If you were to judge an Indian restaurant on the merit of its poppadoms, Little Miss India would come out pretty close to the top.
Unfortunately (or not, it’s probably fairly subjective in this case), it would be extreme of us to say Fairmont The Palm’s newest restaurant is worth visiting for the variety of its crispy snacks and house-made chutneys alone.
Good news, then, that there are other reasons. For starters, its charming terrace setting, with views of Dubai Marina’s skyscrapers and the rapidly progressing Ain Dubai in the distance.
And then there are the actual starters (the ones on the menu, this time).
We’ll preface this by saying we’re always instantly wary the minute any waiter, when asked for recommendations, immediately lists all the most expensive dishes on the menu. We’re a bit long in the tooth (and wide around the middle) for such obvious up-selling. In this instance, however, one of those suggestions is so stupefyingly spot on, you could blow us over with the gentle sea breeze. Hello, bhatti da lamb chops, and where have you been all our lives? Served up in a smoke-filled glass jar, the 12-spiced meat is tender, tangy and aromatic to boot. And across the table, a plate of sunehra jhinga (prawns marinated in lemon, turmeric and saffron) are getting a similar reception. Succulent, slightly smoky and downright superb.
If we were flying high, the arrival of mains brings us back to Earth with a bump. The (oddly vaguely named) chicken curry and onion-packed bhuna gosht, though both recommended by our waiter, are utterly underwhelming. Sitting under a thick layer of ghee, the chicken is woefully bland, and the lamb, though robust in flavour, is tough and stringy.
It’s disappointing and, frankly, enormously surprising. Little Miss India is a super new restaurant in many ways, but there’s work to do if it wants to compete with Dubai’s dozens of spectacular Indian eateries.
With such huge promise, we can only hope they pull it off.
The Bill (for two) 1x surenhra jhinga Dhs90 1x bhatti da lamb chops Dhs120 1x chicken curry Dhs85 1x bhuna gosht adraki Dhs95 1x basmati rice Dhs25 1x large local water Dhs22 Total (inlc service) Dhs437
The bottom line Top starters and setting, but it’s not enough.
Little Miss India