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Olsi Salon – pamper yourself in Chisinau 

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Sometimes, pampering is essential to staying sane in the parenting world. So it’s a positive thing to do to go into a spa and get something that makes you calm down and feel like you can go into the parenting world with a smile. Unfortunately, we have to pay for it!

Some people like to pamper themselves with drinking and/or eating, some people like to stay in bed all day (which is the cheap option), some people like to shop, and some people like to go get some treatments done.  For me, I like to do all of the above. 

I have been in several salons here in Chisinau and I like each for different treatments for manicure and pedicure, I love going to Olsi Salon, which is conveniently located on the corner street of Aleksandri and Bucuresti. 

  

A private room overlooking the street is very comfortable and gives out that calming vibe right away. The pedicure chair is awesome and the foot bath you get is so-so soothing. They have a nice collection of nail color and the service is very nice. 

The salon has many other services such as, hair coloring and cutting, Turkish bath, facial treatments, massage and more. 

   

They also have this blue bullet shaped shell that is supposed to do something I completely forgot. They explained it to me very nicely but I was too busy taking pictures of it, because I had never seen one. I think you can take special baths in it, among other special treatments. 

   
 

They have a nice website here. You can find their contact there and call them to make your pedicure and manicure appointment! Let me know if you have been there before!

Enjoy pampering yourself in Chisinau!

Asia Room – sushi, woks and more!

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Asia Room – sushi, woks and more!

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There is a new interesting place in Riscani region of Chisinau!IMG_9252 It’s called Asia Room! There is a building in Riscani (on the circle where drive-through McDonald’s is located) that has about 5 levels. Top four levels are a set of restaurants that is owned by the Dor Group company. This company has many good quality restaurants inside and outside of Chisinau.Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 9.56.56 PM In this particular building, the four restaurants/rooms are called: Room Cafe, Junior Room, Asia Room and Chef Room. The link above has more details about the other rooms, and I will hopefully do more posts on them. For now, however, Asia Room takes the spot.

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Asia Room has a funky yet elegant vibe with cute enormous face sculptures and nice large windows. If you go there for dinner, reserve a place by the windows and you will feel like you are sitting in a big city.  Sushi taste and quality is as good as it can be for a city without access to fresh seafood. When I go here, sushi is not the only thing I want to order, though, which is why I like this restaurant.IMG_9268 The menu is filled with interesting Asian dishes from salads, soups, noodles, sushi and deserts. The dishes are not really big, so if you want to be full, get couple of dishes. I like that Asia Room doesn’t have big portions actually, because I feel more satisfied trying more flavors from their menu.  I chose a few dishes that are my favorite to show here. Maybe these will give you a good sense of the restaurant. IMG_9274 This was an interesting rice wrap I tried. The wrap is crunchy, and filled with a good combination of fresh and cooked vegetables and shrimp. It was delicious! IMG_9275 Shrimp Tom-Yum! This soup was rich and flavorful. I loved the taste of curry and coconut milk in it. IMG_9271 A warm mushroom salad – this had several types of mushrooms in it and fresh tomatoes. It was dressed with delicious asian flavors. IMG_9277 And of course, their sushi was pretty good too. They have a very specific set of rolls, and I have tried several of them. I usually don’t like rolls that have mayo and things other than the fresh raw fish in it, but the rolls I tried here have made changed my preferences about that a little. The eggplant roll, for example is not something I would order usually, but it tasted pretty good here!

. IMG_9278 These pictures are my own pictures from my phone camera, so they are not that great in terms of quality. If you want to see more pictures, go to their Facebook page, and to their company page (link above). Pictures there are much more convincing. They also provide pictures of their menu pages. Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 10.23.52 PM If you like to go out to restaurants more than twice a week, you might be interested in their Loyalty Program. It is a discount card that lets you gain points according to the frequency of your visits. The service was pretty good. It is that kind of restaurant that has a waitress or a waiter lingering near by looking at you and making sure everything on the table looks good. This can feel a bit awkward.

They also do not like you go to their restaurants with your jackets on, so they insist on you taking them off downstairs at the entry. This can be somewhat discomforting for someone like me who likes to be really warm. However, it took me two visits, to forget about it. The food is worth the discomfort, and it does look better when it’s just you sitting on your chair instead of you and your two jackets.

For directions, the best way to find out is through the Dor Company website. Click on the map below to learn more: Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 7.55.53 PM Currently, Asia Room has a good deal for sushi. If you order two rolls, the third one is free! This will expire on February 15th, 2015. Let me know if you have been there or plan to go there. Enjoy!

Caravan – a great Uzbek restaurant!

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When we first moved to Chisinau, over two years ago, we lived right in the center, about a block away from the Caravan Restaurant. Being familiar with Central Asian food, our family loved to learn the existence of this Uzbek restaurant in Chisinau. Naturally, we have been to this restaurant again and again, so I have no clue why I have waited this long to write about it! Their “manty”, “plov” and “lagman” are my favorites!

