THERE are tantalising Turkish delights in store for visitors to the stunning Al Areen Palace & Spa’s Qasr Al Sultan Ramadan tent.
You’ll find the marvellously mustached Chef Ali working tirelessly stoking the hot coals for the Shish Kebabs as slices of succulent pieces of shawarma are carved on to plates alongside majestically marinated chicken sizzled to perfection close-by on a pan.
That alone must conjure up images of fast-breaking brilliance and the spread of more Arabic and Asian fare, with other international selection presented along long buffet tables, just add to the delight.
Executive Chef Janardan Das and his talented team of chefs have conjured up several staple dishes as you would expect at this time of year, including everyone’s favourite, Leg of Lamb Qoozi.
The Chicken Biryani was outstanding but my dish of the formal opening event last Saturday evening was a gorgeous Turkish green beans dish called Zeytinyağlı Taze Fasulye.
You may recall that GulfWeekly recently highlighted the resort’s grand launch of its newly-improved and rebranded health club, Fitness For Life, with celebrity guests, sporting challenges and family fun.
The concept cleverly continues with a special station of healthy fare amongst the choices of cuisine. For many observers it can be hard to understand that many people actually put on weight during this month.
Today, we hear so many wellness types banging on about how eating in a condensed period is great for weight loss, fat reduction and lean muscle maintenance – but Ramadan doesn’t work like that.
Traditional foods are often calorific and it’s hard to turn your nose up at dishes that your family enjoys or not eat at a time when everyone else is. And, this is where Chef Das has come up with the perfect plan – a range of tempting filling food that will not put on the calories.
The fresh Quinoa Salad is a fine example. Grown in South America for thousands of years, quinoa formed the staple diet of the Incas and their descendants. In recent years, foodies across the globe have heralded it as a superior alternative to bulgur wheat, couscous and rice. Though it often occupies a similar role to these grains in dishes, quinoa is actually a seed from the same family as beets, chard and spinach.
It makes the perfect marriage, in my opinion, to the wonderful live Turkish meat pieces being prepared on the live stations outside. Chicken and Quinoa Salad were simply made for each other.
And, of course, eating healthily means you can cheat a little when it comes to dessert. The fresh fruit slices sat happily on my bowl with a helping of Turkish homemade ice-cream produced by a mad hatter host, tantalising and teasing guests with his quick-handed tricks at the station. Guaranteed to raise a smile.
The Qasr Al Sultan the Ramadan tent’s contemporary design with traditional Turkish elements make for a stunning affair this season, with a musical fusion of sounds produced by a talented do playing traditional instruments.
The Ramadan buffet takes place daily from sunset until 9pm pm and ghabga or suhoor from 9.30pm until 3am.
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Stanley Louis Szecowka
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