Restaurant Review: Pachaylen, Eastern Mangroves, Abu Dhabi

Forget Thai crackers – this Southeast Asian restaurant offers a veritable treasure chest of nibbles for a winning first impression
“Pop the little
handmade bundles
straight into the mouth
and as teeth work like a
pestle and mortar, the
flavours of Thailand
are released”
“Pop the little handmade bundles straight into the mouth and as teeth work like a pestle and mortar, the flavours of Thailand are released”
Pachaylen
Pachaylen
“Pop the little
handmade bundles
straight into the mouth
and as teeth work like a
pestle and mortar, the
flavours of Thailand
are released”
Pachaylen

Location: Eastern Mangroves, Abu Dhabi
Tel: 02 656 1000
Web: www.anatara.com
Dress code: Smart
Cuisine: Thai
Times: 12.30pm to 3pm and 7pm to 11pm, daily
Price range: $$$

For a moment we thought we were in Mahiki when a little wooden treasure chest was brought to our table, but when it was opened it revealed something far more exciting than a tropical cocktail to share. For the discerning foodie, it offered the ultimate taste of Thailand with little individual pouches of dried shrimp, ginger, lime, peanuts, dried onion, chilli and palm sugar syrup. By way of an amuse bouche, diners are invited to wrap and mix these ingredients in betel leaves and then pop the little handmade bundles straight into the mouth. As teeth work like a pestle and mortar, the flavours of Thailand are released and there’s nothing quite like it. This experience alone is worth the visit, then the Gaeng Massaman curry is pretty special too, with slow-cooked lamb shank that falls away from the bone. Just when you think it can’t get any better, you take our advice and order the Ka Nom Mor Gheang for dessert. This moist Phetchaburi baked bean cake, with palm sugar, jasmine flowers and homemade coconut ice cream will convert anyone who thinks they are not a fan of Asian desserts.

On the Menu
APPETISERS
Fried Thai crab cakes with pickled cucumber relish, Dhs65
Australian beef sirloin skewer wrapped in wild betel leaves, Dhs60

MAINS
Gaeng Massaman lamb, Dhs110
Stir-fried Andaman scallops, tiger prawns in roasted chillies and sweet basil, Dhs130

DESSERTS
Phetchaburi baked bean cake, with palm sugar, jasmine flowers and  coconut ice cream, Dhs45
Hot fried banana and chocolate spring rolls and chocolate dipping sauce, Dhs 45