The Burj Khalifa already sets an extravagant tone as my friend and I make our way down to the Armani/Ballroom. The suspense builds further as we step on to the escalator that takes us down to the place where our iftar experience was to begin.

A combination of large smiles, a warm welcome and enticing aromas are a good start. We weren’t entirely sure which we should do first: to sit down and make ourselves comfortable or to forget our manners and start digging into the buffet.

A game of blue lights on a miniature Burj Khalifa in the middle of the main hall caught my eye as I was revolving around the selection of dates. A heady mix of Middle Eastern, Japanese, Indian and European flavours tempted my taste buds all the way to the dining area where the dominant chandeliers above the dark brown tables harmonically blended with the ivory white statues thoughtfully placed throughout the ballroom.

As I wanted to keep it healthy, I decided to fill my big plate with a selection of fresh vegetable, tahini and hummus. I couldn’t resist the creatively displayed shrimp and avocado salad, and did not regret the extra mayonnaise calories I will have to put up with later.

There was a queue in front of the fish station and I quickly piled a steaming piece of the catch of the day. A baked salmon on salt crust with sauce vierge made me forget about the rest of the goodies displayed carefully in the shining pots. But since my appetite was so big I had to ask the friendly and courteous waitress to help me with some of the highlights.

The roasted whole baby lamb ouzi served with oriental rice, yogurt with cucumber and mint was a clear winner of the evening. On the same note, the baby marrow Mahashi, carefully stuffed with rice, meat and accompanied by lamb chops looked absolutely divine.

Following the rising tower’s theme, the rosewater-flavoured Turkish delights were beautifully presented in the shape of mountains. The gold sprayed empire made of assorted mini macarons used as a display was totally Instagram-worthy.

The details

Where: Armani/Ballroom, Armani Hotel, Burj Khalifa

Timings: From sunset until 9pm (Suhoor is also served from 9pm until 2am, priced at Dh180 per person).

Price: Dh250 per person. Children between 4-10 years get 50 per cent off, and those below 4 years dine for free.

— Corina Coda is an intern at Gulf News.