With a sudden influx of Turkish restaurants opening in Dubai in the second half of the year, standing out from the crowd takes some doing.
Ruya comes from the group that also operates Coya, Zuma and Nusr-Et, and chef Colin Clague (formerly of Qbara and Jean-Georges Dubai). So you know this is no bandwagon-jumping exercise.
Though the dining room is inviting, we make a beeline for the lovely outdoor terrace, overlooking the Marina.
For many, us included, the menu will be fairly unfamiliar, but whoever comes to our table really knows their stuff. We’re happy to go with suggestions and end up ordering quite a lot.
Lakerda (salt-cured bonito) is a pretty dish of meaty discs of fish, which comes with refreshing cucumber. The salty feta cheese in filo (borek) is the best we’ve tried and the octopus, served with chilli, fava beans and capers, has bite but isn’t tough – it’s perfect, in fact.
As good as that trio are, they are all blown out of the water by the simple pide. Two Turkish cheeses are joined on the crispy, chewy dough by a slow-cooked egg, which oozes its golden yolk over the irresistible concoction. This is simply amazing.
A main course of sea bream is enough to share. It’s filleted and de-boned at the table and served in a huge earthenware pot. It’s as tasty as it is impressive. We order duck fat chips with it, but they play second fiddle to that pide. We leave nicely full and with a very reasonable bill, given the quality of what we eat.
It wasn’t the first Turkish restaurant out of the blocks this year, but Ruya has taken time to get things just right. The Bill (for two) 1x two cheese pide Dhs65 1x salt-cured bonito Dhs78 1x octopus Dhs70 1x filo-wrapped feta Dhs50 1x sea bream Dhs175 1x duck fat chips Dhs38 1x mastic ice cream Dhs40 1x large water Dhs28 Total (excluding service) Dhs544 The Bottom Line One of the finest new Turkish joints to have opened in the city.