During Ramadan season, every sunset, our Muslim brothers and sisters break the fast with a meal known as Iftar. It is often taken with family and friends as the Holy Month is a time to celebrate togetherness. Dubai, being a modern city with Muslim traditions, has a lot options. The variety of choices range from traditional to unconventional, simple to lavish!
I have been blessed with Iftar invitations this year. Although I wasn't able to be present in most pre-Iftar and Iftar events due to my busy work schedule, I am grateful for the opportunity to embrace the Ramadan season in 6 interesting Iftars shared with friends.
Here are 6 Iftars I have tried in Dubai,
listed from splurge-worthy to budget-friendly:
Turkish-Arabic Iftar in A La Turca at Rixos The Palm
Why is it interesting? The Iftar celebration at Rixos The Palm features a vibrant array of Turkish cuisine, as well as Arabic and International dishes.
How's my experience? I was amazed the second I stepped inside Rixos The Palm. In the lobby is a huge table filled with Turkish Delights and just outside A La Turca restaurant is a lavish arrangement of date fruits. The buffet is extensive. There are live cooking stations for my Turkish faves - pide, kunefe, doner kebab and lokma, but it was the live BBQ that stole the show! The dessert stations are also not to be missed, especially the different types of baklava, the Ottoman candy cart, and the dondurma. The grand Iftar was beautifully served with warm Turkish hospitality in a festive ambiance.
How much does it costs? 185 AED per person. Trust me, it's all worth it!
Where is the restaurant located? Rixos The Palm, East Crescent Road of The Palm Jumeirah
|colorful array of Turkish Delights in Rixos The Palm hotel lobby|
|Break the fast with these luxe date fruits in A La Turca.|
|just a portion of the Turkish appetizers offered in the buffet|
|prime cuts for grilling in the live BBQ station|
|the highlight of the Iftar: BBQ!|
|a wide variety of Turkish Baklava and Turkish Sweets|
|Ottoman Candy was a hit to young guests.|
Royal Iftar with Emirati Dishes in Radisson Blu Dubai Creek
Why is it interesting? The Royal Iftar buffet is participated by 5 specialty restaurants, including the newly opened Emirati resraurant, Aseelah.
How's my experience? I have been to Radisson Blu for Eid brunch a few years ago which had the same concept as the Royal Iftar, but what made me excited to be back is the addition of Dubai's newest culinary gem - Aseelah. The interiors are sophisticated, yet warm and welcoming... very Dubai. Emirati dishes are served with a modern twist. A firm favorite is the Chicken Roulade. Also part of the extensive "Royal" buffet are Japanese fare from Minato, Persian dishes from Shabestan, Seafood faves from The Fish Market, and Chinese cuisine from The China Club.
How much does it cost? Only 169 AED per person for an Iftar with over 200 hundred dishes to choose from.
Where is the restaurant located? Radisson Blu along Baniyas Road in Deira
|the ROYAL spread in the lobby connecting 5 restaurants|
|meet Dubai's newest gem - Aseelah Emirati restaurant|
|The elegant interior suits the restaurant serving contemporary Arabic cuisine really well.|
|appetizers offered in Aseelah|
|choices from Minato - Peking duck rolls, dumplings and maki|
|one of the live cooking stations in the Royal Iftar|
|my dessert line up: Luqaimat (Emirati sweet dumpling), creme brulee, date pudding, sago|
#ThisIsNotABuffet Pop Up Iftar in Alserkal Avenue
Why is it interesting? #ThisIsNotABuffet is a contemporary Arabic Iftar served inside Alserkal Avenue's Warehouse 90.
How's my experience? It is something different from the usual. The ambiance is modern and funky, yet filled with traditional music from the Oud player. The specialized menu prepared by Elements Catering is pure perfection. Yes, Iftar is served not in a buffet, but rather in set meals and a la carte. The drinks are infused with Arabic flavors and the modern Arabic dishes are presented like works of art.
How much does it costs? 2 course meal is 90 AED per person. 5 course meal is 210 AED per person. Dishes from the a la carte menu is reasonably prices at 25 AED to 35 AED.
