Ramadan is the most significant event for Muslims around the world. Abstaining from food and water from dawn to dusk is the pattern followed by observers.
Brands invest in heavy advertising during this period & take this opportunity to promote food products through various mediums. It’s not an incorrect practice to promote food products & related services during fasting hours. However, innovative campaigns always work well as they stand out from the crowd.
One such noticeable campaign launched last year was by McDonald’s UAE. Their “No distractions” billboard was appreciated by many. This campaign garnered positive responses and resulted in launch of a similar campaign this Ramadan known as ‘The Hand Gesture Campaign’
McDonald’s has set a perfect example for how marketing is done in this era. There has been a shift of focus from just product advertising to consumer oriented marketing. ‘The Hand Gesture Campaign’ focuses on respecting Muslims observing Ramadan by keeping the food displayed on outdoor mediums to a minimum. What’s interesting to observe is that this campaign too like the former one continues to focus on theme of being respectful in holy month of Ramadan.
‘The Hand Gesture Campaign’ includes digital billboards which show empty hands “recreating” a burger before iftar & then gets replaced by the same hands holding a burger close to Iftar time. These hands can also be seen on some static billboards and scattered across panels around the country.
Another aspect focused in this year’s campaign is diversity. From details such as hands used in ads across to sharing Ramadan stories from people of different ethnicities, all have been covered. The Ramadan stories shared on their Instagram McDonald’s UAE are personal experiences by actual people. These experiences & memories are not only heartwarming but also gives an insight from various perspectives. This clever campaign creates instant connectivity between the brand & the audience with little focus on the product itself.
McDonald’s hand gesture campaign revolves around their latest offering which is the Ramadan meal. Exclusively designed for UAE, this meal includes a choice of burger, refreshing McFizz with Vimto Flavor, delicious Date custard Pie & Nuggets all for the price of AED25. Being a vegetarian I never actually get to try out Ramadan meals but this time McDonald’s has covered the same too. Their choices do include vegetarian burgers as well! Love how detailed their strategy is. This makes a difference and allows products to penetrate amongst various segments of the market.
Have you spotted this campaign recently? What are your thoughts on the same? Do write to me in comments below.
• Available in romantic nudes, berry in love, and seductive smokies
- All in one compact palette
- Mirror included
- Easy to carry
- Can create multiple looks, day and night
- Darker eye shadow shades are more towards matte
- Shades to suit any skin tone
- The palette doesn’t have any cover for the lipsticks which are liquid. The powders tend to fall on the lipsticks
- Inconsistencies in pigmentation of shades
- Eye shadows requires a lot of blending
Is it right to describe fine dining experience as magical? no I didn’t get transported any new land but a Carnival itself! Carnival by Tresind is based on post modern Indian cuisine. This new restaurant in town has made the game only tougher for its competitors as they offer some great dishes and the creativity levels have doubled! Below is my detailed account of the 14 course chef’s tasting menu (vegetarian) my view on the decor and excerpts of chat with Chef Vinu.
On our arrival, we were greeted with bubbles which instantly liven up the child in you and makes one smile. Our server, Mr Himanshu a cheerful and equally enthusiastic chap set to explain us the courses, heightening our suspense as each course arrives.
Prior to courses we were served the Happy Halloween. Essentially a kulcha stuffed with pumpkin which was baked with spices. I wasn’t too excited with this one as I found the taste to be very average.
The amuse bouche, Makhan Phal stole the show! Cacao butter hive topped with avacado lime cream was something I hadn’t tried earlier. it was delightful and the presentation creates instant drama on the table. out came the phones and cameras to capture the beauty.
Life is short eat dessert first : thats so true isn’t it? what if a dessert comes in the form of chaat? well this was exactly that. Crispy jelabis that were lightly sweetened paired with yogurt mousse, chickpeas and sweet and sour chutney. We loved this so much. as our server explained, the jelabis remained crisp till the end of the dish.
