woda pizza and it looks like I’ll be craving for a while. If you live in Dubai and know of a fabulous and authentic pizza place please please do let me know.

Until next kritical post. xoxo

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SAM Warsaw

If I were to write an ode, it would definitely be about food and highly likely about SAM in Warsaw. It’s an urban eatery located in the heart of the City along with two other branches – one in Powiśle and the other in Żoliborz. I am somebody who loves to find a sense of community wherever I go and somehow it is always related to a food place. Food, should you enjoy it as much as me, will make you realise that it is a great connector of people and predictor of likeness besides the obvious nutritional benefits. I have made some wonderful friends from going to the same cafe for at least 5 years in Dubai. This is a spot that obviously doesn’t go to every cafe or restaurant. It is reserved for places where people, particularly staff and the food makes you feel like you’re at home. For me this is almost always linked to a healthy, organic place because more or less that’s my jam. I do eat healthy more often than not but I of course indulge so very often in sweet treats as I have a big sweet tooth.

When I was in Warsaw I found lots of amazing places to eat via various blogs that I scoured in order to not be disappointed. So millennial of me. I tried Sam for my first breakfast in Warsaw and it ended up feeling like home. So I ended up going back again and again for the entire duration of my trip I had one meal at Sam almost daily. I didn’t make any friends this time around as it was a short trip but I’m so going back there on my next trip because frankly it’s so exciting and new to me. Sam doesn’t stick to a cuisine if you know what I mean. It tries to do a bunch of different things and surprisingly all of them turn out quite so well.

Breakfast Options

Breakfast is my most favourite meal and the omelette there is honestly the best I have had. They are served folded with some extra bits wrapped in between the fold ranging from avocado, tomato, seeds to chorizo, spinach and different kinds of cheeses. Shakshuka there is exceptional too and comes with a vegan option of avocado replacing eggs. I tried both and obviously prefer the one with egg because there is just something so satisfying about eating an egg for breakfast. The avocado option while made in tasty tangy tomato gravy seems to be missing something for me. Perhaps tofu would be a great option but then again I’m not an expert on this, just a girl who likes to eat good breakfast. Another favourite of mine is the fried eggs Moroccan style with Dukkah, hummus and avocado. I mean this breakfast with a good coffee or a matcha is all I need to feel energetic and happy through my day.

The Omelettes

The omelettes are serious business at SAM and you can tell that by the size of it all. The best part about it is the aforementioned stuffing in the fold.

Fitness Omelette – Avocado, pumpkin / sunflower seeds, cherry tomato, wild salmon and some herbs
Omelette with chorizo, feta and spinach
Vegan Shakshouka with avocado
Bread basket accompanying the Shakshouka
Fried eggs Moroccan style with Dukkah, hummus and avocado
Turkish style eggs in yoghurt with pink pepper 
Toast with ham, cheese and Dijon mustard

Hot Drinks

Tea or coffee is really the only way to end breakfast and they nail it too. From the classic Cappuccino to the regular black tea and to the more specific Ayurvedic variety called Chakku Kapi.

Cappuccino in almond milk
Cappuccino, my love. I only drink coffee on holidays and it’s so yummy on holidays when you wake up late and need that boost to walk everywhere. It has also to do with the fact that the coffee in UAE is quite strong and bitter, thanks to all the coffee snobs. I’m not a coffee snob and I don’t like my mouth and my pee to smell funky.
Classic black tea
Ginger and lemon infused drink
Chakku Kapi it is a healthy dry ginger coffee really good for cold and cough and immunity and is perfect for the winter months.

Cold Drinks

I love my smoothies / juices as there is no easier way to get your fruits and veggies in. The good part about these ones is that they use organic produce to create them and none of them is overly sweet or heavy. Just a great download of vitamins into your system. I particularly remember gravitating to a post workout smoothie often after my yoga class.

Lunch Options

I have almost always just eaten breakfast there, sometimes even for lunch. The two times I did order from the lunch menu it was really original and great. I mean I had not eaten a combination of these items ever. First up is the grilled halloumi with chorizo, potato, asparagus and cherry tomatoes. This dish was a combination of simple ingredients prettily thrown together yet so delicious and not trying hard at all to be good. The second and last lunch item I tried was this sandwich with jack fruit if I can remember correctly and it was delicious. I mean eating jack fruit in this form was something new to me and I must say it was tasty. I’m used to having it in a cooked variation with Indian spices and the texture almost can get chicken like.

