Recommended restaurants to sample the Chinese dining tradition
Da Shi Dai For an affordable spread of traditionally conceived dim sum, you can’t go far wrong at this JBR spot. Here you can try steamed and fried parcels, freshly made in-house, with less commonly seen favourites such as cheung fun, congee and tofu skin rolls all available. There’s also a bargain dim sum deal on Friday and Saturday afternoons for Dhs88 per person. JBR, Dubai Marina (04 426 4636).
Hakkasan This giant of Cantonese innovation offers a thoroughly unique selection of dim sum; expect dainty creations, with a touch of fusion to them, at equally highfalutin prices. Boulevard, Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 384 8484).
Sino Chai If you want to explore beyond the classic Cantonese mode of dim sum, this Taiwanese restaurant offers the perfect opportunity to do so. The healthy-eating inspired restaurant and tea shop offers a standout selection of fried and steamed items, many of which use tea infusions in the recipes for a unique edge such as jasmine tea chicken shu mai and lotus-leaf wrapped parcels of glutinous rice, using five different types of grains. Building 27, Healthcare City (04 435 5650).
Royal China Cantonese in concept, just like the origins of dim sum itself, the first branch of this now international Chinese restaurant chain in Queensway, London is famed for its Hong Kong-style mid-afternoon dim sum offering. The Dubai hub is no different, with the dim sum freshly prepared each day and offering excellent and classic choices as well as various daily specials. DIFC, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 354 5543).
Ping Pong It’s not for ethic and authentic yum cha that you’d head to Ping Pong, but this eatery focussed on dim sum does a roaring trade by crossing the boundaries. Here, they serve an interesting and atypical selection of dumplings, a little like an estimation of the most modern dim sum menus in the city, but at far more accessible prices. The Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai (04 339 9088).
The China Club Sticking to the classic Cantonese banqueting hall mode of serving dim sum, The China Club is perhaps the only (we think) restaurant in the city to serve their dim sum on the traditional trolley, which makes its way through the room, for diners to choose from. The selection and quality (freshly made in-house) continues to set a classic and highly recommended standard. What’s more, The China Club’s all you can eat dim sum deal for Dhs99 per head is available every afternoon. Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Deira Creek (04 205 7333).
Yalla Momo’s Not strictly dim sum, in the purest Cantonese sense, but we hope by now that you’ve at least developed a yearning for all things dumpling-like. If this is the case, get yourself down to the newly renovated and reopened Yalla Momo’s, which serves ‘momo’ – a hearty style of street food dumpling, eaten in the Himalayan regions of Nepal, as a result of the culinary influence of bordering Tibet and China. Behind Park Regis Hotel, Karama (04 385 2233).