The appetising aroma of lamb kebabs and charcoal-grilled hen wafts close to you as you step into the recently opened Sirdanci Mehmet cafe in Dubai.
But it is really not till you savour the gastronomical delights on offer you that you realise you have learned a hidden gem in the coronary heart of Jumeirah.
Championing organization Turkish favourites these types of as adana kebab, kaburga (meat ribs), sirdan (lamb abdomen) and kurufasulye (haricot bean), this eclectic eatery may well be little in dimension, but it can be unquestionably big on flavours.
The cafe is a undertaking of celeb Turkish chef Mehmet Cubuk, fondly identified as Sirdanci Mehmet.
The winner of the coveted Grasp Chef Turkyie title, Mehmet is famous for his culinary acumen as he is for his playful manner. So never be stunned if he instantly sneaks up on you and pretends to spatter your food stuff with hand-squeezed lemon juice.
Movies of his pranks have by now long gone viral on social media. So significantly so that quite a few diners hold out in psyched anticipation to practical experience it to start with-hand as they tuck into their food.
“What’s fantastic meals devoid of a sprint of fun,” Mehmet claims with a wink.
The highway to fame, nevertheless, was just about anything but fun for the affable restaurateur.
“There ended up troubles every single phase of the way,” states Mehmet. “I started off in the food and beverage business as a sweeper, but I persevered. My challenging do the job compensated off. I was promoted as footboy and then as waiter.”
Mehmet claimed he identified his correct calling when he stepped into the kitchen to consider his first buy as a waiter.
“The ambience and vibes of the location suddenly crammed me with a feeling of elation and gave me a new reason in life,” he remembers.
“I explained to myself, this is the spot I belong to. I immediately signed up or an apprenticeship at the kitchen area and went on to turn out to be a chef.”
A lot more fame awaited him when he bagged the Master Chef title.
Ahead of lengthy, he launched his individual cafe in the Fatih district of Istanbul. Mehmet said his signature cafe in Dubai is the brand’s 10th branch and a single of the closest to his heart.
The eatery has an infectiously homely environment, and the interiors are a rich riot of images exhibiting Mehmet posing with celeb guests.
Price ranges are surprisingly low, and portions are generously massive.
“I want to increase the bar on Ottoman cuisine in Dubai by introducing great, cost-effective Turkish food in the town. I recreated the similar dishes listed here that that have endeared on their own to legions of faithful shoppers in Turkey. All these recipes are original, which is why you will not likely discover this style elsewhere,” he says.
The assert was not unfounded. The juicy kebabs and melt-in-the-mouth roasted lamb meat had us drooling in no time. A further equally delectable, however gross-seeking dish is mumbar, which is basically sheep intestine, stuffed with rice and meat.
The pièce de résistance, of course, was Şırdan, a uniquely Adana speciality made of stuffed lamb’s stomach. It tasted good but, significantly like mumbar, was tricky to stomach simply because of its visual appeal.
‘Sirdan is a very well-honed artwork for us, and we make it the finest,” states Mehmet who promises the dish speeds up metabolic rate and is additional nutritious than meat. ‘I want to popularise Sirdan all about the entire world,” says Mehmet.
Businessman Musa Omar Chaudhry who has partnered with Mehmet mentioned they are wanting to department out to Abu Dhabi and Sharjah before long. Mehmet claimed he is optimistic about their expansion plan.
“We will do great,” he stated. “I have a intestine experience.”
: Jumeirah Beach Road, Umm Suqqueim 2
Adana kebab (Dh70) Blended grill (Dh150) Sirdan or lamb abdomen (Dh30) Mumbar or lamb gut (Dh60)