The Food Byte: Iftar at 3in1, Vida Downtown, Dubai

Friday, May 24, 2019

Coming back to one of my favorite places for iftar, 3in1 at Vida Downtown, Dubai is nothing short of a delight. To begin with, the restaurant has a unique appeal- from its aesthetics, to the ambiance and the serene outdoor pool. The variety and quality of food meets expectations time and time again, whether you are dining for iftar or brunch.

While Ramadan comes with its joy and blessings, there's a component that several restaurants struggle with. Food wastage. While there's an extravagant display of food at certain venues, I can't help but wonder how much of the unconsumed food goes to waste. Restaurants across the city have their own food-saving initiatives, however I truly appreciate those like 3in1 that commit to reducing food wastage through a set main course menu for iftar. 

With a three-day rotational menu, a buffet for hot and cold appetizers in addition to a desserts buffet, 3in1 easily makes it to my Top 3 Iftars for this year.

Serving a combination of traditional Arabic and international cuisine, the salads and appetizers station will make you come back for seconds (I'm a prime example). With Fattoush,  Greek Salad, Beetroot & Pumpkin Salad to Babaganoush, Okra Bil Zaet and Moujadara, there's plenty of options to start your iftar with. Wash down the salads with either a Mint Lemonade drink or the traditional Jallab, Tamarindi or Laban.

The live cooking station features the hot appetizers so you pick from either Margherita Pizza (made just like how the Italians love it), mini Zataar Manakish or mini vegetable pizzas. In addition to this, there's a spread of Lentil Soup, Tomato Soup and warm helpings of my favorite Cheese Sambousek, Zataar and Cheese Saj.

The main course has 5 dishes to choose from and the best part? You can order as much as you like as the hot mains come straight from the kitchen. I love this option! For the lamb lovers, there's an option of the traditional Lamb Ouzi and or Lamb Dawood Basha. For those who prefer beef or chicken, you can choose from either the Beef & Bell Peppers Kebab or the Lemon & Chili Marinated Chicken.

We tried the Lamb Ouzi, which in my opinion 3in1 does best when compared to other restaurants. This dish is a vital inclusion and 3in1 gets it right when it comes to certain ingredients namely spices and salt. In addition to this, the Lamb Dawood Basha was a delicious option as the lamb stew combined with bell peppers, pine seeds and onions, among other ingredients made it a delight to eat!

We also tried the Lemon & Chili Marinated Chicken for the first time and it is a must have (5/5 stars)- the chicken was tender and cooked to perfection while the enveloping Arabic pickle, lemon and chili made the dish so much more flavorsome. 

The main course meals were quite easy on the stomach as we didn't feel the dreaded bloat or laziness that accompanies once you break you fast.

Being born with a sweet tooth, I hopped and skipped my way to the desserts buffet. While there's a traditional Arabic desserts table that will greet you (think Bakhlava, Umm Ali, Basbousa, Knafeh, Qatayef and the likes), there's a unique international desserts section that will make you want to take one of each on to your plate. But I digressed.

I helped myself to bits and bobs of the Snicker Cake, Strawberry Pie, my favorite Carrot Cake, Date Pudding and Creme Brulee.

I strongly recommend trying the light and airy Pistachio Mousse, the silky Creme Brulee, the warm melt-in-your-mouth Date Pudding (3in1 has perfected this dessert), the perfectly baked Chocolate Fudge Brownie, or the subtly sweet Rice Pudding. I wish I could hire 3in1's chef to make me desserts every two days because they are sinfully delicious and some, unique. 

With its unique appeal in everything they do and present at the table, 3in1 is one of my favorite places even outside of Ramadan. The venue has a beautiful poolside seating area and is armed with mobile air-cons to keep the temperature cool.

With impeccable service, good food and a pleasant ambiance, 3in1 a delightful place for iftar/suhoor, brunch, lunch or dinner. I give it 5/5 stars.

Iftar at 3in1 Vida Downtown, Dubai is priced at AED 180 per person and is available from sunset until 10pm. A discount of 50% off on shisha and for children between 6-12 years applies (children below 5 years are not charged for). 3in1 also hosts suhoor (a la carte menu) from 10pm until 2am. 

Vida Downtown is located on Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard (Downtown Dubai). Call 04- 888 3444 for reservations. 

3IN1 - Vida Downtown Dubai Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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