Known for being every bit as luxurious as its sibling in Dubai, this swanky Anatolian restaurant in Mayfair really comes into its own in the festive season. A place for high-end indulgence, Ruya has a lot to offer, from elegant private rooms to a choice of two tempting festive set menus.
Housed in a former bank, the restaurant is spacious and well-proportioned, with a lounge bar at the front and the dining room beyond. Pops of colour and eye-catching lighting by Conran and Partners complement the beautifully-tiled walls to create the instant wow-factor that all Christmas parties should elicit.
Smaller groups looking for intimate Christmas lunches and dinners can settle into the charming Ozel Room, which seats up to 20 on two round tables, while parties interested in a livelier experience can congregate around the Chef’s Table for a dose of culinary magic while dining. For full-blown, company-wide Christmas bashes, Ruya can be hired exclusively for up to 120 seated or 250 standing guests.
There are only two festive menus available – a standard and a deluxe – but if you love sumptuous Turkish food, you won’t be disappointed. Starting light with plates of crudités served with red pepper yoghurt, and aubergine puree with walnuts served with crispy coated aubergine chips, the menu then moves on to richer dishes such as aged kasar cheese pide with slow-cooked organic egg and truffle, and Dover sole dripping with za’atar butter. Traditionalists – insofar as celebrating Christmas at a Turkish restaurant can be called ‘traditional’ – should opt for the deluxe menu, which includes Anatolian versions of Brussels sprouts (with feta cheese and walnuts) and turkey (with walnuts and cinnamon). You won’t find Christmas pud for dessert, but sticky baklava and orange and almond cake with caramel, charred orange and fennel ice-cream should round your meal off nicely.