Restaurant Review – Pai Thai

Feast of Xahar:
It seems as if the culinary gods have finally answered our prayers. For the first time (in 20 years of residing) in Dubai we come across a brunch experience that isn’t centered around beverages and focuses on what’s more important – THE FOOD itself! Happy days!
The Feast of Xahar at Pai Thai is available every Friday and Saturday where one can indulge in a lunch (12-3pm) fit for king savoring Thai classics and some of Pai Thai’s signature dishes.
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Scenic Setting:
As you walk into Al Qasr Hotel you’re bound to be enamored by the very refined, splendid and luxurious setting of the hotel. The staff seems to be prompt and instantly guided us to the Abra (yes, Abra) that transports us to Pai Thai. It’s worth mentioning here that you have a choice of opting for a buggy ride as well, but trust us when we say the Abra ride is the most perfect way to set the tone for the rest of the day! There’s something about the serene sounds of the lake and the picturesque views of the Madinat that make us sigh in utmost awe and disbelief.
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What We Ate:
We were a bit “buzzkilled” when we were told that there was no coconut water available that day (it’s our staple order at any Thai restaurant). But boy did the food make up for our thirst for coconut water.
The selection of dishes to chose from was very impressive and we were glad to see a lot of signature and our personal favorites printed on the menu. Best part? You can order as many dishes as you like and nobody’s going to stop you. Woot!
There were five starters to choose from, of which we opted for the Som Tam Je which is Green Papaya Salad, Tomato ,Rose Apple, Cashew Nut and a spicy Tamarind dressing. Loved the crunchy texture of the salad and the heat from the dressing (although be warned, the spice might be a bit too overpowering for some). We also tried the Sate Gai which is Grilled Marinated Chicken Sate dressed with Coconut Milk, Lemongrass and Turmeric and served with a Peanut Sauce. Hands down, best sate we’ve had. What we loved was the fact that the chicken was succulent and served in whole chunks rather than minced. The flavors were not too overpowered, but predominantly delicious nevertheless. Oh and that peanut sauce is out of this world! Trust us, its definitely a dish you’d be ordering seconds and thirds of. We decided to go old school with our final starter and opt for the Poh Pia Thod which are Vegetable Spring Rolls with Sweet Chilli Sauce. The spring rolls were crunchy, generously filled and not too greasy either. Delish!
There are also three types of soups to choose from and although we were tempted to order a portion, we didn’t want to fill ourselves up and hence went straight for mains.
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For the mains, we ordered our all-time favorite Gaeng Khiew Wan Gai which is Green Chicken Curry cooked with Thai Eggplant, Coconut Shoot and Thai Basil. We love our Thai Green Curry with a portion of Sticky Rice. Unfortunately, Sticky Rice wasn’t a part of the Feast of Xahar menu however Jasmine Rice seemed to perfectly suffice. The flavors of the curry were spot on with the perfect balance of sweet and spicy and the consistency of the gravy was not too thick or runny either. Loved it! We also tried the Goong Gra Tiem Prik Thai which is a stir-fry dish of Crispy Prawns, Garlic, Coriander and Green Pepper Sauce. A beautifully presented dish where the perfectly cooked prawns stole the show for us. The flavors and ingredients were simple however complemented each other beautifully. The shredded pieces of garlic add a whole new depth of flavor and leave you salivating and wanting more. Finally, you can’t go to a Thai restaurant and not order the classic Phad Thai Goong Sod. We’ve been ardent lovers of Phad Thai for the longest time and Pai Thai’s version of it easily bags its spot in the Top 5 list. The Thai noodles were perfectly cooked and went well with the Prawns, Egg, Tofu, Peanut and Tamarind Sauce. Loved the freshness and crunch from the sprouts as well. Yummers!
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When it came to desserts, we opted for the classics (and everyone’s favorite), Sweet Sticky Rice with Ripe Mango, Coconut Syrup and Sesame Seeds. The mangoes weren’t necessarily of the best quality, but the dessert tasted delicious nevertheless. Also, we felt the presentation of the dessert was a bit clumsy and ungenerous. However, when it came to the Tap Tim Krob which is Crispy Water Chestnuts with Sugar Syrup, Coconut Milk and Crushed Ice; we loved it! The desserts absolutely soothing to the palette, the flavors were mild and it seemed to be the most perfect way to wrap up a delectable feast.
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Address & Contact Details:
Al Qasr Hotel
Madinat Jumeirah
Dubai, UAE
Tel: 04 4323232

The Bill:
Feast of Xahar – Dhs 195 per person (available every Friday & Saturday from 12-3pm)

Ratings:
Ambiance: 4/5
Food: 4/5
Service: 4/5
Value: 4/5

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