Don’t Touch that Food Unless it’s Shot

. . . and that’s the law where I live, specially if someone puts great efforts in its presentation.  More so if the lighting is good.  And a little privacy helps a great deal too.

Below is a picture of a wooden box with leather casing that contained complimentary coffee, tea, sugar, and creamer.  There’s a coffee machine, but I didn’t bother.  I made the instant one.  And we were too tired to care anyway.

The organic Japanese peppermint tea was really good!  However, I’m also looking forward to enjoying this exotic Turkish tea, if only I can find a store that sells them here.  In the meantime, I’ll just enjoy a simple cup of coffee …

The picture below shows a box of assorted dried fruits and dates.  It’s a ‘welcome gift’ when we arrived at Qasr al Sarab resort.  I randomly picked up the delectable-looking, yellow fruit (second from the right) and immediately spit it out:  it had the strongest taste of ginger ever experienced by my innocent taste buds!  Why on earth would someone gift a guest with sugar-coated ginger?!  Masood thought my facial expression at that exact moment was priceless.

There are three restaurants in the resort, one of which – called Suhail – offers fine dining.  However, I opted for room service.  I’m a shy person who loves to enjoy (and photograph) a meal without having to worry about which knife or fork to use.  And while fine dining is what a lot people consider to be a romantic activity, I prefer privacy and eating my meal without all the five-star treatment from the over-attentive staff.

I think I prefer the fun that comes with eating in a dhaba.

Besides, I’m sure the food we ordered in our room was probably cooked in the same kitchen as the food that is served at Suhail’s.   Below is a picture of my dinner.  It has a very fancy name that’s difficult to pronounce, but basically it’s pan-seared and baked beef with asparagus, sauteed mushrooms, and the creamiest, smoothest mashed potatoes I’d ever eaten!

With our dinner came a thousand and one different sauces, chili flakes, butter, and freshly-baked bread …

Breakfast was buffet style on the roof top.  It was complimentary.  We had three hours to fill ourselves.   There were at least five varieties of omelette, but we loved the Spanish one the most.

Breakfast has been quite an experience in itself.  We were first asked whether we’d like tea or coffee, and we’d find it on our table by the time we returned with our food.  We ordered tea, which we realized was a bad choice;  five-star resorts, it seems, do not know how to make decent tea.  But the freshly-squeezed juice – watermelon and orange – made up beautifully for the bland, tasteless tea.

There were live cooking stations too!  In fact, Masood appeared to be enjoying a conversation with one of their chefs while I struggled with the decision on which bread to sample;  there were probably a dozen options!

I wanted to take a thousand pictures of the breakfast spread, but unfortunately I couldn’t overcome my shyness to go and ask permission.  I’ve recently read how a chef disliked people taking pictures of their food so much that he actually banned photography in the restaurant.  I don’t think that was the case here, but still …

And finally, the one breakfast item that made my heart skip a beat …

Smoked salmon with cream cheese and a hint of some magical herbs that took my soul on an enchanting carpet ride across the desert of Arabia.  One bite and I was drowned in a sea of deliciousness.  Another bite and I forgot to take pictures of the rest of the food.


  1. Love reading your posts as it gives exceptional feeling and happiness more than the real experience. That’s the impressive impact of your beautiful way of blogging, MashaAllah. I love this paragraph:
    “Smoked salmon with cream cheese and a hint of some magical herbs that took my soul on an enchanting carpet ride across the desert of Arabia. One bite and I was drowned in a sea of deliciousness. Another bite and I forgot to take pictures of the rest of the food”.

    I am glad that the sandwich was a smaller size, otherwise I will be left all-alone in the dunes :-p

    1. LOL @ Masood 😀 You know I wouldn’t go on a magic carpet ride without you 😉

      @ Sajib, he’s extremely busy these days. I’m lucky he manages to find time to read my blog 🙂

        1. Sajib, what I meant was that I don’t feel comfortable shooting food at a restaurant when it’s full with people. I don’t just point and shoot – I usually consider the lighting, aperture settings and angle – and this takes some time. Personally, I feel it’s rude to be doing a photo shoot in a crowded restaurant.

          Luckily, there were only a handful of people in the resort so I had the privacy to take these food shots 🙂

  2. That food looks delicious!

    Nadia ur photography skills are very good, and I just caught up on this little amazing FREE vacation of yours–that’s so exciting! 🙂 Mashallah i’m glad you had a good time!

    Can’t wait for the other 6,000 pics 🙂

  3. Your pics are making me

    Yeah sometimes just eating in the room is what we shy people want! 🙂
    Loved your breakfast meal! Thank you so much for sharing!

  4. Hi!

    My husband always makes fun of me that I eat cold food because I spent at least 10 to 15 minutes shooting that food before I eat it… It’s crazy.
    I always have issues with photographing food in restaurants. I’m not good in shooting in public. Just don’t like the attencion that people give you when you start taking pictures in public places… I’m saying about tourists… but when you on the busy street, in the restaurant, theater, and you point you lens at something different that yourself or your partner/friend/kid… that you are with at the moment people start thinking and looking at you like: “what the hell is she doing, what is she photographing, why?, who is she?, etc”. I hate that… I like to be as anonymous while shooting as it’s possible.
    Great shots, btw!

  5. Hi Ewa! I’m so sorry I missed your comment. It won’t happen again 🙂

    I also have an issue shooting at restaurants and public places. I’m not comfortable about it yet, but I’m working on it. I’ve lost a lot of opportunities to take nice pictures just because I felt shy or awkward.

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