Grilled halloumi with chorizo, potato, cherry tomato, asparagus
Sandwich with jackfruit, carrots and some garnish

Vibe

The best part about Sam is that I haven’t even tried everything so there is so much more to explore. Even though I’m back in Dubai, which has so many amazing places somehow I miss SAM. My current wish is to have a SAM like cafe wherever I may live. It’s got the vibe too as you will find Balenciaga, Louis Vuitton and Givenchy clad millennials sipping their post workout smoothie or having their morning coffee or a lunch meeting.

Until next holiday, I’m sitting at home and dreaming and craving SAM.

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La Bulle Paris

Well hello there…

Writing once again after a brief break to tell you about amazing new designer on the block with a focus on creating comfortable silhouettes that don’t cling to your body but retain a certain feminine and girly aesthetic. Continue reading “La Bulle Paris”

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Gowns and gloves

Hey there! Been a while since I posted but here I am now. In Dubai it’s very normal to be OTT at any time so I thought why not go a bit extra this one Saturday. In a bid to support local fashion I collaborated with the lovely Sara Gi on her glam brand. In the process I got to know her and how her brand came about. It’s quite fascinating to know the behind the scenes of it all. In appreciating the beauty of her creations I chose this beautiful teal green gown which is perfect for this spring / summer. Pairing it with these beautiful lace gloves with embellishments was just what it needed. They simply steal the show I think..what do you think?

Until next kritical post. Xoxo

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Winters in Dubai – LE 66 (2/2)

Hello lovelies!!

Today is the last day of 2017 and as I reflect on this beautiful mixed bag year for me as somethings went really well and some didn’t go as per my liking it but I roll with it you know. Whilst your contemplating your year take a look at my second look on my favorite collaboration with the Parisian chic store Le 66 located at City Walk.

Dubai winters are cold but not too cold and it’s great to layer up and showcase your fashion game. I stumbled upon this really fun and quirky brand Aviù whilst browsing through the racks at Le 66 and I knew more than ever this brand was so me. Aviù is an Italian brand specializing in playing with fabrics using leather, PVC, sequins and anything else you can imagine. It’s luxe for sure but doesn’t lose edge or go overboard with motifs and in other words I’m in love. This look consists of a sparkly denim jacket combined with wide-legged pants of everybody’s favourite fabric of many season’s past –  velvet. I can’t say it enough but this jacket is the bomb and also totally worthy of the perfect Kira Kira. Lol. Shoes, bag and sunnies are my own.

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Hope you enjoyed this post and wishing you an amazing year end and a fabulous beginning to the new year. Happy New Year! Until next kritical post. xoxo.

#OOTDDEETS:

  • Sunnies – Dior
  • Metallic cross body bag – Marc B
  • Glitter Mules – Topshop
  • Kira Kira worthy sparkly jacket – Aviù
  • Velvet wide legged pants – Aviù
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The Fumẽ Experience 

Food is at the core of everything I do. I usually think of my next meal at my current meal and so on. Just like fashion the power of food to change your mood cannot be underestimated. Fumẽ just happens to be one of the many amazing food experiences that Dubai is home to. 

Fumẽ not so recently launched their breakfast menu at Pier 7 following along the lines of the Downtown branch and everything there is to die for. Mind you this cannot be eaten everyday if you wanna stay in shape. Below is an itemized look at a few of the kritically approved breakfast options.



1. Sourdough bread that looks so good 


2. The Lotus Pancake


The lotus pancake is named after the famous Lotus biscuit which by itself is so tasty so when you decide to make a pancake with it this is just next level awesomeness. This is honestly the best pancake I have had in my life. Sitting atop this scrumptious pancake are caramelized banana, peanut butter mousse, salted butterscotch and lotus biscuit shavings. Top banana!!👌🏼👌🏼🍌🍌

3. Monster Milkshakes

This place is famous for its milkshakes and this Bro-nut one is made of chocolate       brownie, Nutella and marshmallows just perfect for the weekend. There are straws that go through the brownie that looks like a muffin that besides being made of chocolate has some fruity flavouring like a surprise gift. You have to finish that muffin on top to be able to scoop the goodies inside. It’s simply top banana.   👌🏼👌🏼🍌🍌🍌

4.Fumẽ liquid fixers 

We decided to compliment our high calorie breakfast with some healthy juices in order to assuage the guilt. The one on the left is the High energy carotene catapult with carrot, red capsicum, ginger and beetroot and the one one the right is the Green detox with parsley, apple, kale and ginger. Both of these at extremely healthy obviously and very tasty. Sorry I actually find green juices and the like very tasty so my judgement here might be biased.

5.  The Fumẽ Pan ala the classic English breakfast 

This was so so good and I probably haven’t had such a tasty English breakfast while I lived in London. Will definitely go back for this when I’m craving some English breakfast.

