If you can rate a Turkish restaurant by its İskender kebab, then Saray Sultan just about scores full marks. This traditional favourite here features a perfect balance of beef and chicken doner, spicy tomato sauce, yoghurt and soggy bread. It’s comfort food — warm and spicy with great texture, just rich and complex enough but not too complicated. And the chilli is kept in check.
The latter is an important distinction, because the chef has the ability to make even a spice-loving Indian cough and sweat with his heavy hand. That said, the lively spicy after effect of the ezme (a hot salad) wasn’t unappreciated, although the tomato-and-chilli combination could have been more refined.
Saray Sultan can find that balance. Just take the speciality kebab — an earthy minced beef in a thick tomato sauce, freshened up by sprigs of parsley and walnut, served on a big, flat pan. We didn’t get to try the new signature dish — a chicken stuffed with rice and a mix of spices, then coated in salt and roasted — but that gives us a reason to return.
That and İskender kebab, of course.
Saray Sultan; Reem Mall, Jumeirah 3; 04 3217 700; Saraysultan.com