A! List Pan Asian Restaurants in Dubai

A! List Pan Asian Restaurants in Dubai

Enjoy exotic flavours at our pick of Dubai’s Asian restaurants
Tuesday , 03 May 2011
A! Lists
Benkay at JAL
Benkay at JAL
Bonsai
Bonsai
Shang Palace
© Shang Palace
Shang Palace
A! Lists
Thaianese
© Thaianese
Thaianese
Thiptara
Thiptara
White Orchid
White Orchid
Hoi An
Hoi An
Zheng He
© Zheng He
Zheng He
A! Lists

Armani/ Hashi
Address:
Armani Hotel, Burj Khalifa, Burj Downtown
Tel: 04 888 3444
Web: www.dubai.armanihotels.com
Dress code: Formal
Times: 7pm to 11pm, Sunday to Saturday, 12pm to 3.30pm, Friday brunch
Price Range: $$$$
This venue shrieks understated Armani chic, from the curvaceous muted bronze and black interiors to the seriously pretty patrons. Hipsters wanting to get noticed, gourmands in search of the silkiest sashimi and businessmen looking to impress important clients all mingle to make this one of the coolest contemporary Japanese joints in town. The DJ gets the crowd in a party mood pre-Prive on weekends while those wanting some serious foodie action should book for the Friday brunch which has become an institution among sushi-sophisticates. Make sure you sample the signature Hashi sushi; you’ll adore the salmon skin and cream cheese, marvel at the crackling crab meat  and be in raptures over the sashimi of organic scallop and lime.
FYI: Hashi is the Japanese word for chopsticks.
Signature Dishes: Japanese seafood soup, Wagyu beef, candied chesnut parfait with ginger ice cream.

Benkay
Address:
Hotel JAL Tower, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai
Tel: 04 308 0000
Web: www.jaltowerdubai.com
Dress code: Smart casual
Times: 12pm to 12am Sunday to Saturday
Price Range: $$$
Japanese die-hards bemoaning the rash of contemporary fusion joints will rejoice that newcomer Benkay has entered the fray.  Purists can rest assured that this 49-51st floor, three-storey venue is as authentic as they are going to get outside Shibuya - with a whole floor dedicated to sushi, another bursting with tappanyaki aromas and a third for those super-private dining rooms. The decor reflects the minimalist Japanese aesthetic; don’t expect glitzy Dubai-style touches that abound in other eateries in the city -  the emphasis is definitely on the food. The teppanyaki chefs entertain with their trademark theatrics, plating up freshly cooked meat, vegetables and rice; this is a show kitchen in every sense of the word, so it’s worth getting a pew alongside the teppanyaki station for the quickest service and ring-side seats for your eats.
FYI: There will soon be 24 JAL hotels in total spanning the world from Bali to San Francisco.
Signature Dishes: Sushi platter with Japanese BouillabaisseWagyu beef tenderloin and fois gras, tempura with Chawanmushi savory egg custard.

Bonsai
Address:
Habtoor Grand Resort & Spa, Dubai Marina, Dubai
Tel: 04 399 5000
Web: www.grandjumeirah.habtoorhotels.com
Dress code: Smart casual
Times: 4pm to 11.45pm, Sunday to Saturday; The Bar is open 4pm to 3am, Sunday to Saturday
Price Range: $$
Recently refurbished, revamped and relaunched, Bonsai is set to tempt your Japanese-centric taste buds and Cosmo-craving palate in seriously swish surroundings. Sparkling modern glass chandeliers set the darkly-lit mood while vases of overflowing mellow yellow orchids, pale purple and metallic accents combine with a sleek bar to provide the perfect catwalk for the cool clientele to nibble on multi-layered rainbow maki rolls (with requisite salmon roe), red miso lamb cutlets and chilli and lime-tinged squid. The outdoor terrace provides great photo ops of the Palm Jumeirah, and the perfect place to puff between courses.
FYI: Bonsai, developed by the Japanese more than a thousand years ago, is derived from the Chinese practice of growing miniature plants. In bonsai cultivation, these minimature woody plants are  in true proportion to their natural full-sized models.
Signature Dishes: Beef gyoza, soft-shell crab with red pepper miso, baked Alaskan cod.

