High-end Cantonese restaurant in Dubai Festival City
|Location:||Dubai Festival City Mall - Festival City|
|Tel:||04 232 9077|
|Travel:||Al Rebat Street|
|Experiences:||Alcohol available, Takeaway available, Outdoor seating|
|Times:||Open daily noon-midnight|
|Credit Cards Accepted:||Yes|
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Chi’Zen on Map
Maan Dec 13, 2011 01:39 pm
Yesterday I took my fiancée to the Chi’Zen. I pre-booked a table on the terrace overlooking the marina. We arrived early but the table was ready. The atmosphere of the restaurant was really nice. It is a combination of Chinese and contemporary themes that speaks culture. Simplistic yet classical wooden frames, the use of red and black, modern light fixtures, terracotta replica soldier (dwarf) to welcome you just after the hostess stand as well as other touches.
We were hungry and as soon as we sat down and were handed the menu, there came prawn crackers with three dipping sauces: a sweet chili, soy and a chunky chili sauce. Real good, but guess what, it is not really authentic Cantonese, it’s actually more Thai than Chinese.
We ordered lots of food.
The appetizers golden duck bun and shrimp sesame toast were out of this world. The duck bun is a piping hot, golden fried pastry (probably rice and wheat flour) stuffed with roasted duck meat and pepper sauce that was cooked and seasoned to perfection and served with hoi sin sauce. The sesame shrimp toast are crunchy bread sticks covered with toasted sesame, buttered and shrimp flavored, probably using shrimp butter and served with a sweat and sour sauce to complement the flavor. Absolutely sinful if a bit too buttery.
The second course was half a Beijing duck cut at the table and served as authentic as it can be with pancakes, spring onions, cucumbers and hoi sin sauce. The remaining meat was stir fried with onion and pepper sauce and brought again to the table!! Lip smacking good!!
Next victim was the seafood clay pot, steamed choi and beef noodles came next. The clay pot was deliciously delicate and subtle. Obviously very fresh ingredients (fish, calamari and shrimp) have been used. The steamed choi was not bad but a bit too oily.
On the other hand, the noodles unfortunately were a disaster as they looked like someone had used a cleaver to toss them with the beef!! I complained about the noodles and got apologies but really there is no excuse! The taste was not bad, it is just that the way it was served and the fact that it was very lamely flavored where it was supposed to be “spicy”. What a waste of excellent beef (I could tell it was a very good cut).
Last but not the least is the dessert (like we needed that). The green tea ice cream was fantastically refreshing and served with a drizzle of strawberry sauce and a few strawberry slices. The leech cheesecake served with freshly pitted fruit with some strawberry syrup was just divinely exotic. I just wish they had skipped the strawberry syrup on both desserts as it masked the delicate flavors.
The service was not bad, but a bit more knowledge of the menu wouldn’t hurt. Steamed rice was served free. When we complained that it was cold it was quickly replaced with steamed hot bowls.
Overall and noodles aside, the food was complex in texture, subtle in flavor (pepper sauce leaves a pleasant peppery after taste that is just tantalizing and refreshing) and quiet hearty.
I’d definitely go again for the duck dishes and to try other delicacies.
The bill was not too bad as it came up to AED325.00 including a bottle of still water. Good value for money I’d say.
Save the crackers (delicious) and the noodles (disaster) and the desserts (innovative fusion), the food can definately be dubbed authentic cantonese.
Sharon Downie Oct 13, 2011 04:44 pm
The prices are cheaper now, but the quality has dropped more. The service was very bad, the servers seemed like they didn't care and the food was below average
The manager spoke to us and explained that they are going to focus on Indo-Chinese style food - what ever that is????
We won't be going back.
Michelle Hewkin Oct 08, 2011 06:16 pm
Visited here on a early Saturday evening having failed to find the noodle bowl in sates. The welcome was very slick and professional and we were seated quickly although the restaurant was at 20 percent capacity. Having waited more than an hour for our starters - one starter came out 15 minutes prior to the other four - we had requested that the children's main be served with the starters - however, this came withe the rest of the starters at which time our child had fallen asleep. In addition to our starters arriving the mains also came and having had a rather in depth discussion with the waiter he reluctantly took them away. To return with them after the starters had been eaten. Two of the mains where served cold. Dishes were constantly removed during the course of the meal and the service extremely clumsy - the food was fairly dire !!! We declined coffee and deserts at which time the waitress started wiping the table until we asked her to stop. Overall certainly the worst restaurant we have been to in Dubai and indeed the food was poor... Very very disappointed.
Jackie Sep 14, 2011 06:55 am
It's not so easy to find a decent Chinese restaurant here in Dubai. Most of the restaurants here serve Chinese food that doesn't taste Chinese at all. Chi Zen however satisfies our yearning for authentic Chinese taste. It reminds me of the taste one can only find in those crowded noisy Hong Kong restaurants but set in an elegant, classy atmosphere. Peking duck is served to perfection with wonderfully thin pancakes. The duck meat in lettuce cups are dainty & refreshing. And the sesame shrimp toast is crispy and not dry. Music selection is also good and complements the dim, comfortable interiors. Someone in our group actually said it feels like being in a spa. Very relaxing mood, very friendly staff that are attentive to our needs, and very reasonable prices.
balu Aug 27, 2011 11:41 am
The best chinese restaurant i ever tasted in dubai, cheaper, dishes starting from dhs.14, Iftar set menu for dhs.99 is a great value deal, i could say a food court price meal they are offering with 5 star quality and service. must visit.