The strangely named Gunaydin meaning Good Morning in Turkish, is the restaurants first foray into the UAE dining scene with a whopping 42 restaurants back in the motherland. Unusual meaning as they aren’t even open for breakfast.
Perfectly located opposite the Dubai Mall, it’s the first restaurant as you enter Souk Al Bahar on the right hand side and has prime positioning overlooking the Dubai Fountains with a long open air terrace.
Inside, you’ll find they have their own butcher when you can even purchase cuts of meat to take home with you.
There’s also a bar inside (although they aren’t licensed), a counter of uncooked meats that you can choose from and an oven where they freshly cook all of their breads. Inside is spacious and modern with a pretty patterned floor and caters for groups of all sizes.
In no time at all out came a vast array of cold mezze, hot bread and salads arrive on the table.
The highlight for me and what I can’t wait to go back for is the panço cold mezze dip. A chunky dip consistency loaded with potatoes and eggplant and a thick white yoghurt with ample garlic. I pretty much wiped the plate clean.
But it was the lamb kebab that blew my mind. Fresh off the grill the flavor was incredible. I haven’t tasted lamb this good since I lived in Australia. Ranging from 100dhs upwards for two skewers it’s definitely worth trying.
The beef is sourced mainly from Australia whilst the lamb comes straight from Turkey. The Gunaydin specials are sliced tableside and then seared in a melting hot butter and seasoned with sea salt. Superb and a decent serving size for two.
The katmer was spot on. Flaky layers of pastry topped with sticky Turkish vanilla ice cream and a very generous serving of pistachios, it’s the perfect ending to the evening, especially if you’re a nut lover.
Traditionally Turkish Tea is consumed at the end of the meal to help aid digestion of what was for us, a meat heavy evening.
Having visited Nusret before, Gunaydin is definitely going to give them a run for it’s money. Especially as they tell me they will be opening a licensed steakhouse in the near future. Salt bae look out!
Good news is they will be open for Iftar during Ramadan. Make sure to secure your table. I definitely will be.
Location: Souk Al Bahar, Downtown
Bookings: 04 554 0700