Ruya Opens in London, Bringing Anatolian Cuisine to the Heart of Mayfair
Ruya, a new Anatolian dining concept, has opened its doors in Mayfair on Upper Grosvenor Street. Following in the footsteps of its sister site in Dubai, Ruya serves Anatolian dishes with contemporary twists. Dishes served include rice stuffed mussels with breadcrumbs and herbs, Clay Pot Lamb Shank with baby onions and homemade red pepper paste and Rangers Valley Day Grain Fed Beef 300g with asparagus and Antep pistachio butter.
Designed by Conran and Partners, the 110 cover restaurant comprises a main dining room, an intimate private dining room, a chefs table and lounge bar with capacity for 40.
Premier Hospitality spoke to Tina Norden, director at Conran and Partners, about working on the project.
How did you get involved with this project?
“This is very much a long standing relationship for us as I have worked with Umut Özkanca for probably eight years now. We got to know each other working on a project in Istanbul, a collaboration between him and a London based restaurateur. We got on very well and have worked on about six or seven projects since then.”
Were you given a brief for this project?
“The idea for Ruya is something we have talked about for a few years before it started coming to life. Ruya means dream in Turkish and it follows Umut’s dream to open international standard high end restaurants to bring Anatolian cuisine to the rest of the world. We started working on an overriding concept a few years ago to define what Ruya would be and the nature of the restaurant both visually and conceptually. A fantastic site in Dubai came up and that is where the first restaurant ended up opening and now London will follow suit. The idea is to have a DNA that runs through all of the sites so they are recognisable as part of the concept but have a strong identity of their own based on the site and of course their locality.
What was the site like before you started work on it? Did you have to do much before you could start?
“The site was originally a bank so it was the complete opposite to what we needed. There was pretty much nothing on site apart from lots of walls an disused services so we had to do quite a lot of demolition to clear out the site to clear it for the restaurant fit out.
“Ruya is in the building of The Grosvenor House Hotel but it is not part of the hotel but operated completely independently – only the back of house areas are connected. The hotel occupies a whole block in Mayfair and the restaurant is on the side of the hotel on Upper Grosvenor Street with its own entrance to the street.”
Can you talk us through some of the design features that have gone into the site?
“The entrance to Ruya is has an existing historic canopy with intricate metal work and beautiful vintage revolving timber doors – a very fortuitous feature of the site. The restaurant is a long, linear space with lots of windows looking out onto Upper Grosvenor Street, so during lunchtime it provide lots of light and at night time you can look out onto the street, which is really lovely and unusual at the same time.
“The bar is sizable with a big focus on cocktails and drinks – the first part of Ruya welcoming you in. Due to the big focus on cocktails and wines, the client wanted to make a big feature out of the bar so we have designed it to really stand out with brass gantries and beautiful carved timber cladding – as well as being backed by a large wine cabinet as there is also a rather long wine list.
“Right next to the bar is the open kitchen with a big charcoal grill and all activity visible to guests. It was always a key part of the concept to make the cooking and food production part of the experience bringing lots of energy to the room. In front of the pass is a large sharing table – a chef’s table almost with a close connection to the kitchen.
“The main dining room is down a few steps and below a feature archway – another remnant of Byzantine architecture. In the dining room there is a wood fired bread oven, which is another key feature of Ruya. Delicious Turkish flatbread is made here freshly all day and nioght, so diners get the lovely smell of fresh bread floating through the restaurant. There is also a display wall with Alembics, which are distinct small distilleries which are used to make Raki, the traditional Turkish drink.
“Turkey has a strong tradition of hand made ceramics and feature patterned tiles which are three dimensional. We designed a contemporary interpretation of these tiles with a custom pattern, which was made bespoke for us in Turkey. There is a whole wall of these running through the restaurant, which is definitely a stand out feature. We also have some beautiful, bespoke brass chandeliers custom designed by us throughout the site – we have three altogether.”
How important has this project been for you to work on?
“Working on restaurants is one of my favourite things, particularly when they are in the UK because you can really keep a close eye and keep tight control over the execution – and of course enjoy it when it is open! It is always exciting to see the space coming together physically in front of you. Secondly, this is a special client for us – I have known Umut for a long time and we have become very good friends during the process. This is his dream and it is up to us to make it a reality, so it is an important project from that point of view.”
