If you’re bored of the lanterns, shisha smoke and buffet queues then The Ivy’s iftar option is the way to go. It’s served to the table and features all the traditional Middle Eastern flavours, but with the refined style that the eatery is known for. Proceedings kick off with mezze and the addition of more bulgur wheat and a luscious confit lemon and mint makes for a creamy tabbouleh that’s not like any you’ve tasted before. The fattoush and hummus are well-executed and tasty, but not out of the ordinary. The harissa with chickpeas and feta is a bit overwhelming making the tabbouleh the star of the mezze show. Moving to mains, the pan-fried Sultan Ibrahim steaks served atop a seafood machboos (aromatic Arabic rice) is an absolute winner. The rice is fragrant with cardamom and cinnamon and interspersed with meltingly tender calamari. The lamb chops are equally impressive, they’re a generous portion of four, coated with sumac (possibly my favourite of the Arabic spice arsenal) and beautifully caramelised. The dessert plate is presented with The Ivy’s typical finesse with delicately sliced fruit drizzled with passion fruit juice and dotted with pomegranate seeds. The date and toffee pudding sounds as good as it tastes and is feather-light, and not cloyingly sweet. For an understated iftar without the bustle of the buffet crowd, this is a sophisticated choice.
INFO: Everyday from 7pm to 11pm, Dhs190, The Ivy, The Boulevard, Jumeirah Emirates Towers, www.theivy.ae, 04 319 8767.