Nara Pan Asian
Time Out Says
Adorned with manga-inspired murals and fake cherry blossom trees, Nara Pan Asian comes from the same proprietors as its predecessor – so know you’re in good hands when it comes to good value.
Layout aside (the bar hasn’t been moved), it feels entirely different to the Indian gastro we bid a Bollywood-worthy goodbye to last New Year’s Eve. Gone is the partition separating restaurant and bar, gone are the big booths.
Service, however, is as delightful as ever. Friendly staff are on the up-sell, but in the jolliest, least intimidating manner possible. And with prices like these, what’s to complain about?
The menu is divided, broadly, into three groups – small plates, steamed dumplings and mains.
Now, if you’re here for a beverage at the bar, do yourself a favour and pair it with a plate of shockingly good value (Dhs36) chicken balls.
For anyone familiar with those from a Chinese takeaway in Europe – these are the best you’ll find. In fact, they’re about as closely related to those soggy, anaemic orbs off the high street as Marmite is to Maria Sharapova.
Not familiar? Fresh, juicy, minced chicken is rolled into meatball shape, battered and deep fried, before being served up with a tangy, sticky sweet and sour sauce. Dreamy. In fact, eating just one after a long day is like watching the sun come up – if your daily grind is less The Office, more The Purge.
Elsewhere on the menu, don’t miss the dumplings – rumour has it there’s a real-life dumpling chef in the kitchen. While we haven’t actually met him, we’ve certainly stopped to scoff his work – crystal veg dumplings in particular are packed with fresh, crunchy pieces, and amply sized to boot.
Mains are less exciting, but plenty varied (travelling from Thailand to China to Japan) and thigh-slappingly well priced.
Few places in town still start their main courses from Dhs48 – fewer still that do are licensed.
Spice & Ice may be no more, but the good times and great value are still rolled out every day of the week at Nara Pan Asian.
WHAT IS IT...
Casual bar and restaurant with eats from the Far East
For an excellent value night out (and takeaway-trumping chicken balls)
By Time Out Dubai staff | 28 Nov 2018
Recommended for you in Restaurants
Le Burger boasts 2,000 burger combinations at Mall of the Emirates
The Set to officially open its door in Dubai in February
Sponsored: And it comes along with unlimited free Turkish tea
Head to the newest branch of Moshi for the big giveaway
Wholesome grub and brilliant views at Andaz Dubai The Palm