The only way we can describe Little Miss India, the newly opened high-end Indian eatery on Palm Jumeirah, is as an explosion of colour. From the vibrantly painted truck that bursts through the restaurant’s wall (and acts as a bar on the inside), to the lush green walls and art-lined dining room, it’s almost gallery-perfect.
We walk in and are greeted by a friendly hostess, before being shown to our table, close to the open kitchen.
After enjoying a welcome drink and continuing to admire the décor, we take a look at the menu, and we’re no less dazzled.
The first things to catch our eye are the paneer and fish tikkas from the tandoor and griddle menu. But the amritsari macchi –crispy fried fish with chickpea flour, chillies and carom seeds – and sunehra jhinga – prawns marinated in lemon, turmeric and saffron – also catch our eye.
We go with our first instinct, sharing a portion of both the paneer and fish tikka.
The paneer cheese comes grilled to perfection in a spicy yoghurt, chilli and cumin marinade, while the fish is tender and white, marinated in mint, coriander and spices. Both are packed full of flavour and we polish off every single bite on our plates.
When it comes to main courses in Indian restaurants, our date is pretty set in their ways – it’s a vegetable biryani with cooling cucumber raita every single time. We’re pretty sure they could write a comprehensive guide to the best vegetable biryanis in the UAE.
But we are keen to try one of the many curries on the menu. There is everything from classics like butter chicken and lamb rogan josh, to seekh bebab masala and fish dhaniya tamatari included in the selection.
We go for the Goan shrimp curry, which comes in a delicious coconut sauce, and packs a punch with chilli, tamarind and cumin.
Dal makhani and garlic naan are our favourite Indian sides, so we can’t resist ordering a portion of each to accompany the curry.
We’re far too full to tuck in to a big dessert, although the phirnee brûlée – rice delicately cooked with milk, coconut cream and blueberry, crusted with brown sugar – certainly does catch our eye.
Knowing that we can’t walk away without trying a little something sweet, we decide to order a portion of the raw mango and Indian mangosteen sorbets – the perfect, light digestive dessert to top off our meal.
INFO: Little Miss India, Fairmont The Palm; open daily from 6.30pm-11:30pm; fairmont.com/palm-dubai/dining/little-miss-india