That Review: Iftar at Yas Viceroy, Abu Dhabi

After we discovered Iftar, it was safe to say that we were hooked. For those that didn’t read my last Iftar review (which is here) Iftar is the breaking of the fast when the sun sets during the month of Ramadan. It’s a time to sit with friends and family to celebrate. Most hotels and restaurants are offering a set menu or buffet style dining throughout the holy month, and we had a bit of a ‘wish-list’ as to where we wanted to go.

Now, I wish I could cope with these amounts of food for the whole 29-30 days of Ramadan, but it’s truly impossible even for me, so we’ve whittled it down to heading out to one (mayyyybe two) Iftar’s a week. This week was the turn of Origins Restaurant at Yas Viceroy.

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 Considering we have stayed so closed to the Viceroy both on the preview trip and this time around, we had always said that it was somewhere that we wanted to try. And even more so when we called to book for Iftar last week and were told that they were full. Always wanting what you can’t get, right?!

This week, we made a conscious effort to book 5 days in advance to ensure a table, and throughout the week I was becoming more and more annoying excited with the prospect of actually going inside and discovering what Yas Viceroy was all about.

I was actually quite giddy as the taxi drove us over the bridge (which meant over the Formula 1 race track!!!!) to the front doors of the hotel.

It was super pretty inside the MASSIVE reception, which was decorated beautifully with fresh flowers (which are changed daily) and golden lanterns hung from the ceiling. Origins restaurant was just to the side of reception, so we headed straight in and to our table (which was under Matt’s first name, and my last – interesting!)

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To Begin With…

…There were the traditional Ramadan juices. I braved it this time and tried the ‘Rose’ which looked a little less scary than some of the others – and to be fair, it was a delightfully sweet drink. Matt tried the orange one which was similar, but both were quite refreshing considering all we generally drink throughout the day is water.

We also had dates, apricots & figs on the table – a traditional way to break the fast slowly before heading into the main meal.

After this was the extensive mezze & salad bar, offering everything you would expect plus more! I’m not quite sure what’s what, but everything I tried was delightful. Plus there was the bread station – I really didn’t know where to start!! I went for couscous, rice, salad & olives with freshly cooked steak for my first course, along with a spinach fataeyer. The steak was cooked perfectly, and it was a great start to a long, slow meal with friends.

The service was great – our server topping up our waters swiftly and offering other drinks straight away – but I am glad that we’d been to an Iftar before, because our server didn’t explain anything to us about the concept or what was where. Looking like the tourist’s that we inevitably are at the moment, I’d almost expect someone just to ask whether we needed anything explained to us, but unfortunately this didn’t happen. Other than this though, the service was swift & very attentive.

Next Up…

…Were the masses of hot food available on 4 different stations. We had so many options to choose from, the whole group of us heading off in different directions to get our ‘main course’; shawarma being freshly carved, traditional whole lamb ouzi served with rice, falafel being cooked in front of our eyes, and plenty of other meats, mixed grills & curries to cater for all tastes. I went for a full range of meats, including tandoori chicken, lamb biryani and of course the ouzi. All very well cooked and extremely tasty.

The Best Bit..

…As always, in my mind, are the desserts – and the dessert station was endless!! There were mousses, cheesecake, fresh fruit, date cake (which I loved!!) Yas cake (which Matt loved) and plenty of others. The best thing about Iftar, and buffets in general, is that you can have a little bit of lots of things. We were the last group in the restaurant, but at 9.15pm there were still plenty of desserts to choose from.

All In All…

Our experience of Iftar at Yas Viceroy was fantastic. We enjoyed our second get-together with Matt’s colleagues and their families, and the food and atmosphere within Origins restaurant was absolutely perfect. Afterwards, we headed up to Skylite Bar (on the roof) for a quick drink and shisha – but you’ll be able to read a review of that soon, when we’ve managed to spend a nice evening up there.

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To book in for Iftar at Yas Viceroy, Yas Island, call +971 2 656 0600

Finally…

Our bucket list of Iftar’s that we’d like to attend is getting shorter, and with just a couple of weeks left we’ll hopefully be able to get to them.

– Olea @ St.Regis Saadiyat Island – DONE!!

– Origins @ Yas Viceroy – DONE!!

– The Latest Recipe @ Le Meridien – Going on Friday! Yay!

– The Pavilion @ Emirates Palace

xxxx