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Iftar at Ramada’s Orchid Restaurant

Orchid Restaurant Terrace Burj Khalifa View
Image courtesy of Ramada Hotel

This is the view from the Orchid Restaurant’s terrace, located on the second floor of Ramada in Downtown Dubai.

It’s a very humid 42ºC tonight so Masood and I choose to sit indoors. The table with Burj Khalifa view can wait till winter.

We’ve been invited to iftar today, and even after missing an exit just before Dubai Mall, we still arrive on time.

Our hosts are Twinkle and Flor, two very warm and lovely ladies.

A plate of plump dates and three or four different types of water bottles were at the table.

The Orchid Restaurant is a cozy place, with the usual dim, romantic lights and comfortable chairs. The service is prompt, and everyone is very courteous.

Valet parking is free for Orchid Restaurant guests, there are high chairs for toddlers, and dedicated prayer rooms for both men and women.

The Impressive Buffet Spread:

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Assorted freshly-baked bread. Very delicious. This is great when paired with the creamy chicken mushroom soup.
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The salad bar. There are so many choices!
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I probably spent an hour just enjoying the salads.
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Ceuf mimosa, or deviled eggs, recipes of which can be seen as far back as ancient Rome!
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Spinach fatayer, samosas, and kibbeh.
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Fresh juice! However, after a day of fasting nothing quenches the thirst better than a glass of chilled water.

 

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Saffron Rice, and Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya. Very delicious!

 

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Chicken tikka and beef stroganoff.
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Penne pomodoro

 

There are so many other delicious food that I couldn’t photograph because there are always people around. There’s the Chicken Fata—a creamy layer of bread, chicken pieces, yoghurt, tahina, and chick peas.

Kebeh Labania—an interesting mix of kibbeh (levantine dish made of bulghur, minced onions and ground red meat, usually beef, or lamb) and yoghurt.

Grilled fish with Mexican sauce or salsa—this is very, very good. I probably have a dozen servings of this fish! I later find out that this is also the chef’s favorite.

And then, there’s this beautiful grilled lamb sitting atop a bed of fragrant rice. This is the lamb madhbi. The lamb is marinated in a mix of Arabic spices and slowly grilled until the meat is so tender it easily falls off the bone. People devoured it so fast that when I reach the table to take a picture, only the lamb’s femoral bone remains.

Dessert!

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The most moist and delicious chocolate cake I’ve had in a long time!
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A variety of fresh fruits!
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Arabic sweets
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I fill myself up with too much chocolate cake to even taste this. I will have to return to Orchid Restaurant for this!

Towards the end of our Iftar meal, as I return to the buffet area to take note of the names of some of the dishes, Chef Belal Kattan emerges from the kitchen. He asks me how the food was, and after I give him my honest opinion (I only had compliments!) I ask if it was ok if I took down the names of the dishes (I have the tendency to forget the next day!).

“No problem,” he says with a smile, “I’ll even give you the recipe if you want, but the taste won’t be the same because I didn’t cook it myself.” We laugh at his joke but frankly speaking, I feel he has a valid point. I wouldn’t be able to recreate these dishes unless he trains me for a decade.

Chef Belal is kind enough to tell me a little bit about each dish he created. While speaking about the food, one could sense his passion about cooking and food. This love and dedication is what makes the food taste even better.

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Orchid Restaurant in Ramada is a great place to have iftar with your family, friends, and even business associates.

There is a good variety of food that will surely please every palate. I’m saying this because Masood, who isn’t a great fan of seafood, loved the grilled fish with Mexican sauce.

Iftar buffet is available from sunset until 9 pm, at AED 99 per person.

Kids, 6 years old and below, dine free. 6-12 year olds get 50% discount, and you get 20% discount for groups consisting of more than 15 people.

For reservations, call +971 4 330 7330 or email info@ramadadowntowndubai.com.

Click here for the Google map.

19 comments

  1. I’m so happy that you ate sweets! They look delicious. And as always, I loved reading your thoughts on your experience eating out.

    We used to eat at hotels that hosted open buffets during Ramadan but I realised that I would stuff myself silly because of all the wonderful and delicious foods I could try. I would then feel like a beached whale and find it extremely difficult to pray the night prayers. So we vowed to stop going to open buffets during Ramadan, which is sad, but a matter of health and safety, haha!

    1. Thank you so much, Londoneya! Though it appears that I am filling up myself crazy with all these food, it is hardly the case. See that tiny piece of chocolate cake? Masood and I shared that 😀

      You are right – open buffets, specially during Ramadan, could make you overeat and then (for some) miss the evening taraweeh prayers.

      Here’s how we do it (though we mostly eat at home, which is the best!):

      For those who fast, we get a little over an hour to spend in the restaurant before the evening prayers, so that is more than enough time to eat and enjoy the food. Most of the restaurants here will have a dedicated place to offer Maghrib prayers.

      So we’d break our fast with dates, water or juice, and then soup. We also have a piece of hot mezze, like some Cheese Sambousik, Kibbeh, or Fatayer. We then go to pray Maghrib. Afterwards, we mainly fill ourselves with the cold mezze and other salad items on the buffet spread. We hardly “eat” from the main course. We’d probably take a tablespoon or two from a couple of dishes that look interesting – to taste. And finally, we pick 2-3 types of desserts and share that. The proportions are nice and small so it’s not really too heavy.

