Grosvenor House revives the Ottoman Empire, Persian cuisine gets the five-star touch at new hotel
In another first for Dubai, Grosvenor House West Marina Beach by Le Meridien will open a Persian restaurant in the summer. Chef Zeki Polatkesen has been charged with launching Ottoman to the city, combining old-style décor, with stunning views over the modern Dubai Marina.
The hotel’s general manager Pam Wilby emphasised the need for creativity in an already crowded food and beverage market. She said: “An exclusive address needs to have exclusive offerings and Ottoman’s cuisine is the first of its kind in Dubai. During months of research at the concept stage, we identified the need for a high-end Persian restaurant, and so Ottoman was created.”
At Ottoman, the team of chefs has mixed the influences of nomadic heritage and the sultan’s palace. Chef Polatkesen said: “This kind of cooking is a dying art: Ottoman gastronomy slowly disappeared as the chefs of the Imperial courts died out.
“We studied ledgers from the three main palace kitchens – Topkapi, Edirne and Dolmabache – as well as memoirs of foreign diplomats and travellers to learn more about the cuisine. We’ve fine-tuned these ancient recipes, sticking to the original preparation methods while adapting them to modern tastes.”
Turkish-born and New York-trained, Polatkesen dedicated three months of experimentation time to create authentic dishes in a mix of Turkish and Persian cuisines.
With acclaim from the New York Times under his belt, Polatkesen admits he has his work cut out for him. “Working in an international city such as Dubai, and with the quality guarantees of the name Grosvenor House, is a challenge indeed!”
Ottoman will have seating for 80 inside and 40 on the terrace, with two bars and shisha overlooking the Dubai Marina.
The hotel will have 217 sea-facing rooms, while the 205 apartments will offer stunning marina views, and three of the signature touches will be plasma televisions in all rooms, personalised butler service and 24-hour room service, in addition to the use of beach and pool facilities at the adjacent resort.
The top 11 floors will be dedicated to the Grosvenor Club, premium executive accommodation whose guests will also have access to the 44th floor dedicated lounge that will provide an unrivalled observation deck over the Palm.