Posted by: englishdubai | June 11, 2007

Spicy Cheese with an American Pudding


As a Dubai Marina resident I tend to find myself going no further down the SZR than the Mall of the Emirates so when I was asked to go into deepest Deira I thought it best to bring a packed lunch and my iPod for the journey.

One of the original founding fathers of the famous all you can eat and drink Dubai buffet is Spice Island, situated in Renaissance Hotel in Deira. On my visit last Friday evening it was as popular as ever with long trestle like tables hosting several large birthday gatherings. For this type of celebration it is an excellent choice of venue. For a paltry 189AED you get access to a wide variety of buffet food, including six “live cooking stations” as well as a very generous selection of beverages. I was surprised to see the very tasty Asahi japense lager and even the mighty Conquistador Tequila included in their drink selection. It hardly seemed worth going for the “premium” package for 239AED just to drink Corona and Jose Cuervo instead.

The meal was fun and social – with numerous musical chairs going on as we got to talk and eat with most of the large group who attended. It also seemed that everyone was in the restaurant was doing this as well leading to a fairly boisterous environment – probably not the ideal venue for a more intimate rendezvous.

Once we were fed and watered we thought we had better work some of it off by visiting a packed and very hot night club. So we took the short cab ride over to the “The Lodge” for their seventies cheese night. Again this was my first visit to The Lodge. I was greeted by a very busy nightclub complete with very big bouncers. The place was busy with mostly western Expats dancing like extras from a seventies re-run of Top of the Pops to some very cheezy music. After a lot to drink it was fun and other than the sweltering heat I would have sworn I was in a London nightclub.

Here I am doing my best Boogie Nights dance:

The one effect of a very hot and busy nightclub was a very slippery dance floor. It made for some interesting dance moves but when intoxicated was also rather treacherous. Leading to a friend of mine preforming an unintended John Travlota hand jive to a back spin in one fell swoop. Needless to say this looked very painful and led to immediate swelling and blackening of her wrist.

Following this – we thought it might be best to get the wrist checked out to ensure there was no fracture or break. I was volunteered to chaperone my injured friend to the nearest hospital. This turned out to be a very short 4AED cab ride away – I felt sorry for the poor driver who had been waiting for a long time in the snaking taxi queue. I made sure to leave him a generous tip.

On entry to the Emergency Room at the American hospital we were quickly greeted by a porter with a wheel chair for my friend. Following a quick registration form and medical history we were whisked straight away to see a very friendly Doctor who after a short consultation sent my friend for an x-ray. This took place almost immediately in one of the many state of the art treatment rooms. The whole upshot was no fracture, a wrist support, some paracetamol and a bill for 800AED.

We were told that usually on a Friday night there would be a two to four hour wait – this Friday we were the only visitors. The Doctor claimed that people wanted to stay in their houses due to the recent cyclone Gonu that had recently swept across parts of the UAE and Oman. In all it was a very pleasant experience compared to the UK, where I have on more than one occasion spent a weekend evening in the company of swathes of injured and drunken people in the Accident and Emergency rooms across Britain.

Certainly not my most usual evening out in Dubai – but still memorable nonetheless.


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