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Conran and Partners unveil first UK Anatolian dining experience in London

by Megan Whitby | 29 Jun 2018
It was always a key part of the concept to make cooking and food production a part of the experience and bring lots of energy to the room
– Tina Norden

Architecture studio Conran and Partners have designed an immersive Anatolian restaurant in London’s Mayfair.

Rüya, which has opened this month, is described as “the first of its kind in Europe”. Run by restaurateur Umut Özkanca and the Dogus Restaurant Entertainment and Management Group, it is a showcase for the cuisine of Anatolia – the region in Turkey that forms the westernmost protrusion of Asia.

Housed in The Grosvenor House Hotel, but run entirely independently, Rüya (which means ‘dream’ in Turkish) covers 560sq m (6,000sq ft) and can accommodate around 190 guests. The venue includes a long and linear 110-cover restaurant, a private dining room, a chef’s table and a lounge bar.

Diners are welcomed into the restaurant by an intricate metal canopy and vintage revolving timber doors. The lobby, which leads guests to the bar area, has been decorated with a marble floor with bespoke tiles and large street-facing windows which ensure the presence of natural light.

Rüya’s bar acts as a focal point for visitors, designed with striking brass gantries and carved timber cladding centred around a large wine cabinet. An open kitchen is adjacent to the bar, enabling all activity to be visible to diners.

“It was always a key part of the concept to make cooking and food production a part of the experience and bring lots of energy to the room,” said project lead Tina Norden, a director at Conran and Partners.

The main dining room exemplifies this immersive approach. Diners enter through a Byzantine-inspired archway and encounter a wood-fired bread oven where Turkish flatbread is cooked, and a feature wall displaying the distilling apparatus used to make the Turkish spirit Raki.

“Rüya is the realisation of Umut’s dream to open a sophisticated, international-standard restaurant bringing Anatolian cuisine to the rest of the world,” said Norden. “It captures the fascinating history and craftsmanship of the region reaching from Ottoman Empires and before to today”.

Özkanca launched the first Rüya in Dubai in 2016.

Conran and partners  London 
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Architecture studio Conran and Partners have designed an immersive Anatolian restaurant in London’s Mayfair. Rüya, which has opened this month, is described as “the first of its kind in Europe”. Run by restaurateur Umut Özkanca and the Dogus Restaurant Entertainment and Management Group, it is a showcase for the cuisine of Anatolia – the region in Turkey that forms the westernmost protrusion of Asia. Housed in The Grosvenor House Hotel,
CLD,HHR,RST,ARC
The dining area of Rüya / Paul Winch-Furnass
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