Iftar at Bistro - Marriott Courtyard, Abu Dhabi

The Courtyard by Marriott continues to entice guests to its downtown property with an ideal location and access to the World Trade Centre and Central Souk. From a culinary perspective, its team under the guidance of executive Chef Saurab Saxena is making the most of the intimate settings in its two principal outlets, Fifth street Cafe and the venue for its iftar, Bistro. I attended its iftar and a couple of talking points emerged.

Use of Space

I refuse to accept the view that one has to accept standing in line as part and parcel of the iftar experience. The first thing that dawned on me as I made my way through the iftar at Bistro was that while the restaurant was full, the flow of people was steady and there were no major lines that developed. Restaurants are often handicapped by space constraints, but the team at Bistro managed its space very well. 


The dishes were what one would expect at an iftar with an obvious emphasis on Arabic favourites.  A great selection of salads was probably my standout station, with abundance and freshness the two buzz words. The lamb ouzi was there of course, but one of my favourite dishes on the night was the lamb biryani. Another favourite was the cannelloni, a welcome change from the ubiquitous white sauce pasta that is found at most iftars. Finally, the dessert station had the usual options, but I like the way they were executed. The um ali and rice pudding in particular, were bereft of the usual over sweetness that tends to overwhelm these dishes. The pastry chef, I feel, got it spot on!

In summary, the iftar at Bistro offers tremendous value for money. At 120AED ++ you are getting a very relaxed iftar experience where you don't feel you are in a fight to get the last felafel. The size of the restaurant is one of its strengths because the intimacy creates a warm atmosphere. Hard working staff with smiling faces is never a bad thing to have, something in abundance at Bistro. 

The Lowdown

Bistro Iftar,
Courtyard by Marriott, World Trade Centre,
Abu Dhabi
02 698 2222

Price: 120 AED ++

Brandon Stoltenkamp

Disclaimer: I consult at restaurants and hotels in an attempt to look at the entire product to take service levels to where they should be. I visited the iftar at Bistro courtesy of the hotel