Bored of Ramadan tents yet? Or slowly getting there? As the second week of the holy month kicks off, you’ve likely had a traditional iftar, lingered over suhoor with friends, and even broken your fast in an unexpected setting. What follows, if our palates are any indication, is a sudden craving for your favorite cuisine. From Peking duck to Catalonia-style paella and Jamaican jerk chicken, Savoir Flair shows you how to journey to Spain, Turkey, India, China, and beyond for iftar without ever leaving Dubai – visa stamps not included.
The phrase “better late than never” comes to mind with regards to discovering the cuisine of Uzbekistan, especially during Ramadan, what with the iftar menu at Osh serving the best of Central Asia and the Middle East at an incredibly reasonable price. Regional favorites like lentil soup and mix grill aside, you’ll savor Uzbek delights like ‘Mastawa Soup’ (a hearty lamb stew), ‘Mixed Samsa’ (Uzbekistan’s answer to sambousek), and ‘Osh’ (a fragrant dish of spiced rice and sautéed vegetables). As for dessert? The ‘Chak Chak’ is a no-brainer.
Price: AED 149 per person
(+971) 4 317 3999
Peru: Coya Dubai
The popularity of Peruvian cuisine is still going strong, which means iftar at Coya Dubai promises to be a crowd-pleaser. The menu kicks off with the likes of charentais melon soup garnished with white almonds and Peruvian bean soup with black truffle. These will be followed by starters like seabass croquettes and beetroot causa leading to star attractions like spicy short ribs and succulent baby chicken. Word to the wise: you’ll want to keep room for the pistachio-date cake that wraps it all up.
Price: AED 250 per person
(+971) 4 316 9600
Mexico: Puerto 99
Puerto 99, the new kid on the block at Bluewaters Island, is serving up a slice of contemporary Mexico with its iftar set menu. With views of the Dubai Marina skyline serving as the backdrop, guests will be welcomed with a warming bowl of ‘Caldo De Setas’ soup alongside appetizers like guacamole and fish tacos. The entrées feature the best of Puerto 99, so expect to dine on ‘Al Ajillo’ in a creamy garlic confit and roasted lamb, goat, or chicken from the mesquite wood rotisserie before indulging in freshly baked churros and a traditional Mexican flan accented with guava syrup.
Price: AED 180 per person
(+971) 4 557 6627
A generous spread of traditional Turkish dishes in an air-conditioned tent with stunning views of the Burj Al Arab – you can’t really go wrong with this one. Located on Jumeirah Road, Kaftan promises Turkish cuisine and fine art, and delivers exactly that, so you can expect to break your fast in an elegant setting that serves dishes such as ‘Yaprak Sarma’ (grape leaves stuffed with cinnamon-infused rice and roasted pine nuts), ‘Kuzu Dalma’ (slow-cooked lamb shoulder with dried fruits), and ‘Etli Ekmek’ (Turkish pita bread topped with herbs and minced meat).
Price: AED 190 per person
(+971) 4 338 9688
Jamaica: Miss Lily's
Bacalaítos and jerk chicken instead of fattoush and falafel? Sign us up. Miss Lily’s has joining the Ramadan spirit with a lavish, four-course menu rife with Caribbean staples – think: ‘Ackee and Eggplant Dip’ with crispy roti, West Indian ‘Curry Fish’ served with jasmine rice, and ‘Vegetarian Caribbean Stew’. Oh, and we’ve been told that the ‘Kunafa Mango Mousse’ is even better than the ‘Date Cheesecake’.
Price: AED 180 per person
(+971) 4 354 4074
A sumptuous four-course iftar menu in seriously sumptuous settings? Win-win. At Hakkasan, you’ll be greeted with mushroom soup followed by the restaurant’s signature Peking duck and a chef’s selection of dim sum. These will lead nicely to some truly decadent mains including ‘Spicy Spotted Bass’, ‘Wok-Fry Beef Rib Eye’, and ‘Sa Cha Tiger Prawn’, transporting you to the bustling streets of Shanghai in no time.
Price: AED 288 per person
(+971) 4 426 2626
India: Masala Library
The recently opened Masala Library by Jiggs Kalra serves dishes that are as diverse and complex as the country they represent – all with a hefty side of molecular gastronomy. So what exactly does iftar served by the “Czar of Indian Cuisine” entail? Five courses and 12 dishes to try. The non-vegetarian version boasts a ‘Lahori Chicken’ served with toasted coconut sauce that pairs alongside a hearty ‘Ghee Roast Lamb Biryani’ featuring hand-pulled lamb.
Vegetarians, meanwhile, can savor the ‘Almond Crusted Water Chestnut Kofta’ alongside ‘Malai Paneer’ and ‘Dal Makhni’. The good news here? Both menus include the ingenious ‘Mushroom Chai’ soup (umami-infused broth meets dehydrated mushrooms) and lighter-than-light ‘Palak Patta Mille Feuille’ (spinach crispbread with mashed sweet potatoes, pomegranate seeds, and melon caviar).
Price: From AED 195 per person
(+971) 4 414 3000
Spain: TORO + KO
Toro + KO is a firm Savoir Flair favorite, and a wonderful option if a feast with Spanish flair is what you’re craving for iftar. The three-course menu begins with traditional favorites when it comes to tapas: salt-cod fritters, mushroom and truffle croquettes, grilled corn, and patatas bravas. The restaurant’s beloved Catalonia-style paella alongside grilled beef tenderloin and octopus planxa make up the mains, while a choice of three desserts serves as the sweet finish. Make a beeline for the churros and those three dipping sauces (for obvious reasons).
Price: AED 199 per person
(+971) 4 590 5433
The Opa experience is so much more than just food – it’s the scent of jasmine, the sight of bougainvillea, and the waiters who continue to delight diners with plate-smashing and Zorba dancing. For iftar, the Greek eatery is serving a different soup every day alongside freshly bread breads to accompany traditional dips like ‘Tzatiki’, ‘Fava’, and ‘Spicy Feta’. And, naturally, Greek salad and spinach pie are among the starters.
Come mains, you’ll dine on Greek staples such as lamb gyros, or ‘Sea Bass Fillet with Rice Pilaf’ if you prefer something light. What we’re most excited about, however, is the decadent selection of desserts: ‘Athenian Pie’, ‘Pistachio Cake’, or the more traditional ‘Loukoumades’.
Price: AED 195 per person
(+971) 4 357 0557