Where is the restaurant located? #ThisIsNotABuffet is a pop-up Iftar in Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz 1.
|#ThisIsNotABuffet pop up Iftar in Alserkal Avenue|
|contemporary set up for a contemporary Iftar|
|The Oud Player|
Left: Kamila Krush - fresh raspberry, mint, lime, soda | Right: Badra - white and red grapes, rose, lemon
|Iftar started with Elements Amar Al Din: smoking apricot, coconut and almond praline chocolate|
|Entree: Quail Terrine - Duck prosciutto, roasted fig, asparagus salad, dukkah spice|
|Dessert: Umm Ali Ice Cream - date, orange blossom cold brulee, pistachio wafer, rose meringue, pistachio soil|
Iftar Buffet in Liwan Restaurant at Al Ghurair Rayhaan
Why is it interesting? Liwan at Al Ghurair Rayhaan by Rotana reflects the true essence of the season.
How's my experience? It was my second time in Liwan Restaurant and I have to say that I was still impressed with the wide-variety of choices for Iftar. Arabic and International dishes are beautifully laid out in respective buffet stations. Guests are entertained with live Arabic entertainment. Liwan, despite being an all day dining that can accommodate a huge number of guests, remains to have an intimate atmosphere. Definitely an ideal venue to break the fast with the family.
How much does it cost? Originally at 139 AED per person, but can be availed at 89 AED per person when you download a special coupon from Al Ghurair Rayhaan by Rotana website.
Where is the restaurant located? Al Ghurair Rayhaan by Rotana, connected to Al Ghurair Mall, Deira
|Arabic herbs and spices on display in Liwan restaurant|
|Powershots: healthy juices for Iftar|
|Arabic Salad station|
|a corner of Arabic sweets|
|sumptuous main dishes lined up near the open kitchen|
|ideal nook for an intimate Iftar with the family|
|Liwan's lovely Ramadan table setting|
Special Iftar in Tony Roma's
Why is it interesting? Tony Roma's offers American fare in a budget-friendly set meal for Iftar.
How's my experience? I was at Tony Roma's Wasl Vita branch on the first Iftar of Ramadan 2016. The famous American steakhouse chain has an Iftar special which includes a bowl of soup, one appetizer, one main course and one beverage. It was a good hearty meal which perfectly complemented the good conversations I had with friends.
How much does it costs? 79 AED per person. Additional 29 AED for dessert.
Where is the restaurant located? Wasl Vita Mall in Al Wasl Road - Jumeirah 1. Also available in all branches of Tony Roma's in the UAE.
|Soup of the Day: hearty chicken noodle soup|
|The set meal includes 1 appetizer. I dined with friends, so we ended up sharing our choices. We had a FEAST!|
|Onion Loaf: giant hand-cut Spanish onions, breaded, and deep-fried|
|Rump Steak: flavorsome, medium-well, steak served with corn on a cob|
|Chocolate Brownie Sundae: dark and delicious dessert, good for 2-3 people!|
Moshi - Momo & Sushi Iftar Meal
Why is it interesting? Moshi offers a trendy twist on Nepalese and Japanese food, and their Iftar promotion is best way to appreciate the best of both worlds.
How's my experience? Moshi in Oud Metha has a very relaxed ambiance. The service is fast and friendly. Iftar Meal starts with a warm bowl of Miso Soup, followed by the best-selling maki rolls. We had the Cheesy Chips Oman and Flammin' Chicken Cheetos as per the recommendation of the staff. It doesn't end there as the meal also includes 5 pieces of healthy momos, a rice-noodle dish and a signature drink. The Iftar is sweetly capped with Nutella Maki or Peanut Butter Bars.
How much does it costs? Only 69 AED per person!
Where is the restaurant located? Oud Metha Building, near Lamcy Plaza
|break the fast with Miso Soup|
|Cheesy Chips Oman: a bizarre yet addictive fusion of Chips Oman, Cheese and Sushi rice|
|Flammin' Chicken Cheetos: a best-seller in Moshi's Summer Menu |
Yes, it's topped with Cheetos. Crazy, but the combination actually works!
|Momos/Nepali dumplings served with Moshi's authentic sesame and red spicy sauce|
|rice and noodles tossed all together with chicken, egg and vegetables|
|Nutella Maki: a must-have at the end of every meal in Moshi|
We were invited to try the Iftar Specials in Rixos The Palm, Radisson Blu, Alserkal Avenue, Al Ghurair Rayhaan by Rotana, Tony Roma's, and Moshi. Opinions in this blog post are my own.