Grand Bazaar Brunch at RÜYA

A swanky Turkish brunch in Dubai Marina that is served table d’hôte

Grand Bazaar Brunch at RÜYA

This elegant Turkish restaurant is helmed by British chef Colin Clague and the team behind Dubai culinary big hitters such as Zuma, Coya and Nusr-Et.

This means a visit here for Friday brunch comes with very high expectations.

We get a lovely warm welcome as we approach the reception desk outside the eatery. A coloured wristband dictating the packages we choose are subsequently fastened onto our wrists (which we don’t love at such a classy brunch) before we grab a table on the terrace.

Anatolian décor includes dangling Turkish lanterns that twinkle in the ambient space and traditional mosaic tiles. The combination of which make for a trendy, cosy vibe.

Things start off well. A waiter whisks drinks to our table within seconds of us sitting down and, at the same time, talks us through how the afternoon will play out.

He explains that we can expect a selection of signature dishes to be delivered to our table and can ask for additional plates of any of the stand-outs that we particularly enjoy.

The first thing to land on the table is a portion of crispy fried whitebait with a perfectly-paired chilli and almond dip. And before our waiter has a chance to bring us any of the other appetisers, we order another plate straight away. Because they are quite simply, absolutely delicious.

A slew of starters arrive in a leisurely manner, which allows you to pace yourselves, and each is as moreish as the next.

But the favourites are the grilled octopus with chilli and capers and the beef tartar with bulgar wheat and baby gem lettuce. You’ll want to order seconds of both.

Vegetarians are well catered for, too. A quinoa salad with pomegranate and pistachio and the gőzleme (potato with cheese and herbs) prove to be a huge
hit with the non-meat eaters at our table.

What is particularly enjoyable is that at no point do we feel rushed, the pace is leisurely and service is efficient and smart.

Main courses are chosen individually and you won’t be disappointed when the black cod with yoghurt and tahini arrives to your table.

Another standout is, without doubt, the fragrant chicken dish that hails from the Circassian region on the northeast shore of the Black Sea.

Slathered in paprika butter, it is perfectly-cooked and the perfect way to end the savoury part of our Friday feast.

Desserts are mini-sized and sweetly satisfying, finishing off the afternoon brunch delightfully.

When it first started it was revered as being a party brunch, but these days expect a more grown up affair, which while quieter, is no bad thing at all.
Dhs345 (soft drinks), Dhs445 (house beverages), Dhs545 (bubbly). Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Grosvenor House Hotel, Dubai Marina (04 399 9123).

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