Ladies nights are passé, hello afternoon tea
Anyone who has lived in the UAE for long, and has had intense cravings for South-East Asian dishes that remind you of homemade dishes, need not look any further. A new casual-dining restaurant located off Sheikh Zayed Road offers a delightful mix of Thai, Malaysian, Singaporean and other authentic specialities from the region.
We’ve tasted South East Asian food over the years, but it has always been a delight to try out dishes that taste of home, and Jade was on point.
The restaurant was founded by two women who had no background in hospitality but were armed with a passion for food, and wanted to support women, which is why the place has several female staff members in key roles, including chefs.
The standalone eatery is situated on the first level of Safestway, and can easily be accessed from the filter roads adjacent to the Dubai-Abu Dhabi highway. The crescent-shaped interior, with seating spread around the open kitchen is warm and cosy, the low lights add to the peaceful ambience. It’s a sight to see flames leaping out of the wok as chefs toss-up dishes with an artistic flip of their wrists.
Now, South-East Asia is known for its exotic dishes that have diverse ethnic influences like Sino-Malay-Indian-Thai etc. The main appeal of the cuisine is its delicate blend of herbs, spices and other condiments.
As per the chef’s recommendations we were served a mix of Malaysian and Thai varieties. Though Thai cuisine is more popular globally than Malaysian food, we found some similarities as both cuisines share several ingredients. While Thai Food is fragrant and rich in flavour due to the liberal use of herbs, it’s not as spicy as Malaysian dishes.
We started the South East Asian gastronomic journey with Malaysian specialities like Tauhu Goreng, Mee Goreng (fried egg noodles with chicken), Beef Rendang (dry beef curry with rice ) and Ang Ku Kueh.
Among the lot, the Beef Rendang, one of the popular dishes from the country, caught our fancy. Strips of tender, boneless meat, coated in a curry-like thick gravy made from a blend of coconut, chillies and spices went well with steamed rice. Also the Tauhu Goreng or fried tofu that is served with bean sprouts and Malaysian sweet, sour and spicy peanut sauce, made for a light, healthy starter.
The other surprise was the dessert – a tortoise cake or Ang Ku Kueh. We’re not sure how many diners would like to nibble on a tortoise at the end of their meal. But if you go by the Chinese proverb that says, ‘eating tortoises bring longevity, good fortune and prosperity’, then you’ll overrule all your reservations about it. The Ang Ku Kueh was made with glutinous rice flour skin stuffed with a delicious chewy sweet paste. Once done, we moved on to try out Thai delicacies. The Thai menu included Crispy Chicken Drumstick (the meat was tender inside while crunchy from outside), Chicken & Egg Fried Rice, Thai Chicken Green Curry, and Mango Sticky Rice (sweet coconut rice with fresh Thai mangoes) and Kha Nom Tom or Thai coconut balls (boiled rice flour dumplings stuffed with shredded coconut with palm sugar and coconut milk) for dessert.
No one can do a green curry better than the Thais, which was one of the highlights for us in this meal. The rich, creamy coconut gravy, made richer with the use of aromatic oriental herbs like basil, lemongrass and galangal was divine. Combine it with steamed jasmine rice, and you’re sure to go for a second helping. The Tom Yum also deserves a special mention for refreshing our taste buds with its lemony, spicy flavours.
Would we make a return trip? For sure, whenever we would want to break our everyday meal monotony.
A meal for two at Jade costs Dh150-200
Ladies nights are passé, hello afternoon tea
One of the most iconic restaurants was the Al Dawaar revolving restaurant in Hyatt Regency, which opened on May 5, 1980
Children who consume healthier food options tend to be more focused during classes
Orfali Bros, where tradition meets modernity, is an ode to reimagined Allepian and Levantine dishes that echo the rich flavours of Mediterranean cuisine with a hint of global influences
Dubai has a rich, vibrant history with coffee, with the beverage intertwined with the emirate’s culture of warm hospitality
The third wave of coffee culture is sweeping through the city
The long-standing restaurant with wood-carved façade, serving Awadhi and Mughlai dishes, is a landmark that witnessed the transformations of UAE's capital