“May the sweets of Iftar make your life more sweeter in every possible way.” Unknown
Iftar at Byblos Sur Mer, the standalone two-story Lebanese fine-dining restaurant located at the Intercontinental Abu Dhabi is a classy affair. Executive Chef Dany Kattar and his team have excelled yet again this year with both the presentation and flavours of classic Arabic dishes reinterpreted with a modern twist.
The large lavish ground floor restaurant has been transformed for Ramadan with the addition of the spacious Sahaara Tent that seats over three hundred people for both Iftar and Suhoor celebrations. The media Iftar we attended included a selection of mezzeh and main course dishes all served sharing style to the table with Ramadan drinks of jallab and fresh juices.
Although mezzeh is a recurring option at most Iftar’s, the hot and cold selection at Byblos is especially delicious and my favourite veggie dishes included Ajami that combines eggplant puree with fried eggplant, molasses and walnuts along with crispy coriander and green chilli flavoured fried potatoes. The range of dishes included a choice of soups with the lentil option proving the most popular on our table, meat and vegetarian Arabic savouries such as kebbeh, sambousek, fatayer and raqaqat as well as Arabic breads complemented with fresh salads including tabbouleh and fattoush and a wide range of grilled meats and fish. Lobster kibbeh featured as an extravagant and modern take on a traditional favourite.
A wide variety of dessert options were served as a buffet, most notably a tower of baklava arranged in layers much like a jenga puzzle alongside with milk rice puddings, one flavoured with nutella and decorated with macarons, another topped with oreo’s and marshmallows. The five tier colourful nougatine shawarma was a talking point combining flavours of pistachio, hazelnut, and walnut creations carved in slices by the chef like it’s meat counterpart. There was a generous selection of fresh fruit platters, a chocolate fountain surrounded by chests of dates, nuts and Arabic sweets. The evening concluded with the serving of Moroccan tea in traditional silver ornate teapots and colourful tea glasses.
With an enviable waterfront location, the Sahaara Tent is a plush affair with a comfortable lounge type seating and tonal coloured cushions. The restaurant itself is decorated with lanterns, flowers, authentic rugs and textiles and a beautiful floral crescent moon takes pride of place at the dessert buffet.
Whether your table is in the elegant restaurant itself or the attached Sahaara tent, Byblos can accommodate larger groups or host much smaller more intimate gatherings. I can thoroughly recommend a visit to experience for yourself the intense flavours and modern concept of traditional and authentic Lebanese dining at Iftar and Suhoor served daily throughout the Holy Month.
Byblos Sur Mer
Location: Intercontinental Hotel Abu Dhabi
Telephone: 02 666 6888
Ramadan Opening Times: Daily from sunset to 3:00am
Iftar: AED 225* per person including Ramadan beverages
Suhoor: AED 60* per person (a la carte menu also available)
I was invited to attend this Iftar. All the views are all my own. Unless otherwise stated, all photos on this page © Jo Brett 2016. All rights reserved. Additional photos used courtesy of www.intercontinental.com
*Prices are subject to 10% service charge, 6% tourism fee and 4% municipality fee