Traditional culinary experiences: Turkish Village Restaurant

Shereen Shabnam

Recently we ventured to the Award-winning Turkish Village Restaurant to sample their diverse range of unique authentic culinary experiences that included especially curated dishes blending authentic Turkish ingredients and flavors, complete with the much-loved art of Turkish hospitality.

We discovered that the restaurant offers so much more than just good food as we entered the Jumeirah branch of the restaurant. Starting from a retail experience to a selection of delectable food with seasonal flavours and impeccable presentation, we tried different inspiring food concepts, and each was a fun and social culinary experience best enjoyed in a group.

The Turkish Village Restaurant has a capacity for large events that can accommodate over 500 guests over three levels and can curate menus that can be custom made to suit any corporate or family event. When I visited with family, we opted for the a la carte menu as we wanted to try different dishes and each one was better than the next. My favourite was a metre long ‘pide’ or pastry which came with interesting fillings of meat and cheese fresh from the oven.

More recently we ventured with there with a group of friends and tried the Turkish mangal or barbecue that includes staple starters with meat marinated with spices overnight. We selected tender marinated chicken, succulent lamb, beef, kebabs and sausages and prepared the meal together at grill tables that come equipped with a private charcoal barbeque and a custom-made extractor.

The mangal meal was served with salads, fresh bread out of the oven, sauces, cold starters and water or ayran. The Mangal experience can be enjoyed for lunch and dinner at AED 50/- per person that includes charcoal, water, ayran, salad and cold starters on the table while the chicken and meat can be availed from the in-house butcher starting at AED 110/- per kg to share.

We then ended the meal on a sweet note with traditional Turkish sweets that include kunafa, baklava stuffed with cream and pistachios and the creamiest rice pudding in the city. This was the best Turkish culinary experience we have had in Dubai as it offers an authentic dining experience at par with what we normally find in Istanbul or other parts of Turkey.

Before leaving the restaurant, we stopped at the gourmet grocer named Bakkal (Meaning Grocery store in Turkish) on the ground floor for retail therapy. Bakkal features a diverse range of fresh, dried and frozen goods imported from Turkey every week and is a dream store for party lovers looking to get ready snacks that can be prepared easily for large families and intimate parties.

The three level Turkish Village Restaurant is located strategically in Jumeirah 1 (across La Mer, next to Spinneys and the Jumeirah Grand Mosque). It offers a laid-back memorable and interactive dining experience, within a warm and welcoming ambience and is also a one-stop shop for artisanal Turkish products. We left with bags full of Turkish delights and naturally, I got some extra desserts to enjoy at home later.

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Luxury Island Getaway: Atmosphere Kanifushi

Shereen Shabnam

Escaping to a secluded Island to escape the pandemic is on the mind of many and we recently discovered the perfect luxury retreat at Atmosphere Kanifushi where private island laid back life meets award winning mouth-watering culinary adventures and spa indulgence.

We arrived at the pristine Kanifushi resort after an exhilarating 35-minute seaplane ride from Malé. welcomed by musicians on the island that is blanketed by dense tropical vegetation and blessed with vibrant, natural coral reefs.

Situated amidst the azure ocean with stand-alone beach and water villas spread along the 2 kilometres long island, we enjoyed impeccable service and elegant living spaces with picture-perfect surrounding ocean and serene sunsets.

At Atmosphere Kanifushi, the convergence of cotton candy clouds in the day, fiery orange skies in the evenings and turquoise waters during boat rides imbed an image that will be forever seared in our memories.

The five-star resort offers an all-inclusive luxury package, an extensive range of restaurants and bars plus a choice of excursions, sunset fishing, snorkelling and discounts on spa treatments and diving. Atmosphere Kanifushi has some of the best diving in the Maldives. The resort is five-star luxury all the way.

Dining at the Atmosphere Kanifushi is a delight as the resort has Maldives first top-quality vegetarian restaurant and a great all-day restaurant offering sumptuous ‘all you can eat’ buffet-style selection of Asian, European, and Maldivian favourites, live cooking stations, theme nights, and grills. Guests can also enjoy Selection of snacks during the day and a la carte fine dining experiences.

