The Emaar Boulevard is the perfect setting for a lazy Sunday brunch and what better food than a mix of Thai and Chinese to make it even better. I had heard so much about Royal Orchid that I was aching to give this place a shot. Even my friends that visit Dubai from Mumbai and Delhi rave about the ideal setting at Dubai Marina with a dreamy view but what really caught my eye was their new branch in Downtown Dubai and that’s where I decided to go.
The setting was oriental and had a certain degree of modernity to the decor. I love the industrial ceiling look which gives an illusion of space and adds a new dimension. My friend started out by ordering a Mixed Berry mocktail and I tried the Lemon fizz mocktail (they don’t serve alcohol) and both the drinks looked extremely appetizing and tasted very fresh and tangy.
They also have a gorgeous bowl of prawn crackers with interesting dips on the side to munch on with your drink and I was informed by our hostess that one of the sauces had fish oil and I should probably steer clear if I was a vegetarian. Now, that clearly not being one of my problems, we ordered our appetizers. Both drinks and our appetizers showed up fairly quickly and that can be a major plus on a business lunch or just a generally busy afternoon.
The Prawn Siew Mai dim sums had a delectable garnish of grated carrots and were steamed to perfection. They went perfectly with the accompanying soy sauce and my favorite sweet chilli chunky dip.
The other appetizer was a Tao Duck Dumplings with Chilli Plum sauce which is one of their signature dishes.I am not a big duck eater but I loved the presentation with cucumber logs scooped out to make space for a dollop of sauce over which the fried dumpling was beautifully set.
For the mains, we ordered a portion of Sizzling Sliced Cumin Lamb with Onions and Leeks. Now, this one is another signature dish which comes under their Hot Pot menu and is served with a gooey fried Chinese bun. I am not really fond of cumin in my food and I felt that the flavor was a little too overpowering for my palate but I did devour the golden sesame bread which the Chef also gave us a steamed version of.
The other dish on our mains was off their Magic Wok menu which I highly recommend. Now, for this set of specialities you get to pick your choice of meat and your choice of sauce and they have an extensive range to pick from. They gave us a choice between exotic Thai sauces like Holy basil and chilli, lemon garlic and chilli, Siracha, Spring Onion and Oyster or another list of Classic Chinese sauces like Sweet and Sour, Black Pepper, Black Bean and a traditional Lemon with Butter and Garlic.
As we both are seafood lovers, we ordered a fish fillet cooked in a thai holy Basil and chilli sauce. I loved the sauce and although the basil is a very distinctive flavor, I still recommend it to those who enjoy the taste of that. As a perfect accompaniment to our lamb and fish, we ordered a portion of fried rice. Honestly for me, any Chinese or Thai meal is incomplete without a portion of hot and sweet seasonal crunchy greens to munch on and so we decided to have the Sichuan vegetables with Bamboo shoots served on a base of flat glass noodles from their Clay Pot Menu. Oh and even the clay pot menu dishes are served with a portion of steamed Chinese Bun.
The best was clearly reserved for last as I completely adored the fried chocolate wontons with a gooey cocoa centre and a fresh strawberry coulis dip which had chunky strawberry slices on the side. The other dessert was a chocolate fondant which was perfectly paired with a vanilla ice-cream generously swirled with chocolate sauce and the fondant itself was so soft and warmed to perfection.
The highlight for me of my visit to Royal Orchid at Emaar Boulevard clearly was the impeccable service. The manager and our hostess were extremely prompt in their suggestions and their good advice really made it easy to navigate the seemingly lengthy menu. They have a dream view of the Boulevard in the evening (that alone would be worth coming for) and I love that they have a shisha room (only open in the nights). I sure as hell am going back with friends and recommending it to everyone I know here and people who visit us as well.
Food – 3.5/5
Location – 5/5
Service – 4/5
Final Verdict – 4/5
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Photo & Review Credit: Ridhima Hakeem
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