An authentic Asian food hall has opened in JLT

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Looking for some of the best dumplings in town? Make your way to Cluster D…

The promise of an Asian food hall should be a wildly intriguing offer for anyone who loves good food and general convenience. Basically: bowlfuls of great stuff to eat, all in one place.

That’s exactly what you’ll find at Streetery, a new food hall in JLT that’s been causing a huge stir on social media ever since it opened a month ago.

Nicky Ramchandani, the founder and owner of Streetery, is the catalyst behind the Asian-focused hub. After witnessing the growing popularity of his original Thai and Chinese brand Zen, he decided to expand. He saw a food hall as the natural next move, and a perfect opportunity to bring over his favourite street stalls from Singapore and Hong Kong. And it looks like the hard work is already paying off – Streetery was buzzing when we visited on a weekday afternoon.

Originality shines through the moment you walk in – the atmosphere is a little rustic, and a touch dive-y by design. In fact, it’s a lot like the real hawker stalls you’d find in the heart of Kuala Lumpur or down a backstreet in Singapore.

Diners eat fast and scrappily, using thin wooden chopsticks while sitting on colourful plastic stools. This is a legit destination for residents to get a taste of authenticity, focused on food first.

Plans are already brewing for outdoor block parties, Asian-inspired street markets, and expansion. But before all that happens, acquaint yourself with the vendors who’ve currently set up shop inside…

Fat Aunt’s

Origin: Singapore
Serving: Predominantly curries and dim sum

Fat Aunt’s is probably our favourite stall of the three. Dig into the piping hot Xiao Long Bao (Dhs26, which easily rivals Din Tai Fung), snack on the moreish Szechuan style vegetable dumplings (Dhs25), or the wonderful scallion pancakes (Dhs14) drizzled in honey, and gorge on the Malaysian-style roti canai (Dhs29) or sambal prawns (Dhs39). Note that the prices are ridiculously reasonable, too.

If you order just one dish, make it: The scallion pancakes. Little fried triangles of goodness that are crispy on the outside and moist on inside with a touch of honey sweetness. Don’t forget to dunk it into the homemade chili oil, for maximum flavour.
@fatauntdubai

Hing Kee

Origin: Hong Kong
Serving: BBQ and roasted meats

You’ll be able to smell roasting char sui beef and spices the second you turn around the corner of Cluster D. Follow your nose and it’ll lead you straight to the Hing Kee stall. Here you’ll find dishes such as the South-East Asian staple soya chicken rice (Dhs40), satay (Dhs26), and the Thai BBQ chicken (Dhs34), which is literally blowtorched to charred perfection. Don’t forget to order a portion of the homemade chili-oil. We’ve begged them to bottle it and sell it, so fingers crossed for that.

If you order just one dish, make it: The char sui beef (Dhs40). This Cantonese comfort food dish uses grilled marinated short rib, served with rice and pak choi.
@hingkeeasia

Zen

Origin: Dubai
Serving: Thai and Chinese specialties

A spin-off from the popular Asian restaurant in Business Bay, Zen is Nicky’s original concept. Order a papaya salad (Dhs27), made fresh to order, an enormous pad Thai plate (Dhs34), or the tasty mango sticky rice (Dhs26) for dessert.

If you order just one dish, make it: Any one of the noodle dishes. The Streetery team fly in their noodles fresh twice a week from South East Asia!
@Zendubai

Streetery Food Hall, Cluster D, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Dubai, daily 11am to 11pm. Tel: (04) 5873373. @streetery