Lovin Dubai’s TOP 10 Thai restaurants
Be warned: it's a feast for (almost) all the senses
Buddhist temples, beaches, shopping, all-night parties and massages are just some of the things synonymous with Thailand (should explain why Bangkok ranks among the top ten tourist destinations in the world). But for us at Lovin Dubai, it's Thai food that rules the list. So, what do we do when we long for those fragrant coconut-based curries or flavourful pad Thai? We do NOT search up flights to BKK or attempt a Nigella Lawson stance in our kitchens. Instead, we head out to these haunts.
10. Rhong Tiam
Wasl Vita Mall, Al Wasl Road
If you’re the type who checks labels at supermarkets and spends Friday mornings at the Farmer’s Market, Rhong Tiam just might be the place for you. With its philosophy of fresh, organic and gluten-free food, the meal here can be best summed up as healthy. And if you fall in the second category who thinks wholesome can’t be toothsome, give the grilled organic chicken satay, tamarind fish and pineapple fried rice (tossed with bell peppers and cashews, served in the pineapple shell) a shot. Road-facing yet empty at most times, we’re sure it won’t be too long before residents start frequenting Jumeirah’s hidden gem.
tel: 04 343 0011 website: rhong-tiam.com (from AED 25)
9. Lafayette Gourmet
Galeries Lafayette at The Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai
If quality over quantity is your mantra…high-five. Galeries Lafayette’s own food court, located on the second level of the plush department store, might at first leave you confused for choice with a menu offering several cuisines including Italian, Spanish, Lebanese and Indian. But the beauty is that each cuisine offers limited dishes to pick from. If you’re looking specifically for a mouth-watering Thai curry, the tender pieces of chicken, baby eggplant and carrots swimming in a flavourful green curry at Lafayette Gourmet will thoroughly satisfy. Another winning dish is the pad Thai with sprouts, tofu and prawns - not to be eaten without a dash of lime though!
tel: 04 339 9933 website: galerieslafayette-dubai.com (from AED 52)
8. The Thai Kitchen
Park Hyatt Dubai, Deira
Nestled in a corner of this upscale resort, The Thai Kitchen prides itself on its native Thai chefs and three live kitchens – for woks, grills and noodles. Forgive yourself for thinking you’re in Bangkok with the hustle and bustle of the chefs at work, as tables are placed close to the kitchens. The best way to sample the food here is to opt for a set menu which includes a mix of salads (papaya, crab meat), clay pot concoctions (prawn soup, roast duck curry) and desserts such as sticky rice with mango and black bean ice-cream with sago.
tel: 04 602 1814 website: dubai.park.hyatt.com (packages from AED 230)
7. Tong Thai
JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, Business Bay
The interior of this award-winning restaurant at the swanky Marriott property is as appealing as its food. Think ornate Thai art on the walls and a ceiling with lanterns suspended at varying heights. Begin the meal with its Tong Thai sampler – a platter showcasing appetisers such as purple flower dumplings, fish cake and beef satay, before moving on to any of its signature dishes. Contemplating whether to order the red lobster curry with ripe mango or the creamy panang tiger prawn curry with peanuts is totally understandable. We'd have them both, please!
tel: 04 414 3000 website: jwmarriottmarquisdubailife.com (from AED 55)
6. Smiling BKK
Al Wasl Square, Al Wasl Road
Forget the word fancy or fine when you set foot into this quirky eatery. Ripped magazine pages replace table mats and walls are lined with eccentric framed pictures and tourist t-shirts. The menu is pretty extensive, but a good meal at Smiling BKK would include the 'bags of gold' (the only time you’d ditch 18K gold for the flavourful mix of minced chicken, prawns and herbs instead), the prawn tom yum soup and the chicken pad Thai noodles – all washed down with Thai iced tea of course. And if you’re a fan of exotic Asian fruits then the rambutan (sister to a lychee) with pineapple in syrup is a must! Word of caution: don’t be surprised at finding a (toy) gun on your table – it’s how you summon the servers here.
