The Asian concept in Taj Dubai offers street food in an upbeat, edgy ambience with Burj views
There's no dearth of Asian restaurants in our city (I believe we reviewed one just last week!). However, being the first Asian street food concept in Taj Dubai is enough reason to make Miss Tess worth a visit. So, visit we did, and we couldn't have been happier about it.
The place is quirky and colourful with lanterns hanging from the ceiling and a tuk tuk in the middle of the space. But no matter how much you love the interiors, it would be foolish not to choose the outdoor seating area with the weather we're currently having, where you'll find twinkle lights and an unparalleled view of the Burj Khalifa. The food menu is printed on Japanese fans and the drinks menu comes in the form of a booklet. "It's a passport," our fun waitress, informs us. "It'll transport you across Asia."
You'll find everything from Japanese maki rolls to Thai soups to noodles on the exhaustive menu. There is something for everyone, and it's served to perfection. But the highlight is meeting Miss Tess. Wearing a funky kimono, the hostess and the face of the restaurant, who hails from Japan, can be found most evenings, taking pictures with customers or making recommendations. It makes for a truly exotic experience.
The Thai Tom Kha Kai soup was truly authentic while the Godzilla Maki Roll (with deep fried-unagi) was crispy and delicious. We also loved the tempura, fish cakes and the Matcha Tea Mousse. But we'll have to return to try their noodles, salads and dim sum!
The music is upbeat but not too loud and the twinkle lights and Burj views makes the outdoor seating area a great place for a special occasion. But you can't go wrong even if you choose to sit inside! The place is quirky and comfy and presents some great photo opportunities.
Our waitress, who asked us to call her Trainer of Dragons, was bubbly, enthusiastic and a lot of fun, while Miss Tess also interacts with guests, telling them about her travels through Asia. Celebrating a birthday here? The staff will literally break out into a dance for you!
Again, another win! Our maki rolls were served on a wooden boat, while the soup came on in a metal apparatus that kept it steaming hot. The mains, dessert and a sharing platter of starters had a more traditional presentation style but were remarkable nonetheless.
VALUE FOR MONEY
Maki Rolls go for about Dh 48-58 (for 6 pcs) while noodles start at about Dh58 and woks and curries start at Dh38 - not bad at all if you're out for an occasion.
All in all, it's reasonable fare, and we're definitely coming back for seconds.