The Food Byte: Iftar At Citymax Hotel, Dubai

Monday, June 29, 2015

Iftar in Dubai hotels is quite an experience. At some venues, it's an extravagant feast fit for weddings while others provide reasonably good portions. I'm all for eliminating food wastage, I hate to see untouched food go straight to the bin.

Among other things, Ramadan is also about what new savory/dessert you can put on the table. At hotels, each restaurant aims to whip up traditional and unique dishes catering to all. Would you believe it if I said there's a restaurant that's serving seafood iftar? It's true! I can't digest the thought of consuming seafood right after fasting for hours (that and the fact that I'm not a seafood fan). I usually play it safe with local cuisine- who can go wrong with freshly cut greens for salads, fatayer, hummus and the likes? I recently paid a visit to City Cafe at Citymax Hotels for an Arabic iftar.

I shouldn't have been surprised, but almost every table at the restaurant was occupied. This just goes to show that the iftar buffet is quite popular and you should book a table prior to arrival. Rookie mistake.

Nonetheless, it did feel like home- you know the feeling when you round up your family (including all relatives and cousins) for a grand dinner that seems never-ending? You know how, at first you don't quite like the chaos but then sit back and enjoy it all with a genuine smile? That was pretty much how I felt. The atmosphere was quite nice, service impeccable and the chefs were so friendly! I loved the fact that they weren't just making sure the food was placed right; they took the initiative to encourage people to try out a few dishes.

I love salads and was happy to discover a section dedicated to mixed greens. Freshly prepared, they were quite a delight especially the feta cheese salad and couscous.

 The main course featured Arabic and Indian cuisine. From stuffed vine leaves, wrapped cabbage to fatayer and grilled fish, they had it all covered. I strongly recommend you try the Shish Taouk and Kibbeh. The latter was crispy and cooked to perfection (I'e said it before and I'll say it again, only a few restaurants get Kibbeh right).

The Shish Taouk was delicious. The fact that it was cooked in a slightly different manner as opposed to the chunks of chicken, made it easier to eat a little more than just 2 pieces and not feel overwhelmed.

The butter chicken will tantalize the taste buds of those who are loyal to this Indian dish. You can't go wrong with tender chicken pieces in a sumptuous curry.

And if you want more, I recommend going for the delectable Chicken Mandi. I love mandi and had a go at it last Ramadan. So this time around, I grabbed the opportunity and downed spoonfuls of this flavorsome dish.

The desserts corner featured traditional delights including Umm Ali, Knafeh and the likes. This particular section could be improved as I felt the selection was quite limited.

Apart from the iftar buffet being priced at just AED 59 in Dubai and AED 49 in Sharjah, you get a handful of other benefits that include a Fun City pass worth AED 50, a yoga session at Balance Well Being 360 worth AED 75 (Dubai only), and get the fifth iftar meal free when you purchase four of them. They also offer a suhoor buffet pegged to a AED 29 price tag.

Book your table today. Citymax Hotels are located in Dubai (Barsha- 050 1007046, Bur Dubai 050 1007065) and Sharjah 050 6406337.

City Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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