Game of Corns: at first, the texture of this dish was meaty, like processed soy but the taste was so fresh. We were then explained that this dish consists of coconut milk solids, strained and formed into a cutlets served with goji berry chutney and kewpie mayonnaise.
My next course came in a tiny cup. it was Dal Cappuccino topped with Truffle ghee and cumin coco cookie. I wasn’t too big of a fan of this one. I just found it too bland and I couldn’t taste the that earthiness of truffle flavor distinctively.
Morel science: There came a wooden dish which consisted of a wheat crisp and underneath the same was a fritter that was a dedication to the indo Chinese dishes found across the country. the fritter was made out of Gucci mushrooms which are the most expensive mushrooms in the world. Found in the Himalayas, these mushrooms were cooked to perfection and the taste was earthy yet spicy as they were coated with the sauces.
Palak paneer: palak paneer as a appetizer? i inquired to my server and he just smiled at me. I definitely knew there was something he wasnt disclosing. when the dish arrived, I was surprised to see a toasted bun topped makhani sauce, cottage cheese mousse and julienne of fried spinach. We loved this!
Just when we thought we are almost done, a gentleman dressed as a worker comes by our table and opens his tool kit. At first I was perplexed and then the chef in workers clothes explains that he is going to transform a worker’s meal into fine dining dish. quickly he pulls out a halved bun and adds spices, chutneys and the potato fritter (vada) topped with micro herbs and chilli. the chef waited till we tried the result of this vada pav service and joked of how it needs to be eaten only with hands and no forks. This dish is a bit messy but fun!
Our next dish to try is the Malai barfee gola, a palate changer and light dish with absolutely no presentation. doesnt need one too as it’s purpose was served. This is a litchi granita infused wit raspberry and rosewater.
Onto our main courses, in no time my table was filled with dishes presented in a beautiful manner. we had Gol Hatti and Not just butter Chicken! the Gol Hatti is a dish inspired by a dish called palak chole found in streets of Chandni Chowk. this dish is served with bread like kulcha and is presented beautifully. Our second main course, Not just butter Chicken is a rich and creamy dish with Soya cutlets in a gravy. we preferred the latter as it was more flavorful. served with fresh breads, all of course made in house.
Our next course was the desserts and my most favorite part of tasting.
My dessert, Chat Walla is a dessert I will remember for a very long time. Spot on with the presentation, mango puree piped artistically across the dish, small and crisp fritters (boondi) , the parfait set in a scooped out guava topped with dehydrated strawberry powder. I was immediately transported back to my time in India where a street vendors sell masala(spicy) guava in summers which are juicy and tangy. This dessert is purely for fruit lovers, my guest didn’t enjoy it but I loved it for the creativity. the only wway to enjoy the dish is to try it with every element on the plate rather than just having a spoonful of parfait itself.
My guest’s dessert, Go bananas served in a basket over banana leaves. This dessert is essentially banana three ways or more so paired with different elements. A warm caremelised banana served alongside toffee panna cotta topped with crisp tuile Banana ice cream with crunchy bits. I lover this one too! Only flaw was the plating as it was in a deep basket. All elements served a purpose in the dish and it is perfectly balanced with no element bring overly sweet.
At the end of our meal we were served miracle berry which was truly a fun thing to try. So at first I was asked to suck the lemon which was obviously sour and then I was asked to chew on the miracle berry. after which again I tried the lemon and it was sweeter rather than sour. the taste lasts up to ten minutes.
Along with our lunch we were served two cocktails both alcohol based. Mine was mystery tea, presented stunningly by the bartender. There is a play of dry ice with drink served in a tea cup poured out of a Japanese tea pot. the drink consists of elder flower, dried raspberry and vodka. a strong cocktail but really well paired with the dishes. my guest’s cocktail was Whiskey based drink paired with cinnamon and spices. I preferred my drink over the latter.
ambiance: The mascot of the Carnival is the humble lamb. As it is the meat eaten nationwide right from north to south. No two drink coasters are same on the table and so are the glasses. This has been done on purpose to break the norms in fine dining. besides the same, the color of chairs matches the color of the ribbon. I personally couldn’t understand the requirement of copper trees incorporated with the theme but with dark walls it did actually look beautiful. There is so much detailing with masquerade masks at one wall to hand painted kites on the copper toned trees.
