Gemma Norris
Monday 19 Dec 2016

In their first foray into the UAE, international architecture and design practice, Conran and Partners, are excited to announce the opening of a new Anatolian-themed restaurant and bar concept located inside the Grosvenor House Hotel, Dubai Marina. 

The restaurant and bar – Rüya (meaning ‘dream’ in Turkish) – is the brain child of Turkish  restaurateur Umut Ozkanca and backed by d.ream (Dogus Restaurant Entertainment and  Management Group). Their plan is to expand the concept to key cities worldwide, drawing  attention to the incredible cuisine of the region.

Arranged across nearly 800m², the venue has a capacity for around 230 guests with a mixture of indoor dining areas including a bar, lounge, private dining and an external terrace offering stunning views of the Marina. Seated in view of a striking, freestanding bread oven and open kitchen, guests are offered a wide range of dining experiences. The restaurant can be accessed from both the Grosvenor House Hotel and via street level.

Tina Norden, Director, Conran and Partners, comments: “We set out to create a vibrant and contemporary new concept which would showcase the rich heritage of Anatolian and Turkish cuisine but with a modern styling for a contemporary international audience. 

The design seeks to draw upon elements of Turkish history and the meeting of Eastern and Western cultural influences from the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires to the present day, reinterpret¬ing them in the materials, patterns, textures and colours we have used.”

Norden has worked extensively internationally as lead architect and interior designer for  projects including: South Place Hotel in London’s Shoreditch (80 rooms, three bars and two restau¬rants); Roppongi Hills Club in Japan (a 5,000m² facility comprising a series of individual hospitality spaces); and Turkish brasserie Parlé in Istanbul. She is currently working on two new Park Hyatt hotel projects in Asia Pacific due to complete in 2017, amongst many other schemes.

“Our approach,” Norden continues, reflects not only the quality and authenticity of the food at Rüya but also our design interpretation of the high value which Anatolian culture places on nurturing a direct relationship between host and guest in a setting that is warm and generous. 

“The restaurant has an open kitchen and a hexagonal, freestanding oven rendered in  blue-grey shades so that guests can watch while their food is being prepared and feel engaged with the processes of preparing and cooking food as far as possible.”

The restaurant features colorful 3-D tiles designed by Conran and Partners inspired - and made - by traditional Turkish craftsmen.

The restaurant offers a menu designed by Executive Chef Colin Clague, featuring an array of Anato¬lian classics with a contemporary slant. Highlights include Midye Dolma (rice-stuffed  mussels), a variety of the classic Lahmacun and Pide, as well as signature dishes such as  slow-cooked Claypot Lamb Shank and Goat’s Cheese.

The beverage menu offers an eclectic cocktail selection including signature concoctions such as ‘Ot¬toman Old Fashioned’, ‘Anatolian Fizz’ and ‘Torschi Martini’ mixed from a free-standing bar. Crushed ice is added from a huge, futuristic, ice machine suspended from the ceiling. Wines are selected from Turkish vineyards selected by Ozkanca. 

Ozkanca comments: “Rüya’s enticing concept fuses a vibrant restaurant, lounge and bar experience together with décor, menu and an ambience taking inspiration from Anatolian roots. We have taken traditions and authentic experiences and interpreted modern details  for our guests and welcome everyone to experience a new concept in Dubai Marina.”

Conran and Partners began working on Rüya in late 2015. The location for Rüya’s debut in  Dubai – part of the Grosvenor House complex – is known for its high-end restaurants and  international brands and the design approach has focused on giving the restaurant and bar differenti¬ation in this setting. In addition, some of the team’s initial ideas have been adapted to meet specific challenges including accommodating a dual entrance (from the hotel lobby and from street level via a lift) and maximising views of the Marina.

Following the success of its brand in Turkey and internationally, the team plans to develop the concept to other key locations such as London, Miami and beyond.


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