Time Out selects the 10 best Chinese restaurants in Dubai
Time Out Dubai staff
China Club:Walk into China Club and you are drawn into a world where Chinese food meets fine dining; a place that will cater for a business meeting, family celebration or romantic dinner for two. Don’t be daunted by the menu, offering à la carte options as well as set banquets; keep your head, decide on your game plan and dive in. Opting for à la carte, vegetable spring rolls and prawn dumplings provided the opening salvo, and neither disappointed – the spring rolls had the right amount of crunch, giving way to piping hot, fresh vegetables inside, with juicy plump prawns steamed to perfection inside the dumplings. For mains, we ordered the green chilli beef – so tender and flavoursome that you really notice the quality of ingredients and the level of thought going into each dish from the restaurant’s chefs. Sweet and sour chicken, a classic staple of the Chinese dining experience is worth ordering, with its juicy white meat encased in crisp balls of batter and a rich, thick sauce.
For more information call 04 205 7333.
China Sea:Always a Time Out favourite, this low-key Deira restaurant is a haven for the city’s Chinese expats as it serves some of the least pretentious and most delicious Chinese in town. Its quirky interior and seating might not be as glam as some places, but the food more than makes up for it. The hot and sour soup is gloopy, thick and has the perfect amount of kick to it, while the restaurant’s gyoza have that delicious, slightly grilled veneer before they break apart in your mouth. The restaurant’s Chinese waitresses can be a little brisk but don’t let that put you off. Get ordering – portions are enormous so don’t feel afraid to get any leftovers packed up to take home.
For more information call 04 295 9816.
Da Shi Dai:This family-friendly spot on the main road side of Jumeirah Beach Residence appears to do a better trade in home deliveries and takeaways than dine-in customers. Not to say it should be viewed as just a takeaway place. Mercifully, the food is more interesting than the environment, and the contrasting textures of a portion of crunchy vegetable spring rolls and one of steamed chicken chui chow dumplings is a good way to start. Follow that with an order of stir-fried bok choi with fresh garlic was perfectly cooked, deliciously tasty and healthy too.
For more information call 04 426 4636.
Duck King:We go to Duck King for one thing – and, not surprisingly, it’s the duck. Order half a Peking duck for a cool Dhs138 and you are first served the crispy skin with delectably fresh, thin pancakes and all the trimmings (cucumber, hoi sin sauce, etc.). After this, which is a delight, you can choose how the rest of your duck is cooked. We usually opt for the golden duck buns – sweet and ultra-rich rolls stuffed with duck in a lovely marinade; but they’re not for everyone as they are almost sickly. Also make sure to try the fresh-tasting range of dumplings and dim sum while there, as well as the stir-fries. The menu at Duck King is truly mammoth and is buzzing with options – from noodle soups to hot pots and wasabi prawns, and we have yet to be disappointed by any dish.
For more information call 04 342 8041.
Hukama:Take a seat in Hukama and there’s no doubting you’re in Dubai: the impossibly sleek interior, sky-high ceilings and sweeping views of Burj Khalifa will assure you of that. However, the dishes could have come straight out of a five-star Oriental kitchen. Go all-out with the top set menu at Dhs888 per person and you will find there is no expense spared with the ingredients: a huge lobster comes out dissected, bearing its succulent meat, a scooped-out mud crab sits mightily on your table, two shrimps lean against each other, we imagine struggling to bear their hefty weight alone. Seafood is indeed a highlight, the Chinese flavours marrying with the delicate flesh beautifully.
For more information call 04 436 8888.
Lan Kwai Fong:Named after the famous Hong Kong street, Lan Kwai Fong is one of Dubai’s most authentic, not to mention fun, Chinese restaurants. Don’t be deterred by the rather lacklustre exterior – step inside and you’ll find plenty of Chinese expats chowing down on favourites such as crispy duck, spring rolls, prawn toast, special fried rice and an array of other Cantonese favourites. It should also be noted that food is MSG-free, which makes a nice change from many other cheap Chinese restaurants around town. All the food is served quickly and courteously, making Lan Kwai Fong a recommended spot for anyone hankering after a quick, easy and relatively cheap Chinese fix.
