Kösebası

Eclectic decor, Turkish food and a Mediterranean vibe at JBR 19 Reviews

kosebasi08_1
© ITP Images

Before visiting the newest of JBR’s seemingly limitless restaurants, I Googled it. Turns out Condé Nast Traveller readers had voted the Istanbul branch of Turkish chain Kosebasi as one of the world’s top 50 restaurants. I don’t think the JBR outlet would garner such acclaim.

Don’t get me wrong: there were good points. The decor was eclectic, with Mediterranean-style tiles adorning the table tops and curved ceiling hangings sheltering us from above.

The first thing that rankled was the presentation of a bottle of Evian when we ordered water. It is far pricier than its local equivalent (which was also available). It was just the sort of cheeky up-selling that puts me in a negative frame of mind. Deciding to let it slide, we turned to our menus and stared at them in puzzlement for a few minutes. I think we were thrown by the number of unfamiliar words describing similar dishes to those you’d find in a Lebanese restaurant, until a waitress, spotting our furrowed brows, appeared bearing the most enormous tray I’ve ever seen.

On it were an assortment of cold starters which, coupled with the waitress’s encyclopaedic knowledge, made our choice much easier. We selected four dishes from the tray as well as a gavurdagi – chopped tomatoes and onions. The rest of the dishes, which came with unlimited hot, tasty bread, were mixed. The soslu patlican – aubergine with tomato puree – was nice in small quantities but a little heavy, while the patlican salatas drifted through my mouth like an aubergine cloud. The humous was unremarkable, while the semizou, a yoghurty mix containing purslane (a leafy edible weed), was light and intricately flavoured.

I was a little intimidated when a heaving platter of meat – the mixed grill – was thrust before us, sauceless and vast. However it would seem I was alone in this sentiment as one of my (male) chums looked at the plate somewhat worriedly and said, ‘I’m pretty sure we’re not going to have enough there.’ Turns out, we did. Some parts were great – the barbecued chicken was smoky and succulent, and the lamb was tender and complemented by punchy rings of fried onion. The tarsusi kebab, however, which was the restaurant’s speciality, was underwhelming. OK, so it was made of minced meat, but it was just too soft for comfort – there was a disconcerting squishiness to it which just didn’t sit right with our meat-loving table.

It was a pleasant enough meal, but certainly not one that would warrant ‘top 50’ status.

The bill (for four)

1x Local water Dhs12
1x Fresh mint and lemon Dhs19
1x Gavurdagi Dhs16
1x Humous Dhs14
1x Soslu patlican Dhs14
1x Patlican salatas Dhs16
1x Semizou Dhs19
1x Mixed grill Dhs180
Total (including service) Dhs290

By Daisy Carrington
Time Out Dubai,

Time Out reviews restaurants anonymously and pays for meals. Of course, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or independence of user reviews.

Details

  • Location: Dubai Marina, Dubai
  • Tel: 04 439 3788
  • Travel: The Walk, Jumeirah Beach Residence
  • Website

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Kösebası On The Map

User reviews

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  • Users voted this restaurant most suitable for: Family friendly

User reviews:

Posted by: Bunni on 16 Mar ' 13 at 14:57
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Been to jbr and mirdiff outlet, loved both and really hope they will start delivery to all areas of dubai soon and not only a few.

Posted by: T E on 31 Dec ' 12 at 06:00
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  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

One of the best Turkish kebap houses you will ever see outside Turkey with a descent sample of traditional offerings from Ali Nazik to Adana kebap. Good and friendly service, proper kebap concept, and really good value for your money as well.

Posted by: MG on 31 Aug ' 12 at 09:25
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Went for breakfast since timeout recommended it in the top 10 places in Dubai for breakfast.... what a joke. Food was oily and bland. Not worth a visit!

Posted by: Tony Mhanna on 03 Aug ' 12 at 21:11
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  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

I am sure that the turkish guest who likes only the turkish tea just because it is for free & he complained for the rest.
I want from all of you to try it in order to know a great food & service experience of the real Turkish cuisine, one of my favorite places in Dubai & I highly recomend it for all people who like Mezzes & Grills.

Posted by: George Papadopoulos on 20 May ' 12 at 10:27
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Edited by TimeOutDubai.com

Having had many amazing meals at various Kocebasi locations in Istanbul, i was very much looking forward to experiencing something at least similar (if not exactly same) at the Dubai location. Unfortunately, the whole experience was a complete disaster: from the mince meat pie which arrived cold (and, after we insisted, was reheated in a microwave and brought back after 30 seconds boiling and soggy) to the absolute worst Doner I've ever experienced anywhere in the world (dogfood tastes better, seriously)! Add to this a very mediocre service and a bill that was far from being a bargain...and the disaster was complete!!! I would never return, under any circumstances!

Posted by: Suleyman Uslan on 19 Nov ' 11 at 08:15
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

As a new Turkish resident in town, I have visited Kosebasi JBR yesterday and I was quite disappointed I should say. First of all the service quality does not look like a Turkish restaurant. If you ever visited a smimilar restaurant in Istanbul, you would know what I mean. We have ordered Cop Sis and Terbiyeli Sis, and one findik lahmacun, lahmacun was served so cold, Terbiyeli Sis supposed to be spicy but not at all and was not tasty. Only good experience was the Turkish tea. Besides the tea, I was not satisfied at all. I would also suggest them to have some Turkish employees, since myself knew much better about the menu than the waiters.

