The holy month of Ramadan is about to begin. I am not a Muslim; hence Ramadan used to be a month of difficulties for me especially during my first year in the UAE. I can say I kinda got the hang of it after seven long years, but deep within is a sincere appreciation of the culture.
Now, I see Ramadan as a season of respect, generosity and togetherness.
Togetherness is best seen during Iftar; an evening meal after the sunset. It is a special time when family and friends gather at home or in a restaurant. It is a religious observation that even non-Muslims look forward to.
Iftar invitations started to arrive in my inbox as early as mid-May. I am honored! If only I can be in every Iftar event, I would. But since I have a full-time job, I'll be missing some. In fact, I already missed my first Iftar preview invite. Fortunately, the people behind the event were so kind to reschedule my visit. So, on the first day of June, Ed and I got a little sneak peek on the Iftar offerings at Medley restaurant this Ramadan 2015.
|Medley Restaurant in Pullman Hotel|
Medley is an elegant restaurant in Pullman Hotel in Deira. On regular days, the hotel restaurant serves a variety of International cuisine. But this Ramadan, Medley will focus on Pan-Arabian cuisine with a Moroccan twist prepared by Executive Chef Andreas and Chef Mama.
|Mama's Moroccan Iftar at Medley|
On a Monday evening, Ed and I were escorted to a table for two in the dimly lit Medley restaurant. I was so pleased to see a spacious seating and an easy to navigate buffet. The setting was in full Arabian vibe. Bags of exotic spices and traditional Arabic lamps adorn the spread.
We were immediately smitten with the selection of mezzeh. There were over a dozen of salads, different kinds of International and Arabic cheeses and an assortment of cold cuts.
There, I got myself a serving of Fattoush, a kind of liver salad which I never had before, some strings of salty Syrian cheese and hummus. The appetizers were rich in flavor; a great primer to the palate that will be drenched in a gastronomic adventure.
|an array of Arabic spices|
|massive spread of mezze|
|Starters: Salads. Charcuterie. Cheese|
|fresh salad greens|
An array of main dishes were arranged in front an open kitchen. Much to our delight, most of the Arabic food that we have grown to love were present in the spread - couscous, tagine, kibbeh and ouzi!
Ed and I didn't hesitate to carve the lamb the moment we opened the ouzi chafing dish. It looks delectable! And I'm so happy to say that it tastes as good as it looks! It's perfectly cooked; tender and no strong after-taste.
Along with the lamb ouzi, I had lamb tagine, stuffed chicken and couscous. It was a very diverse meal. The lamb tagine is rustic. The stuffed chicken surprisingly has a zing and the couscous is lightly sweet. I was in a whirlwind of flavors, but I was loving it!
|the chafing dishes and the open kitchen|
Traditional and International sweets were served in the Dessert Station. There was a chocolate fondue, but the highlight of my night was eenie-meenie-miney-moe-ing at the plates of Arabic delicacies. My favorites - kunafa, baklava, luqaimat, basbousa were on the same table, and there's umm ali on the side!
In the end, I settled with kunafa, umm ali and a fruit tart. The sweetness brought my taste buds back to a calm state. Awesome gastronomic adventures deserve a sweet happy ending and I got it just right at Medley!
|stuffing my last plate with Arabic desserts|
I found the buffet at Medley very ideal for the Ramadan season. Location-wise, Medley is convenitely connected to the mall and is near the metro, offices and residences. As for the ambiance, I think it's perfect whether you're spending Iftar with a large group (I saw round tables and semi-private seating) or simply with a loved one (The dim lights create an intimate ambiance).
In terms of food, I couldn't ask for anything more. Choices are vast. Presentation is beautiful. Dishes are mostly scrumptious. Some were quite exotic to my palate, but I think that's what culinary journey is all about. It's discovering a foreign dish and loving its uniqueness!
Medley will be at its finest when Ramadan comes. The whole look was shown during the Iftar preview which I missed, but the official photos were shared with me and I'm happy to share it with you. ;)
Here's what you can expect from Medley during Mama's Moroccan Iftar this Ramadan:
Moroccan Iftar at Medley: 155 AED / person
Promotion: 115 AED per person (when booked before June 5)
Group promotions are also available. Please check Pullman Dubai's official website.
Pullman Dubai Deira City Centre
Port Saeed Road
Contact # 04 294 1222
Nearest Metro Station: Deira City Centre (Red Line)