On my detailed chat with Chef Vinu, I was been informed that they are willing to cater clientele of all sorts as long as the same is mentioned during reservations. they personally ensure that each and every guest feels comfortable dining at Carnival by Tresind. Besides the same, every dish is carefully thought and months have taken to perfect the dishes. Constant changes in menu are expected as the chefs are always testing and pairing unusual ingredients for dishes. As I pointed out to Chef Vinu that majority of their clientele were locals with their families or some even with their friends celebrating occasions. To which I was informed that they enjoy the twist of taste to Indian cuisine and ever since the opening they have seen many non Asian nationalities dining at the restaurant.
Thanks to Passion F &B for the invite. Also thanks to Chef Vinu, Chef Himanshu Saini and our lovely server Mr. Himanshu for taking good care of us.
For reservations contact 04 2759071
The cuisine at Ayam Elezz showcases the golden era of Lebanon which was the 60s. This era bought major changes to culture of the country and the cuisine. Freshest fruits, vegetables and nuts are used in preparation of dishes which are pleasing to the eye and palate. A treat for vegetarians await at Ayam Elezz, keep reading to find out more..
Located at The Mall Jumeirah, this restaurant has the quirkiest decors I have come across. Designed as if you are entering a Lebanese house in the 60’s. The wall outside the restaurant has become a favorite for everyone to pose on, while the suitcase that serves as the doorstop makes you chuckle. There are also items like the old TV cabinet, typewriter and wallpapers which again make you feel like you are invited to a Lebanese home.
We were given an option to be seated outside which is again aircon area but for shisha smokers. We chose to sit inside as even the the view is fabulous as you can view the wild wadi and Burj Al Arab but we didn’t want to be in the shisha area.
Coming to the dishes, a wide spread was laid out in front of us and I was startled on where to begin. The complimentary lebneh and brioche bread were delicious and along with that some tabbouleh that was hand chopped and blended with sumac.
We were offered array of mezzes right from hummus to mhammara which were all delicious but the two must try dishes are the kibbeh lentil & Fattet Bateinjein. The kibbeh lentil is a vegetarian twist to the meat kibbeh. It’s a Gluten free and healthy option for those on diet. As far as the Fattet Bateinjein is concerned, it’s eggplant in yogurt and its delicious! Also you need to try the halloumi cheese that is prepared so deliciously, served with fresh pita bread and slices of tomato. Halloumi is pure heaven!
They do offer a wide range of grills as well, however since my guest and I are both vegetarians we opted for manakish to try instead. We tried the zaatar and cheese and Zaatar Jabali which were both hot and fresh!
For drinks we tried the Ayam Ellez cocktail that is a meal in itself, it is topped with fresh ashta cream and nuts. It’s basically a cocktail of the 60’s in Lebanon. We also tried the lemonade which is made by hand squeezed lemons and also the the pomegranate juice which was perfectly sweet and had no sugar added to it. I highly recommend these three drinks because they were very refreshing and all are squeezed by hand.
Our desserts were an absolute treat. We tried the kunefe and halwat al jibn. I wasn’t to happy with the kunefe served here as I like the vermicelli one more than the semolina topped one but it was cheesy goodness. The halwat al jibn was my favorite, stuffed with fresh cheese this milk pancakes are almost like the Indian Malai sandwich. Would recommend to cut down on the sugar syrup served alongside the desserts as it overpowers the dishes.
Overall, the food is fresh, made with love and I adore the decor so much! It’s really not like a typical order and go mall restaurant but there is a lot if thought put into it. Besides that the prices are reasonable and the service is prompt. They have also introduced platters for lunch and breakfast which look so tempting and I will be back to try them soon.