Ruya Mayfair opened on 7 June and is owned by Doğuş Restaurant Entertainment and Management group (d.ream) which also owns restaurants Roka and Coya.
PARLA specialises in the supply of a wide range of quality and competitive loose and fixed contract furniture solutions, for the hospitality and leisure sector. It is a third generation, family-owned company and in addition to its contract solutions, offers its clients a unique product line developed in-house and with various international designers.
The story of PARLA began with the first generation making furniture working for the Ottoman Royal Family and evolved over time into a modern operation with a 6,000sqm factory in Turkey with offices & showrooms in Istanbul, London and Dubai. The company has been fortunate enough to have worked globally with many of the leading names within the industry, including Hilton, Accor, IHG and recently Nobu Hotel Shoreditch, as well as restaurants such as Jamie’s Italian, Zuma and Carluccio’s amongst others.
Most recently, PARLA was involved with the work at Ruya London, manufacturing the restaurant’s loose and some of the fixed furniture. The company worked closely with the designers and the owners to manufacture various PARLA and custom products for this very unique restaurant.
Onur Ӧzgen, PARLA, said:
“It has been a pleasure, once again, to work with a great design house such as Conran and Partners on such a unique project.”
“At PARLA, we pride ourselves in working very closely with the owners and designers of a project to meet the budget targets whilst maintaining the design aspects of a project intact.”
Ideal Stone Interiors Ltd
Established in 1994, Ideal Stone Interiors Ltd specialise in bespoke design, manufacture and installation of stonework for both residential and commercial properties. With a reputation as experts in their field, the company offers a range of products including countertops, designer bathrooms, external and internal staircases as well as fireplaces and fire hearths.
The company has worked on various high-end private residential and commercial properties, with Ruya Mayfair being the most recent project that they have been a part of. Ideal Stone Interiors Ltd provided all marble related work for the project.
Brad O’Grady of Ideal Stone Interiors Ltd commented:
“Ruya Mayfair is a prestigious project which allowed us to showcase our quality of work whilst highlighting the luxury of the venue.”
“As a company we pride ourselves in our high level of workmanship, being able to understand design briefs and delivering our services on time whilst remaining competitive.”
Operating within the UK and overseas, Tadelakt London specialise in the supply and installation of Tadelakt – a traditional Moroccan lime plaster suitable for walls, fireplaces, bathrooms and more. Tadelakt combines specially sourced materials with artisanal technique to create a smooth, marble-like surface which can be customised to suit any colour palette or application.
As Tadelakt is a waterproof plaster it is ideal for bathrooms and showers and has been installed in various prestigious projects, including a 120sqm domed ceiling in the luxury resort, Soneva Jani in the Maldives. Most recently, Tadelakt London has been involved with Ruya Mayfair, supplying and installing Tadelakt to create a stunning feature around the restaurant’s oven.
Tadelakt London Manager, Valentin Tatanov, said:
“Ruya Mayfair is another prestigious project for us and one which we were very pleased to be involved with.”
“At Tadelakt London we pride ourselves on our traditional craftsmanship. The work we undertake is Artisan – it is an art form. What we do is not ordinary day-to-day plaster installations and not many companies can do the same type of work as we can deliver.”
Fine Art Mouldings Ltd
Fine Art Mouldings Ltd specialise in the creation and installation of fibrous plaster work for use within the commercial, domestic and leisure industries. The company has been in operation since 1989 and within this time has worked on many prestigious projects, including Claridge’s, The Lanesborough, The Ritz Hotel and The Connaught, amongst others.
Most recently, Fine Art Mouldings Ltd has been involved with Ruya where it was responsible for the installation within the new restaurant of the bespoke domes and razor lighting trough. The plasterwork is a stand-out feature in the restaurant and a great example of the stunning work completed by Fine Art Mouldings.
Fine Art Mouldings Ltd Director, Andrew Barry, said:
“We are proud to add another prestigious project to our list of successful contracts which is both fantastic and a privilege. It is always great to create a lovely environment for people to enjoy.”