The Shortlist

Smiling BKK, Al Wasl Plaza
Nominated for Best Thai
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Following the opening of a shinier, swankier outlet at Al Wasl Square, Smiling BKK may now boast two locations in the city, but it’s the original plot, stuffed away down a Jumeirah side street, that holds a special place in the heart of many a Dubai resident. Once you’ve finally located it, expect to be rewarded with the mouth-watering Thai aromas of lemongrass and fish sauce – but be prepared for a long wait. Even during quieter services, the restaurant’s efficiency seems to have slipped in recent years, and punters can often find themselves served a single dish at a time, with as much as a 20-minute wait between the arrival of the first and last components of the table’s main courses. Is it worth the wait? Absolutely. Is it worth the surprisingly high price tag? Perhaps not. Portions are on the small side, and as Dubai’s Asian food scene grows, Smiling BKK’s offering becomes less unique.
Open daily 11am-midnight. Al Wasl Plaza, behind Emarat petrol station near Safa Park, Al Wasl Road (04 349 6677).


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