6. Beach Board

Smoked salmon, bresaola, chorizo stracciatella, tomato salad, basil pesto, avocado, soft boiled eggs and sourdough. Who can go wrong with this?!!! 

7. Eggs Benedict with salmon caviar

This is one of my favorite breakfast options and besides the one at La Serre this is my new favorite option. This is slightly different from the usual option of spinach etc accompanying eggs benedict and I love it when someone makes an effort to change things every once in a while.

8. Espresso shot 

Pretty decent espresso shot. Love love it!! 


This place also houses a bar and is generally quite massive with great views of Marina and would be perfect if you wanna go over for a Friday brunch. Hope you enjoyed this post as much as I loved my food experienced at Fumẽ. 

Until next kritical post. Xoxo

Wardrobe Essentials for 2020

Hello! Welcome to yet another edit. Today I’m talking about two outfits that’ll lift your mood and your sartorial style quotient without compromising on your comfort. Read on to know more.

The Classic PJ Suit

I love comfort and in 2020 more so than ever. Those long hours spent on the couch really call for something loungy and there is nothing quite like a comfy pyjama suit to make you feel like yourself. They obviously have the added oomph factor as opposed to a regular pj set thereby setting you apart from feeling like a bum. Enjoy some fun shots of me wearing the pyjama suit from Zaid Farouki’s line. In case you’re wondering they also come with a long line silk robe to complete the set. If you pair the pyjama suit with your fave heels you could also show up for a fancy dinner or drinks too. I paired mine with my fav Jimmy Choos in green.

The Oversized Suit

If you’re looking for a bit more luxe you can never go wrong with the suit. Just make sure the fit is a bit relaxed so you can be comfy and in terms of what to wear under the blazer it can be anything or nothing really. I’d say T shirt if you wanna be casual, cami always looks good, sports bra or even nothing. I paired it with my favourite Alo Yoga bra. It’s so comfy and so chic with that cutout. I’ll link some options below for the bra and some fun shoes for summer in case you wanna check it out. Before I finish you can also experiment with different prints and textures. If you get inspired by my looks above or below please do let me know. Until next post. xoxo.

Links: Bras

Slit bra – Alo Yoga, blue ocean or printed – The Upside, classic ivory – Girlfriend Collective, colour block – Nagnata

Shoes: Sandals – Arizona Love or Prada or Poret & Paire or Ancient Greek Sandals, mules – By Far or Aeyde

Trendy Thursday – 9 Jul, 2020

The added advantage of staying at home for 3 months or so has been that we have all had the time to live and lust on social media. I have previously missed out trend cycles primarily because I had no time to give in to it. Partly also because I try to operate a lean wardrobe with an in and out policy. Somehow this quarantine with all the time to live and travel vicariously through social media has given me the opportunity to dream about the beautiful Chanel dad sandals. I have stacked up some colour options. From denim to vintage to pastels to monogram they are everywhere. Be warned that it comes at a price.

If you’re into pre-loved you can find some at Vestiaire collective. Until next kritical update. Happy shopping xx

Cutest Summer Dress Ever – La Bulle Paris

Hello there!

As we become more and more aware of the environmental damage that fast fashion has caused we are getting conscious about what we consume. So there is really no better time to talk about my favourite slow fashion designer, Esther, formerly a law graduate. She is humble, cute and so talented. In the simplest terms slow fashion is the antidote to the trend cycle meaning that it is about making good quality pieces that transcend seasons so that we consume less and only when we really need to.

The designer behind La Bulle Paris, Esther; Source: La Bulle Paris

My pick for this summer is the cute cotton candy inspired Barabapa dress. I have never not loved a dress that is comfortable, short, easy breezy in the downstairs department. My body feels free, non-sticky and comfy and surprisingly sexy. It is perfect for the Dubai summers I tell ya. Now I don’t necessarily believe in the idea that you have to wear form hugging clothes to feel your sexy best. Comfort can also lead you to the same destination of feeling like a confident, sexy woman. It really is all in the mind. If you would like an edit of similarly loosey goosey summer dresses do let me know in the comments.

P.s. If you’re interested in seeing more from the designer I have a previous post from a past collaboration.

Source: La Bulle Paris

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To Paris, with not so much love

Outfit by Sezane Paris

Hello there!

2020 is a cool friend and once again a reminder that things may not always go as per our plan. Because there is a bigger force out there much bigger than us. Some say it’s even Mother Nature reminding us to slow down and think about what we have done to our planet and to each other. While we stay at home, cook our way to perfection, work our way to fitness, for those of us who can afford to, let’s take some time out to really think about what would you change knowing that you have so much to be thankful for.

