Where will we meet? The Coffee Club

Whether you are looking for a good spot to curl up and read your favorite book or sip a hot brewed coffee during your “me time days;” or hunting for a cozy place to meet a friend for some chit-chat and cheesecake or indulge for some English breakfast or full-course dinner, The Coffee Club has it all sorted for you.

Australian favorite, The Coffee Club’s philosophy is quite simple and that is to provide good food, great service, excellent coffee and the answer to “Where will I meet you?”
The Coffee Club has over 360 cafés in nine countries. They are known for serving a wide variety of international food and drink choices, and especially for their famous breakfast menu.

The Filipino Times
visited their calm spot in Golden Mile, Palm Jumeirah and we’ve list down some food items you can’t missed during your first visit.

The All-Day Breakfast Meal

How delightful is it that they serve an All-Day Breakfast meal? If you are up for some heavy big breakfast anytime of the day (we won’t judge you), order this meal. For Dh59, you get to have a big plate of cumberland sausages, veal bacon, scrambled eggs, cherry tomatoes, button mushrooms, ciabatta toast and hash brown.


If you are looking for a savory and flavorful dish while still being health conscious, we recommend you try Salmon Nicoise Pesto. It may come a bit pricey at Dh79 but every bit of the dish is worth it. From the food presentation, quality of ingredients, to the way it was prepared and the taste. It is superb. This dish is served with grilled salmon topped with The Coffee Club’s modern interpretation of the classic nicoise salad drizzled with fresh pesto sauce.

If the salmon dish is not enough, order their Classic Carbonara. You won’t get wrong with this. Though, it may sound a little cliché to order this, their version is just hard to resist. This spaghetti with bacon, garlic finished with cream, egg and parmesan cheese is quite a heavy and filling dish. It is good for sharing priced at Dh 46.

Some food items you can also try is their Strong Arm Angus Burger with Cheese and Bacon. This imported New Zealand angus beef burger topped with veal bacon, melted cheese with potato wedges on the side are good for late lunch or early dinner.

Something Sweet

We suggest you keep some appetite for pancakes, the fluffy ones. The pancakes served at The Coffee Club are similar to the ones served in Japan. The fluffy, jiggly Japanase-style pancakes. The taste sure didn’t disappoint. We tried both entries; the Coconut Pancake which is coconut infused pancakes served with caramelized banana and candied cashew nuts and the Pancake Stack served with blueberry puree, maple syrup, ice cream and a dash of cream. Don’t worry, it’s not too sweet. They are priced Dh 36 and Dh 38 respectively. If you opt for shakes, try one of our favorites, the Chocolate Brownie. Surprisingly, it is not too sweet and you can finish the entire glass (just don’t asked how much calorie intake you’ll get and you’ll just be fine.)

Drink coffee for a good cause

A trip to The Coffee Club is not as good without a cup of coffee. They have a variety of hot drinks from Espresso, Macchiato, Café Latte, Chai Latte, to mention a few, and the good news is when you buy UTZ Certified coffee, cocoa or tea you are helping build a better future. UTZ Certified stands for sustainable farming and better opportunities for farmers, their families and our planet. The UTZ program enables farmers to learn better farming methods, improve working conditions and take better care of their children and the environment.
Dine at any of their 15 stores in the UAE or have them delivered on your door step. Call at 04 344 3676 or check their Facebook page, The Coffee Club Middle East for more information.

Capture details the human eye can’t see via Xperia XZ Premium

Sony’s best phone yet, Xperia XZ Premium, has touched down Dubai and we’re telling you it’s everything your current phone is not.

The new handset, which was launched to more than 180 select media and influencers from the Middle East and Africa region at its exclusive #Xperia960 event at Annex, Burj Khalifa Dubai, has brought to life the world’s 1st Super slow motion video capture via a smartphone at 960 fps (frames per second). This is four times slower than can be shot on any other smartphone. The super slow motion feature captures details that can’t be seen by the naked eye.

It feature’s Sony’s new Motion Eye camera system that offers the world’s first 960 fps super slow motion video capture and playback. It has a beautiful 4K HDR display, super-fast download speeds, a stunning loop design and even more intelligent features.

