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By Preity Uupala
Observer Staff Writer 

Ottoman Empire: BESH. In the Heart of Dubai, You Will Find the Most Authentic Turkish Kitchen

No meal is complete with a little something sweet or "Tatlilar", Turkish for desserts


March 26, 2018

Dubai is known for its incredible international cuisine and restaurant scene. All through the city, one can try different authentic style of foods and some of the best in the Middle East. Arabic food of course is very popular as is Lebanese and Persian. But one special kind of cuisines that is well loved in the emirates is Turkish cuisine. There are many amazing Turkish restaurants scattered all around Dubai but I had the great fortune if trying perhaps one of the most authentic Turkish Kitchen during my last visit to this amazing city.

Located inside the Sheraton Mall of Emirates Resort, situated next to the famous Mall of emirates, is the fantastic BESH restaurant- house of authentic Turkish fare. It situated on one of the top floors of the beautiful Sheraton property. I was immediately greeted by my gracious host, Mr. Meric Erdeviren, the restaurant manager. As you walk in, there is beautiful décor and an outside balcony with table and chair where one could dine as well. On a balmy night, I might have opted for an outdoor seat but it was a tad chilly for me and I decided for a plush booth inside instead.

Turkish cuisine, derived all the way form the Ottoman empire, is fascinating. It has a large range of hot and cold mezze, delicious salads, the best seafood, the traditional Pide- Turkish version of flatbread, meat dishes, and grilled kebabs, wood fire baked break and scrumptious rice dishes.

My host Meric ,who has a world of experience in the restaurant and hospitality industry globally, worked at the worlds' only 7 star hotel, Burj al Arab before moving to the Sheraton group. He was gracious enough to order for me and bought out the most decadent spread of dishes.

So let the feast begin! First came out the selection of hot and cold mezze. I was first served the cold mezze, the Sote Karides- Sautéed prawns, Yaprak Sarmasi- grape vine leaves. Both were delicious and perfectly seasoned. Grapevine leaves or Dolma as they are also called, is perhaps my favorite Middle Eastern dish and what they served at besh was cooked to perfection.

I then was served the Izgara Patlican- Eggplant and Acili Ezme- Tomato and Pepper. Eggplant is my favorite vegetable so I always make sure to order at least one Eggplant dish on any menu I try. Turkish cuisine has several eggplant dishes in fact, their national dish is stuffed eggplant with minced beef and rice. These mezze did not disappoint one bit. They were so good but I had to restrain myself from filling up on them, as I had to save myself for the main course and rest of the dishes left to be served.

I decided to skip the soup and the Pide as there were other dished on the menu that were calling my name. We had freshly baked bread as well as a perfect accompaniment to these mezze dishes. BESH is truly an authentic Turkish kitchen complete with a wood fire oven where they bake break, pide, and grilled dishes.

The manager persuaded me to have the salad next- called Gavurdagi- chopped salad with walnuts. I'm not a huge salad fan when its comes to spicy, dynamic

Cuisine but he promised me I wont regret it. I'm glad I trusted him as the salad was absolutely delicious. The chopped walnuts, pomegranate seeds and lemon juice perfeclected seasoned the chopped vegetables and arugula. I don't think I have ever enjoyed a salad as much before!

The next course is called Komurde Mangal- grilled meats and vegetable dishes.

As a seafood lover, I just had to have the Levrek- the Sea Bass. It was a whole fish butterfly style and served with a side salad and some harissa paste. It was tender, flaky, well seasoned and light enough to finish. I had it served wth a side of grilled vegetables and Kisir-a special kind of rice dish with bulgur, olive oil and tomato. The fish was deliciously served with the rice and vegetables. I opted for delicious homemade lemonade with mint as my choice of poison to go with my divine meal. I just had to know the most popular dish on the menu and not surprisingly it was the salad!

No meal is complete with a little something sweet or "Tatlilar", Turkish for desserts. The famous Turkish sweets of course are Turkish Delight and Irmik Helvasi- a semolina dessert. But their dessert menu had some exciting treats like Dondurma- their version of ice cream, rice pudding and of course the famous Kunefe- a cheese pastry dish.

I have a food fetish for the famed Baklava so I opted for that dish served with ice cream. The manager persuaded me against it, as it was a huge piece – more than what one person could possibly eat. But I went for the most ambitious dessert dish regardless. The huge piece of baklava came out with ice cream actually in between the layers as opposed to on the side of it. It was sweet, light, rose water infused and to die for. I almost managed to devour it all. I complimented my meal with traditional Turkish tea and well as coffee.

I have been to Istanbul, Turkey many times before and have always have a penchant for their food and had many a great meals at local restaurants. But BESH brings those flavors right here to the heart of Dubai. Most importantly, it did not lack the most important quality of Turkish cuisine which is warmth, hospitality and love of the person who cooks and serves it to you. It was a happy kitchen that was at work here and the very gracious host makes you feel totally at home.

During the weekends, BESH turns into quite the night spot too, with great music playing and people enjoying drinks or simply a cup of Turkish Tea chatting away into the night, enjoying life and being in the moment, I highly recommend BESH if you want a great an authentic Turkish experience in Dubai and a meal and a night to remember, I look forward to visiting again my next trip to Dubai.


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