Posts by Lara:
A Saturday well spent to say the least. Oz and I dropped off little Hana (see what I did there? It used to be Baby Hana, now its little Hana since we’re expecting another) and headed off to a tour to Al Karma Kitchen in Jabal Al Natheef.
Located in the heart of Amman on the 6th roundabout, the Crowne Plaza Ramadan Tent iftar will not disappoint. Contrary to former years, the traditional outdoor buffet has now been placed inside a humongous tent to keep you warm as the temperature has had massive drops in the evenings.
Othman and I accepted an invitation to the Grand Hyatt Amman to check out their 2017 Souk Ramadan hosted at the Sawani terrace last night. Despite the windy 18 degrees’ weather outside that sent chills up and down our spines, it would be safe to say that we were not disappointed.
It’s been two weeks since you passed away! Life has an unfair way of driving us back to our daily routine. Wake up, give Hana breakfast/prepare her lunch box, send her off to pre-school, pick her up for lunch, then head home to mmom’s for lunch, only this time you aren’t there. Stay till 4:30 and leave. Play with Hana till bed time around 8:00, and then call it a day. REPEAT!
I haven’t written for quite a while now, and I wish that I had, every time I wrote a new post you’d call me the next day to talk about it or discuss – which really makes me feel like I should’ve written more, I would’ve loved to hear your opinion.
Earlier in September I wrote about my hard hat tour visit to La Capitale, where we got the chance to walk through the grounds that were merely a concept at the time, and I got the chance to enjoy some of the items that Chef Arthur Vonderheyden. Needless to say, when I got the invitation to come in and try the food for the day I was over the moon and excited. The thing is, once you’ve tried the food that Chef Arthur prepares, a little part of you wishes you had a stomach big enough to indulge massive quantities at a time.
It started as a girl’s night out, my cousin Inaam and I glammed up (although not necessary as La Capitale’s dress code is casual), put out babies to sleep, and decided to take the Four Season up by storm. As we arrived to the first floor, I couldn’t believe my own eyes. What was once tiles covered with cement and was just a concept and a showcase of 3D rendered images, has become reality. Believe it or not this encounter happened three weeks ago, where we enjoyed amazing sensational drinks, and bite size items of food that made it to the final cut of the menu, and food that Chef Arthur has just created to tease our taste buds for the night.
We then decided that this will be our “Ladies Night” hangout, so yesterday afternoon to celebrate Inaam’s Birthday, we booked a table for two at the lovely La Capitale and spent quite an afternoon enjoying the food. The kind of afternoon that you skip breakfast for when you know that you are going to indulge in a one of a kind lunch experience that doesn’t disappoint.
We started off with the Salade D’Endives, where flavor is obviously present, but goes beyond in a tactile sensation. This salad is full of texture, and is served with baby endive, Roquefort cheese, walnuts, and green apple mustard dressing.
While awaiting four our main courses a Steak Frites for Inaam and the Plat Du Jour(Dish of the Day) for me which for Tuesdays is a Coq Au Vin. We enjoyed some Freshly baked baguette served with whipped butter while enjoying our Lavendar Lemonade Mocktails.
Our birthday girl ordered a Steak Frites, a tender flat iron steak served with crispy potato and shallot sauce. While we are both more likely to eat chicken, contrary to myself Inaam would enjoy the occasional steak. She vouched for this being the best steak she has had in her life, tender, juicy, and cooked to perfection.
My choice as mentioned earlier was among the daily specials, so if you go in on a Tuesday you’re in luck. The Coq Au Vin is braised chicken in red wine, served with mushrooms, carrots, and potatoes. If you love chicken and love experimenting with different flavors, this is your dish for sure. The chicken melts in your mouth instantly, you wouldn’t even want to chew, my only regret is not ordering a Gratin Dauphinois on the side. A delicious potato gratin that I’ve had at La Capitale before. Straight out of the oven and perfect for sharing, it makes the perfect side believe me.
And finally, we had to come down to business… one of the toughest decisions I have had to make this evening is not having the Tarte Au Citron Meringuee, I personally would go for a Lemon Tart any given day, I tend to chose citrus based desserts over anything without blinking twice. But during the opening I indulged in a delicious Gateau Au Chocolat which chocolate lovers would surely appreciate.
Yet upon our servers recommendation i decided to try something else. If you’ve seen my instagram feed then you’ve witness the Profiteroles being drizzled in chocolate sauce, a sight for sore eyes indeed. Three cream puffs filled with vanilla bean ice cream, and served with chocolate sauce. Delicious!
Inaam the dessert master of all time (she co-writes in my cooking blog and delivers the best homemade dessert I’ve ever had) decided to go for a signature dessert by Chef Arthur which she has had at the opening, a Nougat Glacé; Candied fruit, roasted nuts, frozen nougat and raspberry sauce. You really cannot go wrong with texture of flavor on this one.
What can I say? La Capitale is the perfect place for lunch or dinner. For us, it’s the perfect ladies hang out, great food, great atmosphere, amazing service, and top notch perfection down to every detail. Make sure to visit, because this is one French Brasserie that Amman has needed for years at a time.
La Capitale is open daily from 12 PM to 12 AM. Lunch is served between 12 PM and 4 PM and Dinner between 7 PM and 11 PM.
Reservations are encouraged you can call (06) 550-5555 for reservations and check out their website for more details http://www.fourseasons.com/amman/dining/restaurants/la-capitale/
All photos are courtesy are of the lovely Inaam except the venue photo which of courtsey of the Four Seasons Hotel.