The Xperia XZ Premium is the second phone to launch such super slow motion feature, made possible through Snapdragon 835, after Samsung Galaxy S8.

The Xperia XZ Premium also makes the device faster, more efficient, with better support for VR, high-speed LTE, and smarter. It also has a better, brighter 5.5-inch 4K panel with a trick up its sleeve: HDR support.

To those who are a fan of flashy, shiny camera covers, the luminous chrome variant offering an easily-tarnished mirror finish will fascinate you.

“We are committed to create increasingly personalized and intelligent products and services that connect you to each other and become essential and beloved parts of your lives. We are committed to this vision, and continue to push the boundaries of communication through cutting-edge technologies. Our new smartphone is a truly high-spec, high-tech device that empowers consumers to live an inspired mobile life,” said Sony Mobile Communications executive vice president, global sales and marketing Hideyuki Furumi.
Sony Mobile Xperia XZ Premium will be available in the UAE and KSA from end of May 2017 at major retail outlets. It will be priced in a range of Dh 2600 to Dh2800.

When technology and beauty meet

If you want to go against the call of nature and age gracefully but is not willing to go under the knife, an LPG Body & Face Endermologie technology is the solution for you.

The French beauty brand, LPG successfully participated at the recently concluded 7th Dubai World Dermatology and Laser Conference and Exhibition in Dubai Derma 2017 late March.

The Filipino Times was able to speak to Claude Gerin, LPG Export Area Manager on how effective LPG Body & Face Endermologie is.

Made in France, this technology gently stimulates the skin to reactivate dormant cellular activity. One hundred percent natural and painless, it provides visible results instantly with 0 side effects. More than 200,000 people choose this technology every day.

Gerin explained that the technique reactivates fibroblast activity to reboost the natural synthesis of collagen, elastin and endogenous hyaluronic acid. He said that as it improves the homeostasis and skin trophicity, it prepares and maintains the results of all procedures to optimize the global aesthetic outcome, thus, transforming the skin, making it more supple, youthful, firm and radiant.

It may sound a little technical but science has its own ways of finding out how to achieve younger looking skin.

Based on the study, 93% of women are seeking natural solutions for their beauty.

“Our backbone is all about responsible beauty. We believed that innovations should work in respect with the body’s natural process. LPG, for years now, has offered a solution that provides a balance between technological innovations and natural skin care procedures which is proven effective and safe,” Gerin said.

LPG has been developing medical devices dedicated to body-contouring, cellulite and rejuvenation treatments for 31 years. The company’s non-aggressive mechanical stimulation technique delivers natural and lasting results proven by 128 scientific studies 76 publications including 30 on Medline. Check their website to know more www.endermologie.com/en/.

Med Way LLC handles the distribution of LPG products in the areas of aesthetic and aesthetic medical in the countries of UAE, Bahrain and Oman. For more information, visit http://www.medwayllc.com/. (ALS)

Huawei P10 and Huawei P10 Plus: Power of a photography studio in your pocket

Seems like professional studio photography is within everyone’s reach, thanks to Huawei’s new flagship P Series devices co-engineered with Leica, it isn’t that hard to achieve good looking portraits anytime, anywhere!

With Huawei’s continuous efforts of finding ways to cater more to the creative eye among today’s smartphone user, the company has partnered with Leica, a German brand premium-segment manufacturer of cameras, to bring users a cutting-edge new camera features that make every shot a cover shot.

With the first ever front-facing camera co-engineered with Leica, both Huawei P10 and Huawei P10 Plus camera capabilities ensure high quality, timeless portraits.


“At Huawei, we’re always inspired by people’s lives and habits. In today’s fast-paced environment, it’s hard to always live the moment , yet the ability to beautifully capture and document our experiences helps us preserve our best moments and memories,” David Wang, UAE Country Manager, Huawei Consumer Business Group, said.


Huawei P10 and Huawei P10 Plus are the first smartphones with precise 3D facial mapping technology, portrait enhancements, and dynamic illumination. The studio-level portrait features also create more natural-looking photos thanks to Huawei P10’s artistic imaging algorithm. By understanding the relative position of each facial feature and the uniqueness of skin type, portrait enhancements can be applied in a customized and more natural way making filters and retouching on Photoshop unnecessary anymore. Both smartphones also offer superior night shot capabilities.