For more information call 04 335 3680.
Long Yin:This cosy little spot feels authentic, what with the seafood swimming around in tanks, the black lacquer decor and the clanging Chinese tunes, while the food and lighting-fast, super-slick service are spot-on too. Once you’ve gorged yourself on the free bowl of moreish caramelised walnuts, we recommend starting with the dim sum, as every steamed parcel we’ve tried has been fresh and flavoursome. Alternatively, begin with the soft and squishy chicken buns, which are so good we resent sharing them. The menu is extensive so do share your mains. Classics like sweet and sour chicken, which are made with fine quality ingredients, yet don’t err too much on the gourmet side, are safe options, while gorging yourself on the decadent Peking duck will never go awry.
For more information call 04 217 0000.
Noble House:If you want to impress visiting friends with your fancy Dubai lifestyle – take them to Noble House. Book one of the chef’s rooms, overlooking the city from the peak of the hotel’s pyramid, and you’ll have them at ‘would you like still or sparkling?’ You’ll find dark, sultry interiors, and even club style bathrooms, which all point to the fact that Noble House is very, very cool. Next comes the food: a creative twist on Chinese dishes, choose between chicken siew mai or sauteed seafood in XO sauce. The best part, the ‘restaurant theatre’ from the waiting staff, as they pour sauces behind their backs, from great heights into the tiniest glasses.
For more information call 04 314 9888.
Shang Palace:The service at this Shangri-La eatery certainly sets it apart – order a tea and you’ll get a Kung Fu like pouring performance; ask for the best dishes in the house and you’ll get talked through the breadth of Chinese cuisine. The lovely decor and ambience mean you should book a table in advance. Duck and anything barbecued are safe bets here, as is anything from the Szechuan region: expect spicy and moreish dishes. While we like everything here, none of the flavours truly differentiate this spot from the plethora of others offering Chinese fare.
For more information call 04 343 8888.
Zheng He:A homage to the ‘age of blossoms’ and ‘flowery years’ this retreat is as elegant a scene as modern Dubai can offer. Simply put, it’s far more than a restaurant. The attention to detail is immense: almost everywhere you look, there are artefacts of Chinese eras past, intricate brass touches, beautifully aged wooden furniture and pretty, flowery tunics for all the staff. Zheng He’s is a large, spacious restaurant with a five-star ambience, yet it manages to feel warm and intimate at the same time. That said, if the atmosphere and decor don't seduce you, the food certainly will. There’s real adventure and ambition throughout the menu that’s traditional Chinese with subtle, modern Western touches. The prawn wasabi is succulent in bite yet sharp on taste and the mango scallops are a real treat.
For more information call 04 366 8888.
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pat Apr 03, 2011 02:32 pm
good choices bit no adress or phone. i had to get the info from www.atninfo.com
salim shaikh Apr 02, 2011 07:20 am
Ya!!! pretty dumb not to include where these 10 best places are located!!!
Brigitte Apr 02, 2011 05:51 am
What's strange besides no addresses mentioned for recommended restaurants is that the comments on the food appear for all 10 restaurants, which means that one has no idea what these comments are about. Maybe a redesign of that feature on the website is a must?
Arpy Tutunjian Mar 30, 2011 09:35 am
While it is a good thing to have a look to the best "10" restaurants I am disappointed that the address or location is not mentioned. It would have been so much easier for us to go!
Thanks & regards,
Arpy Tutunjian (Mrs.)
bertie Bentley Mar 30, 2011 07:59 am
I dined once at this place with friends and found it truly appalling. The duck was dry and cold and when we asked for more pancakes they said we would have to pay for them. Never again.