“CAMEL” got my attention. I went into some retrospection. 4 years in Dubai, and never tasted camel meat. And I had the audacity to call myself a foodie! Well, that had to be changed pronto. I hit the reply button on the invitation from Media One Hotel for their Bloggers and Media Iftar, where they promised to showcase their special camel meat ouzi, camel burgers and sausages, camel milk cheese and (ahem!) camel milk chocolate fountain.

First time in the Media One hotel, my husband and myself were pleasantly surprised at the ambience of the place and the quirky vibe it gave out. Living a hop, skip and jump distance away, we were abashed at ourselves for never having visited the hip hotel until then. It is one of those places that make you realize the importance good lighting has in creating the perfect setting. Mood-changing lights that goes from a funky green to psychedelic purple and calming blues, make sure there is no scope for monotony as you relax in the restaurant for hours.

Media One had a sassy eye for style. I loved the cutleries used and displayed around the restaurant. Together with the lighting, it made the food appear glamorous and chic. The miniature glasses were stylish and even better, ensured smaller portions, avoiding unnecessary wastage of food.

The Iftar buffet was compact – a welcome relief after the tiring and wasteful abundance of food seen in unnecessarily lavish buffets around Dubai. The hotel had their ideology clear : “Serve limited items of superior quality, rather than unlimited items of poor quality.” The stations starred cheeses, salads, cold cuts, hot foods, live-cooking grill, ouzi, shawarmas, desserts and juices. The dishes were baked, steamed or roasted, making it more wholesome and healthy compared to fried and oily food.

The quality of the food was one of the finest I had experienced amongst many Iftar buffets. The salad combinations were creative and well presented. The camel cheese didn’t work for me, however, I was head over heels for the camel sausages and burgers. My husband vowed to come back for more of the camel burgers, which he swore was the juiciest he’s bitten into. The camel ouzi was delicious, though the meat was not as tender as your ordinary lamb ouzi. Being a first timer with Camel ouzi, I can’t be the better judge.

Succulent shawarmas, very well made cheese manakeshes and juicy grills marked the spread. The brilliantly flavored Chicken with coriander & garlic delighted the spice-lover in me. White beans with meat, Cajun roasted potatoes and Cauliflower & fennel gratinated were all worthy of second helpings.

The dessert section was designed to capture the fancies of children and adults alike. Jellyshots, jellybeans and candies targeted to lure the young. Of sensational deliciousness were the Date & walnut cake, Fig & chocolate cake and the extra fluffy, extra decadent chocolate mousse.

A chat with the Executive Chef Girish Babu helped me understand the efforts behind the designing of their menu. It was especially delighting to find out that the man-in-charge hailed from the same homeland as myself…Kerala, God’s Own.

For 120 dhs per person, the Media One Iftar revolved around the concepts of ‘sustainability’ and ‘healthy’. Fabulous food served in beautiful ambience and on stylish cutleries with resolute cheerfulness – that is the MED Iftari for you.

You can reach Media One Hotel for reservations at 04 4271000. Ramadan Mubarak!