On Tuesday evening, we had a media invite for Iftar at Panorama Restaurant, Emirates Grand Hotel. Centrally located on Sheikh Zayed Road, the restaurant boasts of great views from the 43rd floor.
This was my first time at Emirates Grand Hotel, and I was therefore unsure of what to expect. I read a review on Zomato where a contributor had given Panorama Restaurant a scoring of 4.5 out of 5 for being the perfect choice for an intimate, undisturbed date. However, as a media event, our Iftar was far from ‘intimate’ and every table was packed!
Panorama Restaurant is the Emirates Grand Hotel’s all-day dining restaurant, and serves up a mix of intercontinental dishes. For Ramadan, the Iftar menu is predominated by well-loved Arabic dishes.
The menu includes a selection of salads, grills and kebabs, pilafs and an assortment of desserts including the Arabic favorite, Umm Ali.
We were one of the first to arrive at the venue, but naively waited for the call to prayer to break our fast with the dates and dried fruit at our table. Like many around us, we should have loaded our plates beforehand because right after, there was a very long queue at the buffet.
My Iftar experience at Panorama Restaurant can be likened to the very first time I tried out white-water rafting back home in New Zealand. I was so excited with the prospect of trying it out, that my friends and I chose to do Grade 5 rafting (the toughest level reserved for pros), and we started a whole fitness regime a month prior to the event. Once on the raft, our guide pushed us off into the ice-cold waters. His logic as that if we were to fall off any other time during the ride, it wouldn’t be such a shock to the system. My first encounter out of the raft was shock enough, and this made me cling on tightly the entire way through.
My white-water rafting experience was both exhilarating and memorable, and I still giggle about how the first dip in the waters ensured I stayed put on that raft!
Similarly, I was looking forward to the Iftar at Panorama Restaurant. The dishes I tried were delicious, and the overall ambiance was cozy and welcoming. However, given that long queue at the buffet counter, I filled up my plate the first time round and never ventured for seconds!
Pity that, as I seem to have missed out on a number of star dishes. My husband tells me the chicken tandoori was excellent, and he also vouches for their Arabic-style grilled fish fillets.
I enjoyed their white-sauce pasta with a generous helping of steamed vegetables. The Arabic-style meat pilaf is another dish I would highly recommend; a wonderfully hearty pilaf full on meaty goodness.
From the desserts aisle, we would highly recommend the very decadent Opera Cake.
I’m sure the mad rush we experienced at the Panorama Restaurant Iftar is not the norm. Given it was a media invite and so many had confirmed, the restaurant was running well beyond its capacity.
For an Iftar at Panorama Restaurant, I would advise booking a table well in advance.
The Iftar buffet at Panorama Restaurant, Emirates Grand Hotel costs AED 120 per person, and AED 60 for children aged between 7 to 11 years old. The buffet is free for children aged below six years, and for every group of 10, one guests dines for free. For more information, visit their website, or call 04 323 0000 for reservations.