A midweek soirée that’s less about the food and more about the party
Time Out Dubai staff
We can hear Miss Tess before we can see it. Cheery K-Pop blasts down the corridors of Taj Dubai and the closer we get, the stranger the sounds become.
We pass striking graffitied walls and industrial-looking swings that add to the Asian street food vibe, before we enter an open dining room where a dancing Chinese dragon is vigorously (and expertly) doing his thing.
The strange noises turn out to be Mario and Luigi shrieking as they weave in and out of tables on a pedal bike. Closer inspection reveals a colourfully painted rickshaw in the centre of the restaurant, which revellers delight in using as a backdrop for their selfies. So far, so cheesy – and we love it.
We’re seated in the thick of the action, close enough to feel the breeze as dancing ninjas do a few flips about the place. There’s miming to the music and synchronised dance routines early on in the evening to the delight of the rapt audience, some of whom throw a few shapes of their own before the night ends.
A karaoke shower draws our attention, though we quickly lose enthusiasm after struggling to select a song, and leave the glass cubicle to peruse the menu, instead.
The brunch includes unlimited starters from which you can order the likes of vegetable spring rolls and chicken and vegetable gyoza. We particularly enjoy the chicken gyoza and the small plates don’t last long. There’s salad, sushi and sashimi available at live stations in the restaurant, and we pile our plates high with tuna sashimi, which is delicious and fresh.
A drinks stall offers a range of mixed drinks with fruity flavours and a selection of grape. And there are plenty of options to choose from.
Main dishes include grilled beef in teriyaki marinade, pad Thai noodles and Kung Pao chicken, which we thoroughly enjoy, but the food is definitely overshadowed by the performance element – not that we’re complaining.
Desserts include a selection of Asian fruits, including dragon fruit, pineapple and rambutans (they of the peculiar furry jackets) and a Miss Tess split, which consists of three scoops of ice cream in different flavours.
Entertainment gets more raucous (if that is even possible) and a fellow diner celebrating a birthday is presented with a cake and a personal dance routine, which leaves us exhausted just from watching.
Beyond the spectacle of dancers and dragons, floor-to-ceiling windows give a truly spectacular view of the Burj Khalifa and Downtown Dubai and the restaurant opens out to Treehouse bar should you fancy some al fresco drinks once the brunch winds down.
Everyone seems to be having a good time, though this is definitely one for those who don’t take life too seriously. Dhs288 (mixed drinks). Wed 8pm-11pm. Taj Dubai, Business Bay (050 650 4988).