Celebrating Khalifa’s Birthday:
Every year, I host 1-2 iftar gatherings for friends and family. This year, once again, my son Khalifa’s birthday happened to land on a day in Ramadan. Personally, I love that its been this way for the past couple of years because it makes it easier for me to organize.
I wanted it to be a very intimate gathering this year, with just close friends and family. We decided to have it at Bayside Restaurant in Steigenberger Hotel, which is located in Business Bay. I’ve been to the hotel several times (for Brothaus, the Spa, gatherings, etc.) , but this was actually the first time for me to try out Bayside Restaurant.
From my side, it literally required absolutely no preparations aside from booking Bayside Restaurant for 10 adults and 5 children, as well as letting them know what cake we wanted.
Yes, they do cakes. No, I’m not just talking about your basic buttercream roses and ‘Happy Birthday’ written in cursive. The hotel’s cake artist Nickola is INCREDIBLE at what she does. She made the exact cake that we wanted– a 4-tier dinosaur cake (oh yeah, that was the theme, by the way!), filled with plenty of foliage, hand-made dinosaurs of all kinds, a dinosaur-themed ‘4’ and a volcano to top it off.
Its the mother of all dinosaur cakes! My son was OBSESSED with it and was sitting next to it the entire evening.
Our table was a long row, and although it was in the open next to the other tables and buffet, it felt like we did have our own personal space.
Since it was just a small gathering, I just got some dinosaur table decor from Party Center (we always go to the one in Media City), and arrived about 15 minutes before iftar to decorate the table to the theme. To be honest, I had my heart set on this giant 5-foot dinosaur balloon from there but it wouldn’t fit in the car! We ended up having to get a smaller version, but it did the trick.
The hotel’s staff were so helpful in setting up and placing things where they needed to be.
The Iftar Spread:
Bayside Restaurant is the Steigenberger’s all day dining buffet restaurant, and during Ramadan its where the iftars are held. I LOVED the buffet spread because there were so many different things but it wasn’t an overwhelming amount. They’ve got different areas for the Arabic mezzes, salads, fried starters, a great variety of mains, a full lamb ouzi, mixed grills, shawarma, a selection of desserts (including pannacota, rose cheesecake, all kinds of cakes, Arabic desserts, fresh fruits, etc.) and a variety of Ramadan drinks.
The food was great, but what I liked most about this iftar is that lasts until 10.30pm. All of the iftar buffets that I’ve been to before this one, last only until 9pm max (some even 8.30pm)! Because I’m fasting, by the time I’m done with starters, I’m already full! This iftar is the only one where I went back for a second round and thats because I actually had time to digest and get a bit hungry again around 9.30pm. I think the time frame is incredibly generous of them, and it allows you to be able to spend more time with your family and friends over good food, instead of being rushed out.
If you’re hosting a restaurant birthday party (whether its in Ramadan or not), this is your one stop shop! They have great food, a comfortable vibe, the staff are super helpful AND their cake artist is beyond talented and can make your cake wishes come to life! P.S. The cake itself tasted SO good too. It was of those layered creamy, chocolatey cakes that you want to enjoy with a cold glass of milk. Mmmmmmm.
Location and Contact:
Steigenberger Hotel is located in Business Bay. You can call them at +971 4 369 0000. Their website is: Steigenberger Business Bay.