Far East Seafood Market

The seafood soup was merely a perfunctory gesture, with a single, unspectacular king prawn surrounded by rubbery strips of squid in a coriander-swamped sauce

Time Out Says

I watched several people do it as they left the restaurant. I even did it myself. There’s a point at which sated diners, overloaded with seafood, tentatively pad across the glass floor above anxious fish lurking in the tank below. When it was my turn, I got halfway across when I was confronted by a corpulent coy carp, which seemed to be staring at me like one of the Kray twins. It was as if he was thinking: ‘You’ve had one tiger prawn too many, fatso, and now it’s going to get nasty.’ But then he twitched, regurgitated a pebble and swished out of sight in case the glass floor caved in and I squashed him.

Indeed, so full are most people when they leave Fareast Seafood Market, that they can be forgiven for thinking the glass will give way beneath them and they’ll be squelching their way home. That’s because the charming staff at this relaxed restaurant won’t take no for an answer – especially if you take advantage of one of the daily all-you-can-eat promotions. When we were led past teeming aquaria, hanging plants and intricate carvings to the iced stalls of the market, our waitress was eager to fill our basket with the cast of Finding Nemo – including the extras. Our protestations were met with mockery, playful derision and a couple of extra sardines for good measure.

So we decided to go with the flow. The seafood soup was merely a perfunctory gesture, with a single, unspectacular king prawn surrounded by rubbery strips of squid in a coriander-swamped sauce. But then the tiger prawns roared up to the table – each prepared with an individual twist. The tempura prawn was delightfully crispy on the outside, yet soft and juicy within; the grilled prawn with lemon, butter and garlic sauce was as tangy but never too tart; and the chilli prawn with mangetout was as fiery as an angry ogre who had recently given up smoking. The second haul yielded softly steamed clams in more lemon butter sauce and Schwarzenegger-esque mussels, baked in creamy mayonnaise under crispy melted cheese.

The next wave of dishes washed up a bevy of deep-fried sardines, which were as long as diving knives but had been cooked a fraction too long. More satisfying was the baby hammour, which had been expertly filleted and grilled to crispy perfection. The catch of the day, however, was the brilliantly named striped grunt, which had been tenderised by a lively soy and ginger sauce, and had me blissfully snorting in approval. Everything was accompanied by seafood fried rice, peppered liberally with chunks of prawn and squid among the golden grains. Since dessert was part of the deal, I tussled with two lumps of luxuriantly doughy chocolate ice cream before my treacherous journey across the glass floor and a possible rendezvous with a pair of soggy ankles and a squashed carp. It’s a risk you just have to take.

By Time Out Dubai Staff  | 20 Sep 2006

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FacilitiesDine In
Payment OptionsCash, Credit Card
Dress CodeCasuals
Show number +971 4 396 3888
Dubai, Khalid Bin Al Waleed, Regent Palace Hotel, Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Road (Trade Centre Road)

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