For the last many years, my husband and I have made it a tradition to go out to lunch on January 1st and try and new cuisine. So, this year, as I was going through lists of different cuisines that were being introduced to Dubai I chanced upon Azeri cuisine. BAKU Café, named after the capital of Azerbaijan had opened its doors at City Walk 2 (with my recent reviews I think this is my new go to restaurant destination 😉) and seemed like the ideal place to have out first meal of 2019
The weather was wonderful, so we sat outside, shaded by umbrellas and plants (so apologies as I have no photos of the restaurant per se). We were lucky to have a server from Azerbaijan who helped us understand the menu and the dishes.
Let’s start with what we drank. My husband chose a regular ‘available everywhere’ lemon iced tea. Boring! But as I was fussing around the drinks section of the menu, my server suggested I try the Compote made with cherries as that was the most popular and perfect for the nice afternoon weather. Thankfully he mentioned it was served by the jug and so my husband decided to ditch his lemon iced tea order and help me try something more authentic to the cuisine we were about to explore.
All our food came more-or-less at the same time, so there was a lot to eat at one go. It would have been nice if we had got it more paced out. But honestly there was not a thing we ordered that we did not oh and ah about – we loved it all. For a person who prefers chicken, the fact that everything we ordered was lamb and veal says a lot for the place – I really wanted to experiment with the food and find the true flavours of Azeri cuisine.
We were offered some deliciously hot tandoor bread with what I believe was a sour cream dip.
My husband loves Veal – so the Basturma Veal was a no-brainer. I am not much of a beef person so I left most of this one for my husband to finish – which was met with no objection 😊
We wanted to order the Caspian Sturgeon Shish Kebab but were told it wasn’t fresh NOTE: All the ingredients at BAKU Café are flown in fresh from Azerbaijan, and with it being new year’s, I can totally understand why some ingredients may not have made it to the plane!). But the Lula Kebab was recommended to us instead. This one was with minced lamb, sumakh, fresh herbs and onion cooked in a tandoor and came with a side of a kind of salsa sauce. It was absolutely fantastic.
We ordered the Turshu Govurma from the traditional Azerbaijani pilaf (rice cooked with saffron and served with dry fruits) menu which had a saucy lamb stews which they call khurush which was cooked with onions, dried cherry plum and chestnuts. The rice, topped with a curd pancake, raisins and apricots and khurush are served separately but so perfectly compliment each other.
With no place for dessert, we bid out farewells.
Location: BAKU Café, City Walk 2, Dubai Telephone: +971 4 299 9081 Open on weekdays from 10AM – 1AM and weekends from 9AM – 1AM.
NOTE: I ate at BAKU Café on my OWN time and money! The views and opinions expressed on this blog are truly my OWN.