09 Rabi' I 1445 - 24 September 2023
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Eye of Riyadh
Tourism & Hospitality | Wednesday 19 April, 2023 9:18 pm |

Acclaimed Anatolian restaurant Rüya to open in Riyadh as the first of its kind in the Kingdom

Acclaimed Anatolian restaurant Rüya to open in Riyadh as the first of its kind in the Kingdom


Saudi Arabia is entering a new culinary era with the opening of the first Anatolian restaurant in the Kingdom, Rüya. Known for its stylish restaurants and lounges in London, Dubai, Doha and soon in Cannes, Rüya will bring the rich culinary traditions and cuisine of Anatolia’s vast, storied peninsula authentic contemporary to the Saudi capital in the popular AlDabab neighbourhood. 


An Anatolian dream from the heart of Turkey, born from the idea of introducing Anatolian cuisine to the world while focusing on authenticity, Rüya’s concept centres around the rich culinary traditions and heritage of Anatolia – a land shaped by millennia of rule from diverse religions, civilisations and cultures, notable the Byzantine, Anatolian and Ottoman empires, and contemporary Turkey. Translating to Dream in Turkish, Rüya’s mission is to offer diners heartful hospitality, authentic flavours and beautifully designed spaces – a nod to the cuisine’s rich and diverse homeland.


‘The philosophy behind Rüya is the dream of introducing our cuisine to the world,’ says Umut Özkanca, the founder of Rüya and member of Doğuş Restaurant Entertainment and Management (d.ream), the globally acclaimed group behind Rüya and concepts like Borsa, Masa, Parlé and Istanbul Modern. ‘Our land, Anatolia, has thousands of years of history, and the cuisine is the acclimation of these empires, cultures and religions. We took the recipes I grew up with and tried to work on each dish without losing its DNA. The restaurant launched in partnership with prominent Saudi restaurateur Mohammed Jawa, chairman of MJS Holding, who has over 20 years of experience within the local market and has played a pivotal role in the development of Saudi Arabia's burgeoning hospitality sector, introducing high-profile, international luxury and lifestyle restaurants to the Kingdom, such as Zuma, Roka, Inko, Nito, Mr. Chow, Amazonico, AOK, and more.


Rüya Riyadh will draw on Turkey’s renowned hospitality and distinct design and architecture to create a contemporary and lively 127-cover restaurant, lounge and bar experience focused on food, celebration and bringing people together, with indoor and outdoor spaces and authentic touches like roaring bread ovens and colourful artwork and tiling.  


Rüya Riyadh’s kitchen will boast a strong team of well-trained international chefs who have mastered traditional Turkish cuisine alongside the expertise of the Oz̈kanca family. When curating the menu for Rüya, a team of chefs travelled the length and breadth of Turkey, taking unique ideas from dishes and elevating and modernising them. Rüya dishes are not fusions, but instead elevations of Turkish classics – with a backbone of the same much-loved recipes used in Turkey today.


Star dishes include the classic pide (a flatbread with bubbling cheeses, melted butter and egg), Ca̧ ğ kebab (juicy flame-grilled Turkish kebab), a mouthwatering selection of hot and cold Turkish mezes, lahmacun (delicate flatbread topped with mincemeat and herbs) and lamb shank slow cooked in a traditional clay oven. Rüya’s strong brand DNA and concept will also translate to Rüya Riyadh’s innovative beverage list, with the team crafting customised and creative mocktails using classic Turkish flavours and ingredients such as fragrant hibiscus, rose, pomegranate, honey, spices, and refreshing citrus and mint. 


The new restaurant, which seats 127 patrons across the expansive indoor and outdoor space, has been designed by Conran and Partners to encapsulate the sultry spirit of an enchanting, exuberant and experiential space, with a nod to classic Anatolian charm in a contemporary setting. From the pide oven greeting guests upon arrival to confirm that food is truly the heart and soul of the concept, Byzantine architecture-inspired dome-shaped chandeliers and intricately designed Turkish carpets that are reminiscent of the folklore ‘A Thousand and One Nights’, to the vibrant hues of 3D mosaic tiles against the amalgamation of marble, metal, brass, crystal and timber, the interiors layer a contemporary dining experience with cultural nuances that are truly a celebration of authentic Anatolian recipes relayed with a modern interpretation. 


On bringing the concept to Riyadh, Mohammed Jawa said: ‘The Turkish cuisine is one of the oldest and richest cuisines in the world, and it also has an influence on almost all the Middle Eastern cuisines. I have always been inspired by some of the authentic and original recipes of the Turkish cuisine, and I believe the Saudi consumers would appreciate, so we made sure to include them in Ruya Riyadh menu. We are delighted to introduce such a vibrant, family-friendly and rich cuisine to the Saudi market.’


Rüya Riyadh will be the first taste of elevated Anatolian cuisine in Saudi Arabia and will be located on the city’s popular Al Dabab Street, marking a new era for Turkish cuisine in the Kingdom. 


Note to editors


About Rüya
Rüya, meaning ‘dream’ in Turkish is an enticing concept that fuses a vibrant restaurant, lounge, and bar experience together by exploring the extremely rich history and diversity of Anatolian food, a cuisine that draws inspiration from a number of culinary traditions. 


About d.ream
d.ream (Doğuş Restaurant Entertainment and Management) began its operations in April 2012 and has achieved a dominant position in food & beverage sector thanks to its partnerships. As of today, d.ream has a unique position in the sector through the variety and number of restaurants it has both in Turkey and the internationally. Owing to its strong expansion, d.ream is the market leader in Turkey and with the strength of Doğuş Group d.ream has become an international player by introducing brand new concepts and offering wide variety of dining experiences worldwide. 


About MJS Holding


Rüya Riyadh is launched in partnership with prominent Saudi restaurateur Mohammed Jawa, founder of MJS Holding, who holds over 18 years of experience within the local market. MJS Holding has played a pivotal role in the development of Saudi Arabia's burgeoning hospitality sector, introducing high-profile, international luxury and lifestyle restaurants to the Kingdom such as InkoNito, Mr. Chow, Amazonico, Ilbaretto, AOK, and more. MJS Holdings also partners with French chef Cyril Lignac, PSI and global restaurant group Azumi, the owners of concepts Zuma and Roka.


About Conran and Partners:


Conran and Partners is a collaborative design studio working across Architecture, Interiors and Industrial Design. Based in London, they were founded by Sir Terence Conran over thirty years ago, and have designed the interiors for some of the world’s most prestigious destination restaurants, such as London’s Royal Exchange, Skylon and Bluebird as well as the prestigious Hong Kong Club in Hong Kong and Gustavinos in New York. Last year they completed their 100th hospitality project with the autumn opening of German Gymnasium in London’s Kings Cross. 


They are well established in Asia having being involved with many iconic projects such as Roppongi Hills Residences, Futako Tamagawa, Niki Club, Hotel Icon, Mandarin Oriental and a selection of Park Hotels. They are currently working on the full interior design scope for two new Park Hyatt Hotel projects in Jakarta and Auckland, which include F+B and spa facilitates. They are also interior designers for The House Hotel and Residence in Istanbul; an innovative mixed use development comprising 51 hotel rooms and 155 residences with shared communal facilities.  


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