Thanks to the manager, Ms Rana for the hospitality and invite.
Contact Ayam Elezz at 04 4376069
As a busy woman who is always travelling, I am always on lookout for products that make life hassle free. When I first heard of Johnsons & Johnsons hydration face cleansing wipes I was very much interested in trying it out.
I tested the Johnsons & Johnsons hydration face cleansing wipes for normal & combination skin that comes with extra ocean minerals which help in keeping skin hydrated. The fragrance is a familiar one, the kind you always associate with baby powders from J&J. The packaging comes with sticker on top that doesn’t let your wipes dry off and best part is that the sticker stays despite all the dust in my handbag (opps confession, my handbag is a well :P). A pack of 25 is perfect as one for each of working days.
this little drugstore beauty product is a treat for your skin! Easily removes layers of makeup without damaging the skin. The product is designed as such to remove the toughest of makeup layers especially the mascara which most of us tend to go overboard with. Since the wipe has tendency to get abrasive, I would suggest to gently wipe sensitive areas such as under/over the eyes. My skin feels refreshed and hydrated post use of these.
In case you are one of those who don’t use makeup or keep it minimal, this product still works wonders in keeping skin moisturized.
Available at all leading supermarkets, hypermarkets & drugstores.
I have tried several appetite suppressants throughout my life. Majorly in my teens as I was obsessed with looking slim and attractive. However what I did to my body was pure harm. The suppressants that I used earlier worked but more on negative side. Once I stopped these very popular suppressants I started gaining weight rapidly. I didn’t realize it until it reached a point where it started affecting my health in many different ways.
I was scared. I am still scared to used any kind of product that promises ” rapid weight loss”. So when Eatless team approached me to review the product, I had to research and understand everything before I commit to it.
So what is Eatless exactly?
Eatless contains Appethyl, an appetite suppressing solution derived from spinach. Appethyl slows down the digestion and absorption of fat, at the same time it helps your body release intestinal hormones naturally which promotes satiety and suppresses hunger. It significantly reduces cravings for sweet and palatable food.
The active substances inside Appethyl is known as thylakoids. These thylakoids are found in abundance in a simple leafy vegetable – Spinach. It is the only ingredient on the product and there is nothing else to it. This revolutionary discovery was done by Charlotte Erlanson-Albertsson, Professor at Medicine and Physiological Chemistry at Lund University in Lund, Sweden.
Needless to say, I was really impressed with the information received and decided to give it a go. I don’t have a voracious appetite but sometimes I crave cheesy & fatty foods. These cravings are crazy and there is no stop to it until I take any action.
My review & results:
I always consume small meals. Even at tasting sessions, I am one person who love photographing beautiful food rather than eat all at once. Having small meals helps me control the portions which is the only thing you require to do along with consumption of Eatless.
My Eatless pack was for fourteen days which costs as little as AED160 (11.5dhs a day). The best time to have Eatless is early in morning. It can be added to your morning smoothie or fruit yogurt. Consumption of Eatless can be done as itself but Appethyl needs a certain amount of fat to free their full potential. Therefore it is advised to consume with a teaspoon of oil.
I personally found the taste a bit off at first. Its not bitter but a bland earthy taste and the green color kind of distracts me but hey all for good right?
I am super busy in mornings and have absolutely to time to create fancy smoothies to start my day with. I chose to consume my Eatless sachet with either Laban (buttermilk) or Juice. I personally preferred fat free laban as it tastes refreshing. Followed by a balanced diet and good water consumption.
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Started light exercises, weights and cardio thrice a week combined with Eatless. Balanced diet all along. Lost 940 grams in weight and sugar cravings reduced.
Break of 2 days taken but continued with control on food portions and cravings reduced massively. It was my bff’s birthday and we had a massive cheesecake at our place but somehow I only had a bite of it. I couldn’t consume it at all because I felt so full! That was a first for me as I had never turned down a cheesecake before.
