Ah, Ramadan – a month of peace, self-control, brother (and sister!) hood, atonement and...iftars! It is a heart-warming thought to reflect on the fact that the moment you take your first sip of water and first bite of food after twenty or so hours that Muslims all over the UK are doing the same thing as you; however this can come with logistical problems! Whilst you will 100% get your meal on time (more than likely it will be ready and placed in front of you a few minutes before the maghrib adhaan sounds) when dining at home, this is hardly ever the case when dining out. Our friends at HalalGems have given us their top 5 things to keep in mind when choosing a restaurant for iftar, to help you make dining out during the month of Ramadan a pleasure not a pain!
Service during Ramadan can be really difficult. Heres where buffets and set menus at restaurants really make more sense. For iftar, the kitchen has to make all the meals at the same time. Kitchens do much better at producing 40 of the same dish than several different types at the same time. Some restaurants which will be able to handle this better are the buffet style restaurants or those that don't require the kitchen to change much to handle more people. Good examples include Nabrasa – a rodizio style grill where the grills will keep coming to your table regardless of how many people are in the restaurant (one of their scrumptious grills are featured below), Malaysian buffet Pak Awie and Kitchin N1 – a family friendly buffet restaurant.
Distance. For that post iftar open-your-trouser-button journey home, you might not want to be travelling too far. A local option might work better.
Health. Avoid the open-your-trouser-button journey home altogether and choose some lighter options. For the short window in which you can eat, getting some great nutrition is important.
Choice. Choose grilled meats, whole grains and remember your fluids. See what the experts say here.
You might be grumpy. Tempers can flare when stomachs have been empty all day, so try not to lose it with staff who may be the bearers of bad news. "Ten more minutes till food arrives? But its 6 minutes past iftar time!" – patience is a virtue! Remember, wait staff may have been fasting too. You might want to give them a break if something goes wrong. A waiter at a restaurant we visited yesterday had been punched in the face by a fasting customer. Not quite the spirit of Ramadan!
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