FOOD & DRINK
Czn Burak Dubai review
Words by Nathan Irvine
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Even if you’ve never been, you’ve likely seen Czn Burak on social media. Fronted by internet sensation, Burak Özdemir – the Turkish chef that’s famous for his infectious smile – Czn Burak has quickly become the talk of the town. So popular, in fact, that celebrities such as Will Smith, Cristiano Ronaldo and Khabib Nurmagomedov have been pictured dining there recently. Although it seems like a novelty, Czn Burak’s cuisine is no joke.
The space that the restaurant occupies is cavernous. Tables and booths are well spaced – as is common now because of Covid 19 – and every single one is taken up. There are even people queuing up for a taste of Czn Burak outside. You can feel the energy of the place as soon as you enter. Giant screens are playing clips of chef Özdemir whilst the staff busily make their way between tables and guests.
As soon as we sit down a huge cart is pushed alongside our table with a selection of cold mezze plates on it. We take the cabbage and vine leaves dolma (both stuffed stuffed with rice, parsley and pomegranate molasses), and a delicious olive salad. It was a good introduction to Czn Burak’s cuisine, and set us up perfectly for a shared hot starter of Ali Nazik. Grilled and mashed eggplant is mixed with yoghurt and then topped with melt in your mouth cuts of beef tenderloin. The restaurant prides itself on its grilling expertise, and the beef really was some of the best we’ve had.
Czn Burak is also known for two other things – huge main dishes that are designed to share and its energetic showmanship. These two things combine for our next course in dramatic fashion. We ordered the salted roasted chicken that comes on a bed fragrant basmati rice. When the food arrives, it does so on a cart… and then another. And another one.
Our table is surrounded by three large food carts and we’ve honestly no idea what’s about to happen. There are around six members of staff around our table at this point and then all of a sudden there’s a drum beat happening.
Plates are being expertly played with spoons and the gathered staff cheer and whoop as a fire display happens nearby. It really is something else. And every single person in the place is turning to see what’s going on. The performance lasts around 60 seconds before the roving band pack up, and roll alongside another set of guests to start the song again. If you’re reading this and cringing at the thought, don’t worry, it’s actually a lot of fun.
And after all that, the chicken had better be good, right? Thankfully it’s great. We can’t remember a time when we feasted on a chicken with so much tender meat on it. The unbelievably delicious main works brilliantly well with the rice and every forkful is a delight. However, we wish we’d brough a couple of friends along, as there’s just so much of the main that we can’t finish it.
Obviously, there’s always room for dessert though. We went for the intriguingly named “Ibiza”, which having been to the island, we’re not sure where the connection comes from. Regardless, this is a banana that’s covered in biscuit crumbs then smothered with cream and sweet chocolate. We had just enough room to share this dessert and it really hit the spot to bookend the meal perfectly.
So Czn Burak is much more than a novelty, celebrity haunt. Its fare is incredibly tasty and filling, and the menu is diverse enough to provide a little something for everyone. And that’s certainly something to make a song and dance about.
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