Gastronomy guide: A culinary journey through Anatolia with Ruya
A twist on the classics
T he fact that Turkey sits on two continents affords the country a special selling point for tourists. More importantly, if you're a culinary connoisseur, it also means a smorgasbord of gastronomic influences from both the Thracian (Europe) and Anatolian (Asia) regions. While there are inevitably overlapping dishes, each retains its own unique traditions and Anatolia's culinary heritage is set to be brought to the fore with the opening of the new fine dining restaurant, Ruya at Grosvenor House, Dubai.
Taken from the Turkish word for 'dream', Ruya not only champions Anatolian flavours but is also quickly becoming an ambassador for the evolution of its techniques. "We have taken traditions and authentic experiences and interpreted modern details for the Dubai audience," said Founder, Umut Ozkanca. Ozkanca, together with renowned Executive Chef, Colin Clague – Burj Al Arab, Zuma, Qbara – taking the reins in the kitchen, have created the perfect place for an authentic Anatolian adventure, with the help of his father's recipes. "Umut's father has 50 years of experience in the restaurant business and he's been invaluable," said Clague. "He's as Turkish as the hills. All of the recipes are in his head." And a quick read through the menu and it's evident that the highlights are lahmacun and pide, as well as claypot lamb shank.
Inside the restaurant, the experience begins the moment you step through the grand entrance, and a step back is needed to take in the restaurant's centerpiece, the central oven. All around, Anatolian roots are evident in the décor, from the Turkish tiles on the walls to the arched gateways to large-scale paintings. Complementing the classical interior elements perfectly are the modern touches – think spiked contemporary chandeliers and steel-toed chairs. At one corner sits the sleek and buzzing open kitchen where the culinary masterpieces are created. Away from the main area, diners can take in the water view on the terrace and watch the yachts sail past on the marina while noshing on refreshing starters and satisfying mains to delectable desserts.
Accompanying your divine Anatolian dishes are highly addictive mocktails that include the refreshing Oya, a mixture of Earl Grey, apple lavender and jasmine, as well as The Great Silk Road, a sweet concoction made with orange, apricot citrus, jam and wild flower honey. Interestingly as well, each mocktail carries its own story that offers a little bit of insight into Anatolian past.
Classic yet contemporary, rustic yet modern, Ruya is an exercise in perfect juxtaposition be it in terms of its décor or its delicious food. Now, discover the new business lunch at The Artisan by Enoteca Pinchiorri.