While visiting the Rose City of Petra two weeks ago, I was told by multiple people that the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Amman had the best burgers the town has to offer, all I had to do is spare some time to check out the menu at V Lounge. Earlier this afternoon, I did, and I’ve been beating myself up for not doing it earlier, frankly, best burger in town was not an exaggeration.
The first time I attended the MENAICT Forum was the year it was officially launched was back in 2010, I had just started my journey to blogging Sleepless in Amman was only two months old at the time, and I honestly wasn’t sure why I was invited, but trust me when I say a friendship had been initiated among many special people since then, and six years later, I enjoy seeing them all whenever an occasion comes up.
So, in 2010, the highlight was Reality & The Cloud, Cloud Computing, and who could forget Werner Vogels of Amazon?
In 2013, I attended the MENAICT from the lowest point on earth, hosted at the Dead Sea which focused on the state of Arab ICT and its transformation and Peter Ryan whom six years later, I still keep in touch with. Not to forget two exclusive interviews with Stuart E. Jones United States Ambassador to Jordan and with Lorraine Hariton, Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs, U.S. Department of State.
Finally, 2014 – Which I still refer to as last year’s ICT (Inside joke that only a few will understand) was no disappointment either. The theme was Disruptive Technology, and two cool interviews with Ahmad Hanandeh CEO of Zain Jordan, and Jean Francois Thomas CEO of Orange Jordan.
What all previous years had in common? The types of people you get to meet at the MENAICT Forum! For the sake of humor and supporting this year’s theme DIGITIZING THE ECONOMY, I’d like to add the human factor of who you are most likely to meet at the MENAICT this November.
Generally speaking the MENAICT is an ideal platform for C-suit Business Executives, Governments, Policy Makers, Non-Profit Executives, Investors and Financers, Entrepreneurs, ICT Professionals, Enthusiasts, and Hobbyists… But if we were to break them down by persona, I would say:
Meet the Networker
This person will be chatting up multiple people during breaks, exchanging business cards, adding people on LinkedIn, and simply being a social butterfly. You can’t go wrong meeting people, so if you’re one of them, stack up on those business cards and keep your professional profiles polished and up to date.
Meet the Learner
This person is like a sponge, they try to soak up lots and lots of information, they write notes, type into a laptop, and they try to diligently keep track of everything, including a possibility of live tweeting that they could get back to later as a reference of what has been discussed.
Meet the Leader
Thought Leaders and possibly experts in their field, and are most likely speaking at the forum. Follow them, get to know them, and see who you would like to meet after works if you get the chance for Q&A. You can check out the list of speakers here.
I’m not talking about the person who is always hoarding a front row seat, but also those on a mission on collecting the best free swag! I mean how many pens and stickers and book notes do you possibly need?
Meet the Blogger
Just like me, don’t be surprised if you see a person totting a tablet, a phone, multiple power banks, and trying their best to remain composed. The trickiest part for bloggers is making a decision on which sessions to attend if any are running in parallel, because there is nothing like FOMO on great content. Nevertheless, they could be blogging, or micro blogging on Twitter, make sure to follow them for top industry insights and trends, their feeds will keep you on your toes.
Will you be attending the upcoming MENA ICT Forum? What are you looking forward to the most? Tell us in the comments below.
Whether you love Mexican cuisine or experimenting for the first time, you really want to do your taste palette a favor and visit La Tabilta at the Grand Hyatt this week, with a wide range of food hand crafted by Chef de cuisine Daniel Hurtado.
The beauty of La Tablita is the entire experience, the space, the culture, the flavors, and the ambiance, it all comes together under one roof top where you can enjoy real Mexican staple food in an environment that offers top notch service, great music, and the spirit of a great night out.
Chef Daniel comes all the way from Mexico City in Mexico, and says he misses Street Tacos the most. He told me that the best part about Tacos is that you get to eat them any time of the day when you’re in Mexico; it’s just how it goes. While mashing up some Avocados to make fresh guacamole and serving it with chips we got the chance to chit-chat a little bit. See, initially Chef Hurtado wanted to be an actor, but you should be glad that he decided to keep his food dramatic and his acting to himself because his food is out of this world.
His favorite aspect of Latin American cuisine is a good Ceviche, and at La Tablita, you can enjoy quite a selection of this sea food dish. It’s mainly made of raw seafood tossed in a marinade that is citrusy that allows the fish to cook.
For the night, I was even allowed the opportunity to prepare both Beef and Chicken Quesadillas for my table of friends – if I had known earlier I would’ve gotten my Chef hat – just kidding but I really am debating getting one for kicks – the Quesadillas are delicious and are prepared to order. The
(Shrimp Tacos) were the highlight of my night, you simply MUST try at least once, guaranteed you will come back for more.
It’s amazing how the Grand Hyatt is making an effort to turn regular hotel dining spaces into these food festivals, by hosting vibrant events that are full of flavor and fun. La Tablita runs from September 28th to October 4th. Make sure to drop by at least once, or you’re missing on the experience of a life time.
25 JD’s ++ per person (including 1 Mexican drink)
Reservations: +962 6 465 1234
Disclaimer: Although the meals and beverages were sponsored, the words, opinion, and insights on this blog post weren’t influenced, and are 100% my own.
If you’ve seen an Indiana Jones movie then you’ve seen the Treasury, but trust me when I say, you’ve seen nothing. It would take 2 to 3 days to explore Petra as a city, and I’m here to tell you about our journey.
Visiting Petra anytime soon? Allow me to recommend a stay at Petra Guest House. Managed and Operated by the International Hotel Group (IHG) in Jordan, it is strategically adjacent to the Petra Visitors Center and the entrance to the ancient city.