ABU DHABI With the UAE heat finally starting to relent, the wait is over for those who have been longing to dine out. And that includes me.
While there are several restaurants to choose from in the city, I picked the Turkish eatery Kaftan on Jumeirah Beach Road as it had recently introduced al fresco dining. The menu featured an all-day breakfast concept offering a range of authentic Turkish dishes and the famous Turkish coffee.
I liked the outdoor dining area for two reasons: It overlooked the Burj Al Arab and had a garden-like ambience.
My meal began with the firin peyniri kizartma (fried cheese bread) and sefin simit (pretzel). Both came with a generous supply of blackberry sauce, honey and cream, steamed vegetables and fresh green olives – resulting in an impressive spread. While it was an absolute treat to the tastebuds it also made for a good Instagram post.
The fried cheese bread dipped in honey and cream is my favourite Turkish snack, but the one at Kaftan wasn’t as good as those I had savoured in Istanbul a couple of years ago. The pretzel, however, more than made up for it as it was extremely delicious, and, in fact, better than what I had sampled in Turkey. The pretzel here was a chef speciality, made with a circular sesame bread, beef sojouk (dry and spicy sausage) and eggs. A cup of authentic Turkish coffee played a perfect foil to the pretzel.
The chef insisted I try some tahinli ekmek or tahini bread. I agreed because I didn’t want to turn him down. The bread was freshly baked with tahini cream, honey and sugar. It was too sweet for my palate. However, I noticed that it was a hit among children dining there.
Hoping to end my meal on a satisfactory note, I tried the simit katmer (pistachio bagel pie) and thankfully it turned out to be one of the nicest treats at Kaftan. The bagel was filled with pistachios and fresh cream with just the right amount of ‘sweetness’. This one is highly recommended.