Thursday, February 14, 2008
Nr Lamcy Plaza
Tel: 04 334 2325
Our friends who lived in Bangkok for more than 7 years and who know a thing or two about Thai food think that this is by far and away the best Thai restaurant in Dubai. I agree.
This restaurant, just a stones throw from Lamcy Plaza, is owned by a Thai couple, is staffed by Thai waiters and waitresses and the food is cooked by Thai chefs. They fly in some hard-to-find ingredients and as I walked in yesterday the familiar and instantly transporting smell of durian wafting past my nostrils.
The décor is great, wicker chairs, dark wood tables, light coloured walls, it looks and feels like a real restaurant and not some hotel lobby coffee shop which makes a pleasant change.
The restaurant is dry. Yup you heard right, I actually visited a ‘dry’ restaurant. My delirium tremens were just about controlled by a delicious long lime and ginger drink called king sod. I actually ordered it because the name is so cool but it was smashing.
The menu has all the usual Thai staples that you would expect and yesterday we started with the som tam (green papaya salad) and the yam neua (beef salad). I love som tam; the contrasts of the cool crunchy papaya strips, the heat of the chillis, the sour of the lime and the fish sauce just make to my mind one of the absolute classic Thai dishes. I could eat it by the pound and the Lemongrass version is absolutely divine.
The beef salad was a wonderful combination of spicy beef, covered with shallots, good hits of fresh mint and lovely slices of cool cucumber to assuage the heat.
Talking of the heat factor the waiters will offer you the dishes with ‘Thai hot’ or ‘medium hot.’ I am a chilli-head and I love hot spicy food but be warned “Thai hot” is very hot and will have your nose streaming, eyes watering and forehead sweating in a very short time.
For the main we had the green curry and of course pad Thai, the ubiquitous Thai noodles wrapped in a light thin omelette casing.
The curry was deep, complex, creamy, spicy and just wonderful. But beware, in the depths of the bowl hidden dangers lurk. I absentmindedly shovelled a spoonful of food in without realising that it contained a whole green birds-eye chilli. It certainly woke me up.
The noodles were delicious, not greasy as you often find, but perfectly well cooked and very tasty.
Lemongrass is an excellent restaurant and if you want authentic very well cooked and presented Thai food this is THE place in Dubai no question. In fact if it served alcohol I reckon I would eat here most nights of the week!
And this is where, just about now, that Alexander leaps in and says ….”what about Park Hyatt’s Thai Kitchen?!”