Beach Rotana Iftar for Press 2015 - Beach Rotana Hotel, Abu Dhabi
A few talking points from the iftar
Less is more
It is an intimate setting, despite the use of one of a banquet room. I find large iftars very intimidating, so this is a strength. It comes back to a question I often ask about brunches for example, and that is how much food can one really eat at a buffet. Focus on a few things and excel rather than producing quantity that is mediocre. The buffet area is in a horse shoe shape, with Ramadan juices on either side. Dessert, appropriately, is in the middle.
Iftars are a challenge for staff because it is like a brunch in a concentrated time frame, meaning they need to be on their toes. I found the service to be quite slick considering. Timely clearing of plates and replacing of cutlery meant guests could focus on having a good evening.
You can expect all the classic Arabian iftar dishes. The salad section is worthy of a few trips with freshness emphasised. In addition to classic Arabic dishes consisting of cold and hot mezze, there were some other crowd favourites like Butter chicken masala, Roasted baby lamb with Oriental rice and my dish of the day, the Chicken biryani. On the dessert front, expected favourites like Um ali and Kanaffa had everyone going for seconds.
The spirit of Ramadan
While there were a number of reasons for this, the feeling of warmth and connectedness during the iftar reminded me that iftar is not about dishes. It is about family, firstly, and secondly friends. If a hotel can achieve this during two hours, then well done to them.
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