~ By Mariam Khawer – Guest Reviewer
Last week we were invited to the Iftar Preview at Al Majlis at The Oberoi. My dinner companion and I received the warmest and most hospitable welcome by the Head Chef, Mr. Vishal Khulbe and his staff. To summarize the review – the evening turned out to be one of the finest culinary experiences for us!
While giving us the tour of the lavishly displayed buffet, Chef Vishal educated us about the staff’s adaptation of the SLOW (sustainable, local, organic and wholesome) food policy. The purpose behind the philosophy is to embrace the spirit of Ramadan and partner with the Al Dhara Agriculture farm in Al Ain, in lending a helping hand to the local farmers by sourcing fresh and handpicked produce from them.
After the brief tour we were left to try out the copious amounts of food At AED 195 per person you’ll be presented with a wide range of ambrosial delicacies such as Arabic Mixed Grill, Murgh Makhni, samosas, lamb kibbeh and hand rolled maki rolls to name just a few.
My personal favorites and recommendations would unquestionably be the pasta with mushroom sauce and the pan seared fish with lemon and butter sauce. The pasta, made in white sauce and vegetables, was super creamy, whereas the fish had a fantastic buttery flavor and a lemony after-taste 😮 Moreover, I also enjoyed the succulent and juicy grilled beef tenderloin with mushroom sauce! ❤️ Another interesting trial was the signature slow-cooked ‘Tagine’; a Middle Eastern stew like dish, named after the earthenware pot in which it is cooked. The aesthetically pleasing Arabic cheese station is also a must try for all cheese lovers out there. The selection included Akawi (a white brine cheese), Shanklish (cheese made out of cow’s milk) and Halloumi. Perhaps the only dish I didn’t enjoy was the ‘Ouzi’ (roasted baby lamb with flavored rice and nuts).
After an entire day of abstinence from food and drinks you will definitely crave an instant ‘pick-me-up’ drink to quench your thirst – the menu’s three immensely refreshing drinks will do just that. The drinks offered are Qamar-Al-Din (prepared from dried apricot paste), Tamar Hind (a popular Ramadan drink made of tamarind and Jallab. The evening ended with trying out their range of delectable, artisanal desserts including basbousa, assorted baklava, kattayef and plenty others.
Chef Vishal also made us try the extraordinary liquid nitrogen meringue, which left a sweet yet tingling flavor and sensation in my mouth due to the nitrogen fumes coming out! Ultimately, the star of the evening was the Camel Milk Gelato in Saffron and Honey, Date and Plain camel milk flavors. I would any day opt for the silky, smooth and glorious ‘date’ flavored gelato.
The Oberoi is a must try for people whose palates are hard to please! So this Ramadan head over to Al Majlis at The Oberoi and let your mind and stomach go through a soulful experience 🙂