Contemporary Turkish fusion food served in a futuristic setting…

Istanbul export The Galliard opened in the Address Downtown, recently, replacing the ever-popular lounge Calabar, which shut when the hotel closed for refurbishment, back in January 2016.

But there’s no point dwelling on the venue’s past. In fact, The Galliard is very much a restaurant of the future, with its huge LED screen, playing a reel of Turkish dance and fashion shows, occupying almost the entirety of one wall, and its menus on iPads, each displaying a dish with detailed description, cooking time and an image.

The space is impressive – high ceilings, deep purple and red tones and gold accents throughout – while the terrace is just as striking, with deep maroon booths split up by leafy greenery served up against the dramatic backdrop of the Burj Khalifa.

The Galliard is still in soft opening on our visit, so not all of the dishes are available, but there’s still an extensive selection on offer. Our waiter advises us to begin with the cig kofte (Dhs96) and the cig borek (Dhs72) – two of the restaurant signature dishes – and we’re happy to take his lead. The cig kofte is a well-presented plate of layers of lettuce, caramelised onion and raw lamb meat. It’s a great flavour combination, despite the lettuce being a little limp rather than having a fresh crunch as we had hoped. No concerns with the cig borekn – freshly baked parcels of minced beef in a Turkish pastry patty, to be dunked in a tangy tomato and mango salsa.

The truffles and burrata ‘kitlama’ (Dhs128), for main, see the fusion element of the menu come into play. The dish is presented like mini burrata pizzas around a balsamic reduction. The manti (Dhs94) – pasta parcels filled with ground beef, onions and red peppers – blend flavours well, and the pasta was on the right side of al dente, although the dish arrived cold. The duck confit (Dhs164), however, was a highlight. The duck leg was tender and came effortlessly off the bone, while maintaining a crispy roast skin. Served on a bed of lentils and orange slices, the flavours balanced beautifully, and we regret having to share the dish.

Service is a little shaky – the hostesses who can’t locate our booking bordered on rude – but we’re willing to put this down to the soft opening, as overall the staff were knowledgeable, and we can see this one getting better with age.

The Galliard, Lobby Level, Address Downtown, Downtown Dubai, Sun to Thur 4.30pm to 3.30am, Fri and Sat 11.30am to 3am. Tel: (052) 489 9982. Metro: The Dubai Mall.

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