Restaurant Review: Authentic Georgian flavours in the heart of Downtown Dubai

The newly-opened Qartuli features an ambiance that mirrors the warmth and familiarity of a traditional Georgian home


Husain Rizvi

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Published: Tue 19 Mar 2024, 5:01 PM

For UAE residents, Georgia is one of the most visited travel destinations throughout the year. We love to try their delicacies, especially Khinkali, a spin on dumplings, or Khachapuri, our personal favourite.

Back in Dubai, however, are only a few authentic restaurants that serve Georgian delicacies. Qartuli, nestled in the heart of Downtown Dubai, is now a part of that list. It is a culinary haven that beckons guests to embark on a journey through the rich heritage and flavours of Georgia.

Upon stepping into Qartuli, diners are greeted by an ambiance that mirrors the warmth and familiarity of a traditional Georgian home. Vintage decor reminiscent of 19th and 20th-century Georgian history sets the stage for an authentic dining experience, where antique cutlery, mismatched plates, and imported furniture, including a century-old carpet, transport guests to a bygone era. It's more than just a restaurant; it's an invitation to be hosted as honoured guests in the heart of Georgia itself.

The culinary journey at Qartuli is nothing short of remarkable. Every dish on the menu tells a story of homely traditions and mouthwatering flavours. From the iconic Khinkali, juicy dumplings filled with a variety of savoury fillings, to the indulgent Khachapuri, oven-baked dough laden with Sulguni and Imeretian cheese.

During our visit, we had the pleasure of indulging in Qartuli's special Ramadan menu, a delightful ensemble of flavours that left us craving for more. But as we know, the hungrier we are, the lighter we can eat during the Holy month.

The set menu, priced at Dh255 per person, offered a tantalising selection of dishes, including traditional tonis puri Georgian bread, fresh green salad, Georgian eggplant roll, and an array of delectable dips and spreads.

For the main course, we savoured the charcoaled chicken shashlik with grilled vegetables, expertly seasoned and accompanied by the tangy zest of tkemali sauce. The slow-cooked beef in tomato sauce, served on grilled creamy eggplant puree with cheese, was a symphony of flavours that delighted the palate. To conclude our feast on a sweet note, we indulged in milky pudding with vanilla ice cream and nuts, and irmik helvasi (halwa), a delightful semolina treat stuffed with ice cream.

What truly sets Qartuli apart is its unwavering commitment to authenticity. The restaurant prides itself on making its own real Georgian cheese, ensuring that each dish stays true to its roots and captures the essence of Georgian cuisine. Coupled with genuine hospitality and a cosy setting that feels like home, dining at Qartuli leaves a lasting impression. Whether you're a connoisseur of Georgian cuisine or simply seeking a nice dining experience, add Qartuli to your exploration list.


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