East-Asian Kitchen

Catch-all Asian venue in JLT offers good-value food for nearby residents

Time Out Says

Originally from Germany, East Asian Kitchen’s Dubai branch opened in late 2012 and is located in a boxy space at the bottom of Cluster U in JLT. The view looks out onto the lake, a half-finished building and a rare example of Dubai graffiti. From the rather unappealing location, it’s safe to assume the clientele is mainly made up of residents of the immediate neighbourhood – it’s not a destination for which you’d go out of your way.

The modern, minimalist decor of block colours, bench-style shared seating on one side and individual tables on the other is by no means unattractive, but looks and feels like a furniture showroom.

East’s philosophy is apparently ‘light, healthy, fresh fusion food’ with a ‘modern European touch.’ It’s clear from the takeaway-style menu that the focus is on South-East Asian, Chinese and Japanese dishes, but the descriptions don’t always give away the promised Western touches. Starters include steamed edamame, spring rolls and miso and tom yum soup, while mains cover everything from Singapore noodles to chicken teriyaki and crispy duck. Sushi and sashimi also make an appearance.

Service during our visit was swift, polite and attentive. When it came to ordering, however, our waiter seemed to be avoiding all eye contact, instead focusing on his iPhone. Yet it soon became clear he was using it to note down our choices – a novel approach.

My tom yum gung soup was disappointing, lacking any of the fresh sour zing and spice you’d expect from this Thai broth – it was more of an Asian-flavoured veg and prawn soup overpowered by the taste of bamboo shoots. The shrimp tempura was equally disappointing, the batter proving thick and heavy, the kind you’d find in a fish-and-chip shop (perhaps this was the promised European touch). The mango salad wasn’t quite up to scratch either, drowned in an overly sweet dressing that would have been better suited to a dessert.

The gang gai Thai red curry we’d ordered as a main was, thankfully, an improvement, arriving in an attractive earthenware pot and served with a bowl of jasmine rice. The home-cooked taste of the coconut-heavy dish was appreciated, but the lack of chicken was not, and a more generous use of lemongrass would have helped to lift the flavour. Our California Classico rolls, filled with crabsticks and avocado and topped with sesame, were decent, competently put together using the right kind of seasoned rice. These were the standouts of our meal.

We left the venue with full stomachs and my wallet just over Dhs150 lighter. JLT residents will welcome the addition to their dining options, but I’d struggle to justify making the trip from elsewhere. It’s lucky, then, that the venue offers home delivery.

The bill (for two)
1x Tom yum gung Dhs22
1x Shrimp tempura Dhs24
1x Mango salad Dhs30
1x California Classico rolls Dhs26
1x Gang gai Thai curry Dhs36
2x Sparkling water Dhs20
Total (excluding service) Dhs158

By Penelope Walsh  | 05 Mar 2013

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Payment OptionsCash, Credit Card
Dress CodeCasuals
11:00 AM to 11:00 PM
Sunday: 11:00 AM to 11:00 PMMonday: 11:00 AM to 11:00 PMTuesday: 11:00 AM to 11:00 PMWednesday: 11:00 AM to 11:00 PMThursday: 11:00 AM to 11:00 PMFriday: 11:00 AM to 11:00 PMSaturday: 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM
Show number +971 4 4226930
Dubai, Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT), Shop 1, Basement Level, Lakeside, Al Seef Tower 3, Cluster U

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