i am no food blogger. but i do love food. good food. and when you combine great personal style with amazing middle eastern cuisine, it can only be described as pure perfection. i was recently invited to a small gathering to dine at QBARA and experience their upcoming iftar menu. for those of you outside, “iftar” is a religious observance and is often done as a community, with people gathering together to break their fast. so you can just imagine how many restaurants in dubai hold special iftars during this season.
it was my first time at this contemporary lifestyle restaurant that boasts of the most gorgeous interior. i was mesmerized by the mix of cultural elements and ultra-contemporary design. as for the food, we were served with the upcoming iftar menu – an avant-garde twist to traditional favorites from the gulf, levant to moroco and turkey. excitement filled the air as we waited for each course.
ON THE TABLE
olives | dates | arabic bread selection | olive oil and wild zaatar dip | chickpea hummus | butter bean, feta and zaatar crush | haydari, labneh, citrus and mint | baba ganoush, pomegranate and toasted walnuts | middle eastern pickles | antep ezme and crispy lavash bread
SOUPS TO CHOOSE
qbara harira soup | chicken and vermicelli soup with iranian saffron | lentil soup with crusty bread
WARM MIDDLE COURSE
falafel salad with chargrilled gems, cucumber and tahini tarator | chargrilled chicken and leek skewers with yemini honey and aleppo chilli salt | crispy soft shell crab saj with garlic and harissa
slow cooked lamb shoulder marinated with yoghurt and herbs, onions three ways | grilled chillean seabass harra | qbara oriental rice with pistachios and pine nuts | grilled vegetables mechouia
umali with rose water custard | chocolate katayef, walnut and candied orange | mahalabiya brulee with camel milk, raspberry jelly and pistachio praline
what did i enjoy most? well my personal favorite would be the mains – that lamb shoulder was cooked perfectly and you could hear all of us with those oohhh and ahhh noises which can only mean good things. that seabass was so good and spicy, and believe me, my palette was so happy coz this gal loves all things spicy. it both went so well with that oriental rice that till now, i am itching to learn on how to make. and gosh, that dessert. the chocolate katayef was the stand alone winner for all of us but that brulee with camel milk was just way too good not mention – it was my first time to have something with camel milk and surprisingly loved it.
now, with food like that…i am one happy woman.
it was surely a great twist to the usual middle eastern food i have had previously and absolutely loved each and everything i tried that evening. definitely a great recommendation for an iftar gathering if you are here in the sandpit – fabulous ambiance, amazing food and great service too.