By week 2, I was convinced that EATLESS works! So I worked harder and did a lot of yoga combined with the consumption of Eatless and balanced diet. Voilaaa by the end of week two I had lost additional 1.8 kg. 😀
While for some its easy to loose weight, for me that isn’t the case. No matter what I do, I gain it back but hey not this time!
I have completed my fourteen day course and with a total loss of 2.7kg which is healthy reduction. Not only that, Eatless has impacted my sugar cravings too. I feel less attracted towards desserts. Since this is working, I might give it another go..
As I dip into the late twenties list, I am more focused on eating healthy rather than rapid weight loss.
They have programs for
2 weeks – AED 160
1 Month – AED 280
2 Months – AED 400
You can purchase Eatless at Lifesyle nutrition, Holland & Barrette & Good health. Alternatively, you can order from Eatless website they offer free delivery within UAE.
Visit them on Instagram
Burgers are a always a huge hit with everyone. Be it kids or adults everyone seems to enjoy these handheld sandwiches bursting with flavors. By burgers I don’t mean those sold by corporate giants such as Mcds and KFCs, I was never into those anyways because they are so sub standard (in my opinion). If you want to have real burgers you’ve got to find hidden gems in your city. One such hidden gem I discovered is Smokin 9, JLT.
The whole concept of Smokin 9 revolves around the 9 mini burgers. You can order a mix of all flavors in one box or opt for your favorites. Each priced very reasonably.
Since my friend & I are both vegetarians we opted for Kenny which comes with quinoa patty & Mozzar which is fried Mozzarella cheese slab. Both comes with their own sauces all made fresh in house! Also the buns are custom made for Smokin 9, they are soft and perfect to hold the contents.
What surprised me was the fact that these burgers look really small but are packed with strong flavors and are really unique. Kenny, the quinoa burger can surely change opinions of those who aren’t fond of its texture. The patty was really firm and light and complimented the roccoto marmalade sauce and my favorite avocado. I have tried making quinoa burgers at home but never are they so perfect. Upon inquiring the restaurant manager explains that it is a secret recipe that they wont part with. Of course they don’t have to share it, I can always satisfy my cravings at Smokin 9.
The Mozzar on the other hand is a cheese lovers paradise. With fried Mozzarella cheese slab stuffed in the mini burger alongside some sun dried tomatoes and basil. Light, fresh and classic! My guest is a true cheese fan and he enjoyed this version more than any.
For sides, smokin 9 offers Hand cut skin on fries & sweet potato fries. In all honestly I have tasted better fries than what are served here. I was super impressed by the homemade dips which are served alongside the fries & burgers. I particularly enjoyed the taste of roasted vegetables & curry dip paired with my sweet potato fries. For drinks they have the regular soft drinks & sparkling water. I felt they could add a bit more to that like my favorite avo + agave milkshake or just some fresh juices to complete the portion of balanced meal.
Smokin 9 is a place I would love to be for casual meet ups. As the restaurant manager Mr Amjad explains to me, they will be soon adding games section to their store wherein you could challenge your friends to a round of monopoly. The decor is minimalistic with metal caged work at the counter and fresh plants that give that green pop. In winters there will be more fun as they will be opening up to the gorgeous water view of JLT.
Overall, smokin 9 is the new place where friends meet. They do offer super quick deliveries and cater for parties as well. A clear concept & executed with perfection! Indeed intense & mouthwatering little treats.
Ps: On my interaction with one of their regular customers, I was been informed that I can have at least five burgers in one sitting. Thought that was an easy task considering my large appetite but I could only finish three. These burgers look mini but are really heavy.
More images from tasting session will be available on Zomato.
Contact Smokin 9 at 8006464, JLT Cluster U, Seef tower 2.
Like them on Facebook : Smokin 9
Follow them on Instagram : Smokin 9
You can also order online through Deliveroo App & Zomato.