Shang Palace
Address:
Shangri-La Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai
Tel: 04 343 8888
Web: www.shangri-la.com
Dress code: Smart casual
Times: 12.30pm to 2.30pm, Saturday to Thursday for lunch; 11am to 3pm, Friday; 7pm to 11.30pm, Sunday to Saturday for dinner
Price Range: $$$
Those suffering Cantonese cuisine cravings should hot foot it to Shang Palace, decked out in requisite red and burnished gold on Shangri-La’s mezzanine level, for one of the city’s tastiest, and classiest, foodie experiences. The star of the show is undoubtedly the Beijing duck; served complete with pancakes and followed by a choice of delectable minced duck in lettuce leaves, stir-fried shredded duck with vegetables or duck with bean curd and vegetable soup. The steamed dim sum appetisers are highly recommended; their set-price all you can eat yum cha is a legendary bargain, but also make room for the black cod fish with XO sauce and prawns with golden garlic. Chinese connoisseurs will always splash out on the braised abalone with vegetables, and seafood addicts gorge on the lobster, crab and hammour prepared to preference.
FYI: The weekend yum cha menu on Friday and Saturday gets booked up days in advance thanks to its bargain rate of Dhs95 from 11am to 12.30pm, then Dhs115 from 1pm to 3pm, including copious refills of Jasmine tea.
Signature Dishes: Steamed lobster and scallop dumplings, deep fried XO sauce black cod, mango pudding.

Summer Palace
Address:
Metropolitan Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai
Tel: 04 343 0000
Web: www.metropolitandubai.habtoorhotels.com
Dress code: Smart casual
Times: 12pm to 2.30pm, Sunday to Saturday for lunch; 6pm to 12am, Sunday to Saturday for dinner
Price Range: $$
Tasteful, polished rosewood wood floors, spacious tables, waitresses in sleek black, red-edged cheongsams and predominantly Chinese patrons set the scene for the cuisine that’s set to transport you to the orient at Summer Place, the first of the now-multitude of oriental restaurants that pepper the city. Your fingers will get gloriously messy thanks to the sticky ribs. Skip the artery-clogging deep fried starters and treat yourself to the multi-textured, multi-flavoured sweet and sour soup, and salt and pepper prawns. Speedy service is guaranteed at the 30-minute business lunch that’ll get you in and out, chop chop!
FYI: Opened in 1987 by Queen Elizabeth II’s personal chef Philip Lao, Summer Place revolutionised Chinese dining in Dubai.
Signature Dishes: Chicken and water chestnut wrapped in iceberg lettuce, aromatic crispy duck, toffee bananas.

Thaianese
Address:
Ramada Continental Hotel, Abu Hail Road, Dubai
Tel: 04 266 2666
Web: www.ramadacontinental.com
Dress code: Smart casual
Times: 6pm to 2am, Sunday to Saturday
Price Range: $$
Thainese  - as the name suggests - serves Thai and Chinese delicacies, all trotted out with astonishing expertise in equally astonishing foliage-filled and fountain-bedecked surroundings; it’s kind of like a grown-up version of a Rainforest cafe with great Pan-Asian food and without the fake animal noises (no complaints there!). Definitely worth the trek to this treasure to gawp and be gluttonous.
FYI: Splash on the salty, fermented fish sauce with fresh chillies (called nahm phrik pla raa) is the most important flavouring ingredient in Thai cooking. It’s the equivalent of salt to Europeans and soy sauce to the Chinese.
Signature Dishes: Thai fried sun-dried beef, Chang Mai spicy beef in jungle sauce, fresh mango with sweet coconut sticky rice.

Thiptara
Address:
The Palace, Burj Downtown, Dubai
Tel: 04 428 7888
Web: www.theaddress.com
Dress code: Smart casual
Times: 7pm to 11.30pm, Sunday to Saturday
Price Range: $$$
Thiptara presents an immediate dilemma when booking; should you make a beeline for the much coveted Dubai-fountain views from the terrace tables, or hope the chef’s table at the edge of the kitchen, with clear views of the chefs whipping up your feast, is free? The contemporary Thai-tinged decor, with its impressive torch lit entrance  alludes to, rather than overdoes, its oriental theme; lots of contrasting dark and golden wood accents when coupled with modern furnishings makes for a change from the usual cheesy stuff. If you can handle the heat, ask them to up the spice quotient, skip the usual satay starters and green curries and instead explore the menu, getting stuck into the zingy chicken and shrimp glass noodle salad, multi-textured chicken and coconut soup, Paneang lamb shank curry and steamed sea bream with a tingling lime, mint and chilli sauce. Be brave, it’s worth it.
FYI: The supremely appropriately named Thiptara means ‘magic by the water’ in Thai.
Signature Dishes: Chicken and coconut milk soup, steamed sea bream with lime, mint and chilli, sweet sticky coconut rice with mango.

