New lakeside eatery impresses us with its flavours 2 Reviews
- Picture 1 of 2
When I first announced to friends that I planned to visit a new Chinese restaurant called ‘Homey’, the jokes about heading to the ’hood were endless. However, on an initial reconnaissance mission I’d already spied the low-key yet intimate-looking fretwork covering the windows and the glow of dusky reds around the room. It looked as though I was in for an old- school Chinese restaurant experience.
First things first, the menu arrived in iPad form – swish, but completely incongruous in this pleasingly unassuming setup. Next the waiter brought us a welcoming (and free) cup of green tea: this touch of proper Chinese hospitality, along with a quick scroll through the menu, told me we were on the right track. The list was filled with all the expected standards, punctuated by stand-out dishes that are rarely seen on a menu that intends to pander to a Westernised idea of Chinese cooking. It’s not often, for example, you see sweet and sour dishes on the menu alongside century eggs.
Excited at the sight of one of my new-found favourites, century egg and tofu, I tried my best to explain the wonders of this dish to my unconvinced companion. He still wasn’t buying my ‘tofu is just Chinese-style cheese’ line of persuasion. So I ordered it anyway, much to the waitress’s surprise. She then relayed recommendations to us in such a way that it almost felt as though she was letting us in on little secrets.
The tofu and century egg arrived looking as beautifully translucent and elegant as I could have hoped, and with a fresh yet intense spectrum of flavours. For me, further joy came when the waitress pointed us straight to the cheong fun, which was made from a red rice flour dough, something I hadn’t seen before – I was told it was unique to this venue in Dubai. It was wondrous. This pink and red speckled rice dough casing was as vibrant as a piece of coral. The rice retained a firm, chewy nature that this slippery dish can sometimes lack, with a stuffing of juicy prawns and crystal-like shards of crispy dough.
The aubergine was another delight: a wonderful balance of a curt crunch in the coating, melting inside in a sweet caramel flesh. The crispy fish offered more texture-based excitement, but this time teamed with the bright taste and aroma of ginger and spring onion. Likewise, the beef in oyster sauce was pleasingly tender, dripping in this sweet, rich dressing.
Granted, not every dish induced these levels of ecstasy, but there was nothing on the table that wasn’t up to scratch, if not better. While we were more than satisfied at the end of the meal, the final touch of charm came when the waiter brought us a simple mango and tapioca pearl soup as a complimentary dessert for us to try.
It’s worth pointing out that there were a few flaws in the service (we ordered a bowl of rice and more tea that never arrived at the table, although we weren’t charged for either). However, my friend was so charmed by every other aspect of this restaurant that he pleaded with me not to include these downsides in my review. Surely this level of instant loyalty in a first-time customer speaks volumes.
The bill (for two)
1x century egg tofu Dhs16
1x crispy chicken Dhs62
1x shrimp dumpling Dhs26
1x cheong fun Dhs28
1x crispy fish Dhs48
1x oyster sauce beef Dhs48
1x sweet and sour shrimp Dhs48
1x eggplant Dhs26
Total (excluding service) Dhs302
Time Out Dubai,
Time Out reviews restaurants anonymously and pays for meals. Of course, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or independence of user reviews.