Grand Iftar Buffet at Liwan Restaurant at Al Ghurair Rayhaan by Rotana

On the second day of Ramadan, I was invited at a press and blogger Iftar dinner buffet.

Iftar or "breakfast" refers to the evening meal when fasting Muslims break their fast at sundown. It is one of the religious observance of Ramadan and it is done with the family or with the community.

Liwan Restaurant at Al Ghurair Rayhaan by Rotana lavishly prepares sumptuously rich Iftar meals every night for the whole month of Ramadan. Join them for Iftar for AED 149/person or Suhoor at AED 100/ person and get a chance to be one of the daily lucky winners with weekend stays and meal vouchers for 2 or be the grand prize winner of 2 business class airline tickets with Turkish Airlines.

I arrived thirty minutes early for Iftar at Liwan. The facade of the restaurant was in silhouette as the sun shines behind the stained glass which gave it this golden glow.


Inside Liwan, the setting sun was in all its splendor


Tables are set exquisitely with candles already burning inside brightly colored brass lamps, silky red table runners and a wooden box filled with nuts and dried fruits, sumptuously looking dishes are served and last minute preps are made while waiting for Maghrib prayers to be followed by breaking of the fast.

the staff pouring some olive oil into the humus 
He was snap happy while showing me this enormous cylindrical tray of lamb ouzi before anyone else could lay their forks in it.


When we're about to start with the cold mezze and appetizers we have gathered on our plate, this gentleman approached us to serve some steaming hot Arabic coffee and dates.


Then I remember how my brother used to break his fast. He will eat two or three dates and drink some milk first. He would wait for five minutes or so before having a proper meal. He said dates have natural sugars and it keeps the blood sugar on normal levels once you break the fast and it is gentle on the stomach.

I love dates even the fresh ones but I confess that this is the first time (there is always a first time) I am tasting Arabic coffee. I should say that dates and Arabic coffee goes well together, just like chocolates, they're both bitter and sweet.

On with our appetizers, my friend Roselle of Kero's Celebration and I shared a plate of cold mezze (moutabal and tabouleh), labneh balls with zaatar, fattoush salad, some maki rolls and sliced fresh vegetables.


The expansive restaurant was completely dressed and beautifully accessorized in Arabian theme with wooden camels, brightly colored Moroccan style brass lamps with candles lit inside it, spices in woven cloth buckets, golden lamps in different sizes and staff wearing traditional Arab clothing.





The restaurant was already buzzing when we got up for our second plate. Also live Arabic music is being played on the background



chicken kadai, Iranian mix grill, baked chicken w/ haara, green beans and cauliflower, spring roll and labneh filled pastry
There was so much to chose from, they even had a shawarma station







Dessert was a gorgeous display of cakes, pastries and Arabic sweets.


Iftar at Liwan was made even sweeter bonding with friends and meeting new ones that I only get to meet online. Finally shake hands with Ion Gonzaga of Boy Dubai and Mitz of Mitzee Mee. I didn't know PinayFlyingHigh was also there, would love to meet her too.

Thank you Ferry for inviting us, I had such a wonderful night. Love this photo of selfie with the bloggers



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