A brilliant Al Barsha Turkish brunch, plus three of the week's best
Time Out Dubai staff
Street brunch at Besh Turkish Kitchen
Lets talk Turkey. It’s a word that’s been lingering on the lips of dining devotees across Dubai for months now. The city’s culinary scene is in the midst of a Turkish takeover, with classy Dubai Marina eatery RÜYA (crowned Best Newcomer – Fine Dining at the recent Time Out Dubai Restaurant Awards) leading the charge. And if you take the bold claim with a pinch of salt, don’t forget that steakhouse Nusr-Et’s charismatic head chef recently came close to breaking the internet thanks to his irreverent seasoning techniques.
But while those two big-hitters have been the talk of the town, another restaurant bringing the tastes of Turkey to the UAE has gone somewhat under the radar. So we were eager to find out what Besh Turkish Kitchen brings to the table, and what better way to find out than at a brunch.
Filled with hungry anticipation as we make our way to the restaurant high on the fifth floor of the Sheraton Dubai Mall of the Emirates, we’re immediately struck by the impressive views of the city skyline and enamoured with the casual, laid-back vibe of the venue.
While some brunches are just as much about cultivating a party atmosphere as they are about enjoying good food, Besh puts its cuisine front and centre of its offering. Soon enough, our attention is drawn to the lavish spread laid on in the spacious open kitchen set-up. As you’d expect from an authentic Anatolian restaurant, there’s plenty of meat to sink your teeth into.
We load up on Turkish favourites such as chicken and lamb kebabs and get our hands on plenty of pide, the country’s own tasty take on pizza, before mixing it up a bit by sampling a hearty slice of beef Wellington. It’s a mouth-watering start to a fantastic Friday feast.
There’s no chance of your knife and fork being left idle, either, as friendly staff bring along tasty appetisers such as chicken strips and cups of soup for those rare moments when your mouth isn’t full. It’s a nice touch, and the sheer volume of top-quality fare makes you feel like you’re getting a great deal for a very reasonable sum indeed.
Where Besh excels is in its variety. The seafood selection is superb. The marinated prawns, the calamari and the sushi are all a huge hit, while you can even sample a mini shepherd’s pie and a string of other international eats alongside the home-grown favourites.
The afternoon ends on a high note with a fantastic array of sweet treats on offer at the dessert, such as homemade Turkish ice cream and chocolates.
Besh may not shout out from the rooftops about its food, but after a visit you’ll find its quality really does speak for itself. Dhs165 (soft drinks), Dhs225 (house beverages). Fri 1pm-4pm. Sheraton Dubai Mall of the Emirates (04 377 2353).
The bottom line A brilliant-value taste of Turkey.
Three more to try
Il Faro The pretty Palm Jumeirah trattoria offers a laid-back Italian brunch. From Dhs199. Fri 12.30pm-3.30pm. Azure Residence, Palm Jumeirah (04 568 3137).
Jumeirah Zabeel Saray The monthly “super brunch” offers dishes from a range of the hotel’s restaurants. Dhs525 (sparkling grape). Fri May 5, 1pm-4pm. Palm Jumeirah (04 453 0444).
Nikki Privé Head to the “Reset & Replay” brunch held on the resort’s large outdoor terrace on a Saturday. From Dhs400. Sat 1pm-4pm. Pearl Jumeira (04 376 6162).