Celebrate Chinese New Year at one of Dubai's many excellent restaurants
Saffron: Atlantis, The Palm is going all out for Chinese New Year this year. The restaurant will be adorned with decorative Chinese lanterns, drapes of Chinese silk, two traditional kumquat trees and traditional Chinese music to complete the experience. A unique Chinese New Year Dinner is planned and diners can expect a combination of traditional and modern dishes including Peking duck, Mongolian seafood fantasy and a selection of Chinese cookies and Mandarin Cakes.
Call 04 426 2626 for more information
Lan Kwai Fong: Another to put in the ‘now I’m too bloated to move’ category, Lan Kwai Fong’s setting, not far from the Mövenpick Hotel , is a far cry from its namesake, the busy area of Hong Kong famous for its bars and rowdy spirit. From the outside it doesn’t look like much – appearing like a dark canteen, or old-fashioned hall – but inside, it appears authentic and a largely Chinese clientele suggests this doesn’t end with the decor. As with all Chinese restaurants, desserts are best left on the menu, but overall this is a pretty consistent effort and well worth stopping by.
Call 04 335 3680 for more information
China Sea: Chinese expats rave about China Sea, and so when you enter the fantastically large café you will expect the moon on a chopstick. You won’t be disappointed. To the right of the entrance, a gastronomic conjurer whips up noodles from scratch, while a team of cheerful sirens – decked out in matching red silk dresses – lead you to your table. Near the noodle man is a handful of stations, each boasting racks of shrink-wrapped raw ingredients. It looks like we may have found one of the best Chinese restaurants in Dubai.
Call 04 295 9816 for more information
Spring Bamboo: ‘Chaos’ is the word that springs to mind when thinking of Spring Bamboo. The restaurant lives off bus loads of Chinese locals and tourists stopping in for large banquets (most tables seat six or seven), consequently the party of two, for example, can be a little overlooked, and dishes often served in erratic order. But does give the place a certain frisson of energy, and given that it’s popular with the Chinese locals, it suggests that the food must be doing something right. Certainly the menu veers towards authenticity; any restaurant willing to serve sea cucumber (probably the most inedible of undersea molluscs) has a point to prove.
Call 04 335 5131 for more information
Xiao Wei Yang: This spot, hidden among the chaos of Baniyas Road, offers an authentic Chinese hotpot experience that cannot be matched anywhere in the city. Hotpot is essentially a kind of Chinese fondue, except stock is used in the central pot, rather than oil or cheese. You’ll be given a large bowl of stock, like the herby chicken broth with an oily red pool of mouth-numbing chilli and garlic-infused spice. This is placed on a hotplate in the centre of the table, and left to boil and bubble. You then order ingredients and toss them in to cook. It’s simple and riotously informal.
Call 04 221 7177 for more information
Noodle House: Few restaurants can claim such a loyal following. Turn up to any of the branches of The Noodle House for lunch or dinner, and there’s a good chance you’ll have to wait for a seat. There are simple reasons for this – the food is reliably good, service is cheery, the atmosphere is buzzing, and prices are very reasonable. Skip the unremarkable puddings and head instead to The Noodle House’s huge list of ice cream-based non-alcoholic cocktails. A great bet for a quick eat.
Call 04 319 8758 for more information
Zheng He's: Zheng He’s is a rare find. It joins ranks with Dubai’s classiest Chinese restaurants, but manages to do so without pomp. The decor is traditional and serene and, while the menu still boasts haute ingredients like caviar, truffles and wagyu, it’s only to augment delicious and classical Chinese fare. If you’re new to Dubai, this is the type of restaurant you want to start with. The service is as spot on as at any five-star venue and, though the restaurant is tucked away under the Mina A’Salam, the walk through the Madinat Jumeirah makes for a romantic evening from start to finish.
Call 04 366 6730 for more information
Da Shi Dai: A family friendly option for Mirdiff residents, Da Shi Dai is worth it's weight in dumplings. The selling point of Da Shi Dai, though, is how well it caters for children. You can get three kiddy courses for Dhs15, and the options make a healthy alternative to your usual fast-food family haunts.
Call 04 426 4636 for more information
Hukama: Hukama’s design is so immaculate it feels like you’re inside an architect’s blueprints. This is thanks in no small part to a sweeping window that shows off one of the city’s most spectacular views of the Burj Dubai. The Chinese waitresses float along in beautiful silk gowns, but their mystique unfortunately doubles as ignorance when it comes to the menu. Although, not knowing exactly what is on your plate does not deter from the enjoyment, as many of the dishes are delightful.
Call 04 436 8888 for more information
Long Yin: The setting may be rather bland, but the food at Long Yin is a cut above the rest, and the service is hawk-eyed, to say the least. Plates disappear as if magicked away by telekinesis. Although, it’s worth fending off the waiters for a few extra moments, if only to guilt them into providing another bowl of caramelised walnuts while you wait (a mouth watering alternative to the usual prawn cracker). The menu is extensive and it takes time just to get your bearings. Opt for the Beijing duck and be prepared for them to practically feed it to you. As well as slicing the duck, the waiter will also neatly pack it into tightly wrapped pancakes and drop it onto your plate. And each bite of these hand-delivered parcels is a treat.
Call 04 217 0000 for more information