There is no question that when it comes to quality A La Turca at Rixos The Palm ranks up there with the best.
When you arrive at the Rixos hotel on The Palm, you feel transported to somewhere out of Dubai. Somewhere far, far away. Perhaps a tropical island tucked away in a quiet corner of the Indian Ocean. I’m not quite sure how they have achieved it but the Rixos hotel just gives off a profound sense of peace and tranquility; perhaps due to it being right at the one of the end of The Palm and a little off the beaten track. But it is an overwhelming sense of well-being that hits you when you first walk in. Lush foliage everywhere and quietly bubbling water features just adding to the calm.
Now, brunch in Dubai is well-vaunted as a much glamourous affair with everyone getting dressed up to the max. This is always super fun but if you are, like myself, a little more on the laidback side, you may be after something more chilled yet equally tantalizing for your taste buds. If so, then I would recommend A La Turca. It’s relaxed yet still has a great weekend vibe that encourages you to let down your hair and pander to your whims. But it doesn’t disappoint with its spread.
What’s on offer A La Turca?
Quite frankly, as I was being led around by the Executive Chef of A La Turca, Nurettin Celik, I couldn’t get over the vast array of international dishes on offer. With Turkish cuisines and mezzes from Eastern Anatolia and the Black Sea, they have thought of everything and have then gone all out to make it look as delicious and enticing as possible. So, no matter what your preferences, A La Turca, will have something for everyone; and not only that, it will be good.
Chef Celik explained that he takes his food seriously and quality is paramount. So much so that he employs a chef who is solely in charge of baking different types of bread on offer daily. He prefers this, he says, as it guarantees quality and freshness.
Walking into the extensive buffet at A La Turca at the Rixos, you are struck by one thing. Colour. All the hues of the rainbow pop out at you. Reds, greens, yellows. On the right, as you enter, are all the desserts flanked by giant white chocolate seahorses coated in soft cerulean blue pearl powder. Straight ahead there is an interactive Cig Kofte station serving what is essentially the Turkish version of steak tartare along with slices of lemon and pomegranate. You can sit down on the brightly coloured orange throw pillows and carefully mould your own. Being a little spicy, there are giant copper bowls filled with a traditional yoghurt drink filled with ice blocks to soothe and refresh. However, if you are more into your cooked meat, then the live grill station will be up your street. Situated on the terrace, you can have your choice of meat or fish charred to perfection just for you.
Every station in the A La Turca is packed with seafood, meat and vegetables that just pop with color. Yellow, red and green peppers are filled with spiced rice. I believe that it might likely be the healthiest brunch in terms of variety and diversity. Plenty of fresh fruit was on offer and the seafood station was well-stocked with tiger prawns.
Desserts included massive mounds of Turkish delight in all different flavours. The nougat I tried was particularly memorable. There were some of the more run-of-the-mill desserts but for me the Arabic sweets stood out on this round. In addition, the traditional Turkish ice-cream cart adds some flair. The goats milk ice-cream was authentic and delicious. I could have gone back for more if I hadn’t been so eye-poppingly full.
The one thing you must try without a doubt is the more exotic Middle-eastern savoury yet sweet traditional pudding called Kanafeh. Dating back to the Ottoman Empire, this Middle Eastern cheese dessert is topped with shredded phyllo pastry that is sprinkled on top and then heavily soaked in sugar syrup; making it a moreish and comforting treat. They have perfected it here at A La Turca and you will be a fool for not sampling it.
The Rixos may seem a little far but we reckon it just adds to the charm and escapism. There are also some great transport options. We highly recommend taking the water taxi across if you are planning for a more liquid kind of affair. Plus, the Rixos also offers a shuttle back to the mainland which may come in handy post-brunch.
So, don’t hesitate to make your booking now. The outdoor terrace is ready and waiting for you. And with the weather cooling down you are running out of excuses to not indulge. Just a little.