[Little Bite] Restaurant Review: Qbara – Iftar Menu

Photo courtesy of Qbara

Photo courtesy of Qbara

Another spiritual season is upon us, whether you are fasting or not this Ramadan there is a common denominator among us for the next four weeks and that of course is, food. As the sun sinks over the horizon and that call to prayer echos throughout the city, you will find those fasting or not gathered to feast. Most of the five star establishments in town have pitched their extravagant tents and others are embracing the holy month sans the fabric facade all with the sole purpose of serving up their rendition of IftarQbara, a restaurant known for making a statement, is a front runner in embracing exotic Middle Eastern flavors which is exactly what they have done for their upcoming Iftar menu.

A sneak peak of the five-course sharing style menu last week proved delightful with a few standout dishes boasting local flair with ingredients like camel milk, saffron, Yemani honey and rose water. Don’t fill up on the mezza offering which included chickpea hummus, pureed butter beans with feta and zaatar alongside a garlicky baba ganoush with pomegranate and toasted walnuts, my personal favorite. The selection of soup that followed was among the Iftar highlights, the Lentil Soup with a squeeze of grilled lemon was a sure thing as well as the Moroccan classic Harira Soup generously laced with minced lamb. Although the crispy soft shell crab saj soaked in garlic and harissa will earn your attention, be sure to save space for the sublime lamb shoulder which was marinated and slow cooked over a 48-hour period.

Qbara saved the best for last though, the grand finale came in the form of mahalabiya brulee and chocolate katayef, a true testament to what Qbara does best and that is reinventing classic Arabic dishes. The traditional Ramadan dessert, katayef, was almost unrecognizable as the dumpling swapped the conventional cream filling for chocolate custard and walnuts with orange essence, perhaps – dare I say it – better than the original rendition. The Mahalabiya Brulee, a classic milk custard, was transformed into a camel milk custard with raspberry jelly and pistachio praline hidden beneath the caramelized surface and left us gushing with glee. For only AED 245 per person, Qbara’s avant-garde Iftar and glamorous ambiance is well worth every penny.

Ramadan Kareem!

Click here to read my previous review on Qbara.

Soft shell crab saj

Crispy Soft Shell Crab Saj – Photo courtesy of Qbara

Photo courtesy of Qbara

Harira Soup – Photo courtesy of Qbara

Slow Cooked Lamb Shoulder - Photo courtesy of Qbara

Slow Cooked Lamb Shoulder – Photo courtesy of Qbara

Mahalabiya Brûlée with Camel Milk - Photo courtesy of Qbara

Mahalabiya Brûlée with Camel Milk – Photo courtesy of Qbara

Chocolate Katayef - Photo courtesy of Qbara

Chocolate Katayef – Photo courtesy of Qbara

Qbara Iftar 2015 - print-1

Menu courtesy of Qbara

Menu courtesy of Qbara

Menu courtesy of Qbara

DISCLAIMER: I was a guest at Qbara to sample their new Iftar menu however as always, all opinions expressed here are purely my own.