tel: 04 349 6677 website: smilingbkk.com (from AED 25)
5. Busaba Eathai
The Beach, Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR)
There's no place for second thoughts on an eatery when it’s by the very man who has Wagamama and Hakkasan to his credentials. A visit to the London import ensures a meal bold on flavours, especially when your order includes the sticky tamarind wings (with a tang of pineapple), spicy pad kwetio (smoked chicken, prawns and shiitake mushrooms tossed in flat rice noodles) and the highly popular mussaman duck curry. It would be a shame if you didn’t save some space for Busaba Eathai’s traditional dessert – Thai ruby. Coconut milk, jackfruit and water chestnut rubies served with ice shavings. Did we not caution you, you could suffer a #foodcoma here?
tel: 04 428 1421 website: facebook.com/busabadubai (from AED 28)
4. Pai Thai
Dar Al Masyaf Hotel at Madinat Jumeirah, Al Sufouh
Your search for a date night venue ends here. Experience the charm of old Dubai as an abra boat drops you off to the entrance of the award-winning Pai Thai. Famed for its views of Madinat’s tranquil waterways, the evening promises great sights, service and praise-worthy food. Other than the curries, you'll find yourself loving the chicken satay, purple flower chicken dumpling, wok fried crispy tofu and Thai marinated Australian beef with sticky rice. There’s plenty on offer for the last course, but it’s the pandan crème brulee served with tropical fruit and a coconut Thai cookie that really won us over.
tel: 04 432 3232 website: jumeirah.com/madinatjumeirah (from AED 55)
Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort, Palm Jumeirah
Named after the legendary river, Mekong is the closest you’ll get to South East Asia sat in Dubai. The resort's signature restaurant offers Chinese and Vietnamese cuisine as well, but it’s the Thai food that gets our vote. It would be wrong on our part if we didn’t mention how amazing the five spices braised spare ribs are (extra points that the meat in mention is not beef). For those who'd like to play it safe, the Thai duck red curry (with bits and bobs of lychee and pineapple) is quite interesting when had with the crab fried rice. Make sure to grab the rickshaw chairs and ask for a tea from the special tea master - we promise you it will enhance the Asian dining experience.
tel: 04 567 8304 website: dubai-palm.anantara.com/mekong (from AED 55)
2. Lemongrass Thai Restaurant
Near Lamcy Plaza, Oud Metha
If there's anyone pleasing Dubai-ites with authentic Thai food and hearty portions for the past 14 years, it is undoubtedly Lemongrass. Nibble some prawn crackers and sip on homemade lemongrass tea while a member of the staff jots down your order. Begin with a bowl of flavourful seafood tom yum (which comfortably serves three) before sampling the Lemongrass set which is a combination of its four popular appetisers (marinated chicken in pandan leaf, prawn cakes, chicken satay and veggie spring rolls) and glass noodle salad. Wok fried crab in yellow curry sauce and the steamed red snapper in chilli and garlic are mains you won’t regret.
tel: 04 334 2325 website: lemongrassrestaurants.com (from AED 28)
The Palace Downtown Dubai, Downtown Dubai
Dining at Thiptara isn’t just a meal, it’s an experience. Offering al-fresco and indoor seating, the restaurant is surrounded by the Burj Lake which means unparalleled views of Dubai Fountain, as well as the mighty Burj Khalifa, while you savour real Thai food. Chef de Cuisine Chaiwat’s signature dishes (also his personal recommendations) include the crab cakes with a sweet chilli sauce, duck spring rolls and grilled black cod with a BBQ sauce. But, for us the true stars are: the spicy glass noodle salad, stir fried scallops with pak-choy and prawns in green curry (FYI: it's served on a burner giving you enough time to get your Instagram shots between bites).
tel: 04 888 3444 website: theaddress.com/en/hotels/the-palace-downtown-dubai (from AED 68)
Now read: 6 reasons why you must visit Mango Tree