We were invited to a mock-Iftar party at Al Khaimah last night. Located in one of Dubai’s oldest hotel establishments, Al Khaimah at the Arabian Courtyard Hotel & Spa is a spacious banquet hall that has been accentuated with beautiful Arabesque decor. The interiors look rather vintage, and have these gorgeous Aladdin lamps and Persian carpets displayed at every corner.
Unlike many other hotels who have to revamp their space for that localized touch this Ramadan, Al Khaimah already has the much sought-after look and feel of the season.
The buffet has a number of Arabic favorites, as well as mouth-watering delicacies from the Indian subcontinent.
My favorites from the night included Al Khaimah’s Mutton Haleem, the Machboos pilaf, and the Mutton Afghani Tikka.
Haleem, the slow-cooked porridge-like broth made of wheat, lentils and meat, is my all-time favorite comfort food. It is also a traditional staple at Iftar tables in the Indian subcontinent, and I love having it topped up with a generous pile of fried onion, a squeeze of fresh lemon, a few sprigs of coriander, and a sprinkle of a special Haleem masala blend. The haleem at Al Khaimah took me back to fond memories around the Iftar table with close friends and family.
Machboos is a traditional Emirati rice pilaf. I have had it on a number of occasions, but the one at Al Khaimah was absolutely divine. Loaded with almond and pine-nuts, the pilaf takes on a deliciously golden brown caramelized colouring that makes it aesthetically very pleasing.
At our table, everyone was raving about Al Khaimah’s Mutton Afghani Tikka. Marinated in a succulent blend of aromatic spices, these kebabs took on an absolutely luscious melt in the mouth consistency. I could easily have a whole plateful of these as a meal in itself!
From the dessert aisle, don’t miss out on Al Khaimah’s Badami Kheer (an Indian rice pudding loaded with the delectable goodness of ground almond) and the sweet, moreishly warm Gulab Jamuns.
Priced at AED 85 per person (AED 43 for children over 5), the Al Khaimah iftar is scheduled to run daily for the month of Ramadan from 7 pm to 10 pm. Al Khaimah’s buffet has a delicious variety of treats to satisfy the entire family. The ambiance is warm and hospitable, and makes for the ideal venue to entertain a crowd this holy season.