The Shortlist

China Sea
Nominated for Best Chinese
© ITP Images
  • Picture 1 of 2

An overload for the senses, this oddball restaurant in Deira is popular with Chinese expats and for good reason: you won’t get a more authentic mainland China dining experience in Dubai. A live seafood tank welcomes guests on entry, the decor is outlandish, the tables are covered in plastic and the vibe is casual and low-key. The menu is huge and offers delights including fried sea cucumber and vegetable and seafood steamed ‘gootey’ dumplings. The fried jellyfish is surprisingly tasty, the small and squiggly, rind-like tentacles marrying well with the wok-fried bean sprouts accompanying them. The mud crabs are pristinely fresh and considerably well-priced compared to other venues in the city, wok-fried and chilli-style they arrive with doughy bread to soak up the sweet, sticky sauce. Veggie options include a celery and cashew nut stir fried in garlic, which is cooked to absolute perfection. If you’re an adventurous eater, you can’t go wrong with this offbeat offering.
Open daily 10.30am-midnight. Al Maktoum Street, Deira (04 295 9816).

Our favourite features