Forget unsavoury doner kebabs, this buffet is all about Turkish fine dining. On offer here are plenty of Ottoman delicacies that haven’t made it onto international supermarket shelves, some of which admittedly might take your palate a while to get used to.
Start off with a selection of mezze-style bites. The dolma (cooked peppers and courgettes stuffed with gently spiced rice) are delicious cold treats to whet your appetite without filling you up too quickly.
Middle Eastern dips including hummus and baba ganoush are of a very high standard. And it’s not just pita bread that you can use to scoop up the hearty aubergine and chickpea delights – the bakery section is vast.
With clear beach and pool views from the dining area, A La Turca’s air-conditioned terrace almost tricks you into feeling like you’re brunching al fresco during the scorching summer months. The space is airy and pleasant but the décor seems more "holiday buffet" than restaurant. That feeling isn't helped by the fact that most of those dining are flip-flopped hotel guests, despite the venue’s smart-casual dress code.
The vibe here is definitely more family than friends.
Turn to the sous-chefs in the buffet area for round two of brunching as they hand out plates of thinly sliced cold pastirma (beef sausage), a diluted version of yoghurt named ayran and the more renowned raw meat specialty of kofte. All are unique in taste, but not necessarily to everybody’s liking.
The wide selection of food also includes exceptional dishes that aren’t Turkish, such as a mussel gratin, with an unbeatable sea freshness that’s not lost in the creaminess of the melted cheese. A rotisserie chicken kebab is outshined by the succulent stewed lamb, which falls off the bone.
Desserts include a selection of baklava treats, jellies and mousses, as well as a crème brûlée-style treat called sutlac that gets our vote for not overdoing it with the overall sweetness.
Dhs199 (food only), Dhs275 (soft drinks), Dhs400 (house beverages), Dhs500 (bubbly). Fri 1pm-4pm (international buffet) and Sat 1pm-4pm (Turkish buffet). Buffet. Rixos The Palm Dubai, Palm Jumeirah (04 457 5454).
The Bottom Line
A fine medley of Turkish food with plenty of unknown taste surprises.