My review of Lao – Vietnamese cuisine is limited here in Dubai, and I have been craving a good pho soup since I moved away from home where there were so many authentic Vietnamese restaurants. I had the pleasure to try the Vietnamese dishes here, but I found them to be toned down for flavours for the tourists who do not know the flavours of Vietnam well like I do.
I got sample tasting bites of the shrimp rice paper crisps, fried crab spring rolls, and the prawn fresh spring rolls so the presentation of this dish was not nice as the three samples were just placed on a plate. The one that stood out the most would have to be the prawn fresh roll, as this is one of my favourites from Vietnam. However, the other two were lacking Vietnamese flavours.
The portion sizes of the pho noodle bowls here are tiny compared to a small size in Vietnam or the ones I had in Canada. The pho bowls are a single soup size like how you would get soup at any restaurant. The soup base was bland, and keep in mind, I’m always comparing to the authentic flavours in Vietnam and Canada. The noodles in the soup were good though.
My favourite dish would have to be the tiger prawns, even though it was battered and fried, the prawns were still juicy. The sauce was absolutely delicious as it was creamy and brightened up my outlook of the dishes here.
Finally, the mango sticky rice dessert was not bad. This is my favourite South Asian dessert and I found that the sticky rice here was a perfect sweet and the mangoes were fresh. The light drizzle of the coconut sauce was good. It was interesting to see the sticky rice green in colour, rather than the original white colour.
This restaurant deserves a rating of 4/5.
I ordered the shrimp rice paper crisps for 30DHS, fried crab spring roll for 40DHS, prawn fresh spring roll for 65DHS, vegetarian pho noodle soup for 40DHS, tiger prawns for 140DHS, vietnamese garlic egg noodles for 55DHS, tofu for 30DHS, and the mango sticky rice for 35DHS.
The pricing of the dishes here are higher than average for a Vietnamese restaurant but since it is located in a 5 star hotel, it makes sense.
The service was excellent here, with the hostess giving us a good first impression of the restaurant. The acting manager was great at making sure our experience was wonderful. He was able to understand that I am a pescatarian and was able to replace my set tasting menu to dishes that I can actually eat.
The ambience is gorgeous and being inside the Waldorf Astoria, it fits in perfectly. Being a little far from the city, the restaurant is located in the Palm Jumeirah area. Once you actually get here, the warm and dark colours are inviting, with elegant decor.