Make Sure You Save Enough Room For Dessert At This Simple Yet Seriously Amazing Iftar
A sunset meal just how it should be
It's that time of the year where hotels have gone all out to create opulent Ramadan tents or transform their ballroom into an Arabian majlis. Not that I have an issue with it. Each one tends to be better than the other and all are in the race to be crowned (by public endorsement) the best of the season. What bothers me though is that there are so many outlets that offer an equally great experience and get lost in the bargain. Sufra at the Hyatt Regency Dubai Creek Heights is one of them.
Let me warn you, if you are anything like me (ie: directionally challenged) then trust Uber or Dubai Taxi to get you to the hotel
Located in Healthcare City, the hotel is a prominent tower with a slightly confusing route to the entrance. But once you reach its driveway, you realise it is a beautiful property. We (my partner and I) walked past a lobby with greenery, stone blocks and a high ceiling as we made our way to Sufra, the all-day dining restaurant.
The highlight of the venue is the show kitchen
Watching chefs dart across the area was an indication of how much work was involved in putting up this feast. The chefs were busy, but it didn't stop them from welcoming diners and (a little later) convincing us to try all the dishes on offer – the kind of coaxing any foodie enjoys.
We walked past big wooden rack shelves lined with bottles of pasta towards our table located just by the window. The views weren’t anything to write about, but you know those seats are special. Strips of sadu fabric were used to give the tables the Arabian element.
The meal was a combination of a few live stations along with a buffet
There were dates, dried figs and apricots on our table for us to break our fast. It was a healthy start with some salad and a platter of cheese followed by cold mezze. Between the hummus, beetroot mutabbal and the muhammara, it was the last one that stole the show. An earthy, slightly sweet dip that we wiped off with hot fluffy Arabic bread.
Our fried favourites sambousek and kibbeh were staring at us from chafing dishes, but we walked past them to the fette. For those who haven’t tried it, we recommend you to put it on your list of Levantine dishes. This version included pita bread topped with strained yoghurt, shredded chicken, some tahini and a dollop of ghee. This soggy mess was so good that we went back for a second helping within the first half hour. While waiting for the chef to assemble the dish, I got a straight-off-the-pan gooey cheese and za’atar manakish. My partner opted for the shawarma and had no complains. The only issue was a bunch of slightly misbehaved children. Then again: it’s something you see at all family-friendly venues and this by all means was one where anyone would feel at ease because of its casual and non-superficial vibe.
While we knew it would take the entire meal to give a fair verdict on the food, the one thing that we could declare spot on from the start was the service
Diners were given just the right amount of attention – servers were there when you needed them, but they weren’t restlessly pacing around your space.
There were various dishes – lamb biryani, an Indian veggie korma, Jordanian chicken musakhan and a prawn majboos (an Arabic rice dish) - and a pasta station dishing out your preferred version of the Italian staple. But nothing came close to the meat and chicken being grilled in front of us. Skewers were flying out from behind the glass counter faster than Burj Khalifa’s elevator to its 148th floor – okay that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but the chef was pretty quick at ensuring diners’ plates were topped almost immediately. The meat was tender and juicy, as was the chicken with its slightly charred taste. Green, red and yellow pieces of capsicum added colour to the chicken skewers.
On the principle that it must be sampled, we took a helping of the lamb ouzi and were extremely glad with our decision to do so. It was a harmonious balance of flavour, texture and mild aromas.
We had now reached the stage where you start blaming the buffet for your overindulgence
We walked towards the dessert counters, mostly dominated by regret. Regret that we hadn’t saved ourselves too much space for the vast spread in front of us. From the sweet, rich cheese pastry, kanafeh, to the Arabic version of bread pudding, umm ali, the display had it all. Both of us were happy with the logs of Turkish Delight and the baklava that tasted way better than they looked.
As we stood up to head out, our joint verdict was...
The food was on point, as was the service and setting. If you're after a cosy and hearty Iftar, this would be it. Now what's stopping you from trying it too?
The important information
The Iftar costs AED140 for adults and AED 70 for children (6 to 12 years), including Arabic juices, soft drinks and water. For information and reservations: call 04 317 2221