© 2011 . All rights reserved.

Gotta do the customary ‘look back’ post of 2011. So here it is.

Well whatdya know, it's the end of the year. Time to dredge out my Best of 2011 list - remember the one I'd started compiling with uber enthusiasm back in January...lovingly massaged in new entries till about May...squished in a couple more over summer...and by the time mid-September rolled around, finally came to a slow screeching pathetic halt. Yeah, thaaat list.

But I hadn't forgotten about the list, not for a minute. I promise that I've always thought about it after I written a post...more often than not after I've already published it...but I've thought about it nevertheless and it stands strong at where it stands today. If there have been no new entries since September, it's not because of my crapfaced memory, but because the bar was hardass high (set by yours truly). Going back to the time I laid down my seemingly ludicrous but actually, admittedly awesome criteria, this is what went down back in January:

...‘best’ is not a term that I’ll throw on any random fritter that crosses my path and happens to taste ‘yummy.’  Best is a title only conferred on those foods that result in

(a) a EUREKA! moment = they make me stop mid-way between a sentence or a thought when I take the first bite, and go, OMG/GASP/some incoherent version thereof of OMG or GASP.

(b) HYPNOSIS = they leave me significantly enchanted for the rest of the meal…all I’d be thinking about is, ‘how the heck did whoever make this, make this? And can they make bottomless mounds of it so that I can endlessly cram my face with it?’

(c) PROLONGED HIGH PULSE RATE = they leave me all jittery with excitement like an overcaffeinated junkie, just waiting to tell someone, anyone, about what I just ate.

--inafryingpan, Jan 19, 2011.

So this is where the list stands people:

Sundry eats from Boulevard Cafe, Sugarbox [sadly I hear the white chocolate oreo truffle is no longer in production. whose not-so-brilliant idea was that?], Choco'a, Mango Tree, Aapa Kadai, Eric's, Shikidim, Singapore Deli, Sabah Lebanon, Shiraz, and Daily. In some cases, it was everything that made it to my table that bowled me over...and in other cases, it was just a few, or even just one specific thing that hit the spot. I'm not rehashing what it was for each of those places here, I've labored over an entire post for every one of them - so be a sweet muffin and...READ IT.

I've also shoved up a slideshow [...the horrors of being a consultant. I'd be paralyzed without my slides - the essential tool to saying so much when you have nothing much to say at all.]

Hit your left and right arrow keys to circle through this baby.

The Most of 2011


The Most of




Most Sought After

The Most Sought After

Everyone and their pop-in-law seems to be googling "Shake Shack Dubai" or "Shake Shack Menu" or some other shake + shack + search + string. Not everything on the menu may be worth the frantic search and hype...except maybe that hunk-a-chunk of a cheese-oozing portabello burger. So stop googling and just go try it people. Cyber cheese and menu-ogling just doesn't cut it.

Most Seductive

The Most Seductive

...aka women dressed in chocolate, cake, macarons...the works.

I just realized that my bride-to-be sister and I went through half a year of planning her wedding, and I totally bummed off and forgot to use ideas from this chocolate wedding bash inspired by Choco'a.



Most Artistic

The Most Artistic

All my creative juices were unleashed to procreate this masterpiece for my cheesy sausage fattayer post. I present to you: Blob the Slug. Complete with his own dream sequence and a belly-stuffed wobble. Anyone looking for cool artwork for that empty wall facing their bed?  Well tough, cause this priceless baby ain't for sale.

Most Impactful on the English Vocab

The Most Impactful on the English Vocab

[...yes, I'm aware impactful is NOT a word.]

In a fit of extreme verbal ineptitude, I coined the word floofay to describe these Papparoti buns. When I think of those buns, I just want to run up to a mountain of them and scrunch my teeth through the lot with butter squirting all over in a fountain of happy buttery warm carby yumminess.

They're just so goddang FLOOFAY.

Most Preachy

The Most Preachy

Few things annoy me as much as the loose standards we apply to cupcakes. Not everything with a swirly buttercream top and a cutsie wrapper deserves your precious tum space. And if you can't fathom why not - heck, cupcakes are pretty, and we live in a shallow, shallow world...well read my thesis post on cupcakes and up your standards. Cause you deserve better than a 14 dirham slimy buttercream-capped rock in your mouth.

Most In Your Face

The Most In-Your-Face

Most of my blog posts aim to unveil some foodie find in a tiny corner of Dubai. But this one dedicated to Aubergine Burgers at Gourmet Burger Kitchen had one and only one purpose — to prove that Aubergine Burgers can kick ass if executed right. In reality, this one was sorta mediocre...but my point still holds.


Most Random

The Most Random

This post from one of my escapades in India was called Why a 500 rupee note can't buy you a guava.


...nope, it didn't have any guavas in it.

Most Gluttonous

The Most Gluttonous

I think the intro to our mad binge at China Sea says it all:

We all ate like little big fat piggies at China Sea last week. Six people at the table, twelve dishes, bucketloads of soy sauce, and bellies that had stretched past the point where popping a button or doing a quarter-pull down on a zipper just wouldn't have cut it. If you want to eat at China Sea, arguably one of the oldest authentic Chinese restos in Dubai, then elastic is the only way to go.