      So yeah, when you eat just that much you a) don’t get too full, and b) do not waste any food.

      PS: Iftar buffets in the UAE are the best 😀

      1. I seriously admire the will you have to be in front of all that food and not lunge for it all! Very sensible way to eat. I’m training myself to have that self control and now that you’ve listed how you do it, I will try to follow suit!

  2. The outside view is so beautiful! 🙂 All that food looks divine, although I feel like if I went to one of these Ramadan iftaar buffets I would only be able to slightly taste everything because I get full so quickly after a day of fasting! I was telling my dad that on our next trip to Pakistan, we should try going through Emirates and stop at Dubai for a day (not completely out of question, we’ve gone through Etihad, Qatar, and Bahrain in past trips)– all your reviews make me really want to visit someday in the future Inshallah! 🙂

    1. SonrisaMaria, what we love about iftar buffets here is that we get to try and taste authentic middle eastern dishes without having to order an entire plate (because then you have to finish it off to avoid wastage).

      With open buffet system, you are free to sample from a variety of choices, taking just the amount that you could finish easily. The main point is to enjoy the food and not waste anything in the process.

      A stop-over in Dubai sounds good (although I suggest staying for 3 days at least)! When are you planning a trip? Is it anytime soon? I’d love to meet you, inshaAllah!

      1. From reading your reply above as well, that makes a lot more sense. It’s nice to be able to taste all the amazing food without wasting any or getting unbearably full!

        We go to Pakistan every 3ish years (more or less), and we went last year so probably not for a little bit. If I do get a chance to visit Dubai in the future, hopefully for a little longer than in between flights, I would love to meet you too InshAllah! 🙂 I would probably look through all your old Dubai posts and make a list of places to visit for sure!
        SonrisaMaria recently posted..Chi-ca-go! 🙂

    1. Everything was really good, ‘liya! We weren’t able to taste everything from the buffet spread, obviously, but whatever we had was very delicious.

  3. hello, Nadia… ahaha, this is one of your nicest food posts. everything looks delicious and just right. i like the Orchid restaurant presentation. am now curious about the Iftar. what about those who have less budget, what do they do, where do they go when the fasting time is over? this really seem like a pleasant dining experience, like one could relax, unwind and enjoy… sorry i got here late, ahaha. warm regards… 🙂
    35andupcynicismonhold recently posted..Sweet souls

    1. Why, thank you so much, ‘San!

      There is something for everyone here in the UAE, specially during Ramadan. From five-star restaurants to karinderya-type eating joints – it’s all here!

      There’s always something to eat at the mosques (for free!) when it’s time to break the fast.

      If you’re on the road, volunteers from charity organizations will stop you and hand you a box filled with water, juice, a cake, and dates.

      And then, in some of the malls, there’s a section with a fridge full of water and juice and a shelf containing pastries, dates, fruits, etc for free of charge to those who can not afford food or who are unemployed.

  4. I did come here before Iftar but didn’t have the courage to go through your post 😛
    My oh my everything looooks delicious and the way you picture them and describe them is amazing.
    Everything looks mouth watering sorts….but cakes look irresistible.
    For the past few hours after iftar…i was craving for something. I dont know what “something” is but its something thats not at home right now. After coming here..i guess that something=chocolate cake.
    Btw, whats that ting with kiwi on top, looks yummy? 🙂

    P.S: someone had promised someone that they will post some recipes and the other someone has been waiting for them for a long time now. 😛

    1. At your Service anytime please do let us know what recipes you need and I will be more than happy to to give it to you

      My name is Belal Kattan
      The Executive Chef of the hotel you are commenting on the Food pictures
      Regards,
      Chef Belal

      1. Chef Belal, thank you for visiting the blog! I’d also like to thank you again for the wonderful food and hospitality that we experienced at Ramada.

    2. Miss Maqsood, did you finally have that chocolate cake? 🙂

      The dessert with kiwi on top is jelly. Too bad I didn’t have space in my stomach for even a teaspoon of this pretty dessert.

      Oh, the recipes! Probably after Ramadan now, sorry! To make up for the broken promise, I’ll make you a deal. You can tell me what recipe you’d like me to post here and I’ll try to perfect that and share with you here on the blog. How’s that?

      Plus, the chef himself is asking you which recipe you need! Ask away, you lucky girl 🙂

      1. OMG The chef replied to me, I thought he had commented on your blog 😛
        Oh My Oh My! LOL 😛 Ok! Enough of drama 😛
        Ummmm……I don’t know you ask on my behalf coz I’m very indecisive right now. *scrolls up*
        Okayyyy..How about a recipe for the moist and the delicious chocolate cake and Penne pomodro.
        Thank you thank you soo much 😀

        Now back to you Nadia Baji…Ji toh ab kya kiya jaaye. Muahaha, not a good idea to make a deal 😛
        LOL! *Don’t know why i’m being so dramatic this fine day(night for that matter) *
        I shall let you know once I have searched and decided for the hardest cake recipe *Muahahahaha*
        Hahaha just kidding, I shall contact you soon regarding the details then. Till then good luck 😛
        *Mogambo’s evil laugh*

  5. You’re killing me, woman! Next time I’m in Dubai, I’ll try to make it in Ramadan so I can go enjoy all this… How awesome!

    1. Specs, I am not killing you. What I am doing is making you realize what all you are missing in your life by still not visiting me in the UAE 😉

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