May your sweet tooth forgive us for this list of desserts.
I am sharing with you a list of my favorite spots to get Ramadan sweets when I don’t have the energy to make them myself.
You say predictable, I say classic! On the off-chance you don’t know what these are: they’re golden edible clouds, drenched in sunshine (or fried balls of dough with honey or dates syrup, if you want to get technical.)
A lot of places sell Luqaimat, but Bint Elqadi are the pros, they make them fresh and you get to choose a variety toppings, they also deliver.
Locations: Ibn Battuta St., Dhahran / Alumna ibn Harithah St., Khobar
Tel: +966-13-8612600 (Dhahran) / +966-13-8900688 (Khobar)
Balah El Sham
Luqaimat’s more sophisticated sister, Balah El Sham looks fancier, is slightly crunchier on the outside and the inside has a denser texture. Apparently, some evil geniuses have been making a version filled with Nutella, cheese, or crème fraiche! Personally, I get my fix from Nakhat Balah. They also serve plain ones if you prefer to stick to classics.
Nakhat Balah (also Nkht Blh)
Location: Opposite Herfy, Omar ibn Al Khattab St., Al Faisaliah, Dammam
So many factors dictate the perfect batch of Ma’moul, from the flakiness of the cookie and its size and shape to the softness of the center. And don’t even get me started on the dates-to-cookie ratio! Maameer’s ma’moul are superb. They come coated in powdered sugar and stuffed with dates, or even pistachios or pecans. Maameer Bakeries & Sweets
Locations: 4th St., Khobar / Al Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib St., Dammam
Tel: 920008100 / +966-13-8944700 (Khobar) / +966-13-8267520 (Dammam)
As great as traditional sweets are, it doesn’t hurt to change things up a bit and nothing does that better than a date cheesecake.
My favorite is Café Liwan’s, the dates taste just right, not overwhelming nor barely there and the texture of the cheese layer is neither too thick nor too light.
Locations: Prince Faisal bin Fahd Rd., Khobar / Prince Turki St., Khobar / Mall of Dhahran, Dhahran / Othaim Mall, Dammam
Countless cultures celebrate Ramadan, so why limit yourself, especially in an environment as diverse as Sharqiya? Bastah is a great Ramadan dessert from Sudan and it’s similar to baklava, a filo pastry usually stuffed with toasted and slightly salted crushed peanuts and – of course – drenched in sugar syrup.
Sudanese Qaser Al Dammam Restaurant
Location: 15th St., Dammam
Sheer Kurma is a rich vermicelli pudding that’s usually served warm with raisins, nuts and dried fruits, it can also be served chilled especially since the weather this Ramadan won’t be too kind. Thankfully it can be found in Lulu Market, which has three branches around Sharqiya.
Locations: King Faisal West Rd., Jubail / Prince Turki St. & 30th St., Khobar / Prince Mohammed bin Fahd St., Dammam
Tel: +966-13-3449898 (Jubail) / +966-13-8947575 (Khobar)
A South Asian sweet that’s very popular is Rasmalai. It’s made of cottage cheese balls cooked in sugar syrup and condensed milk and then served chilled. Save yourself the trouble of making them and get them from Shereen Mahal.
Location: 18th St. & Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz St., Khobar