Restaurant Review:
Ruya

Grosvenor House, Dubai Marina

When you’ve got the brains behind illustrious restaurants like Coya, Nusr-Et and Zuma unveil their newest venture, you know you’re in for something very special. Ruya, the Turkish word for ‘dream,’ is a sparkling new Turkish restaurant that opened its doors at the Grosvenor House in October 2016 and serves up some rich and delicious Anatolian delicacies while offering visitors a brilliant lounge and bar experience to boot.  With fond memories of my trips to Istanbul in mind and an appetite that was whet by whatever I had read about Ruya, I set out to discover the restaurant at a Blogger Managed Event by Monica Kapila ( DoinDubai ) in the company of fellow food enthusiasts!

At the helm of the kitchen is Executive Chef Colin Clague, a prominent name in the region who has worked with respected names in the past including Burj Al Arab, Zuma in London and Dubai, The Caprice Group and Qbara among others, and to our delight, the set menu at the event was especially designed for us by the Chef himself! True to its name, the restaurant itself is like a dream what with elegant interiors, warm décor, a terrace filled with twinkling lights and grassy walls and an unparalleled view of the Marina and Cayan Tower, you’d want your meal to last long.
It’s now time to discuss the menu and its highlights, so here goes:

Starters

  • Crudités: Raw Vegetables With Red Pepper Yoghurt
  • Citir Kalamar: Simit Coated Baby Squid With Sesame Yoghurt & Spicy Red Pepper Dip
  • Levrek: Sashimi Seabass With Mustard, Apple And Shaved Radish
  • Firin Pancar: Roasted Baby Beetroot, Goats Cheese & Cornbread
  • Mucver Zucchini Fritters, Fennel Labneh
Mains

  • Cağ Kebab (Chicken)
  • Adana Kebap: Spicy Minced Lamb And Burnt Tomato
  • Whole Grilled Seabream With Spicy Herb Rub, Lemon Dressing And Havoc Saltasi
  • Kuymac: Cheese Fondue
  • 2 Cheese Pide With Slow Cooked Egg
  • Spoon Salad: Chopped Vegetables In A Pomegranate Dressing
Dessert
  
  • Selection Of Turkish Ice Creams
  • Watermelon & Lion’s Milk: Watermelon And Raki Ice Pop, Mint Granite, Rose Jelly And Herbs
Drinks

  • Selection of Cocktails and Turkish Coffee/Tea to end the meal

When I read crudités on the menu, I was thrilled because I enjoy a good salad but expected something simple to show up and boy was I wrong or what! The raw vegetables seemed more vibrant than ever and paired with the dip, it was a combination that was too good to resist. My other favorites off the starters menu were the Citir Kalamar and the Firin Pancar (three kinds of beetroot were used in this delectable salad). Another dip that was a winner for me was the fennel labneh that accompanied the Zucchini fritters.

Now for the mains. Saying I was spoilt for choice would be an understatement because the mains comprised of a few of my favorite things; Kebabs, cheese and seafood! As the Kebabs arrived on our table, I was hit with memories of gorging on the different kinds in Istanbul and remember placing the Adana on top of my list. Here too, the Kebabs were delightful and the wave of nostalgia not unfounded as one bite of each took me back to Turkey.  The reminiscence got stronger as I bit into the cheese-filled Pide which for me, trumped even the Kuymac! Top-notch in presentation and taste, the Sea Bream was quite the popular dish on the table and with good reason.

It was finally time for the desserts. For those wondering about how I had any room left after the opulent appetizers and mains, well there’s this thing called a dessert stomach that I am convinced I have. Additionally, in my opinion Turkish ice creams are tantalizing and I for one cannot resist a rich Dondurma. We were served a selection of lush sorbets and ice creams in flavors like chocolate, Rose, Pomegranate and more that were simultaneously too pretty to eat and too appealing not to. Although the watermelon based confection was a nice, flavorsome sweet too, I felt that it paled in comparison to the Dondurmalar.

In my opinion, Ruya perfectly brings forth the multiplicity and legacy of Anatolian cuisine in a tasteful setting that pays perfect homage to the magnificence of Turkey.