[EDIT: This restaurant is now open under the guise of ‘Taipei Dao’ in Downtown Dubai; a lot of the menu items are the same, and is of the same quality]
A DM popped up in my Twitter client, asking if I’d like to visit Sino Chai for a blogger’s lunch.
Does it rain in the UK even in the summer? Is the Burj Khalifa the tallest building in the world? Is Jar Jar Binks annoying?
I’d heard about Sino Chai before – on fellow Fooderati blog My Nappytales – and was definitely interested in visiting someday. I just never got the chance. I’ve been inculcated into the Cult of the Dim Sum and have been trying out many places with that fare recently.
At the end of June however, I ended up popping by and ordering their all-you-can-eat dim sum deal. Which, by the way, is insanely good value – AED 78/- per person for lunch, AED 88/- per person for dinner, and this is valid on Fridays and Saturdays. Our waiter was extremely helpful – he got a selection of everything on the menu and then we ordered more of the ones we liked.
No, that’s a lie. We ordered more of SOME of the ones we liked…we would’ve probably ordered all of the choices all over again, but we were so stuffed.
Only a week later, was the blogger’s lunch. I toddled off there expectantly, having already partaken of the excellent dim sum. Felice Liao, the general manager of the restaurant, was there to greet us. And oh, what hospitality we were shown.
The garlic tofu cubes and beef tender with tasty sauce came next. I was surprised to find the beef starter was cold; it was pretty decent.
It was the dim sums next! The Oriental Beauty Tea Spring Onion Pan Cake is a consistently well-done dish – it’s nearly impossible I think, to get this one wrong, and Sino Chai does it well.
The Osmanthus Tea Vegetarian Dumpling and the Jasmine Tea Prawn with Chicken Shu mai were also good. Put dumplings in front of me and I can’t stop eating. They were great both times I’ve visited. Naturally, the carnivore in me preferred the siu mai more.
My surprise was the Chin Hsuan Tea Seafood in Tofu Skin. I’ve had tofu wrappers before (at other restaurants) and wasn’t very convinced by them, but this one I did enjoy. It was fried, yet didn’t feel heavy/greasy. Which is always a plus.
A fresh pineapple halved, filled with chopped fruits, and prawns, all swimming in a yellow/orange sauce made from orange and mango. Upon tasting this dish, the unanimous decision was that while we would’ve never tried this item just seeing it on the menu, it was something we’d order the next time we visited. It’s a combo you wouldn’t think works, but it does. The fruity flavours merge very well with the prawn, in a way you wouldn’t have thought possible. Definitely ordering this one again.
The other main courses were equally well-done. We had (in order of pictures in the slideshow below): Prawn Garlic w/ Sweet & Hot Sauce; Mixed Mushroom; Hakka Stir Fried with Chicken; Shredded Beef Stir Fried with Kangkong in BBQ Sauce; Ginger and Spring Onion Fish; Sauteed Diced Chicken & Dried Tofu w/ Black Soy Bean Sauce; Mixed Vegetable Stir Fried with Home Made Noodle; and, Germinated Brown Rice or Mixed Brown Rice (steam).
After this, dessert! We had Snow Flower Cake, which was made primarily from coconut milk and pandan leaves. Literally melting in your mouth, it’s a dessert I’d love to have again.
The second part of dessert was homemade ice cream in four flavours: sweet potato, yellow sweet potato, black sesame and pomelo. I fell in love with all, but my favourite was the pomelo first, then the black sesame.