A GLUTEN-FREE IF­TAR? TRY IT HERE

If­tar buf­fets don’t usu­ally spell well­ness, but the new dusitD2 Kenz Ho­tel’s spread is one for those seek­ing out health this Ra­madan

Friday - - Leisure Charts -

The first thing that strikes you as you en­ter the re­cently opened dusitD2 Kenz Ho­tel is the feel­ing of light and space in this lit­tle gem, tucked away in the heart of Bar­sha Heights. This is the ho­tel’s first if­tar, and ex­ec­u­tive chef Terry Styles’ menu fo­cuses on well-be­ing and a health­ier life­style. It’s served in­side the ho­tel’s pretty white all-day-din­ing Mediter­ranean restau­rant, Ostro.

The menu is made up of a se­lec­tion of soups, sal­ads, cold mezze and Ara­bic and Mediter­ranean main dishes. Make a start to your if­tar with a cou­ple of dates, as rec­om­mended in the guide to Ra­madan on the ta­ble. Next, at the salad bar, the baked ar­ti­chokes and fen­nel will catch your eye. We love Mediter­ranean sal­ads – they’re a great starter, and we love the fresh and clean flavours. Add beet­root and honey-roasted pump­kin to your plate, and your vi­ta­min count will be on point.

The gluten-free op­tions on the main counter were a great sur­prise. Ev­ery­one seems to be gluten-free these days but for Fri­day’s re­viewer Mark, this was a plus, be­ing one of ‘those’ peo­ple. With gluten-free pasta al forno, veg­etable alla gril­lia, this menu is per­fect for ev­ery­one.

At the live cook­ing sta­tion, Fri­day was tempted by the spanako­pita (pic­tured top right) served with tzatziki, and roasted chicken with spicy rice. All of the dishes are dis­played in heavy pots, with handy signs that give a de­scrip­tion of each one, be­cause who wants to spend the evening lift­ing heavy lids?

To wash all this down is a se­lec­tion of juices and fruit in­fused wa­ters, along with a low-calo­rie la­ban. I love the at­ten­tion to health – it in no way com­pro­mises the taste of any of the dishes. I was din­ing with a cou­ple of friends that were ex­cited that the gluten-free, health­ier op­tions in­cluded the dessert trol­ley. Some­how, to my fel­low din­ers the no­tion of smaller, health­ier por­tions meant sev­eral trips. This unique din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for me was a per­fect bal­ance of tra­di­tional Mediter­ranean and Mid­dle Eastern food, in a re­laxed en­vi­ron­ment, and a per­fect start to Ra­madan.

Dh129 per per­son in­clud­ing wa­ter and Ra­madan juices; if­tar is served from sun­set un­til 9pm. Chil­dren un­der six years old dine for free (up to two chil­dren) and chil­dren be­tween 6-12 years old get 50 per cent off. Book 15 days ahead and pay Dh99 per per­son. Call 04 567 2222.

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