Restaurant Review:
Gunaydin

Souk Al Bahar
​Dubai

Gunaydin is somewhat of an institution in Turkey; what with over forty successful restaurants and steakhouses dotting the country, the restaurant has become known as the forerunner of the steakhouse concept in Turkey. Downtown Dubai’s scenic Souk Al Bahar’s waterfront promenade now plays host to this icon, offering guests an authentic taste of Turkey and sweeping views of the Dubai Fountain and Burj Khalifa. However, that’s not all that’s charming about this place! At the helm of Gunaydin is Cuneyt Asan; one of the co-founders of the restaurant but with numerous other claims to fame as well! With decades and decades of culinary experience and well-earned titles such as ‘Fastest Butcher in the world,’ ‘The Professor of Meat (he has taught current sensation, #SaltBae his skills),’ among others, Cuneyt is an icon on his own. An invite to a recent blogger’s event got us the awesome opportunity to discover Gunaydin and meet the #MeatProf himself!

Akin to other establishments at Souk Al Bahar, Gunaydin too is beautiful, palatial and of course with a view that one can never tire of! The restaurant is classy but cozy as well and boasts of a homely feeling owing to light fixtures and photographs adorning the vast space. One side of the restaurant has been set aside as a butchery where diners can purchase fine cuts of meat that are on display in two adjacent rooms. Another side of the restaurant houses the open kitchen where you can watch the men and women in action preparing succulent, mouthwatering dishes that are brought out on the double. On yet another side, we were ushered to watch the dessert maker in action as he prepared fresh batches of Katmer, an ancient Anatolian flaky pastry that would later be our dessert. As we were seated, the food began arriving, and although we don’t eat beef, there was quite a bit for us to have as well and the servers ensured that we were well taken care of. In between bites of luscious Adana Kebap’s, Kusbasili Pides, Pili Sis and more, #MeatProf Cuneyt regaled us with anecdotes and more (in Turkish because he cannot speak a word of English, but that takes nothing away from his charm, in fact we’d think this makes him even more theatrical!). Salads paired with lip-smacking Muhammara, Yogurtlu and Hummus made way for more cuts of chicken and meat. As the meal progressed, we were escorted to the outdoor terrace for a surprise, a show by the MeatProf himself and without giving much away, we must say it had us all squealing in delight!

Generous helpings of Katmer with luscious Dondurma folded within made up the end of our meal! While one session may have ended, we know for sure that this will not be the end of our visits to Gunaydin as the restaurant has definitely made its mark on our minds, as has Turkey, whenever we’ve visited!
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