I think I’ve walked by Tike a hundred times, but it was only recently that I became aware what’s hiding behind the rather anonymous storefront. Judging from the outside appearance, Tike could be anything from a surf shop to an Indian restaurant, but it’s not. It’s a nice Turkish restaurant, and last week my Turkish friend Oylum and I met at Tike for lunch.
Poul used to work in Turkey for almost 2 years, and I flew down frequently to visit him. First, he lived in Istanbul and then Antalya. He somehow always managed to position himself quite a long drive from any grocery store of a reasonable size (trust me, it was on purpose) so we didn’t do much cooking. Instead we dined our way through most of the small neighborhood eateries nearby.
We tried a lot of different food, but over time, we gravitated towards a small selection of dishes: Ali Nazik kebab (Poul’s favorite), Iskender kebab (my favorite) and a Kuşbaşılı pide (a kind of Turkish pizza) to share. When I’m out with my Turkish friends, I therefore try to steer clear of the Iskender, and ask them to suggest a dish I haven’t tried before instead.
The first Tike restaurant opened in Istanbul back in 1998, and now there are Tike branches in several countries including UAE. Oylum has been to the Tike restaurant at The Beach JBR plenty of times, so the manager, Mr.Ragip, recognized her the minute she walked through the door and came down to our table for a chat.
Mr. Ragip told us about the dishes, which were ready to order, and the dishes, which would require more time to prepare, so with that in mind, we decided on Iskender kebab (I couldn’t help it, the cravings took over) and Tike Çıtır Beyti kebab (minced lamb kebab wrapped in puff pastry). We also had 3 complimentary veggie-based appetizers, and some delicious, freshly baked bread.
Iskender kebab is lamb meat on bread cubes topped with tomato sauce, yogurt and melted butter. I found the one at Tike very delicious, and Oylum also liked it, but pointed out that in Dubai, it’s difficult to get the same flavors as in Turkey, because sun-ripened vegetables of the same quality as in Turkey is hard to find, and the taste of tomato isn’t as intense as in Turkey. True, but it was still a very nice dish.
The Çıtır Beyti kebab was also very tasty. The puff pastry was flaky and buttery and I liked the spiciness of the yogurt sauce, it came with a lot. I also liked Tike a lot, so I think I’ll drag Poul down there soon. He’ll have his Ali Nazik kebab (I’ve already checked, it’s on the menu), and I’ll have my Iskender, and we can talk about the good old Istanbul days.