Brunch Review: Thai Kitchen

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Traveling to Thailand in 2011 sent my love affair with Thai food soaring to a whole new level. I returned home with a Thai cookbook in hand, bound and determined to replicate the many Massaman and Panang Curry dishes I had on the beaches of Koh Samui. As much as I’ve tried over the years to infuse Thai flavors in my dishes – my sad recipes don’t stand a chance. Having surrendered, I’ve stowed away the red curry paste, thrown out the stalks of lemongrass and filed away my cookbook in a mission to scout the city’s abundant Thai food scene instead.

Having had good experiences at Pai Thai, Spice Emporium and The Farm, it was clear that Thai flavors have assimilated well into the local culinary scene. Although nothing compares to Thailand’s infamous street food scene, Dubai’s 5 star hotels are bursting with aromatic and spicy Thai cuisine. Thanks to The Entertainer, we found ourselves at the friendly Thai Kitchen at the Park Hyatt last weekend for bunch. Nestled in the gorgeous Mediterranean oasis that is the Park Hyatt, the restaurant boasts several live cooking stations which we passed on the way to the creekside terrace. We settled in to our table just adjacent to a canvas of colorful mosaic tiles with a bird’s eye view of the marina.

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A LA CARTE BRUNCH: As most locals know, a la carte brunches are rare in Dubai, we are accustomed to endless trips to a variety of buffets and live cooking stations. Thai Kitchen has embraced the a la carte menu which did make for slow service at times so be ready to chase down the bamboo rice basket for refills. But on the bright side, the a la carte-style menu does provides your pick of the restaurants top dishes. After 3 weeks of trying to get a reservation, we arrived hunger and bashfully ordered almost every single dish on the menu.

EAT: Its worth noting that there were several gluten free and dairy free options on their menu and the staff was very knowledgable about the ingredients in each dish. The curries and noodles were the mutual favorites of the afternoon. We ordered seconds and thirds of the Rice Noodle, Bean Sprout and Minced Chicken Curry, the Tofu and Vegetable Red Curry and the Green Chicken Curry. We got our hands dirty dissecting the meaty Tiger Prawns and the Spicy Crab in Yellow Curry, some more favorites.

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The salads were mutually the least favorite, the flavor combination of the Spicy Pomelo salad left me underwhelmed and the acidity of the Green Papaya Salad had me overwhelmed. The Chicken in Pandan Leaf left me with an unusual aftertaste.

The dishes are meant for sharing and the portions are small so be sure to order several servings of your favorite dishes.

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SWEET: My taste bud were ready to retire for the afternoon when we mustered up enough space sample a trio of desserts, an impressive feat after our feast. The assorted fruit and Sticky Rice with Mango were refreshing but don’t compare to the indulgent Coconut Ice Cream. Laced with cashews, the ice cream was light, creamy and just sweet enough to move me into a food coma.

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The authenticity of the dishes sets Thai Kitchen apart. The lemongrass was potent, the chili’s spicy, the cilantro aromatic and the pandan leaf fragrant. Don’t leave before taking a long walk through the property, the hotels eclectic blue and green tones draped against the white spaces will mesmerize you, digesting never felt so good.

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