Location

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If you live in the center, you can walk there. If you are driving from outside of the center, you can usually find spaces to park in front of it. If not, you can park somewhere else and walk there. It’s worth it!

Food

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“Manty” – steamed or fried meat dumplings are the best thing about this restaurant. However, their “lagman” soup is almost as good as the “manty”. This soup is a rich and flavorful dish with thick noodles, meat and vegetables,  and lots of Asian spices. Also, their rice dish called “plov” is also really good. They have several types of “plov” and we usually get the traditional Uzbek Plov. They also have shashlyk and other Central Asian dishes that are heavy on meat. If you are a vegetarian though, you can still order some grilled vegetables and noodles. Not much more…

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And here is another thing I love about this restaurant – THEY SERVE SUSHI!!!! Yes, they also have sushi. It’s not too bad too. Since two of my favorite things to eat are 1. Sushi and 2. Manty, this place just wins the top-5-restaurant-in-Chisinau list in my mind and heart. The prices here are a bit on the higher side, which is why we save this place for some special occasions. The food quality is good every time, though! For drinks, they have pretty much everything. They also have a smoking zone for those who like to top it of with Hookah! If you want to look at their menu, you can find it on their website (in English)! There is a list of links on the bottom of this post, so check that out!

Ambiance 

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Yurt-like seatings, red and gold colors on cushions and curtains, and exotic chandeliers make this place very attractive and cozy. When you have guests and you need to show them something different, this is the place to come. It pleases people right from the start. Music playing in the background is also different (although not always Uzbek), and not too loud. For those who have kids, the restaurant is very kid friendly. They have a separate smoking section, so the non-smoking area does not get stuffy. Also, there is a waterwheel at the entrance that makes it fun for the kids to watch. The waiters are also always smiling and helping them feel even more comfortable.

Service 

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We are always greeted here with a smile and served with care. Some of the waiters speak some English and are willing to help if you are not sure what the menu items are. The menu is very big and have no pictures, which can get overwhelming at times. However, it is in three languages, the third being English, so for the English speaking folks, that’s good news! The sushi menu is separate, so if you want that you have to ask for it, and that menu does have pictures.

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When you are spending a lot of money, good service is important because that’s what makes you feel like you want to return and spend again. Caravan does that pretty well, and for that reason the place is very popular, especially on weekends. So make sure you call and reserve ahead. When you are reserving, you can specify where you would like to sit too! Below are some links you may want to check out fore more information. If you haven’t been there yet, do go there and I hope you will enjoy it!

Links

Restaurant website: http://www.caravan.restorator.md/index.php/en/

Facebook page for the restaurant: https://www.facebook.com/caravan.restorator.md

TripAdvisor on the restaurant: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g294456-d1603679-Reviews-Caravan-Chisinau_Chisinau_District.html

 

 

Propaganda Cafe – A delight to discover

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I finally tried the new restaurant/cafe Propaganda this weekend and I have to say, I’m pleased about what I saw and ate. The interior design is a combination of antique and modern. It seems that there are too many things on the walls, but it somehow goes together very well and makes you feel like you are at home. Music in the background is not too loud and the genre ranges from jazz to folk songs in English. It feels comfortable to be there right away, and that’s a plus for the atmosphere!

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For food, we ordered an appetizer Quesadillas , and Pork Medallion for the main dish, and both tasted fresh and delicious. The Quesadillas seemed to be popular as I saw plates of them passing through the restaurant. All the food came fairly quick too! The wine list was pretty impressive, I would say. We found our favorite bottles from Et Cetera and Equinox for a reasonable price!

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The location is right in the center, which is perfect. It’s on Sciusev between Pushkin and Banulescu-Bodoni. If you are driving, you can park on the side of Sciusev.

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It is open from 8AM till 12Am. Also, the whole restaurant is NON-SMOKING! That’s not too easy to find in Chisinau. This means, it should be a nice place for bringing kids! I have not tried their breakfast yet, but it would be nice to go for breakfast there, and then walk to the Stefan Cel Mare park for a stroll!

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They don’t have a website yet, but they do have a lively Facebook Page, so check it out hereIMG_4544

Try this place and let us know what you think!  Enjoy!!!

Zen Sushi Restaurant 2014 – New Look, New Menu

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I have posted about Zen Sushi Restaurant before, and I am writing once again, mainly because they have changed their look and menu. It took them 5 or more months to get a new look.

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Personally, I am not too impressed with the changes. It is trying for a cool futuristic look. A bit more pub-y or night-life-y. But, I simply miss the cozy and peaceful Zen Sushi it was before.  The sushi is still pretty good though. Their rice is probably better than the other sushi restaurants in Chisinau. However, I am not in love with their noodle and other curry dishes. Their menu does not have pictures or English translations, but they say they are working on making a new menu.

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They took out the old ring-bar that spun sushi around the room and showed us how the chef’s are making sushi, which I really miss. Instead, they put a DJ stand above for some loud music when you need it. The bar looks nice, but it did not have any beer last time I was there. This not a big deal for me as I prefer my sushi with cold white wine (the best!).

