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First brunch back: Pai Thai's Rite of Siam review

David Light

Published on August 18, 2020 at 13.58

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Heading inside

If you're going to return to a restaurant review column in the 'new normal', you may as well do so in five-star style to celebrate its homecoming. The only problem is, uniquely, in the UAE top-notch eateries remain the rule rather than the exception. The Herculean task of trawling through the roster of fine-dining establishments for a perfect premiere appeared almost impossible, but for you dear reader, we prevailed. Please hold your applause. Happening upon the suitably grandiosely titled 'The Rite of Siam' brunch taking place every Friday at the equally opulent Pai Thai, Jumeirah Al Qasr, we strapped ourselves in for a royal tour of Thailand's cuisine.
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What delivered?

The only decisions with which you’ll have to worry yourself throughout proceedings are your beverages and soup course – either Tom Khar Gai (chicken) or Tom Yam Goon (prawn), both of which are non-spicy. The remaining dishes are predetermined sharing specialties to showcase the chefs’ talents. Signatures such as Som Tam Je (green papaya salad with cashew nut and tamarind dressing); Gaeng Khiew Wan Phak (green chicken curry with Thai eggplant and Thai basil); and Kao Niew Ma Muang (sweet sticky rice with ripe mango and coconut syrup) all impressed, but it was the Sate Gai (grilled marinated chicken sate with turmeric peanut sauce) which won the prize for standout item. The skewers were tender, bursting with deliciously creamy flavour and an element for which we’d happily return time and again. Further special mentions include the red beef curry, wok-fried broccoli and sea bass in lime and chili sauce, not to mention a cracking mango and coconut sticky rice dessert, however it is the memory of the grilled chicken to which we find our minds constantly wandering. Bruch starts from Dh245 and we give it four stars out of five.
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Teeing off

The regal dining experience begins punctually at 12.30pm and continues all the way to four o'clock by which point even Henry VIII may have struggled to fit in any more. Though, we're getting ahead of ourselves. Walking through the property's secluded entrance you will immediately be led in a traditional gong ceremony and lemongrass-infused hand sanitising ritual followed by a refreshing welcome Nuan jasmine tea syrup beverage to set the mood. Formalities over, the feast begins.
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