Design Diary: Designer iftars to try this Ramadan
This Ramadan, may we recommend some stunning venues that offer a delectable experience off the beaten track?
Family, friends, colleagues and neighbours — Ramadan brings the community together as we share in breaking fast. While camaraderie, the higher meaning behind fasting and food are the focus of the occasion, having a stylish venue to get together with loved ones makes it all the more special.
After the success of their Iftar pop-up last year, Dubai Opera is all set to host guests throughout the Ramadan season. Thanks to its advanced design, the auditorium will transform into a completely flat floor with bespoke venue styling and decorations. The award-winning restaurant, Sean Connolly at Dubai Opera, will provide the cuisine for the Iftar, which will be available each day from sunset to 9:30pm. With a changing menu concept, each night will be a new experience. The restaurant has created a roster of special dishes including sustainable hamour prepared in a shakshuka style, slow-cooked beef cheek, whole roast duck and chicken, salmon en croûte and a trio of birianis which is sure to offer unusual tastes for even the most seasoned of Iftar goers.
It’s the opera house, so it should come as no surprise that live performances of the Arabic melodies will add to the experience. Plus, a special market at the foyer of Dubai Opera will help sort all seasonal gifting crisis with a collection of unique and special gifts.
Dh250 per person. Children between 5-11 years get a 50 per cent discount.
Replacing the Firebird at the Four Seasons DIFC, Chef Michael Mina’s latest offering opened earlier this year. With a brand new concept and shiny new interiors to boot, the venue is a modern, bustling brasserie known for its hearty dishes, a lush terrace and a smart, yet relaxed vibe. Bringing the dynamics of adored brasseries to Dubai, Martin Brudnizki Design Studio sought inspiration from the elegance and sophistication of European design, tempering it with the spirit of DIFC and a palette that offers a spot of calm in the heart of Dubai’s premier financial area. A pergola strewn with brass teardrop pendant lights, verdant planting and free-standing trees makes the terrace of the restaurant feel private and comfortable.
See the sunset in with a four course sharing menu that will include appetisers such as burrata stracchiatella or foie gras french toast followed by mixed seafood, mushroom ravioli or lamb chops for mains, and s’mores bar, lemon tart and klondike bar to finish.
Dh210 per person.
Perched in the high towers of JW Marriott Marquis, this North American import boasts of sweeping views of the city and a delectable design scheme that blends Hamptons chic with an international twist. A modern interpretation of a saloon, the venue is a series of interconnected spaces, creating a sense of discovery, and offering an excuse to bring together a diverse array of finishes, styles and decor inspiration, effectively grounded with the rustic parquet flooring.
It might not be the most typical setting for an iftar, but then, the cuisine is not either. Weslodge’s take on iftar follows a sumptuous four course menu. Some of the venue’s most loved dishes feature: Southern Fried Chicken, Spice rubbed Lamb Ribs, Grilled Seabass and a glorious finish with Maple Brulee.
Dh235 per person.
Inspired by the cultural and culinary diversity of the Arab region, this Jumeirah Emirates Tower venue takes its name from one of the world’s seven wonders — the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, or Neneveh. Serving cuisine with roots in Gulf, Levant and North African traditions, Ninive is a green, urban oasis with a familiar, almost homely approach to both food and design. The stunning decor pays homage to the rich heritage and craftsmanship of the Middle East and North Africa, and features handmade brass, wood, marble and leather items that evoke nostalgia.
During Ramadan, the venue will offer a contemporary twist to majlis design with is tented terrace and a host of seating options nestled within a lush landscape. A selection of cold and hot mezze — Freekeh Salad and Chicken pastille among other — lead to the mains. Regional favourites such as Chicken Kebsa, Saffron Fish Skewers and Vegetable Tagine feature.
Dh250 per person.