Dubai Consumer Mirror

Friday, September 19, 2008

Review: Diwan Al Khayal Ramadan Tent

We joined a couple of friends for Sohour last night. We didn’t make any reservations anywhere and since it was a spur of the moment kindda thing, we didn’t have much options on a late Friday night in Ramadan.

A friend noted that Diwan Al Khayal Ramadan Tent at The Jumeirah Beach Hotel had a first-come-first-serve policy and doesn't do any table reservations. So, we had no where else to go, and nothing to lose.

The Venue
We got there. From the outside, the tent looked enormous. The place had a blue light effect that casted shadows off mounted arabesque lanterns. This gave the whole place a very cool East-meets-West aura around it.

At the entrance, a smiling waitress welcomed us with a silver trey of clean refreshing towels. The reception area was wide and oval. Sofas were scattered around the reception area for the gusts waiting for their tables.

We got our name on the list and were told that it might take an hour for them to find us a table. Again, we had no were to go. So we decided to stick around. The waiting area was very comfortable and spacious. Waves of cold glassed of fresh water kept coming in and we nibbled on premium quality dates through out the wait.

Almost 1 hr later, they found us a table and we were escorted in.

Our table was great. There was live relaxing music playing in the background. It was loud enough for use to enjoy it, while maintaining a civilized conversation over a game of cards.

The Food
The menu had a generous variety of Ramadan specialties. We ordered Arabic pastries (cheese, meat and spinach), Fattet Hoummos, Falafel, Shwarma and za3tar Saj platter. We ordered a wave of drinks that came very quickly, and shisha was there on the spot.

The food, to be honest, wasn’t that great; but I can’t say it was bad. The pastries and Fattet el hommous were warm-ish. The za3tar Saj platter was a bit dry and chewy and the Shawrma sandwiches had very vey little shawarma in them. Also, portions aren’t generous at all making value for money more toward the 'poor' zone.

But the service, on the other hand, was first class!

Typically, Ramadan tents are known to be underserviced and it would take you sometimes ages to spot a waiter, let alone attracting his attention. But not in Diwan Al Khayal.

Our waiter was always visible for us to see (and call when needed). There were runners (people who deliver orders) all over the place and senior maître d's were regularly spotted wandering around the place. Food was delivered on the spot and check came very quick. The waiters were friendly and attentive.

Can’t say the place is cheap though, but in comparison with the other Ramadan Tents out there, Diwan Al Khayal offers you a great deal. There is a minimum charge of Dhs 100 per head during the weekend and I think its Dhs 75 on weekdays. The charge covers everything (food, drinks and shisha).


Verdict
The place is definitely worth a return visit. But since they don’t take reservations, go there early or expect an hour wait. Avoid the pre-prepared snakes and stick to made-to-order dishes (grills and so forth).

Jumeirah Hospitality Group has a great reputation to keep and with Diwan Al Khayal Ramadan Tent, the group is taking no chances to compromise on that reputation with a tent that offers good food, chilled out ambiance and exceptional service.

3 Comments:

  • I wish there is a place where you rent a table by the hour and you get your own food with ya! "shisha 3aleina el akl 3aleik" kinda thing!

    By Blogger KJ, at September 21, 2008 at 12:24 AM  

  • Mthl follow-up post welah tents are too enticing nowadays lol

    By Blogger i*maginate, at September 21, 2008 at 6:33 AM  

  • interesting reviews ya Mory, I was thinking the other day: why don't restaurants/hotels keep the ramadan rituals (open buffet, tents...etc...) till after ramadan?

    I mean, the public demand for those during the month is outstanding, sometimes you have to make bookings 1 week in advance!

    The lebanese restaurant where i am breaking my fast is always quite crowded, it's almost like a stampede over the food around the iftar time. I am specially annoyed by those couple of asian women who, although not fasting, they push and shove and scramble for food like it's famine...:P

    By Blogger DUBAI JAZZ, at September 23, 2008 at 7:39 AM  

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