Istanbul Flower, Marina
Who says that one has to travel to experience authentic cuisine of another nation? If you know where to go, and have an insider with you, the next hot spot might only be a mile away! Istanbul Flower, located in the Dubai Marina is one of those hot spots. We had the pleasure of taking out a few of our students recently, and one of them suggested to give this restaurant a try.
It was a week day and around lunch time; the terrace of the restaurant was full. Full with families, young couples and a few men, drinking tea and playing Backgammon, a traditional board game.
The smell of lentil soup, grilled meats and Shisha made us feel welcome and curious at the same time. We were greeted by the owner himself, who led us to a long table, ready and set up for the students and myself.
It was a friendly welcome, genuine and sweet. We sat down, looked through the menu and decided to skip the business lunch menu (3 courses and a soft drink for only AED 59) and order a few things from the kitchen to taste what Turkish food is all about. The owner invited us into the kitchen where around ten chefs greeted us and introduced their specialties: hummus, salads, soups, grilled meats, rice- and potatoes dishes and millions of sweets.
We went back to our table and placed our drinks order. This was a bit more challenging the choosing our food, as the waiters’ level of English was not as great. We did however have our ‘local’ among us and we also had the menus in front of us to overcome that challenge.
It only took a few minutes for the salads and lentil soups to arrive. They were great. The salads were fresh, the wine leafs were obviously home – made and the soup was – just as expected – divine. The main course arrived only seconds after that.
The waiters thought we might wanted to have all food served at the same time, for everyone on the table to choose what they wanted to try and when. A nice thought, however a bit overwhelming when you look at the actual food portions. We were not able to finish all of it.
When you feel like Turkish food the next time, try and have their business lunch; make sure however that you do not have breakfast before that, and neither plan a dinner party after that – you will be fed for days!
The mains were followed by the obligatory tea and sweets. Baran, one of the students said that, regardless of how stuffed you are, you have to have sweets and tea. There was nothing left to say, we had to try them – it was part of the experience overall.
The students had a great time, the Istanbul Flower team took great care of us and the nice temperature outside made it possible to enjoy a authentic Shisha while digesting the amazing food.
A big thank you to Baran for organizing the trip!
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