You might find more authentic Anatolian fare in Dubai than Rüya’s iftar set menu, but it’s unlikely to be served in this cool a setting. Voguish Turkish club beats are piped through a rich sound system, which does that thing where the bass drops off when you step into the bathroom.
I’m not sure if it’s coconut milk or yoghurt, but something has made the artichoke soup’s consistency almost impossibly creamy, with a piece of aubergine floating on the surface of our first appetiser like a sunburnt bather in the Dead Sea. Next, we opt for a burnt watermelon salad, which complements the doughy sheep cheese it comes with. Two cheeses come our way, first a well-grilled halloumi rectangle and then a pide “from the Black Sea”, which melts nicely over the boat-shaped bread. The more adventurous can try the simit-coated baby squid; hipster will love the avocado haydari red pepper dip.
There’s a lot of arugula on everything, my dining companion notes as the mains arrive. Not knowing what to make of the observation, I nod. We get a marinated baby chicken served with a pastry-stuff rice pilaf and an Adana kebab served over a smoked aubergine and bathed in yoghurt. The yoghurt’s not as thick as I’ve had at other Turkish eateries but this may be a blessing at this stage of the eating. I manage about three to four bites of pilaf with the chicken and immediately regret going so heavy on the cheeses.
The kebab’s charcoal grilling is on point – this will be my go-to main next time.
Dessert arrives with a triangular Anatolian sweet that’s similar in taste and texture to rice pudding. It’s topped with pistachios and pomegranate seeds. The next plate is a scoop of vanilla ice cream atop a custard with little cubes of Turkish delight – a blend of East and West that’s a great way to end our meal.
Details: Dh249 per person; Call 04 3999 123