Zoe Fryday gets a taste of glamour and Anatolian Fare at Rüya London
Situated on one of the most exclusive streets in Mayfair lies Rüya, a contemporary Middle Eastern establishment, personified by its distinct cultural and creative vision. Encompassing an immersive restaurant area, which features an open display kitchen, as well as private function rooms and a stylish new bar, the venue exudes opulence and sophistication.
The handsomely designed interior by Coran & Partners intersperses plush velvet seating and decadent gold chandeliers with traditional bespoke geometric wall tiling. Statement turquoise tables add a burst of colour while clean lines and brass fixtures create a modern, urban feel. As well as being dramatic and beautiful, Rüya presents a multifunctional setting, with mix of well- thought-out spaces that tend to groups of all different etiquettes and sizes.
Low-key, modish instrumental music creates a relaxed ambience and a tempting aroma of freshly baked bread fills the air, as guests tuck into the carefully prepared Anatolian delicacies on offer. Diners can ponder on Börek, filo wrapped feta cheese with carrots, courgette and walnuts, or Çıtır Kalamar, simit coated baby squid and avocado haydari. Main dishes range from a selection of Çag Kebaps to Butter Poached Lobster with urfa biber, toasted simit and chilli oil, and succulent meat and fish from the grill.
Having launched in July, Rüya’s The Mekan bar, which takes its naming from the Turkish translation of ‘place’, is drawing crowds for its specially-curated cocktail list, inspired by the seven regions that comprise Anatolia: Marmara, Aegean, Central Anatolia, Mediterranean, Black Sea, South East Anatolia and East Anatolia. For bar manager Francesco, the whole venue is all about style, experience and discovery. “We wanted to take guests on a journey through the Anatolian landscape, showcasing the distinctive flavours and cultures of each of the regions.” From Mediterranean fruits and tea from the Black Sea, to pomegranate, pistachio and bergamot from the South East, The Mekan is embracing archetypal ingredients and elevating them in ground-breaking new ways.
With over 28 cocktails on the menu, there is something for everyone. According to Francesco, one of the most popular serves is the Lokum. Hailing from the South East region, it mixes cardamom-infused Ketel One vodka with pomegranate, rose and lime, and is delicately served in a coupette glass, topped with champagne foam and edible flowers. Fez, on the other hand, inspired by the golden beaches of the Aegean region, which are surrounding by fields of figs, olives and plums, combines dark rum, port wine, lime and red berries.
The Mekan also boasts a refined non- alcoholic cocktail selection. “We followed the same philosophy for our mocktails as the alcoholic serves, incorporating them into the menu along with other drinks so there is one mocktail for each region,” explains Francesco. The most popular is The Great Silk Road of the Black Sea region, a mix of pomegranate juice, oat milk, pineapple and pistachio. He adds: “We are also looking to elevate our drinks offering to a different level by creating a home-made Rüya gin and a new cocktail menu based on the periodic table of elements.”
Rüya London, 30 Upper Grosvenor St, Mayfair, London W1K 7PH
Behind the scenes
Interior designer: Coran & Partners
Furniture: Parla Design
Flooring: 3i Interiors
Lighting: Into Lighting Design
Kitchen and bar fit-out: Hallmark Kitchens and Concept Bars
Originally published in the December 2018 print edition of Bar magazine.