I was invited to visit 25 Degrees North for their Iftar buffet on a Thursday evening, and since I wanted to spend some time at the restaurant before Iftar, we reached there a bit early. What I expected was to enter a crowded or, at least, a partially crowded place, but surprisingly, we were the only ones present. Upon inquiring, I was told by the kind server that guests usually arrive after iftar. Fair enough.
Locating the restaurant was not a hard task, as it is located on the ground floor of Damac Executive Heights, Tecom. The interiors were beautiful. Though the place was limited, the atmosphere was comfortable and they had made proper use of space. From my table, I could see a crowded live kitchen. Something that I felt was odd, considering the mental notes I had made of the amount of food it would require.
As the place slowly started filling up, I could see that 25 Degrees has more of non-Indian guests.
Going to buffet part, we were presented with a five-course menu. The restaurant offered only Indian food, unlike its other counterparts that try to offer more cuisines for a buffet. The soup was a choice between chicken soup and a leek and potato soup. While my companion opted for the former, I decided to place my bets on the latter. To my surprise, my choice was the winner here. The leek and potato soup was creamy and could be easily placed in the comfort food department. The chicken soup, on the other hand, was a bit watery for our taste.
Moving forward to the starters, we had aloo chop, onion bhaji, chicken lollipop, assorted vegetable kebab, banno kebab, mutton seekh kebab and achari fish tikka.
Out of these, I loved the vegetable kebab and mutton seekh kebab. The kebabs, something that I’m quite fond of, were perfection. Though it wasn’t on the spicy side, it provided flavors that might bring me back again.
A special mention to the achari fish tikka. This was a delight! I usually don’t prefer fish, and only have a bite or so due to my reviews. But, this had me going back to the table for more!
About the dishes I didn’t prefer, aloo chop and chicken lollipop ( surprised? ) The Aloo chop had a flavor that didn’t agree with my taste buds. We were later told by our server that the ingredient was mustard, and was a Chef specialty apparently. The chicken lollipop was seriously a fail. What could have been a delicious, juicy, fried chicken was found to be a dry, overly fried piece of meat.
The main course had some good options. I liked the butter chicken, mutton biryani, peas pulao, paneer pasanda and pan fry fish.
The butter chicken was a bit too sweet for my liking, but I found myself liking its sweetness. The mutton biryani was delectable! The pieces of meat were tender and easy to cut through.
For dessert, we had Ras Malai. This was my favorite dish of the day! I love desserts, so I am being a bit biased here, but I have also tasted so many versions and found this one of the best! I couldn’t help myself from indulging them. ( No, I’m not telling how many I had 😛 )
The service here is warm and welcoming, the manager even took the time to ask us how the food is, from time to time. One certainly feels like royalty here! 😀
Overall, 25 Degrees North aims to provide quality food, more specifically Indian cuisine and are quite good at it. I personally found the flavors a bit diminished, but that might be as I love food with a lot of flavor and spiciness. But, judging from the crowd it caters to, it might be keeping in mind their guests’ preferences.
Disclaimer: Though I was a guest at 25 Degrees North, my reviews remain unbiased.