Lunar New Year 2016 was celebrated around the world on 8th Feb. The year of the monkey begins! Happy one to you too.
So I am in Dubai this February. And I am all game for gastronomical feasts and interesting restaurant reviews. The first one in this league was the ‘Yum Cha experience at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Deira Creek’. Here, at China Club, I had a lovely dinner date sampling varieties of dumplings that traveled to my table through a moving red cart. It was a steamed trolley that carried much more than I could choose from. Indeed, the evening was a Yum Cha feast of noodles, dim sum, rice, ice-tea and desserts. Of course, we rang in the Chinese New Year in style.
Hubby and I take our food very seriously. Apart from other cuisines, we share a fondness for Cantonese cuisine as well. Thus we were excited about the evening at Radisson Blu. I read from the google that the hotel was very closely located from the Union Metro station. Since we are travelers here in Dubai, we are very comfortable using the public modes of transport. Right across the road, we could see Radisson Blu shining in blue. From the station, it was just a five minutes walk. Once we walked in, it was absolutely easy to locate China Club restaurant among the other thirteen dining options that this place boasts of. We were warmly welcomed by the manager. It was lovely bonding with her over food, dislikes, likes and our flavors and we soon learnt that she was from India as well. The other staff was equally polite, cheerful and comforting towards us.
While the foodie fun was yet to begin, the ambiance, lights, colorful decor and the table settings got my eye almost immediately. There were round tables as well as open cubicle kinda settings for couples and small families. Draped in red and complemented with yellow lamps, the whole setup made for an elegant setting. It definitely made a place for people looking for great conversations along with food and wine. We could see that guests were already busy with the food and their private conversations. While I moved around to click a few interesting pictures, my husband chose to happily settle in. He ordered some Peach Ice Tea and I decided to go for a Lemon Ice Tea.
Left to Right (Below picture)
Deep Fried Banana Custard Milk
Red Bean Paste Sesame Balls
Deep Fried Pumpkin Cake
The ice tea was tangy and refreshing but while we were yet to raise a toast, platters of fried dim sums had begun to arrive on our table. First came the peanuts with the salad. Then followed the chicken baked puffs and dumplings. And next we had these very interesting sweet and savory delights in pairs. I was yet to believe that banana, red bean paste and pumpkin were in the fillings and this really got me curious. Trust me, these crispy balls were fun things. They were not at all sugary in the inside and the dough was soft and crunchy on the outside. The chicken puffs were good too. The salads were about two different kinds of noodles. I enjoyed the spicy tossed glass noodle salad with olives better than the other.
Dumplings make my favorite because I love these steamed and stuffed, cute-little wraps of dough with interesting fillings. When served piping hot with spicy sauce, dim sums make a great snack for brunch or dinner. Dim sums served with tea is a tradition and its called Yum Cha. When China Club talks about Yum Cha experience, they mean something like below….
Soon the Veg Dumplings came in all shapes and sizes!
The menu on our table promised lots of dumplings in innovative combinations with chicken wings, minced shrimp, crab roe, diced octopus, beef dumplings but since my husband is a vegetarian and I generally prefer chicken and lamb over sea food, four different kinds of vegetable dumplings were sent by the chef. He enjoyed each of them in its distinct style and flavor. In no time, the dim sum trolley was wheeled to my side and I happily made my choices. I picked my favorites like steamed chicken dumplings, steamed chicken with mushroom and ginger, steamed honey chicken bao and lamb rib in black bean sauce. This was indeed real Yum Cha experience. You could eat as many dumplings as you wanted. Piping hot in different shapes and sizes, they promised excitement for the taste buds.
The steamed chicken dumplings were delectable and the one with the lamp rib was different and tasty. The meat was very soft. I did not relish the other two in pictures. After these small and powerful kicks, we decided to sample some main course that consisted of noodles, vegetables and rice. I insisted on very small quantities and we were given just the right bowls. The crispy noodles in spicy saute chicken were yum. The wok fried noodles and fried rice came with some vegetables and we loved the veggies made from mushroom, broccoli and beans. The flavor was rich and intact. Fried rice was different. It was not what we prepare from normal rice but it was sticky rice.
When we had enough of the food, it was time to call for the desserts. They were four items on the Yum Cha Menu and we decided to get a bite of all the four.
Chilled Coconut Cream with Sago Pearls
Vanilla Ice Cream with Lychee
China Club Mango Pudding with Strawberry
Green Tea Pudding.
Even if you think you are full and have no space for desserts, don’t leave without eating my favorite ones- Mango pudding and Vanilla Ice cream with lychee. The Cocunut cream and green tea pudding were good too. In fact green tea pudding was very close to the original green tea.
Overall, it was a nice foodie experience at the China Club. I cannot claim it to be the best because I am yet to explore more of Dubai’s Chinese eateries but I can say that if you are putting up around the Creek, keep this place in mind. This will not disappoint if you are looking for some authentic Chinese indulgence and if you really savor it.