Most Mmmm…

The Most Mmmmm...

If I close my eyes and think back to everything I'd eaten in 2011...reminisce about the ups and downs....figure out what I loved most...I'd probably pass out, snoring like a cow. So with my sleep-deprived crackly red eyes barely open, let me tell you what really knocked me out of my senses: those creamy buttery Behari Kababs at Daily. They're tongue-blastingly delicious and deserve to be worshipped in the foodie hall of fame.

Most Mushy

The Most Mushy

(A little timeline of how Fooderati Arabia came to be...too teeny to read it? Click here for the full blown kahuna version)

I don't typically get all teary-eyed, but one year completed as a group of lovely local food bloggers is worth shedding happy tears over. Fooderati Arabia: you make my blogging experience so much richer...thanks for being the awesome group that you are. If not for the constant inspiration and energy I get from you, I'd barely be churning out 10 posts...a year. *happy sob*


Adieu 2011!

To all my rockstar

readers, especially

those of you who're

spending new year's

at the computer right

now (...why...WHY?!)

...hope you have the

crunchiest, floofayest,

most gobsmackingly

awesomest year







...and if you're planning to go on a diet...

well then...

...I'll be right here to feed your soul with my zero-caloried posts. ;)

2011 has been a crazy year of food, fun, frolick and all the other f-words thrown in...and 2012 will ring in with a big fat bang in...

...in February.

Before you jump to conclusions, no, I'm not slacking off in the first month of the year. It's just that January is sorta gonna be this amazing month when my sister gets married and my food blog gets...GASP...shoved on the back burner and will simmer away silently until the water boils away and the bottom of the pan becomes kinda nasty and black and corroded and so lonely without my incessant rambling.

God I love drama.

But January is gonna be great, even though my blog will miss being scribbled all over for a bit. In the meantime, what I'd LOVE is for everyone to dish out a little bit of fryingpan love right back at me...tell me your favorite hole-in-the-wall hidden eats anywhere in the UAE, in a comment, on my facebook page, over twitter, in an email...over anything BUT the phone because social media has robbed me of the ability to have a human untyped spontaneous conversation that exceeds 140 characters.

Party it up people - turn up the music, surround yourself with your favourite peeps, and whatever you do, make sure it's downright yummy cause you know you deserve it.

Rock on in 2012.


  1. I loved reading your post. Each post was such a huge dose of fun, laughter and deliciousness. I learnt a lot from coming to space and spending time here.
    Here’s wishing the Frying Pan girl all the best for the New year. Many more food adventures to the lovely lady.

  2. Love the slide show. You are a true consultant..

  3. i see the 3-chair Fatayers haven’t made the cut !! :p … your blog’s always been endlessly entertaining.

  4. Keep it up.
    It is a lot of fun to read and it always cheers me up.

  5. Arva, do you actually know how awesome you are. You are an inspiration. How about we do a FIA trek to one of your hole in the wall places in 2012? Happy New Year. Can wait to share some foodie love….

    • InaFryingPan

      @Sliceofmylyfe – Thanks muffin lady, you’re blog is equally entertaining – here’s to many more awesome posts, blog connections, and MUFFINS (hells yeah) in 2012!
      …and glad you liked the slide show ;)

      @shebanx – The fatayers didn’t per se, but Bob the Slug represented that post under ’The Most Artistic’ :) Thanks boy, special thanks for accompanying me on my food excursions!

      @chefTom – Thank you! Can’t wait to do dim sum in 2012 ;)

      @Edwina – *BLUUSSSSHHHH* Your words mean so much, thank you. Inspiration works both ways, and I have been inspired by your writing this year too. I would love to do an FiA trek together in 2012 – always looking for foodie company, so let’s make it happen this year!

  6. Sally

    I love Edwina’s idea. Happy, happy New Year to you oh frying pan. Waiting in eager anticipation for February :)

  7. Pooh , I am so disappointed that the Oreo truffles are no lnger there :( , I really want that one . Good round up Arwa and a very happy new year o you :D .

  8. NoNonyMouse

    Great Post – always good fun reading your blog

    • InaFryingPan

      @Sally – Wow, took me so long to reply…but Feb is here, time to start prowling for food in the city again! :D

      @Shabunam – you know, may be worth checking in with them again…maybe it was a seasonal thing or they decided to resurrect the flavour for the good of mankind….happy new year to you too!

      @NoNonyMouse – thanks, and many more posts to come soon!

  9. Saleem

    Keep writing you have to make up the lost time and I guess you can write a few articles about the Nawabi Food that was served during the wedding

    • InaFryingPan

      @Saleem – thanks dad! You know, sadly enough, I barely tasted the food at the wedding…all that running around and actually doing some work for a change was kinda, overwhelming :/ We need to REDO the wedding without any guests or events…like a wedding recap with only the food…so you, mom and I can actually TASTE the food! ;)

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