Earlier in the year I was fortunate enough to do a mini weekend trip to Paris. This was my second trip to Paris and I was overjoyed as I was returning after a wonderful first holiday. My second trip didn’t feel the same partly because I was already tired from previous travels and if I hadn’t pre-booked the tickets I perhaps wouldn’t have taken off at all. Despite low enthusiasm I researched where to eat and be like all of us do in this Instagram age. I walked loads and ate loads. Somehow amongst those walks I forgot to capture all of it but nonetheless am sharing some of my food moments.

Paris this time perhaps because I had lost the innocence of my rosy world view or grown up felt different to me. On my first trip to Paris it was more an accomplishment at being able to afford a fancy holiday for myself as I was turning 30. I was all eager and starry eyed. Two years later when I returned I was a different person – calmer, less eager to impress and a tired traveller at that. This trip reinforced Parisian stereotypes like luxury not being accessible to all, chic cafes in Avenue Montaigne giving you the look when you entered in covered in a parka that didn’t look like the Max Mar or Gucci coats they are used to. Although I love fashion I find this behaviour exhibited by many fashionable types of judging people quite silly and juvenile. Aside from these minor hiccups Paris is quite enjoyable if you like long walks and pastries. I didn’t manage to photograph everything but here’s some that made the cut.

Cafe Pouchkine

This is a cute cafe located on the Place de la Madeleine. Bustling area with a queue as all good things in Paris are. I suppose you visit this place for the dreamy French decor made popular by similar cafes such as La Duree, Angelina to name a few. The pastries and tea live up to the wait in the queue but I would say that this place gets so packed and could use a little ventilation because there are just so many people coming in and out and the winter heating doesn’t help.

Random Cafe – Can’t remember name

Random cafe in some alley going around the big Gucci store in Champs Elysee…I think…But delicious crepes and croque monsieur and of course the cappucino in Europe is something else. Seriously love that it’s more on the sweeter side of things and less coffee tasting. I used to be a specialty coffee freak but due to years of over consumption the taste for it has just disappeared and also I could never taste the blueberries in my coffee like the Barista said I would. So bye coffee for now until I get bored of the matcha I’m currently hooked on.

Cappuccino, to start your day right
Savoury Crepe
Croque Monsieur, standard fare 🙂

Poilâne

Poilâne is famous the world over for its bread that is even flown to New York daily, no kidding, so when I found out about this place in my favourite bi-annual magazine The Gentlewoman I just had to check it out and so I did. Quite yummy but I guess perhaps the expectations were set so high I thought it was like anything I would eat back in Dubai. Dubai is home to some amazing places with service that is unrivalled. I mean you can rock up to Four seasons in your Nike shorts and tee and sneakers and still be served like a Queen. This is quite different from Europe in that you need to look proper to get served well. Perhaps this has something to do with style in Dubai being quite fluid and there is no one style aesthetic to be followed.

Architectural Marvels & History

I mean there is no dearth of things to see in Paris, a city filled with so much history and architectural beauty. Walking to everywhere you need to go to is a must seriously and that’s also probably the best way to find your own little food places and make memories.

La Samaritane, Paris

La Samaritane is a mall with history. Founded in 1870 and after many ownerhsip transfers it is in the hands of LVMH and of course once it reopen it’ll be all things style and excellence as is the case with anything that LVMH touched. In the meantime it just looks beautiful with yellow mosaics peppered across the building.

Walking and posing on the banks of the Seine is a must
Somewhere random 🙂

Lana Al Kamal

Hello there!

As we’re all indoors trying to find new ways to occupy our minds, I’m looking to get back to the archives and blog those travels or fashion inspirations that never made it due to having far too many commitments in life. This one is actually from a recent shoot though.

Continue reading “Lana Al Kamal”

Eli’s Boots

Hello there!

It’s been a while but I’m back with some amazingly cool bags to talk about. Through the wonderful girls at the Amanqi Edit I chanced upon a sustainable leather brand called Eli’s boots. The timing couldn’t be more perfect as I wake up, although a tad late, to understanding how our consumption habits are damaging our beautiful and giving planet.

The bags are quite trendy ranging from the classic tan to metallics and bright colours. What’s also beautiful about this moment in fashion is that in terms of quality it is sometimes hard to tell between a AED 2000 and AED 10000 bag for me. It’s primarily because there are all these cool new brands challenging the big ones on a number of fronts such as price point, quality and now even offering sustainable choices. Here’s a little snippet of my shoot with Amanqi Edit x Eli’s Boots.

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If you hop on to their website you’ll find they do amazing sandals for summer season and super cute baby shoes with sustainability at the heart of the brand.

What do you think? Love or not? Let me know in comments below.

Until next kritical post. xoxo