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Despite some disappointments, I will still go there sometimes, but probably not as much as I did before. I hope that Zen Sushi will continue changing and adding pictures in the menu, and maybe change their recipes for noodles and curry. I think for people who may be new to Zen Sushi altogether, may like it because of it’s atmosphere and good sushi. I wrote about their sushi and location in my last post, if you are interested. The quality of the sushi is still the same, which is good.

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If anyone else has any opinions about this place, please leave a note below. Cheers!

GEOGRAFICO – Thai and Japanese Restaurant – What a Joy!!!!

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Recently, I heard about a restaurant called Geografico,which serves Thai, Chinese and Japanese food. So, I had to try it as I have been really starving for East Asian food. After visiting Geografico, I ended up falling in-love with the food I ordered. We ordered a chicken curry dish with coconut milk (forgot the name), pork fried spring rolls, royal pad thai and a roll of sushi. We ordered a Moritta beer to go with our food which was perfect! All of the food was delicious, beautiful, plentiful and affordable!

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This restaurant is right in the center, on Veronica Micle street, between Alecsandri and Armeneasca streets. It’s a hard restaurant to spot, because it is located under and overshadowed by a big and shiny restaurant called Carmelo. I have never been there yet, but the restaurant below, Geografico, is where I will be again and again!

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It has only been open for couple of months. Here is an article about it at Allfun that talks about the owner, the menu and the restaurant style.

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(This beautiful pictures is taken from the Allfun website where the article about the Geografico was found. If you click on the picture, it should take you there)

I liked the article; I thought it was true to what I felt at the restaurant.  It said that the restaurant has a minimalist design, so if you don’t feel too excited as you walk into the doors, don’t be surprised. They are concentrating on the quality of the food and want to create an easy-going atmosphere that people can come and eat in. I think, that is exactly what the restaurant is. For me personally, the design is not a problem at all. If the food is good, nothing else really matters.

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At their facebook page, you can see their menu and a lot of pictures of their food. Their menu, by the way is full of beautiful pictures so there is no need to know a particular language. You just point to the pictures and wait for the goodness to come! If you need to speak English, one of the waiters spoke good English, so that is also comforting for us expats!

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I can see myself coming here a lot! I hope you go and give it a try and let us know how you felt about the food!

 

Blogs and Websites about Moldova

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It’s been two years since my family moved to Moldova and since I started writing this blog. I enjoy writing, and while I write, I also find other blogs and sites about Moldova. Today, I want to share a few blogs and websites about Moldova with you. I hope you find them useful, interesting and funny as I do. If you know of any other sites, please leave us a comment about it and where we can find it!

Websites:

For Entertainment:

allmoldova

When I look for a restaurant in Moldova, I always ran into Allmoldova site. It has a lengthy list of restaurants and cafes with details, contact information and some pictures. Besides the restaurant list, they have sections about political and economic news, information about shopping and spas, and holiday events in Moldova. For English Speakers, it has an English version as well!

fest

Fest.md is a great place to look up the upcoming events in Moldova. It lists all that is going on including concerts, festivals, museum events, musical events, and even private parties. Sometimes, the information is not complete, but most big events will have good information and links to their websites or facebook pages. Bookmark this site as it will come useful many times!

For Tourism and Adventures:

MoldovaHoliday
This site serves as a guide to living and traveling in Moldova. It is a website that is being built as a project to improve tourism in Moldova. It has useful information about visa and finances as well as guides about the cities and attractions in Moldova. The website is organized well and has many pictures to give you a visual tour of Moldova.
explore.ppg
This is a website that invites people for adventures in Moldova through hiking, biking, running, kayaking, climbing and more. It is an exciting website run by exciting individuals that I have met personally. Besides outdoor activities, they also organize team building activities in English to which I have been to and enjoyed a lot. If you are up for an adventure in the beautiful Moldovan nature with or without kids, I would strongly recommend this group as a guide and facilitators.

tripMold

Triptomoldova.com is a website of a tourist agency that has business packages and customized packages to get to know Moldova more. Just give them a call and you will have a personalized trip!

For Personal Blogs:

CSer
This blog is a warm and lively blog that is written several times a week by a wonderful expat who has moved to Moldova recently in 2013. The blog posts have a curious and positive voice that I love ‘hearing’. It also has creative pictures from all corners of Chisinau and other parts of Moldova.

whenU

If you are up for giggles from comments and jokes about Moldova, this is the right place to go. Written by a young blogger who is fluent in English, this blog is simple, funny and brilliant.

iThink

This is a blog written by a Peace Corps Volunteer in Moldova. I find this blog very interesting, informing, and exciting as it delves into the every day lives of Moldovan families and youth. At the same time, the blog expresses the feelings and changes of being abroad in Moldova.

These are the websites that I personally like because of their guide and knowledge about Moldova. There are many more websites out there though. Do you have any other websites you know about Moldova? If so, please do share!
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