The Shortlist

Smiling BKK
Nominated for Best Thai
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As any old school Dubaian will tell you, Smiling BKK is a bona fide piece of the emirate's dining history. But times have changed. Known for kooky framed pictures, ripped magazine pages and Thai tourist T-shirts lining every inch of wall, this is no longer the only independent eatery spouting Western-tinged irony with reckless abandon. The classic red curry and tom yum are both hard to fault and this remains a thoroughly charming spot.
Open daily 11am-midnight. Al Wasl Plaza, Al Wasl Road, behind the Emarat petrol station near Safa Park, (04 349 6677).

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