Apart from redefining portrait photography, both phones also boast powerful Kirin 960 processor, an all-new EMUI 5.1, as well as a fingerprint sensor on the front. With 3,200 for the Huawei P10 and 3750 mAh battery for the Huawei P10 Plus, both smartphones support Huawei SuperCharge technology. The low voltage, low temperature fast charging solution comes with a super safe 5-gate protection mechanism, which offers real-time voltage, current and temperature monitoring to make charging not only fast but safe.

The smartphones are available in the following colors: Dazzling Gold, Dazzling Blue and Graphite Black. A hyper diamond cut gives the phone a glossy finish but prevents fingerprint smudges.

Huawei P10 is available at Dh1899 and Huawei P10 Plus is available at Dh2599 starting April 13 at select retails outlets across the UAE.

How to use Facebook Live

If you are one of the remaining few who has no idea on how to operate Facebook live. This guide is definitely for you. But first, make sure you have a strong internet connection or are on a 4G mobile network before you get going.

Open the Facebook app. In order to stream video live to Facebook from your mobile device, you’ll need to use the Facebook app. You cannot stream from the Facebook mobile website so you need to install.

1.Tap the “What’s on your mind?” box. This will start a standard Facebook post.

2.Tap the Live button at the bottom of the field. It is a red video camera icon.

3.Enter a description for your video. The description should be short and catchy. You can always edit it after if you’d like to add more details about the scene you captured live. But as a starter, make sure you catch people with words. This is especially important if you’re trying to grab their attention as they scroll through their News Feed.

4.Set who can view your broadcast. By default, your friends will be able to see your broadcast on their News Feeds. But you can change the audience so that it can be viewed publicly, giving you the chance to go viral, or record a private broadcast for select friends by tagging them into the post.

5.Tap “Go Live” to start broadcasting. After a quick countdown, you’ll be live on Facebook! You can broadcast for up to 90 minutes at a time. Make sure when taking the video it’s not too shaking or else you’ll make your audience dizzy.

6.Interact with your viewers and respond to comments. You’ll engage your audience a lot more if you incorporate their feedback and mention them by name in the broadcast or through comments. Do this often to help build and retain your audience. If you see some troublemakers, you can tap on their name in the comments and select “Block.”

7.Urge your viewers to tap the “Follow” or “Subscribe” button. This will notify them when you start broadcasting next time, increasing your viewership numbers.

8.Tap “Finish” when you’re done broadcasting. This will end your broadcast and post the replay to your timeline. Try to leave these up so the viewers can go back and view old videos, but you can delete them if you’d like.

9.At the end of the Facebook Live session. You will be asked if you’d like to upload your video on HD or not. Choose what you desire.

Top 6 best things to do in Nepal

Go and see what it’s like viewing the rest of the world from the highest peak. If you are an adventure seeker and a historian, no doubt Nepal is the next country you would want to explore.

Located between the majestic Himalaya Mountains and the fascinating Indian jungles, Nepal is a land where things like yaks, yetis, mountain peaks and hidden monasteries appear to be seemingly common. And over the years, Nepal has managed to invent itself into a popular travel destination attracting the young and old to its rich natural beauty, historic attractions and vast cultural heritage that has proven to be the perfect mix between the ancient and the modern, slow paced lifestyles and frantic city life. It is also a popular destination to those who want to venture the famous Everest Base Camp.

TFT lists down our list of the top 6 best things to do in Nepal.

1. Trekking in Nepal
Whether you’re a novice or an experienced trekker, Nepal is the land of trekking (and climbing), offering some of the best trekking routes in the world. If you consider yourself a pro, the 4-day Poonhill trek is one of the better short treks in Nepal, while the Everest Base Camp trek is a great trek if having 12 days available. But if you would just like to experience trekking, Island Peak or Mera Peak is the one for you. Both peaks reach +6,000 meters and are safe for people with no prior mountaineering experience.

