Best Dubai iftars of 2019

From traditional Middle Eastern fare to casual Caribbean cuisine – we've dined our way across Dubai to bring you our top iftar picks of 2019
Ramadan at Dunes Café, Shangri-La Dubai
Shangri-La Dubai
Ramadan at Dunes Café, Shangri-La Dubai
May 08, 2019
By Maryanne Sparkes, Karen D'Souza

1. Rüya Dubai

Where: Grosvenor House Hotel, Dubai Marina
Style: Anatolian contemporary fine dining
Menu: Turkish sharing boards
Great for: Those who love Rüya’s classic menu, with some traditional extras for good measure

Located in the heart of the Marina, Rüya Dubai promises to sweep you up in a culinary whirlwind of Anatolian flavours. Executive Chef Colin Clague has created a delectable menu perfect for sharing with family and friends. Diners will be welcomed with dates and a hearty soup of the week. An abundant selection of delicately prepared cold and warm starters such as isli patican (eggplant puree served with crispy aubergines), simit coated baby squid, bőrek (filo wrapped spinach and feta cheese), karpuz peynir (burnt watermelon, sheep cheese, tomato and pine nuts) and pide (Turkish flatbread) follow swiftly, satisfying the taste buds. The main course features mouth-watering dishes including whole grilled sea bream, marinated baby chicken, ali nazik (adana kebap on smoked eggplant with yoghurt) and kuru fasulye and arpa sehriye pilavi (slow cooked white beans in tomato sauce with orzo pilaf). Round off this fabulous feast with a medley of Turkish desserts.

Iftar menu: DHS 249 per person
Timings: daily from sunset
​To book your table, visit ruyadubai.com

2. Bacchanal 

Where: Caesars Bluewaters Dubai
Style: A smart-casual buffet-style family dining experience
Menu: A seemingly endless array of Arabic and international cuisine
Great for: Families and friends alike in search of great food and a lively atmosphere

This buffet-style restaurant presents a magnificent spread fit for royalty. Open kitchens serve a delicious array of dishes from around the world. Middle Eastern classics like lamb ouzi, kibbeh, velvety hummus, sambousek, fatayar and tangy tabbouleh with Arabic bread will have you going back for seconds. Look beyond the regional cuisine on offer to find steaming platters of aromatic chicken biryani, moussaka, juicy dolma and prawn dumplings. The dessert section features a captivating dark-, milk- and white-chocolate fountain and a Turkish delight tower made up of rich sugared nuts such as pistachios, hazelnuts and almonds. Don’t miss the handmade Emirati luqaimat among the various Arabic sweets, jars of meringues and assorted pastries and pies. Wash it all down with a refreshing cold Arabic tea.

Iftar menu: DHS 250
Timings: sunset to 8.30pm
To book your table, visit caesars.com

3. Masala Library by Jiggs Kalra

Where: JW Marriott Marquis, Dubai
Style: An event-style dining experience 
Menu: A 10-course unique Indian set menu
Great for: Seasoned gourmands in search of a new and exciting gastronomic journey in Dubai

masala-library-jw-marquis-dubai

Brace yourself for a gastronomic odyssey cutting across the length and breadth of India at the newly opened Masala Library by Jiggs Kalra. This 10-course iftar menu has been crafted to showcase regional flavours from the subcontinent. Diners begin their meal with an amuse bouche followed by an aromatic deconstructed mushroom chai –  dehydrated truffles that act as the ‘tea leaves’ and truffle powder, which represents ‘sugar’, are added to a cup and then topped with mushroom consommé. Starters range from curried prawns with spiced yoghurt foam, crispy spinach leaves served atop a bed of sweet potato drizzled with tamarind sauce and succulent lamb chop. Mains include Lahori chicken doused in a butter based tangy yoghurt sauce served with laccha paratha and flavourful biryanis. Dessert is a delightful combination of rabri (thickened sweetened milk) poured around a nest of kunafa vermicelli that cradles a rasgulla (cottage cheese dumplings cooked in a light sugary syrup).

Non-vegetarian iftar menu: DHS 230 (inc. Ramadan drinks)
Vegetarian iftar menu: DHS 195 per person (inc. Ramadan drinks)
Timings: sunset to 8:30pm
​To book your table, visit jwmarriottmarquisdubailife.com

4. Miss Lily’s

Where: Sheraton Grand Hotel, SZR
Style: “Good Vibes Only”
Menu: Caribbean soul food sharers
Great for: Chilled-out get-togethers in one of Dubai's most-loved eateries

With an exclusive menu designed by Miss Lily’s chef, Dharamsingh Rana, it’s no surprise that this iftar menu is already in high demand. The meal starts with assorted dates, before a selection of mouth-watering starters including Caribbean spiced lentil soup, ackee and eggplant dip (a lighter version of their critically-acclaimed ackee hummus) and a variety of hearty finger foods including light and fluffy Spanish-style bacalitos. Choose one of three mains per person: a sweet and smoky Caribbean pepperpot stew, mildly curried tilapia fish and a creamy vegetable stew. The absolute highlight of the meal were the desserts – choose from an indulgent mango mousse topped with kunafa, or a decadent date cheesecake that will leave you dreaming about it for days to follow.

Iftar menu: DHS 180
Timings: 6.30pm to 11.30pm (Sat-Tue); 6.30pm-12.30pm (Wed-Fri)
To book your table, visit misslilys.com

5. Dunes Café

Where: Shangri-La Hotel, Dubai
Style: Sophisticated all-day dining
Menu: Traditional Arabic fare
Great for: Those in search of a traditional Arabic dishes cooked to perfection

From the moment you set foot inside Dunes Café, you’re welcomed by a heady mix of Arabic aromas that are sure to get your taste buds tingling. Pick a table close to the window for a more secluded experience or head into the main dining area and surround yourself with visions of traditional Middle Eastern favourites including lamb ozi, fish with tahina sauce, harira soup, moghrabia and an array of desserts that are sure to impress. Be sure to try the creamy Oum Ali with a hot cup of Arabic coffee to finish!

Iftar menu: DHS 149 (inc. water, soft drinks, traditional Ramadan beverages, tea and coffee)
Timings: sunset to 10pm
To book your table, visit shangri-la.com/dubai

6. Alserkal Avenue

Where: Cinemajlis and INKED
Style: South Asian and Lebanese
Menu: Sharing boards
Great for: Those who love to gather over a casual meal with family and friends

Cinemajlis

Discover alternative iftar experiences, suhoors and much more at Alserkal Avenue during the Holy month of Ramadan. Cinema Akil and Project Chaiwala have teamed up to transform the cinema into a dining majlis, known as Cinemajlis, serving casual, family-style South Asian cuisine from 10th May onwards. Award-winning Arab films will be screened before and after the iftar on weekends and weekdays respectively. Should you be craving regional cuisine, head on over to INKED where the cooks of Tawlet are whipping up an array of authentic Lebanese mezzes, tabkhat, desserts and beverages till 13th May. The menu will change every alternate day. Don’t forget to check out the workshops, night markets, tours and children’s activities being held at Alserkal Avenue during Ramadan.

Iftar menu: DHS 200 per person for Iftar + Film at Cinemajlis; DHS 275 per adult/ DHS 130 for children aged 5-11 at INKED
Timings: Cinemajlis from 6.30pm onwards; INKED 7-9pm
To book your table, visit cinemaakil.com and email info@inked.ae