Whenever a new hotspot opens in Dubai, there’s usually a buzz for a few weeks. But since Mr Miyagi’s opened back in July, the buzz just hasn’t seemed to die down. Before it even opened, the owners promised “authentic Asian street food, an extensive drinks menu and an interior that’s an Instagrammer’s dream”. That’s a lot to live up to.
TBH, here at Ahlan! we’re Asian connoisseurs. And if you’re talking street food, we’ve had everything from fried scorpions (it was a dare, FYI) in Bangkok and whiffy durian dishes in Singapore, to chicken skewers in Siem Reap, to name a few. So we don’t bandy around the word ‘authentic’ lightly.
We head to Mr Miyagi’s, located on the ninth floor of the Media One Hotel, for dinner on a Thursday night and, as expected, it’s packed. The first thing we notice as we walk in is the incredible décor, which, yes, is indeed an Instagrammer’s dream. This, combined with the vibe, prompts our guest to immediately comment, “It’s like we literally just walked into Bangkok”. In fact, there is even a Thai tuk-tuk parked outside the bathrooms. We don’t hesitate to hop in for an impromptu photoshoot, obvs.
With the atmosphere and décor on point, will the food be able to match up? For starters, we order the dynamite shrimps in spicy tangy mayo, along with chicken lemongrass skewers. The shrimps are crispy with just enough spice, but perhaps a bit too much tangy sauce. The chicken skewers are straight from a stall in Thailand – a thin layer of minced chicken over a bulky skewer. It’s the type of snack you buy from a street stall in Bangkok to punctuate a strenuous shopping spree.
For mains, we go for the famous pad Thai with shrimp. It’s Thailand’s most famous dish, but not everyone can get it right. The portion is enormous, flavourful and pretty much on the money, besides the excess bean sprouts on top of it. We’ve never faced a pad Thai we couldn’t finish, until now. Our guest opts for the pho spicy beef, which is a Vietnamese noodle soup consisting of broth, rice noodles called bánh pho, and a few herbs. The chunks of beef are soft, tender and extremely filling. Plus the soup’s flavours transport us straight to the streets of Saigon, which makes us VERY happy.
By now, we feel like we’ve eaten half of Asia, so we decide to share a dessert. When there’s mango and sticky rice on the menu, it’s hard to say no. The glutinous sticky rice is spot on, and served along with a small bottle of condensed milk (traditionally, this would be coconut milk). The sliced mango is also perfection, but sadly not the same sweet type of mango you find in Asia. Overall, it’s a fantastic attempt and a great end to our Asian feast.
After dinner we head over to the venue’s adjoining bar, Cobra Kai, which is even more packed. The bar is practically a replica of Bangkok’s famous party street, Khao San Road, but (fortunately) much classier. We love it here. INFO: Daily 11am-2am, Level 9, Media One Hotel, Dubai Media City, 04 420 7489