Say hello to Ruya Dubai at the Grosvenor House hotel in Dubai Marina – the upscale Anatolian Turkish eatery ticking all of the right boxes, read on for the full review and to find out why you should pay this hotspot a visit…
As soon as you step foot inside Ruya you are blown away by the atmosphere. Think cosy, Tom Dixon candle-lit corners, faded Arabic rugs, chic modern furnishings with a Turkish twist and a really romantic, relaxing vibe. We loved the expansive open kitchen and the giant oven that sits at the centre decorated by a crown of suspended rolling pins. There’s also a separate bar area with elegant bar chairs and people relaxing with drinks.
Whilst we perused the food menu, we chose some beverages from the mocktail menu, which were divine – especially the Earl Grey concoction that came in a beautiful, traditional Turkish-design beaker (very Instagram-worthy). The chef then treated us to a showcase of Ruya Dubai’s best dishes with a special tasting menu. We whet our appetites with the Muhammara dip, which was delicious and comes with lush fresh, warm bread.
For starters, we sampled the Fırın Pancar salad (roasted baby beetroot, goats cheese & cornbread) – nourishing but perhaps missing a salty element to offset the sweetness of the beetroot and goats cheese (capers?). The Kuymak (Turkish fondue – cornmeal & cheese fondue, wild mushrooms & truffle), which was delicious – order it, but ask for something to dip into it: Like crudités or some extra bread. The Zeytinyağli Ahtapot (marinated & grilled octopus with chilli, fava beans, baby capers) was absolutely outstanding and must be ordered if you are an octopus fan. The Patlicanli Domates Salatasi (tomato, cucumber & eggplant salad), which was so fresh and juicy – everything you would want from a salad.
On to mains and we were treated to the delightful Rangers Valley Day Grain Fed Beef, which was cooked to perfection and served with a side of asparagus & Antep pistachio butter. Plus the Panfried Sea Bass, which was ever so slightly dry but did feature a yummy almonds simit & sumac crust.
With very full bellies we relaxed with some Jasmine tea whilst a live violinist captured the room’s attention, playing sweet symphonies over the DJ’s tunes. The perfect ending to a meal… Almost. Of course, no matter how full we were, we had to try something sweet – and boy are we glad we did. The standout dessert was the Stamboul, which was so unique and full of different flavours, each complementing the next. The gorgeous dish features thick, creamy yoghurt, lemon loukoumi (Turkish delight), white chocolate cream, strawberry and basil ice-cream, fresh strawberries, freeze-dried strawberries and a scattering of miniature basil leaves and edible silver leaf (which makes a lovely change from the usual Dubai gold leaf standard). Heaven.
It’s easy to see why Ruya – which means “dream” in Turkish – is the brainchild of the folks behind Coya, La Petite Maison and Zuma. Just like its sister restaurants, it’s impressive, classy, a place to be seen and serves delicious cuisine with a side order of entertainment and the all-important “wow” factor. We can’t wait to return and sit out on Ruya’s quaint little terrace, and think this is the perfect place to take a special date, a group of important clients, or enjoy a romantic evening with your loved ones. Two big thumbs up.
Insider tip: Book a table in advance, share dishes with friends. Ruya runs a brunch every Friday, check the website for the most up to date info.
The Ruya Dubai a la carte menu