What’s it like: Ever since I discovered how vibrantly delicious, light and fresh Vietnamese food is, in a little hole in the wall restaurant on the Gold Coast in Australia, I have been on the hunt for good Vietnamese in Dubai. I can safely say that search has ended at Voi. The lavish colonial-inspired décor – think high ceilings with glittering chandeliers, rich yet understated furnishings, and a monochromatic colour scheme – may be a far cry from that family-run kitchen, but the food was equally, if not more, delicious.
Opting to sit at the outdoor terrace, I ordered the steamed Imperial Hue guinea fowl dumpling for starters, while my partner chose the French-inspired crepes stuffed with chicken, chanterelles and beansprouts. The glistening, translucent parcels that were my dumplings – with three accompanying sauces complementing them perfectly – did a delicate little dance of flavours in my mouth. My partner’s crepes were a collision of textures and flavours, with a tangy sauce we couldn’t get enough of. We couldn’t not have some ‘Phò’ (soup) in a Vietnamese restaurant, so chose the Pot Au Phò, a fragrant, warming broth with tender beef cheeks, bone marrow and rice noodles. The starter portions are generous, so we couldn’t do proper justice either to my steamed Pacific cod with vanilla (which is cooked in a banana leaf) served with baby pok choy and seafood rice, or the grilled Black Feet chicken my partner ordered. We couldn’t resist dessert, however. My partner’s Valhrona Variation, a platter of chocolate fondant, cocoa sorbet and a chocolate-orange cream (think Jaffa cakes with a luxe twist!), was miraculously polished off in minutes. I chose the flambéed banana with honey ice cream – a delightful combination of textures, temperatures and taste.
If you want to go :Approx. price for dinner for two is Dhs650, without drinks. Call 04-4530000.
Best for: Glamorous, gourmet date night
– Sudeshna Ghosh