Activities at Atmosphere Kanifushi include sunset fishing, boat excursions, water sports with Dive and Sail, complimentary snorkelling equipment for every guest during the stay, snorkelling excursions and much more. There is a fully equipped gym with flood lit tennis and a children’s centre.

The rooms at Atmosphere Kanifushi come with stunning views. The water villas stretch along the crystal-clear lagoon, perfect for a romantic getaway. The outdoor deck comes with comfortable sun loungers and features a wooden ladder leading to the marine life-rich lagoon for a dip in or a swim anytime.

The sunset beach villas offer a secluded sanctuary where one can soak in the pleasures of island living in a private garden complete with lush tropical shrubs, soft sand beneath your feet, and an inviting private pool. There are also over water villas with a pool offering ultimate overwater luxury. The rooms have a luxurious bathroom and world-class amenities designed to indulge all senses.

The Kanifushi Grand one-bedroom villas have sweeping oceanfront views with a fabulous poolside setup, an airy, luxurious bathroom with a deep alfresco bathtub for an indulgent experience.

The two-bedroom sunset family beach bungalows have two interconnected rooms with a combination of indoor and outdoor spaces making it the best private villa in Maldives. With easy access to the kid’s club, sports complex, and the main restaurant, these villas are perfect for experiencing all the activities that the resort offers.

The Kanifushi Residence is a dream family hideaway, complete with a living cum dining room with a pantry, an entertainment room with two bedrooms and an attached nanny’s bedroom. This sprawling residence with extra privacy is ideal for large families, groups who want to share a common space, and multi-generational travellers.

Atmosphere Kanifushi serenades you with white, sandy beaches, swaying palm trees, and lush tropical gardens. We definitely felt the staff were the resorts best asset at Atmosphere Kanifushi as they offer impeccable service for blissful relaxing experiences and by going that extra mile for guest comfort and convenience.

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Turkish Mangal Meets South African Braai

Explore traditional BBQ experiences at Turkish Village Restaurant

One of the most socially interactive culinary experiences the world over is having a barbecue with friends and family and this concept is most popular in South Africa, where a ‘Braai’ or barbecue can be a weekly experience.

In Dubai, the best on table barbecue experience comes in the form of the Turkish Mangal at the award-winning Turkish Village Restaurant where chefs use premium meat, authentic Turkish ingredients and flavors and like the South African Braai, the meat is cooked over sizzling hot coals to bring out the best flavours in the meat.

The atmosphere surrounding a Turkish mangal experience and a Braai is one full of enjoyment and common on weekends, birthdays, national holidays, graduations and on any occasion to celebrate with family and friends.

At Turkish Village Restaurant, diners select premium meat cuts and marinated meat from the restaurant’s in-house butcher to enjoy a feast at grill tables that come equipped with a private charcoal barbeque and a custom-made extractor. The choice of meat includes marinated chicken, kebabs, lamb chops, sausages and beef cubes for guests to prepare the meal together with friends and family.

The Mangal or Braai experience is ideal for gatherings during lunch and dinner at AED 50/- per person that includes charcoal, water, ayran, salads and cold starters on the table while the chicken and meat can be availed starting  at AED 110/- per kg to share. The meal is also served with fresh bread out of the oven, a selection of sauces and water or ayran.

Diners can end the meal on a sweet note with traditional Turkish sweets that include kunafa, milk infused tres-leche cakes, baklava stuffed with cream and pistachios as well as the creamiest baked rice pudding in the city.

The three level Turkish Village Restaurant is located strategically in Jumeirah 1 (across La Mer, next to Spinneys and the Jumeirah Grand Mosque), and in Dubai Festival City Mall promenade overlooking the fountains. It offers a laid-back memorable and interactive dining experience, within a warm and welcoming ambience. It is also a one-stop shop for artisanal Turkish products.

For bookings please call +97143449955 or send to reservations@turkishvillagedubai.com