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  • Writer's pictureHunger Leads

BOCA | Iftar Inspired by Old Dubai

In Collaboration with Frying Pan Adventures www.instagram.com/fryingpanadventures


I booked a table for 7 of us to try BOCA’s interpretation of an Iftar menu created in collaboration with Frying Pan Adventures, who took them on a tour of ‘Old Dubai’ to get a taste of the restaurants and dishes from cultures across the world who have long been established here in the UAE. We are patiently waiting for Frying Pan Adventures to open back up so we can join them on some of their tasting journeys. This is something we have been longing to try since we first found them right when COVID hit and sadly put a halt to their tours. We’re loving the collaborations.


BOCA’s Iftar is a sharing menu for 2 at AED 160 per person (before service fee and municipality tax), and one of the most European in flavours we have experienced with only very mild hints of spices. The first part of the Iftar starts with a Home-made Rye Sourdough with a subtle Pan con Eggplant Aioli including small dishes with dates, nuts and the highlight in this serving of the fantastic stuffed olives. We failed to find out what they were stuffed with, but they were moreish (if you like olives as much as we do).


Carrot and Quail Soup

The second course on the menu is the only one not shared, a hearty Carrot and Quail Soup, which we all enjoyed, closely followed by the third course with a Crispy Quinoa & Snap Peas Salad with Yarra Valley Persian Feta Cheese, Red Radish and a Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette. This was a really nice salad, but we didn’t see how a food tour in Old Dubai inspired this one. A Sweet Potato Hummus with Pearl Millet, Peanuts, Arbequina Olive Oil, and thin toasted slices of Sourdough was tasty and a nice touch to the creative interpretation of this meal. And no Iftar is complete without the Home-made Mixed Pickles served here with Beetroot, Carrots and Peppers.


Crispy Quinoa & Snap Peas Salad with Yarra Valley Persian Feta Cheese, Red Radish and a Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette.
Sweet Potato Hummus with Pearl Millet, Peanuts, Arbequina Olive Oil, and thin toasted slices of Sourdough.
Home-made Mixed Pickles served here with Beetroot, Carrots and Peppers.

The fourth course was a board of hot appetisers which I did not personally love. The Wagyu & Labaneh Fatayer with Confit Garlic Allioli were bland but the dough (which was tough and eggy) took over the taste of the filling itself. The Croquetas Basturmah, Shanklīsh, and Manchego Cream were again not a winner, I didn’t enjoy the lumpy interior. The Fried Spicy Potatoes with Cumin & Coriander, and Emirati Bravas Sauce were too soft and not at all spicy, so sadly, this course did not win me over.


Wagyu & Labaneh Fatayer with Confit Garlic Allioli, the Croquetas Basturmah, Shanklīsh, and Manchego Cream and the Fried Spicy Potatoes with Cumin & Coriander, and Emirati Bravas Sauce.

The fifth course was a Mackerel Masgoof with Date Dibs which I couldn’t taste, Baby Gem lettuces, Lime & Labneh, and Confit Lemon which was a mild dish in flavour to accompany the fish. The Baby Lamb Flank Skewers with Black Lime, Sumac, Yogurt & Ras el Hanout would have been fantastic if they had been served hot, much to everyone’s disappointment. However, we enjoyed the Zereshk & Bomba Rice with Seasonal Vegetables, Iranian Barberries, Mixed Baharat and slices of Kumquats which had a nice texture and overall flavour.


Mackerel Masgoof with Date Dibs, Baby Gem lettuces, Lime & Labneh, and Confit Lemon.
Baby Lamb Flank Skewers with Black Lime, Sumac, Yogurt & Ras el Hanout.
Zereshk & Bomba Rice with Seasonal Vegetables, Iranian Barberries, Mixed Baharat and slices of Kumquats.

The desserts were odd to share in a group of 7 and we all suggest these to be served as individual portions, so you get your own serving with 2 Pistachio Kunafa Rolls with the Iranian Pistachio Ganache, and Azahar Flower (orange-blossom) Ice Cream. The Saffron and White Chocolate Crescent was mistakenly served to us as a cheesecake, but was far from it when we found out how difficult they were to break into (another reason why they would be best served individually) with its Ivoire Valrhona Chocolate, Orange Jam and Orange Segments. The Kunafa Rolls were the nicest of the two.

Pistachio Kunafa Rolls with the Iranian Pistachio Ganache, and Azahar Flower (orange-blossom) Ice Cream.
Saffron and White Chocolate Crescent with Ivoire Valrhona Chocolate, Orange Jam and Orange Segments.

You can book an Iftar with BOCA here: www.boca.ae/boca-x-fpa

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