The holy month of Ramadan has set in. It's the season when work time is reduced and social time is increased. A Muslim friend once told me that Iftar, a meal taken at sunset, is best when shared with family and friends. That is why in this auspicious occasion, Ramadan tents have been built, restaurant promotions have been announced, and numerous invitations have been sent and accepted.
A few days before Ramadan, I received a couple of Iftars invitations organized by colleagues and by outstanding hotels in town. I am humbly blessed. It is a wonderful opportunity to experience the true essence of the season and to discover the interesting Iftar offerings that is as diverse as this cosmopolitan city.
|Iftar at Dusit Thani|
My first Iftar invitation (preview tastings not included) is from a world-renowned hotel that offers the finest Asian Hospitality. I had high hopes for the merge of the Asian warmth and the Arabic tradition, and I was excited with the thought of seeing my blogger friends again! So, an hour before sunset on the fourth day of Ramadan, I went to the iconic Wai-shaped hotel along Sheikh Zayed Road - Dusit Thani.
|Dusit Thani Dubai|
The Iftar at Dusit Thani is beautifully set in the central lobby of the 24th floor. Three specialty restaurants participate in this special dinner; The Californian - an international buffet restaurant that offers a stunning view of Burj Khalifa, PAX - an authentic Italian restaurant overlooking the hurly-burly of Sheikh Zayed Road, and Benjarong - an award winning Thai restaurant that I have been meaning to try!
Warm smiles and greetings came our way while we were ushered from the foyer to our table at PAX ristorante. I was actually hoping we would either be seated in PAX or in Benjarong as I have already been in The Californian before.
I simply love the ambiance at PAX - the dim lights and the sophisticated Italian vibe that are oh-so-perfect for date nights. Too bad my husband was not with me. He could have added a romantic glow to my night and have taken good care of the low-light photography as well! Hahah!
|PAX ristorante and lounge in Dusit Thani|
Contrary to the intimate atmosphere at PAX is the festive setting in the foyer. A beautiful canopy of sheer fabric was placed above the lavish feast of Arabic delicacies and international specialties from the three participating restaurants.
Dates, dried fruits and nuts are beautifully presented in porcelain Moroccan bowls. Muslim guests break their fast with these Iftar staples along with traditional Ramadan drinks.
|lovely Iftar spread at Dusit Thani|
|a variety of dried fruits and nuts to start off the feast|
Vibrant mixed salads and cold Arabic mezze are arranged in colorful mosaic counters. The eye-catching array had me pondering on what to have on my first plate. I settled with creamy shrimp and avocado salad, savory chicken and mango salad, sweet and tangy fattoush and exotic stuffed grape leaves. It was a multinational feast for the palate!
|vibrant mixed salads|
Dusit Thani's Iftar is beyond the usual when it comes to food and presentation. It's amusing to find main course choices kept in tagine pots instead of chafing dishes! Who would have thought that there's a Thai specialty in an Arabic cookware?
I think that the spread is perfectly set up for Dubai's multicultural community! Italian pastas are freshly cooked in a live-cooking station. Shawarma is finely sliced and wrapped by a chef in an open counter. And a Lamb Ouzi, an Iftar must-have, is delightfully served in the center of the buffet.
For the my main course, I had four flavorful dishes from four different regions of the world. But what stood out the most is Benjarong's best-selling Gaeng Phed Ped Yang. It's a sumptuous dish of roasted duck in red curry with pineapple, tomato and grape!
|live cooking station for pasta dishes|
Dessert time was my most awaited time at Dusit Thani's Iftar. I startled at the sight of Kunafa when I was still taking my appetizers. It's my favorite Arabic dessert ever! Hence, when I finished my main course, I happily ran to the desert station to grab a slice. Sadly, it was no longer warm and the cheese was no longer gooey. Next time, I have to trust my intuition, break the rules, and have dessert (if there's kunafa) before anything else! :)
Anyhow, a wide-range of International and Arabic sweets are kept at the back of the buffet. I got myself a cheesecake which I think my husband would really love as it is lightly sweetened and a bowl of rich and creamy Umm Ali. So, despite the heartache over kunafa, it was still a joyous feast that was sweetly ended!
|International desserts with Umm Ali on the side|
I would like to thank Ms. Danelle of Dusit Thani for inviting me to experience the warmth of Thai Hospitality and the remarkable International Iftar. Sending big hugs to my Blogger Friends as well. It's always a joy to be with like-minded people!
I missed to take a group photo that night,
so I'm sharing this Instagram post of a fellow Pinoy blogger Arence:
Great dining is always better when shared with great company! Iftar Night at Dusit Thani (link in my bio for the blogpost) with fellow bloggers @iamdocgelo @ladyandhersweetescapes @ab_andme @kennethsurat @myyellowbells #dusit #dusitthani #dusitthanidubai #iftar #ramadan #ramadan2015 #uaebloggers #friends #dubairestaurants #dubaihotels #creativity #writers #dubai #mydubai #dubaidining #foodie #tonight #foodspotting #foodblogger #middleeast #uae
Iftar Buffet: 149 AED per person
Sheikh Zayed Road
Contact # 04 317 4515