A GLOBALISED GUIDE TO THE BEST IN FOOD: COOKING IT, EATING IT AND ENJOYING IT!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Lemongrass




Lemongrass
Nr Lamcy Plaza
Dubai

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 d├ęcor 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?!”

6 comments:

alexander said...

You got me bang to rights, too!!!

:)

Mita said...

Thanks for this - I adore Thai food and will definitely check it out. But I have another Thai favourite - not quite as posh but also run by Thais is the one at MOE food court - I think its Thai Kitchen - anyway I can NEVER make it past their counter.

Susan said...

Love Lemongrass! Their glass noodle salad is awesome! Not sure if its still there but there used to be a fantastic Thai place in the Al Ain Centre, again run by a Thai family and always full of Thai families eating.

The place in MOE is pretty good too. Hmmm, need to go get lunch!

i*maginate said...

My friend had 'not so good' reviews about this place, and although as enticing as it has always sounded, I don't think I will be visiting it.

Cairogal said...

I second Susan's comment-I LOVED their glass noodle salad. There are quite a few Thai restaurants in and around Seattle, but I've never found one that made the same glass noodle salad. I have, however, found a recipe that gets me pretty close to the one at Lemongrass. The only downside is that it's not part of a hotel, so no booze.

Cairogal said...

I second Susan's comment-I LOVED their glass noodle salad. There are quite a few Thai restaurants in and around Seattle, but I've never found one that made the same glass noodle salad. I have, however, found a recipe that gets me pretty close to the one at Lemongrass. The only downside is that it's not part of a hotel, so no booze.