Is Nusret Restaurant in Dubai Worth the Steep Price Tag? We Tell You!
One of Turkey's most famous restaurants has recently opened in Dubai and is considered a hip spot in the city. We anonymously reviewed it this weekend and here is what we discovered
Getting a reservation at Nusret is near impossible and for wholly unexpected reasons - no one picks up the phone. After about (we kid you not) 100 attempts, we finally got through and made a reservation for 10.15pm on Friday night. Since we knew it was quite a popular eatery, we called about a week in advance to ensure that we had a guaranteed reservation.
Come Friday, we got dressed to the nines and arrived at Nusret with high expectations despite the reservation drama we faced earlier. Ready for a night of haute culinary fare, we reached about five minutes late. The ambience was upbeat; every table was stacked with glamorous people and the latest popular music livened the buzz. The décor was hip and cosy too – with high- backed leather chairs, solid wooded tables and intricate wood work everywhere. It all looked promising and we happily browsed our cocktail menus and ordered one of our favourites. “Sorry, but we can’t make that for you,” was the bartender’s response to my request. I was a bit flummoxed. “Why?” I asked, wondering at the unavailability. After all, it was Friday night and only 10.20pm – wasn’t the revelry just beginning? “We have run out of the ingredients,” he apologetically explained, looking a tad embarrassed. I ordered something else, which turned out to be bitter and not at all what we expected.
The disappointment was just beginning. It was 10.45pm at this point and our table was still unavailable. The hostess was apologetic but still had no answers as to why we were waiting for as long as we were. We decided to order our appetisers at the bar as getting a table anytime soon didn’t seem possible. Beef Carpaccio arrived with much fanfare as the waiter crumbled cheese crackers and rocket leaves on the meat and rolled it up into a Carpaccio roll of some sort. It was absolutely delicious. Crunchy and packed with varied textures, we almost forgave every bad experience we had had so far but then again, it was 11.15pm and the table was still unavailable. Five minutes later, we were seated and ordered our food without missing a beat. At this point I would have happily eaten the wooden table. My hungry eyes could have mistaken it for steak – it looked close enough in colour!
The Goat Cheese Salad, Fried Squid and Nusret Special (grilled meat on a hot stone, steeped in butter with bread) arrived in quick succession and to be fair, the food was faultless, save for one small glitch – the meat got cold before we
After grabbing fries with my hand (I had resorted to ‘grabbing’ as that’s what starvation does to me) I looked for a cloth napkin to wipe the grease off and was shocked to find that we had only paper napkins at our table. I quickly called over a waitress and asked for cloth napkins for the table (should one really need to request for something as basic as this when going to a high end restaurant?)
“Sorry ma’am, we have run out of cloth napkins.” Huh? No cloth napkins? REALLY?
Dessert almost calmed me down after the second “sorry” of the evening. It was the star of the dinner’s dismal proceedings and had an element of drama that was wholly unexpected. Crisp baklava arrived at the table along with a generous side of milky ice cream. Our waiter sliced the baklava open and with adept skill sandwiched the ice cream and served it to us with élan. It was spectacular – crunchy, creamy and melt-in-the-mouth fabulous. We left with a sweet taste in our mouth but the bitter side effects of the evening’s let-downs, are something we will not forget for a while.