Tuesday, 1 July 2014

In today’s modern lifestyle, every member of the family is busy in their own ways. Not blaming them but that how the order of the day has become. The biggest fallout of this is probably family time during a meal. I still remember 15-20 years ago, how if not for every meal at least for dinner all of us assembled at the table and sat together talking about the day and enjoying the meal. But the bitter truth is today it evades most of us.

However there is one month of the year where this opportunity strikes for a sizeable section of us. Yes, I’m taking about the Holy month of Ramadhan. No matter how important a work is, as the time of sunset comes closer, the entire family is promptly settled on the table saying the prayers in unison and preparing ourselves to break the fasting that we set upon at dawn.

Traditionally, the fast is opened by consuming a portion of dates along with the Holy Zam Zam water but because Zam Zam water is a scarcity in India (Until unless you’ve had someone who had recently visited the Holy city of Makkah) regular water suffices the ritual. After the opening of fast, depending on each family’s tradition, a variety of snacks, sweets and juices follow. Some of the common dishes are Samosa, Spring Roll, Vada, Bhajji, Cutlet, Flavoured Agar Agar, Roohafza (A variant of Rose Milk), Nonbu Congee (A special variety in comparison to the traditional Congee) amongst others.

Now for those who are non-natives of Chennai and observing fast, it becomes a challenge as getting all savoury, sweet and drinks at a single place become difficult as most restaurants are non-functional around that time. But thanks to the advent of a slack of Arabian themed restaurants in Chennai, this problem has found a permanent solution. Until a few years ago, a handful of restaurants had something known as the Iftar Pack and to the best of my knowledge Hotel Blue Diamond was probably the first. But now the options have become unlimited. Almost every restaurant now has a special pre-packed pack that can be picked up from the restaurant and the fast opened at the convenience of one’s accommodation. Curious on knowing how each pack differs from the others, I’ve decided to check out on some of them during this year’s Ramadhan. The first of which was today from Zaitoon.
(Iftar Pack)
Zaitoon’s Iftar pack comprises of
  • Dates
  • Bottle of Water
  • Cut Fruits
  • Lemon flavoured Juice
  • Mini Shawarma
  • Koji Rice with Laham (Mutton)
  • Parotta
  • Chicken Curry
  • Kubus with a quarter piece of Grilled Chicken accompanied with Garlic paste
  • Savoury Puff
  • Haleem
  • Gulab Jamun
  • Payasam

(Iftar Pack Opened)
The offering is quite extensive and must say that it was a complete meal by itself. Some highlights of the pack are that the lemon flavoured juice was indeed a Lemon flavoured Tata Gluco+ water. Although it can be deceiving from being a juice, it was a good alternative because the body does need that extra bit of energy after being on a fast for more than 14 hours. The mini Shawarma was not mini in a big way. It was the regular sized roll with slightly less amount of filling. The rice was spectacular as always while I felt the Parotta to be a little hard and doughy inspite of heating the same. The curry was appropriate but my only issue was that it was way too much to be eaten with a single parotta. Perhaps it can be used along with some Bread/Chapathi/Rice for the pre-fast meal. The grilled chicken was the usual fare. The puff was a bit flaky to my liking while the Jamun and the Payasam were just fine. Another standout in the pack was the Haleem which incidentally tasted much better than the one that most people usually head to in Egmore. I’m yet to try it out from there this year but if it tastes the same as last year, then I think we have winner at Zaitoon.
(Iftar Pack Contents)
A true value for money the Iftar pack is priced at ₹ 299 and is available across all their outlets from 4:30 pm onwards.

Till I see you soon with another Ramadhan post, If this article interested you, please share it so others may be interested and benefited too!!! Request you to also visit our Facebook page Food In Chennai - Facebook and share the page with a Like amongst your friends and also follow us on our twitter handle at @FoodInChennai. You can also follow us on Google Plus at Food in Chennai-Google Plus. Please also feel free to g+1 this post so others may be benefited too.

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5 comments :

  1. For ₹ 299 the iftaar pack is quite nice. I wish we had something like this in Pune. We do get iftaar food here but not iftaar packs like these one. Anyway, ramzan mubarak and happy fasting :)

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    Replies
    1. Hi Afrin.. I'm sure it'll catch up soon... Couple of years ago there was a handful of them in Chennai and the scenario today is that almost all restaurants have a Iftar pack including some 5* hotels... My next review is of one such restaurant from the Taj group of Hotels...

      Once again thank you for visiting the blog.. Happy Fasting and Ramadhan Mubarak...

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    2. We are new in Chennai. Can you suggest some good places for iftaar dine-in?

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  2. Salaams Juzar. Welcome to Chennai.. Hope its treated you great so far...

    Had you mentioned the locality, it would have been easier but I'll still list out some options... Hope it helps...

    Sea-Shells - Anna Nagar & Greams Road, Egmore
    Zaitoon - Nungambakkam, Anna Nagar & Adyar
    Copper Kitchen - Porur, Vadapalani
    Avenue 195 - Nungambakkam
    Anise @ Taj Coromandel - Nungambakkam (You can check my review at http://www.foodinchennai.com/2014/07/ramadhan-special-iftar-anise-taj.html)

    Jazak Allah Khair

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