2. Panoramic flight over the Himalayas
Who says you need to trek to see the beautiful Himalayas? A Himalayan panoramic mountain flight tour which starts at around Dh 1,300 at getyourguide.com is the perfect way of enjoying unparalleled eye-level views of those majestic mountain peaks. Get spectacular views of the Himalayas, including Mount Everest, Mt. Makalu, Mt. Gosaithan, Mt. Dorje Lhakpa, Mt. Gauri-Shanker and Mt. Pumori.

3. Visit to Chitwan National Park
Aside from the mountain peaks and monasteries, another must-see destination is the Chitwan National Par. It is the the first national park in Nepal and hosts more than 500 species of migratory birds, one horned rhinos, Bengal tigers and Asian elephants.

4. Exploring Pokhara If you opt for a stroll beside a lake, a short trip to Pokhara is ideal. This lakeside town attracts explorers, nature lovers and adrenaline junkies with its spectacular natural beauty, an array of fishing opportunities, mountain biking, exciting treks, visiting the peace pagoda, paragliding and sunbathing. Best way to enjoy this place is by boating and strolling down the lakeside in Pokhara.

5. Kathmandu sightseeing tour
Your trip to Nepal will never be complete with exploring the capital. Prepare to be in awe in almost each and every turn in the valley as it introduces you to intricate carvings, delightful pagodas and humongous stone images. The area is surrounded by temples and shrines and it seems like walking through a living history museum. Some of the mustsee attractions in Kathmandu Valley include Durbar Square, Pashupatinath Temple, Swayambhunath Stupa, Boudhanath Stupa, and the Temple of Kumari.

6. Pashupatinath Temple
Though all the shrines, temples and monasteries have their own unique beauty and relevant story, The Pashupatinath Temple is a must-see. This temple which was constructed way back in the year 1696 on the banks of the Bagmati River is now known to be the most important Hindu temple in Nepal. The temple was designed in a classic pagoda style, with a gilded rooftop, four silver-plated doors and beautifully carved rafters. Though, Non-Hindus are not allowed inside the temple premises, but a glimpse of Lord Shiva’s bull, Nandi, can be seen from the outside. Fair enough.

Hotelier commends Filipino excellence and contribution to their company’s success

One of the UAE’s pioneer megaprojects during the 90s, Al Bustan Centre & Residence celebrated its 20 years in the business at their Al Nahda , Dubai branch on April 6, 2017.

During the press con, The Filipino Times was able to speak to Moussa El Hayek, Chief Operating Officer of Al Bustan Centre & Residence on how they were able to keep up with the hospitality trends, staying strong in the business and how the Filipino market has help them to thrive in the industry.

“The success of Al Bustan Centre & Residence is a testament to the people who have been part of it, and we would like to take this opportunity to thank all our loyal guests and partners for their continued support throughout the years,” El Hayek said.

“The Filipino community has been very helpful in the industry whether them being a part of the company or even as our valued guests. Not only in Al Bustan Centre & Residence, you will even find them in 5 star hotels, famous restaurants and expect the level of service provided as nothing but excellent,” he added.

El Hayek said that they have catered to 5.7 million guests from across various parts of the globe that equals to 2.3 million room nights getting sold in last two decades.

Why Pinoy Food is Pak na Pak!

Filipinos and other nationalities are more and more patronizing Filipino food, more than doubling the number of restaurants catering to Pinoys across the UAE. Find out why.

DUBAI: Ten years ago, there were a mere handful of restaurants catering to Pinoy expatriates across Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Old timers said Filipinos living in the neighboring Northern Emirates – Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Umm Al Quwain, Ajman and even nearby Sharjah – had to travel to Dubai back then to indulge in their favorite home dishes during weekends. Now, restaurants catering to Filipinos have mushroomed all around the UAE at a remarkable rate.

This, said Houssam Abdul Malak, sole owner of Fiesta Pinoy, one of the pioneering Pinoy eateries in the UAE, speaks a lot about how promising a business venture Filipino restaurants is.

