Of course, we weren’t here to sample Italian water, rather Lebanese Chinese food. Our starter consisted of shrimp ‘blast’ – battered shrimps lathered in a sweet wasabi mayonnaise. The dish was pretty good, each morsel proved very moreish but didn’t have the ‘blast’ promised on the menu. The shrimp dumplings fared much better – the plump, juicy parcels were given an extra edge by an infusion of coriander. I wolfed these down happily and was beginning to think that the Lebanese answer to PF Chang’s was better than America’s answer to PF Chang’s (ie PF Chang’s). Sadly, however, my optimism was cut short by the arrival of the cashew chicken and the stir-fried beef with broccoli for the main course – two very different dishes, which tasted worryingly similar. The cashew chicken was neither sweet nor sour, instead bland and tasteless, and soon became a tired viscous mess in the heat of the day. Somehow the beef had the same dreary taste that suffocated the cashew chicken – the sauce soon became congealed and the bed of broccoli it was served with was limp and lifeless.
We did our best with what was in front of us and by the time we had finished, our waitress, rather sweetly, had taken to running between our table and the kitchen to speed up proceedings. It was a nice gesture, but too little too late to save our Chopsticks experience. If ever you do find yourself sat in midday heat on the same terrace, stick to the starters.
The bill (for two)
1x Water Dhs22
1x Shrimp dumpling Dhs25
1x Shrimp Blast Dhs35
1x Egg-fried rice Dhs15
1x Stir-fried beef and broccoli Dhs44
1x Chicken cashew Dhs39
Total (excluding service) Dhs180