Posted by: Thomas on 18 Oct ' 11 at 16:27
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

@ Elisabeth; if you are talking about the one at Jbr then you are totally lying my friend. Maybe you are the owner or one of the employer of Serai as you mention at the end. Because since this restaurant opened, other kabab houses in the same area dont make the business as they use to do.

Posted by: Ahmad on 17 May ' 11 at 10:22
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  • Best for: Family friendly

Was at Kosebasi JBR last night.
Perfect service, great food, comfy atmosphere and great value for money! I will definately go again and would highly recommend it to everyone! Try it once and judge accordingly! :)

Posted by: Chadia saad on 29 Mar ' 11 at 08:37
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  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

I went to KOSIBASI in JBR last week I was a pleasant experience, this was my first time in the Turkish food experience it has a unique taste and perfect mixture with spices.
The atmosphere was warm with a nice welcoming smile from a proper hostess, guide you to your table and provide you the menu, and the waiter provide cold appetizers on a tray with a hot delicious Turkish bread, this is an experience you cannot find it in many restaurant which they have the buffet you need to go and pickup your food. At the end they have the best BBQ selection I have tried in my life.
Good luck for Kosebasi

Posted by: Elisabeth on 19 Oct ' 10 at 07:46
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Possibly the worst meal I have had in Dubai. The service was slow to non existant with the waitress taking 20 minutes to bring place mats and cutlery but still managing to miss several items from each place setting. Dirty plates turned up before the menus. The pide were edible but came in very small portions. The shish tavuk was made from days old thigh cuts and was inedible as was the totally uncooked bread served with it.

Dont waste your money - walk a little further and go to Serai.

Posted by: Talalayla on 04 Aug ' 10 at 07:09
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

I went to their branch in Mirdif City Centre and the experience wasn't great at all. Despite the fact that the choices on the menu (all they have is Kebab and Pite)are limited the food was awful! I ordered chicken tawuk and the meat was overgrilled and therefor it shranked. Doesnt even come with a sider order like fries or a salad. If you are looking for a turkish experience, you won't get it at Kosebasi.

Posted by: Rabie on 21 Sep ' 09 at 13:26
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  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Beautifiul place, friendly staff, great service, and excellent food.

Posted by: Daniel Carvalho on 23 Jun ' 09 at 08:56
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  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

good food, the best was the deserts...

Posted by: Faiq Khattani on 16 Jun ' 09 at 21:31
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  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

I discovered Kosebasi at JBR after a business meeting at the Hilton nextdoor. This is my first introduction to Turkish cuisine and I loved it. Saslik Kebab (I think beef kebab) is the best! Soft and tender. I learned they have branches in Sao Paulo as well. I took my wife and children the next day. My two youngsters liked the chicken wings best. I am not an expert but this restaurant is a rising star.

Posted by: Ahmad Saleh on 15 Jun ' 09 at 06:02
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Good value for money

Posted by: Robert L. on 15 Jun ' 09 at 05:59
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  • Best for: Business lunch
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Living in Sharjah and commuting to Dubai Maria for work, I consider this resteraunt ideal for business lunches given the fact that you can impress colleagues with knowledge of Turkish food. I can see why it was been awarded one of the world's top 50 resteraunts and look forward to going back again very soon.

Posted by: Amanda on 15 Jun ' 09 at 05:50
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  • Best for: Brunch served
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

I visited Kosebasi several weeks ago with some friends who were in the mood to try something new in town. Although we couldn't quite understand the dish names, the waiter was more than helpful in assiting us with the selection of entrees, main courses and then dessert. Calorie-conscious as we are, we worried that the meat platters would add on some pounds, yet we were surprised when we found that it was so light, free of the fatty extras and extremely tasty! Needless to say, we had room for dessert, and it was nothing short of delicious.
After that visit, I returned with family and they shared the same sentiments..I always used to stay away from foreign food, yet as they say, you never know unitl you try something new..Turkish food is a delight & I will definitely go again to Kosebasi...

Posted by: Torance Lambrakis on 10 Jun ' 09 at 12:54
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  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

I had tried Kosebasi for the first time in Istanbul and loved it. When I heard that they were opening in Dubai, I was very excited and also curious on how they would be matching the taste and service back in Turkey.
I went to the JBR branch last night and can say that I loved it once more! The decor reflects the "Turkish" ethnicity with the tiles, the meats are soft and tender. My favorites are toros salad, eggplant puree, cop sis (small pieces of lamb on barbeque) and definitely saslik (which I understand is the only beef meat on the menu). Kunefe, a popular local desert is very light.
It would be much more authentic if the owners could add some Turkish tea to the menu. Otherwise, all is on the right track.

Posted by: Stuart K on 08 Jun ' 09 at 08:43
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

I have eaten at Kosebasi ( twice) ,and feel you missed the point a bit.
You forget that most Middle Eastern cuisine's come from the Turks so many Lebenese dishes will sound similar. Lebanes food is more spicy, but then they not pretending to be Lebanese
I found the humous to be particularly smooth and subtle. The house speciality kebab is not simply minced meat. In fact it is chopped by hand and the fact that it is soft and juicy should not scare you.. or are you looking for dry regular 'kebab shop' fare. I found the juicy, tender kebabs to be delicious... in fact the chicken is outstanding, and the lamb is the best I've had in any 'Oriental 'restaurant in Dubai
Better than pleasant!
I'll recomend it, and be back!!

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