Pag dating sa pagkain, hindi dapat masakripisyo ang quality ng food para maging mura

In addition to Filipino restaurants offering a la carte dining and buffets, eateries selling steamed rice and viands usually for takeaway – and popularly known back home as turo-turo or karinderia – have been really visible in areas with huge concentrations of Filipinos like Deira, Karama and Satwa in Dubai. Not surprising at all, with Filipinos comprising the third largest population in the UAE at approximately one million. Huge market Deen Sadiq, group director of LMZ Cuisines, which operates Tapa King and Barrio Fiesta told The Filipino Times (TFT) the number “shows a huge market potential.”

This, particularly noting that Filipinos “spend a substantial amount of their income on food and entertainment.” “Therefore,” Sadiq said, “LMZ Cuisines ventured into the Filipino restaurant business to make the community feel at home and enjoy their staple food.”

Parvez Naqvi, International Business Development head of Al Ahli Holding Group, creator of the popular Little Manila Restaurant concept in Muraqqabat, said that with the increasing number of Filipinos in the UAE, industry experts have come to realize their potentials in terms of contributions to growth.

These contributions, he said, comes with a corresponding reward in terms of monetary gains, which then translates to increased purchasing power, a big percentage of which is spent on food. With all this in equation, restaurant experts said it doesn’t take much rocket science to note that Filipinos comprise a promising viable market. Al Ahli Holding Group recently did a research which validated this.

The company’s survey about food habits of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) found that 84 percent of the respondents were frequent diners, dining out at an average of four times a week. Five percent dine out twice a month while 11 percent dine out once a month. Competition vs quality Malak has lamented that several restaurant owners, in an apparent bid to get a portion of the market, have been bringing down prices to unimaginable levels which, he cautioned, could compromise quality.

His remarks made at a panel discussion during the recent Philippine Property and Investment Exhibition (PPIE) drew varying reactions with a number of those on the panel maintaining that Filipinos wouldn’t mind spending so long as they get premium quality.

In a separate interview, Hisham Al Gurg, CEO of Seed Group, the company behind Jollibee’s entry into the UAE, said the quality of food at the fastfood chain is not affected. “We retain the same Jollibee quality standards we have been known for. We do our best to constantly improve our raw material sourcing to achieve cost efficiency without compromising quality,” Al Gurg said.

Adlene Uy-Panis, owner of Ihawan, one of the several restaurants that have opened in just the past year, said the low price of food doesn’t necessarily mean it is less savory or healthy. “Pag dating sa pagkain, hindi dapat masakripisyo ang quality ng food para maging mura,” she said.

“Maraming pwedeng tipirin sa restaurant business. But not the taste and quality of the food. If it’s a budget meal, isang pwedeng gawin is magbigay ng konting portion. But ang taste at quality di dapat mag-suffer,” she said. Ronald D’Souza, LMZ Cuisines general manager, could not agree more. “Our group has an efficient purchase division which has been procuring best quality products at reasonable price.

This enables us to serve budget meals without affecting quality,” he said. Heidi Pimentel Aquino, owner of Kusina ni Nanay, which is also among recently opened restaurants, said she picks the freshest and best quality ingredients from the market herself. The restaurant offers a Dh12- combo meal. “I make sure we serve good portions, quality taste and affordable price. We have a minimal profit here but it is okay,” said Aquino.

Ian Jasper Roxas, operations manager of 365 Restaurant said low cost doesn’t make for low quality. “We are wise when it comes to choosing our suppliers. We make sure we have the best ingredients at an affordable rate,” said Roxas 365 Restaurants are popular for their Dh28 eat-all-you-can spread with unlimited drinks. Jumping in Meanwhile, apparently meant to capture a share of the Filipino food and beverage market, several restaurants that have traditionally been serving international cuisines have started rolling out Filipino cuisines on their menus, among then a popular trendy restaurant in Bur Juman Mall. Other Arabic restaurants have likewise followed suit.

Just recently, an American fast food giant launched a “Kabayan meal” which comes with two pieces of chicken, and white rice. Asiana Hotel’s restaurants also have a customized menu for Filipinos. Its Japanese restaurant, Hanabi, has a “Kabayan set menu” exclusively for Filipinos. The Korean restaurant, Sonamu, also has a “Kabayan set menu” where for just Dh59, diners get to enjoy a full course meal. Jonathan Valencia, F&B marketing manager at Asiana Hotel, said the establishment has created customized offerings for Filipinos because they make up a huge market share of their sales.

