I always like to host at least one nice iftar during the month of Ramadan. This Ramadan, however, snuck up on us so fast– I didn’t have time to plan it at all, and to throw another curve ball into the mix, my son’s third birthday was also in Ramadan! I decided to hit two birds with one stone, and do a birthday party for him as well as an iftar at the same time. Sounds like a great plan right? Well its alot easier said than done, especially when you’ve got a beyond full time job with a 3-year old and an infant at home. I knew that I had to find a good catering company, and thats where Shakespeare and Co. comes in.
How I Found Out About Them:
We go to Shakespeare and Co. all the time– meals, shisha nights, ladies coffee mornings, etc. I knew that they did some catering, but I had no idea about the extent of their services. I was put in contact with them and the lovely Leizl, who is in charge of catering, got back to me in no time.
The Planning and Preparation:
After speaking with her briefly about the event and what I had in mind, she sent me an email with all of Shakespeare and Co.’s catering food. I’ve gotten catering done before from many other companies, but none of them were as extensive as the catering menus from this team. She sent me 11 different menu attachments, and one of them was a list that is 18 pages long, filled with all of the different dishes that they offered to cater. Oh, and those 18 pages did not have a single picture in them– so you can just imagine how many items they offer!
Here is a Catering Brochure that gives you an overview of what they can provide, but for more information and the complete menus, get in touch with them directly (email@example.com).
She gave me the freedom to choose anything that I liked off of the menu and didn’t force a set buffet or menu, which is quite common with many caterers in Dubai. Leizl was very flexible and worked with me to tailor the perfect iftar buffet spread. After several emails back and forth, and a few phone calls in between, we came up with the final spread. It literally took less than 2 days, because she and her team were so on top of their game with responding to emails and calls. Here is what the final menu looked like:
I decided that I would feel most comfortable if the Shakespeare catering team came out and saw the venue before the day of the event. I booked Khalifa’s birthday party at Fun Works in Yas Mall (amazing place for kids parties, by the way!) and I wanted to make sure that they would have enough space in their party room for everything.
Prakash, the Catering Manager, and his colleague Shiam came out to Yas Mall, and even before I met with them at Fun Works, they had already gone to the mall management office, figured out all of the paperwork and permits that they needed provide, and found out where they should do the loading and unloading on the day of the event.
At the venue, all we had to do was take a look at it and see what would be the best place to put the buffet and tables. Since Fun Works only provides seating for kids, Shakespeare provided us with tables and chairs for adults, their gorgeous signature table set up, cutlery, plates, glasses, wait staff and bartending staff (for mocktails and virgin mojitos– no, nobody was trying to booze it up in a kids party at iftar, haha). We also decided to add dates and qahwa (Arabic coffee) to the menu, since its for iftar.
I literally had less than 2 weeks until the party and was stressed out about getting everything together, but after meeting with Prakash, I really truly felt a huge weight lifted off of my shoulders.
Preparation on the Day of the Event
Iftar happens around 7pm, but the Shakespeare and Co. catering team had been working since around 3.30! I didn’t even get to the event until 5.30pm (guests were expected to arrive at 6 because thats when the kids activities would start), and by the time I got there, they were putting finishing touches on to everything.
This team really knows how to make sure that their clients feel at ease! I get so nervous sometimes when I see that catering and events teams rushing around last minute to make things happen, but they were so on top of their game. It was the first time that I was putting an event together and didn’t feel an ounce of nervousness.
The decor and their set up was absolutely gorgeous. The venue was a kids place, so I didn’t really care about the colors or any of that, but they did an amazing job of decorating everything beautifully. The dining tables had gorgeous center pieces and the outside of the party room had cocktail tables at the entrance (for parents who wanted to keep an eye on their little ones playing without having to leave the party room area).
The buffet was laid out beautifully! Beyond any way that words can describe it, so I’ll just have to show you the pictures:
They also laid out the cake table at the front of the room. I ordered the birthday cake from a different place, but I made sure to include some of Shakespeare and Co.’s deliciously famous desserts in the spread.
