Place: Grosvenor House, Dubai Marina
AED 299 (soft beverages)
AED 399 (House beverages)
AED 499 (Champagne)
Timing: 12pm – 4pm
“The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age.”- Lucille Ball
With two weeks to go until my 33rd birthday, I sat drinking my favorite Rum (Takamaka) on the rocks and deliberated over where to host my birthday brunch. I had 4 boxes to tick off when I was making my short list: an outdoor venue, high-quality delicious food served to the table, good music and a lively atmosphere, and cost under AED 370.
Despite the plethora of brunches offered in the city, my list consisted of only 4 names, and some of the names did not even tick all 4 boxes. I settled on Ruya, even though I had never been there before. I was happy with the menu, and the online reviews (after filtering for fake reviews and plastic bloggers), plus management agreed to offer a large group booking rate (Pro Tip: if you are over12 people then always call ahead and ask for a special rate- I booked for 25 people).
Ruya serves modern Turkish cuisine created by Head Chef Colin Clague, who has previously worked for both Zuma and Qbara. The restaurant is located on the ground floor of the Grosvenor House, with a gorgeous terrace overlooking the Marina.
Cold starters to Share:
- Isli Patlican (eggplant puree with walnuts)- similar to baba ghanoush
- Muhammara with roasted bread- also similar to the muhammara you would have at a Lebanese or Syrian restaurant
- Levrek (Seabass sashimi with mustard and apple)– fresh and interesting twist to a sashimi dish
- Tomato Salad with shallots & pomegranate- refreshing tomato salad
Hot Starters to Share:
- Citir kalamar (calamari)- a light and crispy version.
- Lahmacun (thin crust pide with spicy lamb)- the dough was light and the lamb mixture yummy
- Cheese pide (with egg and butter)- again nice dough and delicious cheesy filling
- Borek (filio wrapped feta cheese)– crispy on the outside, gooey feta cheese on the inside; what is not to like?
Mains to Share:
- Marinated Baby Chicken- tender and juicy chicken
- Whole grilled seabream, spiced herb rub- this was the tables least favorite main
- Kesek (Barley Risotto with pulled lamb)– my favorite of the mains, if you are a fan of lamb you will enjoy this dish
- Guvec (clay pot vegetables)- vegetables cooked in a tasty tomato sauce
- Grain fed Ribeye- well cooked high quality meat
Overall the food served was top notch. Our only complaint was that our request for additional mains was declined. However staff did bring us additional starters to try and compensate.
The Beverage stations are as follows:
- Beer: Effes (bottled)
- Wines: White (Marius Blanc by Michel Chapoutier, Syrah- France Red (Marius by Michel Chapoutier, Syrah- France, Sparkling wine
- Spirits: (Gin, Rum, Vodka, Whiskey).
- Cocktails: Moscow Mule, Mojito
All the wines were very good. The Moscow mule was good but served in a tiny copper cup that meant you need a refill every 5 minutes. The mojito was not so great.
The staff were very friendly and efficient, and went out of their way to ensure we had a good time. They went around with trays of shots several times. They also showed up with a big drum and sang happy birthday to all the birthday guests. The music was good and the atmosphere was buzzing the whole afternoon.
Ruya does an excellent job at delivering a delicious and entertaining brunch, and I would definitely recommend that you give it go for your next Friday brunch.
Ambiance: 18/20. Beautiful venue, good music, and a buzzing atmosphere.
Beverages: 15/20. Good wines, but points deducted from the cocktail department.
Food: 18/20. Top notch ingredients, well presented. They can include more interesting cold starters in my opinion.
Service: 18/20 Friendly and efficient staff.
Value for Money: 16/20. It is priced steep at AED 400, however I believe you do get your moneys worth.