Expansion plans Little Manila is opening their next branch in Abu Dhabi in the first quarter of 2017 and more branches will follow in the other emirates. Two more Tapa King outlets are set to open in Dubai and Abu Dhabi either by yearend or in the first quarter of 2017; some 20 more Tapa Kings will be opened in GCC by the end of 2020.

Al Gurg said Jollibee “will continue to expand,” explaining that “we believe we have a distinct market segment.” Carinderia ni Tandang Sora is looking to open branches in Al Rigga, Satwa and Karama. Kusina ni Nanay has three branches in Dubai and one in Sharjah so far. “My aim is to open at least one branch per year. I believe in my mission and that’s what keeps the business strong,” said Aquino. 365 Restaurant has branches in Satwa, Karama, Rashidiya in Dubai and in Sharjah.

Roxas said the company plans to open a central kitchen next year

Fancy travelling 30 times a year for free?

DUBAI: There are two things everyone in this world wants: a stable job and holidays. What more if you can do the latter for free? Let’s hear it straight from multi-awarded travel editor, Josh Mangila. Mangila lives and eats travel.

The 31-year-old has visited 70 cities in over 40 countries. He usually travels 30 times a year. “Sometimes, I work while on the plane; other times, in the office,” he said. “Being a travel editor is not an easy task. Yes, people often see you enjoying all the best things in life for free.


Yes, it has its own perks. But it comes with great responsibility and hard work,” Mangila said. Mangila took home the Media Personality of the Year award at TFT Awards 2016 held in Asiana Hotel held on Aug. 20, 2016. How do you measure the power of a media or a journalist? They say it is about your reach.

But for me, it is not only that. It is how you reach them and how you inspire them. It is always the quality and never the quantity. It is proving to the world that Filipinos with our insignia of international excellence, can become a true global citizen,” Mangila said.

Last October, he was awarded by the European Tourism as the Most Influential Travel Journalist of 2016 in Malta. He was the first Asian recipient of the said award. Mangila started out as a distributing agent for a Philippine-based publication; today, he is editor-in-chief on a Dubai-based luxury travel magazine, Xpedition Middle East.

Through his travels, he was able to meet international stars and personalities like Mariah Carey, Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger, to name a few. His favorite travel destinations are Los Angeles, California; Manhattan, New York; and Paris, France. “My greatest learning in working, may it be in Dubai or other parts of the world, is to keep giving your best shot even when no one is looking because at the end of the day, you’ll get what you deserve and be rewarded accordingly,” he said.

Dressing up Dubai and the world

DUBAI: Known for his talent in creating high quality gowns and doing it with impeccable attention to details, Ezra Santos, one of Dubai’s most esteemed couturiers has indeed put a pride in every Filipinos in the world of fashion. Ezra, like any masters in their field, knew exactly what he had wanted to be when he grows up. “I have always had an eye for fashion,” he says.

He shared that his ambition took off when he was in grade school, recalling how fond he was watching black and white movies of the late 1940s and 50s; and how the films influenced him to create something from the beautiful stories through lavish dresses and gowns. Ezra won big at the second edition of the annual TFT Awards held August 20 this year.

He took home two major citations including the most coveted TFT Rizal Award 2016. “I’m so blessed, thankful and honored to have received the Fashion Designer of the Year award, but I was not expecting the TFT Rizal Award. I was so surprised! Amazing glory to God,” he said. Ezra opened his own atelier, Ezra Couture, in 2004. “Of course, these things didn’t come easy for me.

I had to work and study hard. I think the biggest challenge for me is being an Asian in a highly competitive fashion industry dominated by Caucasians and Arabs,” he said. Ezra Couture is known for its feminine and elegant designs. Bridal gown starts at Dh 50,000.

The party dress starts at AED 15,000. Ezra said it is his desire to dress up Filipinas during their biggest day, so he is offering a “Kabayan rate.” “It’s like my way of giving back to the Filipino community. The process is I will be asking them what their budget is and we will try our best to work around that and produce something beautiful,” he says.

Photo grab from Ezra Santo’s Facebook account