People are raving about the food to this day (2 weeks after the event). No joke– I just had a friend yesterday tell me that she was planning on using them for a bridal shower that she’s throwing in a couple of months. Here is a little video that I’ve posted on to Instagram, to give you a quick look into what we had.
We eat with our eyes first, and this was a feast to be seen. Everything was beautifully presented. The food all tasted amazing, which is no surprise, as everyone knows that Shakespeare and Co. has great quality food.
Now, the most impressive thing (that I wasn’t expecting) about the food was the amazing quantity. We had booked for around 25 adults (the kids had a separate catering company), and they told me that it would be enough for around 30 people. They were wrong! It was seriously enough for 50 people. Every one of my guests ate plentifully (Alhamdulillah); every that helped set up the party (from several different companies) ate to their heart’s content, and on top of that almost every single person took food home with them for Suhoor. Can you believe that?!
One of my biggest fears when throwing a party is running out of food, and Shakespeare’s catering team goes way above and beyond to make sure that doesn’t happen. They are truly incredible especially when it comes to generous portions.
Desserts are one of my most favorite things from Shakespeare, and a lot of the time we go to the restaurant just for tea and cakes. My absolute most favorite cake in the world is their Melissa Cake, its freakin’ deviiiine! They describe it as “macaronade biscuit, chocolate sponge biscuit filled with chocolate coffee mousse and coffee cream and mini chocolate macaron on top” and I sum that up as ‘mouth-watering’. I had to make sure that was available for the guests, so they brought 2 cakes which was enough for 25 people.
We also had some other desserts which included mini chocolate tarts, Paris Brest and a fresh fruit platter (for the health nuts). Again, this was all for the adults, as the kids had their own cake, the birthday cake, which came from another bakery.
I wanted the drinks to be special and not just a run-of-the-mill orange juice and water. We decided to go for pink lemonade, watermelon juice and passion fruit mojitos, but the team actually ended up bringing different flavor syrups for the virgin mojitos. That was amazing because it gave the guests more variety to choose from, and the mojitos were a huge hit! They even set up a little bar area with a ‘bartender’!
The Wait Staff
The entire crew that came that day was a team of 6 people, and most of them were wait staff. This team was so professional in everything that they did. They were the definition of flawless. They noticed when something needed to be done, and did everything timely and professionally. Each one of them was kind and friendly and together they worked very smoothly! Shiam, who lead them is really great at what he does.
The Special Touches
Shakespeare’s catering does all sorts of events, from corporate gatherings to house parties. Knowing that my event was a kid’s party and that my son loves Spiderman, they even brought a stand-up banner saying “Happy Birthday Khalifa” with a picture of spiderman on it!
How sweet and thoughtful is that?! It really just goes to show that they really put thought and effort into whatever kind of event they are doing.
Like I said, Shakespeare and Co. does all sorts of catering, and they can work with your budget. They are incredibly flexible, so all you have to do is tell them your budget and they will craft a menu that works well with that.
Also, they can provide catering through an app, Bilbayt.com, and you can get AED 200 off of your first catering order (if you purchase for AED 500 or more), using the promo code ‘SHAKESPEARE’.
What Else You Might Not Know About Shakespeare and Co.
As far as food and beverage companies go, they really do it all, and they do it with their signature touch. Aside from having restaurants, cafes and shisha cafes all over the UAE and many other countries, they also have the amazing catering services like the what I’ve written about here. Along with that they have their retail side, which sells deliciously crafted chocolates and other sweet treats that can even be personalized!
Here are a few their gorgeous chocolate boxes that I have:
Their prices are incredibly reasonable and they are always teaming up with brands like Entertainer to give their customers even better value for their money!
Also, if you’re in love with their furniture designs and signature decor like I am, you can actually get tailor-made furniture for events from them! They have a full team of designers, painters and carpenters who create their unique furniture.
Shakespeare and Co. is a very well-known brand in this region. We go to their restaurants almost on a weekly basis, but I really had no idea that they have so much more going on than just what you see in the restaurant. I’m so happy that I now know about their catering services because I will definitely be using them again, as well as recommending them to my friends and follower-friends!
To get in touch with Shakespeare and Co.’s catering team, email firstname.lastname@example.org or check out their website for more information: Shakespeare and Co. Website.