White Orchid
Address:
Palm Tree Court & Spa, Jebel Ali Golf Resort & Spa, Dubai
Tel: 04 814 5555
Web: www.jebelali-international.com
Dress code: Smart casual
Times: 7pm to 11pm, Monday to Saturday; Closed Sunday
Price Range: $$$
White Orchid has scoured the Pan-Asian region picking up pointers from Thailand, China and Japan to offer up a menu packed with a winning array of options at surprisingly unpretentious prices. The foliage-surrounded terrace set within the resort’s lush gardens is the place to perch in cooler months while the white sofas of the adjacent piano lounge beckon post-supper. You’ll pile on the calories with their selection of perfectly crunchy fried starters; but the coconut-crusted shrimp, crispy crab wontons, tofu nuggets and spring rolls are worth it. Thai temptations include the ubiquitous chicken satays and red and green curries, and Chinese dim sum (featuring steamed shrimp dumplings with perfect light casing), Kung Pao prawns and roast duck, as well as extensive Japanese sushi offerings will send the indecisive into a tizzy.
FYI: Here’s a random orchid fact to share over dinner at White Orchid. There are four times as many orchid species as there are mammals in the world and vanilla is one of them.
Signature Dishes: Tom Yam Koong soup (Thai spicy prawn soup), Chinese wine steamed lobster, mango rice.

Hoi An
Address:
Shangri-La, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai
Tel: 04 405 2703
Web: www.shangri-la.com
Dress code: Smart casual
Times: 7pm to 12am, Sunday to Saturday
Price Range: $$$
Place an order for the piping hot parcels of steamed mushroom dumplings, indulge in coconut-crusted Dungeness crab cakes and satiate your Kobe beef cravings with Pho Vietnam at Chef  Nguyen Trong Phu’s superb Francophile Vietnamese spot that has managed to satisfy the Emirate’s most discerning Asian-food zealots and picky pho aficionados alike. Breeze from the wooden ceiling fans, the prevalence of pricey teak wood and large turquoise shutters evoke a bygone, genteel Colonial-style era at this decidedly upmarket gastro-spot, which offers a change of Asian cuisine from the usual Thai, Chinese and Japanese haunts in the city.
FYI: Hoi An is an ancient Vietnamese trading port, known for its silk, jewellery and spice trade.
Signature Dishes: Hoi An crispy rolls, sweet blue crab soup with tomatoes, mint and rice noodles, coconut ice cream.

Zheng He
Address:
Mina A’Salam, Madinat Jumeirah, Jumeirah Beach Road, Dubai
Tel: 04 366 8888
Web: www.jumeirah.com
Dress code:
Times:
12pm to 3pm, Sunday to Saturday for lunch; 7pm to 11.30pm, Sunday to Saturday for dinner
Price Range: $$$$
One visit to Zheng He’s will banish any associations you may have made about Chinese food being synonymous with greasy takeaways.  Dark woods, red lanterns and faux-Oriental antiques are tastefully combined in this chic, modern eatery. Chef Chee Leong oversees the kitchen turning out baskets of barbeque chicken char siew pau and steamed saffron vegetable dumplings, plates of fragrant sautéed eggplant in a spicy sauce, stir fried spinach, mushroom and tofu enlivened with ginger and garlic, and decadent plump scallops with white asparagus. Wasabi-crusted prawns with a mango salsa and mayonnaise pack a sinus-clearing punch, while the homemade coconut ice cream with fresh strawberries makes the perfect dessert. The biggest dilemma will be where to sit; outside by the abra-filled waters, with views of the iconic Burj Al Arab and the beautiful Mina A’Salam hotels or nestled inside, ensuring more of an oriental ambiance with the added bonus of air-conditioning.
FYI: Zheng He’s is such an institution that it’s one of the only restaurants in the country to have its own cookbook.
Signature Dishes: Crystal prawn dumplings with black truffle, oven baked honey cod, steamed mustard cake with white chocolate ice cream.

Shiba
Address:
The Meydan Hotel, Nad Al Sheba, Dubai
Tel: 04 381 3111
Web: www.meydanhotels.com
Dress code: Smart casual
Times: 12.30pm to 3pm, Sunday to Saturday for lunch; 7pm to 11.30pm, Sunday to Saturday for dinner
Price Range: $$$
Upwardly mobile Tokyo residents all covet a Shiba address, hence it’s a fitting name for this moodily minimalist, sensationally swish sushi spot away from the city’s hustle and bustle. Those wanting more than slivers of the slickest, melt-in-your-mouth sashimi can sample the sizzling delights of Chef Sam Okita’s cracking robata grill which features a wide selection of seafood and Wagyu beef, plus painstakingly sourced organic chicken. Enthusiasts always call Okita before pitching up so he can create a special kaiseki menu or personalise dishes for those wanting to immerse themselves in Japanese cuisine, while celebs make discreet entrances through a private route. Get there early to sip some sake while sat atop the tasselled, turquoise high chairs at the slick illuminated Onyx bar.
FYI: Translated into English, 'Shiba' means 'turf' so rather apt for its location with unobstructed views of the Meydan racecourse!
Signature Dish:es Lobster miso soup, chilled jumbo tiger prawns with pepper dipping sauce from the Robata grill, cherry and dark chocolate mochi with exotic fruits.

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