It’s iftar time and this year, as always, outlets in the UAE are going all out to dish out their special fares. But there are some that stand out.
Wok It, Dubai: Buffet serving dishes from Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore, such as bakso Soup (meatballs with egg noodles, rice noodles and bok choy, beansprouts, celery and fried shallots); kolak banana and sweet potato cooked in palm sugar with cinnamon; Gado Gado (steamed vegetables with peanut sauce), Bakmie Goreng (wok fried noodles with scrambled egg, chicken or seafood); and beef rendang (stew served with jasmine rice, tropical salad and sambal ijo). Dessert is the house speciality street food martabak manis. Dh85, until 9pm. Call 04-3885711.
Hakkasan, Dubai: Three-course a la carte meal, featuring Middle Eastern-inspired Chinese dishes, such as mushroom and pistachio roll, Cantonese chicken stir-fry with pandan leaf and lemongrass, and the honey roasted peach served with warm almond and raspberry financier and vanilla ice cream. Dh188++ per person. Call 04-3848484.
Balance Cafe, Oasis Centre: Four-course iftar meals focusing on healthy dishes, Dh55. A selection of healthy desserts is also available. Call 04-5154051.
Urban Bistro: Healthy variations of the traditional Arabic starters such as lentil soup and fattoush, along with popular main courses and traditional Ramadan beverages. Set menu, Dh99 per person, from sunset-9pm from Sunday to Thursday. Call 04-3624330.
Auris Plaza Hotel, Al Barsha
Iftar buffets with live cooking stations and traditional Turkish treats, Dh125, with 50 per cent discount for children aged 5-12. Call 04-4554839/40.
Ottomans: Traditional Turkish set menu iftar, featuring stuffed vine leaves and Turkish red peppers, lamb kofte wrapped in saj bread, and much more. Set menu, Dh250. Call 04-3176000.
Armani Hotel, Burj Khalifa
Armani/Mediterraneo: Iftar with classic Mediterranean cuisine, sunset-9pm, Dh260 including Ramadan beverages, Dh125 for children aged 12 years and
under. Call 04-8883444.
Almaz by Momo: Range of North African and Arabic at the iftar buffet, including hot and cold starters, soup of the day, Ramadan beverages and a variety of traditional and international sweets, Dh170 per person, sunset-8.30pm. A la carte menu also offered every evening, 9pm-1.45am. Call 04-4098877.
Max’s Restaurant: Iftar meal for four, includes dates, four drinks, bulalo, lumpiang shanghai rice and one whole max’s fried chicken, Dh149.
Sofitel Abu Dhabi
Corniche: Iftar buffet combining French and Arabic cuisines, featuring three live cooking stations and an open kitchen, Dh170++. A la carte menu for sohour is also available from 9pm onwards. Call 02-8137777.
Paul: Special Ramadan menu wtih soups and starters, main courses such as poached salmon; tarragon and lemon stuffed chicken; and grilled beef fillet and desserts such as date éclairs and cheesecake with jallab syrup. Dh99. Available at all outlets across the UAE including Dubai Mall, Al Ain Mall and Al Wahda Mall.
Al Tamimi Stables
Al Tamimi Stables Café: Iftar buffets on July 25 and August 8 with special entertainment for children. Dh85 for adults and Dh35 for children over 3. Eid Al Fitr celebration package also available, featuring pony rides, football tournaments, nature trails and access to the petting zoo, for Dh35 and Dh20 for adults and children respectively. Call 06-7431122.
Patiala, Souk Al Bahar: Iftar meals from Dh145; seafood menu Dh185; complimentary welcome drink. Call 04 451 9151
Le Meridien, Dubai
Mahec: Iftar buffet including kebabs, grills, curries, biryanis, sweets and beverages. Dh149++, from the first day of Ramadan until July 31. Call 04-7022615.
Mango Tree: Meat and seafood sharing platters for 2-4 people, from Dh45 at the Mirdif City Centre branch. Call 04-2843635.
Shang Thai, Shaikh Zayed Road: Four-course iftar sett menu, Dh75. Call 04-3805408.
Try Arabic sushi at the iftar buffet, with fillings such as shawarma with Arabic pickles, falafel-tahina, beetroot moutabbel with cucumber, prawn-harra and tabbouleh with organic tomato. Dh225 for adults inclusive of beverages, kids dine at Dh110. Call 04-3722323.
Meydan IMAX: Iftar buffet alongside screening of ‘Journey to Mecca’ on the 8-storey-tall screen. Buffet will be open from sunset-8.30pm. Call 800-IMAX (4629).
The Ivy: Iftar, Dh190, with dishes including warm harissa with feta and chickpea, tabouleh with confit lemon and mint, sumac-spiced lamb chop with stuffed marrow and vine leaves and sticky toffee and date pudding. Call
IKEA: (Dubai and Abu Dhabi): Daily iftar meal, Dh20 and Ramadan tent close to the exit bistro with complimentary dates, coffee and traditional beverages to customers breaking their fast.
Outside the hotels
Hit the streets for independent cafes offering iftar meals.
Bo House Cafe, JBR: Mediterranean Mezza sharing plate with grilled shrimp, chicken wings, marinated artichokes, grilled mushrooms, hummus, olive tapenade and garlic bread; or the Bo Tapas sharing plate (homemade crab cakes, potato and cheese croquettes, sesame seed coated prawns, chicken lollipops and bo house quinoa tabouleh)m each at Dh99, includes beverages. Open 6.45pm until 2.00am during Ramadan. Call 04-4298655.
Downtown Dubai: Arabic-style courtyard Ramadan tent with a view on the fountains plys hundreds of lanterns and chandeliers. Iftar, Dh170, and sohour served. Call 050-4524558 or 050-1593764.
Leila: Iftar with jellab, dates, homemade soup, hot and cold mezze, mixed grill and Lebanese desserts, Dh130 per person, for parties of two or more. Souhoor breakfast menu ranging from egg based dishes to zaatar and cheese saj. Call Mirdif City Centre (04-2515161, iftar only) or Downtown Dubai (04-4483384, iftar, 7-8.30pm; suhoor, 1-3am).
Mezza House: Daily iftar all-you-can-eat menu including tabbouleh, shish taouk, makdous, and a range of desserts. Dh149 per person, from 7pm-2am. Call 04-4205444.
Pantry Café, Wasl Square: Set menu for iftar includes soup, a choice of starters (mixed mini pizzas or Arabic mezze), a choice of main courses (linguini prawn aglio olio, mixed grill or fish and chips with lime and tarragon aioli) and beverages, including tea or coffee, water, homemade cumin and mint laban and homemade lemonade, Dh95 per person.
Reem Al Bawadi: Daily iftar buffet with starters and soups, and a variety of main courses such as lamb, chicken and fish. An array of Arabic sweets is also available. Dh130 per person. Call 04-3947444 (Jumeirah), 04-3306663 (Sheikh Zayed Road), 04-4522525 (Dubai Marina Walk) and 04-4439690 (Downtown Dubai).
SimSim: Levantine restaurant at The Walk with special emphasis on Palestine as well as dishes from Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, and Egypt such as mansaf, shakshukat bandora, fattet batinjan bil lahmeh, musakhan dajaj, fattoush gazawi, osmalieh, bozah arabi, and tamriyeh. Iftar served until isha prayer, Dh115 per person, suhour a la carte menu until 4am. Call 04-4542319.
Thyme, The Walk: Arabic food from hummous to umm ali from 7pm, Dh145, children below 12 years old eat free. Call 04-3154200.