Chuan Seafood Restaurant
From the team behind Long Teng, Time Out Dubai’s Best Chinese Restaurant 2019, comes Chuan. And it comes to Palm Jumeirah’s The Pointe, with no small shoes to fill.
Almost immediately, Chuan trumps its sister restaurant on setting. While the location certainly doesn’t have the footfall of Business Bay, what it does have is brilliant views and a waterfront lounge that feels primed for sundowners and a side basket of dim sum.
At first glance, the interiors feel rather elevated for an area that is mostly home to more casual restaurants and bars, but a quick glance at the menu confirms the intent here is firmly fine dining. As are the prices. Thankfully, the execution matches up.
There are no westernised dishes on the menu – come to Chuan to try authentic Chinese food with modern presentation. (And a couple of modern obstacles – the Peking roast duck seemingly needs to be ordered in advance of your visit, when booking your table.)
Ornately plated dishes include Chinese yam shreds with orange juice, and sweet and sour jellyfish served in prickly pear halves.
But when was dim sum ever a bad place to start? At Chuan, it’s as good as any –the chicken xiao long bao a particularly excellent pick, rich broth streaming out like umami-packed lava. Crisp, savoury spring rolls are the finest you’ll find in anywhere in town, packed with an enviable abundance of squidgy shimeji mushrooms.
Of the mains, the mapo tofu with crab meat is a tongue-tingling highlight. It’s rich, tangy and liberally loaded with Sichuan pepper, for which a pleasantly fatty seafood fried rice is the perfect foil.
Matsutake mushrooms with vegetables is a winning side, its al dente assortment of sugar snaps, broccoli and bell peppers helping offset the richness of the rest of the meal.
Among The Pointe’s scores of restaurants, Chuan stands effortlessly head and shoulders above most.
Service is enthusiastic, if a little too hovering at times, and the drinks options could do with featuring a Chinese hops brand, but much like its sister brand, what you’ll find here is some of the very, very best Chinese food in Dubai. But with a more limited, slightly pricier menu, it’ll take something truly special to topple the king... We’re staying tuned.