How is everyone’s Ramadan going? Since Ramadan is every year, we all think we’re used to the changing of schedule by now but I still have confused moments when I thought this store or that restaurant is already open but not. Haha! Anyway as you’ve seen from our Facebook updates, we’ve been eating our way through iftar. Oh my goodness! I can’t even begin to say and show how grateful we are to be a part of these celebrations of families and friends every night.
The other night we were at one of the grandest Ramadan tents in Riyadh… the Four Seasons Hotel Ramadan Tent held in their ballroom. If you’ve been to their ballroom aka function halls, you know how huuuuge it is! And to my astonishment and awe, they have transformed this into a luxurious, elegant, and very lively tent for this season.
The Four Seasons Hotel Ramadan Tent has been one of the most visited tents in the city. It features a dazzling entrance filled with golden and bright chandeliers. The inside was, of course brighter and welcoming with the glows from the lighting creating a perfect setting for iftar. I like how they arranged the tables and chairs because there’s enough space to move around. In the middle of the ballroom are the special tables called “Chef’s Table“. Patrons who avail of these special tables get to meet the chefs who are responsible for the scrumptious iftar buffet every night. The tables are also served with some hot and cold starters and desserts. This cost SR 495 per person. The regular buffet price is at SR 395. If you look at our list of Ramadan Buffets and Tents for this year, Four Seasons’ has the most expensive iftar buffet among the 5-star hotels. Is it worth it? If you’re into the whole extravagant atmosphere and overwhelming food choices, then yes it is.
I went live in Facebook to show our readers and likers what Four Seasons has in store for its diners. There are a lot of food stations, I can tell you that. And in each one, chefs are cooking! Four Seasons features 4-5 cuisines in one night and they rotate some of them so that no two consecutive nights are the same. The Middle Eastern and Indian cuisines are staples though. They have shawarma in the Arabic station, along with a lamb dish that’s so huge I’m not sure if they actually finish that in one night. The Indian cuisine with its papadums and biryani is at the Asian station along with some Thai dishes like Pad Thai (with chicken and shrimps) and crispy crackers (which I loved). They also have Korean Beef Bulgogi and Sweet and Sour Shrimps which tickled my tastebuds that just love Asian food. They also have an Italian cuisine that night featuring pasta favorites. It’s one of the live cooking stations where you can ask the chefs to cook a fresh batch. They also have a carving station that has beef tenderloin, one of the most tender beef cuts I’ve ever had. (You can view our live feed of the Four Seasons Ramadan Tent here.)
I know what I want in buffets most of the time and that’s opening my gustatory experience with Japanese maki rolls and pieces of seafood like smoked salmon and mussels. These are filling on its own so my second plate is a bit tame. I just got what I normally don’t see in buffets like the bulgogi, pad thai, and slices of really melt-in-your-mouth beef tenderloin. Their tables have water and the staff brought us juices of our choice. I think I had five glasses of their orange juice, no kidding! My husband loved their mixed cocktail. I’m not a buffet person (but yes I go anyway) because I get full easily but I whenever I go to buffets like this instance I always leave some room for dessert.
I’m so amazed at how beautiful they presented the chocolate fondue. It has white and dark chocolates and their selection of fruits that go with the fondue are great. They also have an ice cream station where you can ask for a scoop (or scoopS) of ice cream to be placed in a cone, a cone cup, or just your basic cup. Or better yet, on top of their chocolate souffle which is amazing! It’s soft and fluffy and not that sweet. This is one of their Ramadan tent’s unique points. Fresh souffle yum!
There were a lot of people on the night of our visit and the waiters were a bit slow to answer to our request (particularly my request for ice haha) but they were fast in getting our plates, even if we’re clearly still eating. They kept on asking my husband if he’s done with his soup because they want to take the bowl already but he wasn’t even halfway! Haha! It was a bit chaotic at some of the popular stations but nothing we can’t wait out. (And also, some people just don’t know how to line up.)
For families with children, this is one Ramadan tent that won’t bore your kids because they have an area reserved just for them. The Kingdom Hall has bouncy castles, arcade games, and face painting for kids. Their activities looked fun and festive. They also have staff that supervises the children while they’re playing at the hall.
Near the end of the iftar, they announce winners of their raffles draws which includes prizes of Four Seasons Hotel stays. Just outside the Ramadan tent are some companies exhibiting their products. I enjoyed going through the handicrafts display of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Heritage and the high-end products display of SAAF.com, a website that sells the world’s most iconic brands as well as items from contemporary and emerging fashion houses. It has a boutique at Al Nakheel Mall. My jaw dropped at the prices, haha! Anyway, Mobily also has a booth and they’re giving away phones to one lucky winner each night.
All in all, we liked the Ramadan tent of Four Seasons Hotel. Their variety of cuisine that night was delicious and they have something for everyone. Their price is a bit steep though; my practical side is nagging at me, reminding me that this extravagance is probably meant for a one-night experience only. Indeed, it’s like a very wonderful dream.
Four Seasons Hotel Ramadan Tent
Kingdom Tower, King Fahd Road,
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Reservations: +966 11 2115500
Disclaimer: The Pink Tarha was invited by Four Season Hotel for this iftar. I wrote this entry with my own opinion and comments. Featured photo is from the Four Season’s Facebook page.