United Arab Emirates

Turkish cuisine in Dubai

Turkish cuisine in Dubai

Licia Giglio, an Italian, who closely examined world cuisine, review about Turkish cuisine. You can also find these flavors that Licia Giglio tasted in Turkey in Dubai. Here is the list of Turkish restaurants.

Here is the story of those unique experiences:

After touring Turkey and tasting Turkish cuisine and its typical dishes, there are two memories you will always carry with you: The smiles of the people sitting at the table, sharing a meal and “A sweet and spicy smell together, which is the smell of all Turkey”, as Georges Simenon, the inventor of Maigret, used to say.

Fascinating and rich in history: Today’s Turkish cuisine is the result of the melting pot, of the many civilisations that have settled in these lands and introduced ingredients, customs, techniques and recipes from faraway lands, exploiting local resources and adapting to the availability of raw materials.

During my recent trip, both to Istanbul and to other places, I was able to taste several typical Turkish dishes, and in this article I will tell you about the ones that impressed me the most and that therefore belong to the list of the best Turkish dishes to try at least once.

Spring Rolls

In Turkish cuisine, the term borek refers to one of the nation’s oldest and most popular dishes, made with puff pastry (Spring Rolls), cheese and meat, both a wide range of preparations that share the same basic ingredient (puff pastry). Sigara böreği, for example, are rolls filled with cheese and herbs with a delicate and slightly salty flavour. They are fried and served for lunch, dinner and in some cases also for breakfast.

Stuffed Grape Leaves

Delicate and special, dolmas (Stuffed Grape Leaves) are almost a permanent fixture on Turkish tables. The filling of these rolls is prepared with meat and vegetables, rice or wheat and vegetables, and the whole is wrapped in vine leaves and then stewed. Although very simple, these rolls are a perfect testimony to how different cultures have influenced this country: the custom of eating food wrapped in leaves was already popular among the ancient Greeks.

Meat Pasty

Among the typical Anatolian dishes are Manti (Meat Pasty), small ravioli filled with meat and onions generally eaten on feast days. Like our tortellini, Manti require time and dedication. They are usually served with a yoghurt sauce, creating the perfect combination to enhance the rich and tasty filling.

Turkish Kebab

There are about 50 different varieties of kebabs in Turkey, made with different types of meat, vegetables or different preparation methods. The term kebab literally means ‘roasted meat’. Among the most popular and exported variants worldwide are the döner kebab and the durum kebab.

In the first case, the meat (lamb, sheep, chicken or beef) is cooked on a classic spit and served in a bun together with vegetables, onions and yoghurt sauce, an inevitable condiment when it comes to meat. Durum kebab has more or less the same accompanying ingredients, but the meat is served inside a rolled flatbread.

If you travel through Turkey as far as Cappadocia, in central Anatolia, you may find other absolutely excellent kebab variants, one of them being the testi kebab (in English pottery kebab), which is meat seasoned with tomato, onions and vegetables, barbecued in small amphorae enclosed by a bread crust. Meat produced in the hinterland meets local pottery in a perfect combination of local resources.

The Testi Kebab is a unique experience to enjoy meat, not only because the type of cooking makes the ingredients come together perfectly, but also because it is a very scenic dish.


Staying on the topic of meat, it may be useful to know that besides kebabs, there is another dish that boasts a large number of variations: Meatballs, or kofte. In Istanbul, but also in other parts of Turkey, it is possible to find kofterie, nice restaurants specialising in meatballs and serving these delicacies cooked on a spit.

Generally, these meatballs are made with lamb, but it is not difficult to find kofte made with beef or veal. Being meat, kofte are also generally served with the classic yoghurt sauce.

Lentil Soup

Lentils, like other legumes, are a staple food in many regions of the Middle East. In Cappadocia, where the cuisine is strongly anchored in the consumption of cereals and pulses, many tasty soups can be consumed, such as red lentil soup, a delicate and nutritious dish that generally includes vegetables such as potatoes, pumpkin, tomato, celery and parsley.

Turkish Pizza

The lahmacun is the thin Turkish pizza, stuffed with meat and vegetables. It is an appetising snack that is also easy to eat standing up, not surprisingly it is very common as street food. It is generally found in normal or spicy versions and is often served with Ayran, a yoghurt-based drink, which we will discuss later.

Turkish Tea, Laban, Turkish Coffee

When it comes to drinks, Turkey has a lot to offer. Cay, the typical Turkish tea, is the most consumed drink after water; it is served in the typical glass, on a saucer, together with two sugar cubes. Drinking it bitter is an experience I recommend only to those who generally avoid sugar and are therefore used to un-sweetened flavours.

Another widely consumed beverage (and one not to be drunk bitter at all) is Turk Kahvesi, Turkish coffee, which has been a Unesco heritage site for several years now.

In Turkey, the preparation of coffee is practically a ritual made up of gestures and techniques rich in fascination handed down over the years. Coffee is prepared by infusion and a copper pot called cezve is used.

The coffee, ground into a fine powder, is put into boiling water and left to infuse. Since the coffee is served unfiltered, it is necessary to let the coffee sit for the powder to settle to the bottom before serving. The flavour of Turkish coffee is really intense so, if you are not used to it, you will have to sweeten it with sugar.

Finally, if you are a yoghurt lover, you must try ayran, a drink made of yoghurt, water and salt, very refreshing and thirst quenching.

Why try it? Because Turkey is not only the world’s leading producer of ayran, but also specialises in the preparation of yoghurt, and this drink is rich in beneficial properties that have even interested the scientific community over the years.

Turkish Delight / Noah’s Pudding

I talked about Turkey’s most famous dessert, baklava, some time ago in my article ‘What to eat in Istanbul’, the fact is that this nation has much more to offer when it comes to sweets.

Lokums, for example, widespread almost everywhere, are small cube-shaped sweets made of sugar syrup and dried fruit. With a chewy texture, these sweets have been produced in Turkey since the 15th century and have survived to the present day, retaining their shape and characteristics, although some ingredients have changed over time.

Another popular and very special Turkish sweet is Aşure, a kind of pudding made with many different ingredients that are difficult to imagine together.

In this sweet, cereals, pulses, cinnamon, sugar, sultanas, pine nuts, walnuts, almonds and pomegranate are combined. Ashure is also known as ‘the sweet of the tenth day’ because tradition has it that it is prepared on the tenth day of the first month of the Islamic calendar.

It is said that the first person to prepare this dessert was Noah on his Ark, using the few ingredients he had available.

Turkish cuisine for foodlover.