Posted by Neenu Sajin on 28th March 2019.

My first encounter with Turkish cuisine was right in the streets of Istanbul, after we landed for vacation. Iskender kebab was a revelation, Testi kebab was a discovery and Kunafe was an addiction waiting to happen. I came back from that trip with Turkish spices in my bag, culinary experiences in my heart and 3 additional kilos in my belly and thighs. The perfect kind of vacation.

Since then, Turkish cuisine has always enticed me. Stepping into Besh, watching the bread rise in the fire oven and the chefs shape up the meats on the Kebab grills, my memories of Turkish restaurants inside the Grand Bazaar resurfaced. Besh’s ambience was airy with the terrace doors open, letting the winter breeze in. The patterns on the floor, the stained-glass partitions and the soft yellow lighting created a pleasant décor.

Soon, the bread that I had eyed mercilessly while I entered, was brought to our table along with a tomato-tamarind chutney that was clearly a dip to reckon with! Strong, acidic & beautifully tangy – it was the perfect accompaniment to the fresh, warm bread. Little Miss Mehreen and myself made a formidable duo, strategically taking turns to dip our crumbs.

For AED 80, our 5-in-1 starter platter surprised us in terms of value for money, quantity & variety. We had chosen the Cheese rolls, Beef dumplings and Sautéed prawns as hot mezze and Houmous + Beef and Walnut + Chicken as cold mezze. The cheese rolls and the houmous were fool proof. The prawns were succulent, but could have done with more spices, and the dumplings and walnut chicken were flavoursome.

Mr. FoodKissed and myself, as usual, over estimated our might and wanted two mains between us. So we ordered the Iskender Kebabi (naturally) and the Lamb Chops. For some inexplicable reason, it just made sense to order a portion of Beef Pastirmali Pide too (we were probably fascinated by the name!)

The lamb chops were one of the best we have had. And the carnivores that we are, we have had quite a many in the region! It was wonderfully flavored, cooked to perfection and was succulent enough to charm even our picky-eater daughter. The Iskender was a dish to make the Chefs proud, with the thin meat strips and the bread slices soaked in a fantastic tomato gravy. The pide was generously topped with meat and an authentic treat if you loved some melted, salty cheese.

Finally, after the promised 15 minutes wait time, a freshly baked Kunefe was brought to us with a scoop of ice cream on top. It was decadent, needless to say, and there was nothing unenjoyable about taking in spoonfuls of the warm, sweet pastry into our mouths and leaning back to savor it!

Besh was a dining experience that featured quality food and friendly service. A family-friendly venue extending value for money, despite the fine-dining ambience & authentic menu – earning it the FoodKissed seal of approval!

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