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Siciliano per favore

December 4, 2009 2 comments

House hunting is tough work, and by 2pm today we were ready to drop in on the first restaurant we hit, irrespective of how bad it looked.  This happened to be Pizza Pazza in Al Barsha behind Mall of the Emirates.  And no, it didn’t look (too) bad, there were actually people eating outside.

As we approached the door one the patrons stood up to greet us, so it was the staff having lunch.  With a relief the scale of which you cannot imagine, the guy talked to us with an Italian accent.  He ushered us inside and yep, spoke in Italian to other staff.  All of them Italian, it was probably family run.  From the three-legged emblem and various pictures hung up we could see that they hailed from Sicily, not the mainland.

Flag of the Sicilian Region
Image via Wikipedia

We ordered pizza (of course) and it was delicious.  The dough was light and crunchy and the mozzarella really tasty.  For dessert my wife had ice cream while I ordered tiramisu.  I suspect both were home made.  I’ve never tasted ice cream so good and, well, creamy.  And the tiramisu was refreshingly not laden with sugar.

There are many bad things to say about Italians in general, Sicilians in particular, and this restaurant on this occasion – AC not strong enough, there were quite a number of flies inside, which one of the staff was killing with an electric swatter, service was so-so, etc.  But they sure know their food.  And to be immersed in an environment so close to ours at home was really nostalgic.  The restaurant also has none of that stiff sophistication common to many Italian restaurants in Dubai.

This will be definitely one of the “pros” when considering whether to move to Barsha or not.  Check out their menu here.

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Poll: Moving the furniture

December 3, 2009 1 comment
Categories: House Hunting Tags:

House Hunting (2)

December 3, 2009 Leave a comment

The following day we went to Uptown Motor City, on the map it is just under the Dubai Autodrome.

It is a bit more out of the way, but designed as a close community in that there is an emphasis on open spaces, landscaping, family living.

The apartments themselves were adequately large and fitted, with no real issues.  I was impressed with the quality of some of the finishings, e.g. the windows and door to balcony.

  • The good: very nice outdoor spaces, facilities (gym, swimming pool, basement parking, security), comfortably spaced apartments, good standard of construction, close to Emirates Road, close to the largest Spinney’s in Dubai, other shops / cafes to open soon.
  • The bad: no other developments / attractions close by apart from the autodrome (but I’m no petrolhead), surrounding areas still under varying levels of construction, to get to Emirates Road there are only temporary small single lane access roads for now.
  • The ugly: apparently rent prices actually went up since the last couple of months. Hopefully they stabilise a bit by the new year.
Categories: House Hunting Tags:

House Hunting (1)

December 2, 2009 Leave a comment

The end of tenancy contract is coming up, so off we go house hunting once again.  A relative compared it to spring cleaning, or rather how to avoid it.  Instead of letting a tornado loose in the apartment for cleaning, we just skip boat.  But with the falling prices and our changing needs it would be pointless and expensive not to move out.  With changing needs I mean that the office might move to a different location, so I have to take it into consideration.

First we headed to Jumeirah Lake Towers, a number of towers built around an artifical lake, just beside the (largest man-made) Dubai Marina.

There are a lot of them still under construction, but the ones that were ready were generally nice.  While viewing one of them my wife found out she was scared of certain heights – we were viewing a large 1 bedroom apartment on the 30th floor.  Unfortunately it was night and we weren’t thinking about taking good pictures, except for the roof top jacuzzi and pool.

 

The window on the left actually shows the drop down from the 35th floor, but it was not as bad as the view from the 30th.  The walls around the pool meant lots of shade throughout the day.  Not necessarily a bad thing in Dubai.

  • The good: facilities (security, carpark, gym, pool, sauna, steam room), stone-throwing distance from Sheikh Zayed Road, cat-throwing distance from Metro station.
  • The bad: sand everywhere, no place for outside strolling (yet), except after a 30 min excursion to Jumeirah Beach Residence, no clear exit to SZR – there are still only single lane bumpy access roads.
  • The ugly: the whole area is a construction site (and all the hazards this entails), and I don’t think I saw the “lakes” that the place are named for.  Still under construction?
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