In our third review of what will be available this coming holy month, we sample a quality spread at Emirati restaurant Seven Sands.
Occupying the final unit next to the Sheraton on JBR’s vibrant The Beach development, this modern meets traditional restaurant remains something of an undiscovered gem for many.
Powered by national dishes updated and authentic, familiar and less so, it is one of the few places where you can truly taste some of the food of the country around us.
This elegant and sensibly planned buffet includes a few dishes that may not be on your Arabic food radar, presented in an atmosphere that is sophisticated yet relaxed.
Welcomed with Arabic coffee and dates on arrival, we’re led upstairs to a seating area with discreet and more public areas, including an outdoor terrace with stunning views of the emerging Ain Dubai wheel on Blue Waters Island.
The food is presented along a row of tables with desserts one end and soup, bread and salads at the other.
Central to it all is the – for many – star of the show; ouzi aishu lahem aka lamb ouzi.
Before all that, however, there’s green mango salad to be tried, houmous Beirute and a winning rich red mohamara with hot, puffed fresh pitas.
Potato marharnia adds further tasty texture to a mezze section that also offers Greek salad, zesty moutabal and individual pots of salad goodness.
Much about iftar is reward as well as sustenance, so Seven Sands balances healthy essentials with satisfying hot dishes and comfort food.
Before that indulgence, however, there are hot dishes to be explored, given a visual lift in elegant brass tureens.
Chicken madrouba is, we're told, a regular staple of Emirati dinner tables that has a porridge-like consistency – which can seem a little odd – but with lentils, oats and coriander leaves among the ingredients, is both substantial and tasty.
Rice-based fish machbous also hammers an appetite swiftly and sits well alongside thereed vegetables, a Bedouin stew that can be meat based but here offsets the proteins for some of the five a day requirement.
Seven Sands delivers another Emirati favourite, harees, which with its wheat and chicken staple components and colour resembles meat porridge. Again, if you’re unsure because of the structure, try it and the flavour soon over-rides any misgivings.
If you are after an experience as well as food befitting the season, this could prove a popular choice.
IFTAR will be served from sunset until 9pm daily. It costs AED 155 per person, including soft beverages; 50% off for children aged 6-12; children below six years dine for free.
THE suhour set menu includes traditional Emirati dishes such as fouga and harees, legemat sweets and creamy pumpkin, cardamom and saffron dessert aseeda bobar and will be served from 9pm onwards. It costs AED 147 per person. An a la carte menu will also be available.
FOR reservations, call 04 551 6652 or email email@example.com
FOR more information, visit www.sevensandsrestaurant.com
SEVEN Sands is also on the current Entertainer app for standard menu main meal options.