The Mekan Bar Review

The Mekan at Rüya set in the heart of Mayfair has announced a new cocktail menu inspired by the Anatolian Empires. The menu takes guests on a journey through five famous Anatolian Empires, each encapsulated by a range of cocktail creations: the Hittites Empire, the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, the Seljuk Empire and the Ottoman Empire and TLE went along recently to experience this new cocktail experience in the capital.

Ruya London Restaurant dishes Mayfair

The Mekan at Ruya

Located between the entry lounge and the elegant main restaurant. The Mekan at Rüya is a sophisticated Mayfair bar to have a drink or two before your meal, or it can be somewhere to relax and enjoy a night of cocktails in stylish surroundings in the heart of London. At Rüya the experience is one of immaculate service in a contemporary and elegant space, pulled off with Turkish flair throughout.

Our Experience

The staff were welcoming, our coats were taken in the entrance lounge and our eyes were immediately drawn to the painting of a traditional whirling dervish. This turned out to be a statement on what we were about to enjoy, bold and Turkish.

We decided to sit at the bar. Our barman was very attentive and well-informed. He talked through the cocktail menu and we were given a bowl of spiced popcorn to nibble whilst we made our drinks decisions.

We decided to have a martini, served as a classic with olives but with one important twist. – the Rüya Gin used was infused behind the bar, just a few paces from where we were sitting. Though the martini was not on the new menu, the lure of the Rüya Gin grabbed our attention. It certainly added subtle, delicious aromatics to an established classic. In honour of the eye-catching painting that greeted us on arrival, we chose the Whirling Dervish cocktail too – a fruity tequila-based cocktail from the Selijuk Empire listing – it was an excellent start.

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Once we had our cocktails, the food began to arrive. We had ordered from the bar menu, filled with Turkish delights. Although it was four ‘small plate’ dishes, the bar menu still felt like a special meal to accompany our expertly prepared cocktails. To tease our appetite, we ate some delicious tarhana crisps with an excellent olive oil and red pepper dip. The quality of the olive oil deserves a mention all of its own. We also had a wonderful oven-baked cheese pide which was served into portions at the bar, complete with the theatre of a runny egg yolk to share. The borek was savoury, crispy and very tasty, transporting us to the Mediterranean with bold flavours of dill and feta cheese. Then perfectly fried calamari arrived with a moorish dipping sauce to complete our quartet of dishes. The food was such a treat, and along with the atmosphere and cocktails, we were certainly given a luxuriant Anatolian experience.

After the delicious bar food, the barman recommended two cocktails from the Roman Empire and the Ottoman Empire selections – Mediterranean Love and an Ottoman Old Fashioned, respectively. Mediterranean Love was a fruity cocktail with banana and apple, which was served in an extraordinarily tall cocktail glass, wrapped in a banana leaf. The Ottoman Old Fashioned was a whisky-based cocktail with sophisticated sweet notes of tobacco and dates and a subtle orange flavour that perfectly matched the whisky. This cocktail was cleverly presented with a huge ice cube engraved with the word Rüya, which served to show the attention to detail constantly on show here.

After our drinks, the knowledgeable barman showed us the infusion machine behind the bar. Something they use to successfully experiment with spirits for their cocktails.

We were delighted to try two of their unique house-infused drinks, which we highly recommend that you try. One of them is a clear colour bloody mary – all the taste of a bloody mary yet transparent. The other one was a truffle-infused gin using the delicious truffles from the main restaurant. Both of these unique drinks would definitely enhance anyone’s afternoon. 

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