A truly authentic culinary experience, a top Thai restaurant and value for money…

Here at What’s On, we are big fans of Thai food, and even bigger fans of trying as many different dishes on a menu as we can possibly manage. So, you can imagine that our interest was piqued when we were invited to try ‘The 5 Tastes of Thailand’ menu at Pai Thai.

For those in the know, Pai Thai has long been a staple Thai restaurant in Dubai. You’ll find it nestled in the Al Qasr resort, next to the idyllic waterways that join the luxury hotel with the stunning Souk Madinat Jumeirah destination.

The restaurant comprises of two main restaurant areas; on the right of the entrance is a dining room, with dark woods, vintage-style fans and artwork on the walls. On the left is a beautiful ‘library room’ restaurant, which is dimly lit and intimate for dining.

Pai Thai recently underwent a renovation in the central room, and it now boasts a wrap-around bar, complete with more seating. The roof can be partially pulled back to create an open-topped dining room for when the weather finally cools down.

The set menu that we tried, priced at Dhs295 per person, showcases the five flavours found in Thai food: bitter, salty, spicy, sour and sweet. Included is an appetiser, an array of mains and starters, followed by dessert.

To start, was the ‘Khong Wang’, a bitesize parcel – which we were advised to eat in one mouthful – filled with white turmeric, cashew nut, dried coconut, lime, red onion, green mango and Thai chilli sauce. It was a taste explosion, with a different sensation in every bite.

What’s nice about this dining experience is that every dish is designed to give you a taste and not over-fill you. The starters were presented beautifully, comprised of prawns, a vegetable dumpling, a grilled beef salad, Thailand’s famous pomelo salad, and lots more.

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Following the starters was a mouthwatering tangy prawn soup. The mains lived up to the already-suspected expectations, with every taste catered for, from steamed seabass to wok-fried crispy duck, tiger prawns and braised beef masaman curry.

We did feel that, after trying lots of dishes, the mains would be better served on hot plates, so we could eat at our leisure. Dessert is a refreshing affair, coming as a trio of sweet, sticky rice with mango coming from Thailand, a mango sorbet and taro pudding.

It’s always a plus to be served Thai food by knowledgable staff, who are passionate about the food journey that you’re taking. Our waiter, Jinesh, in particular was brilliant. The drinks menu is extensive, from a plentiful wine list to beers, spirits and cocktails.

We can’t wait to visit again, and when we do, we’re looking forward to sitting out on the expansive terrace next to the water…

Pai Thai, Jumeirah Al Qasr, Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, Sunday to Thursday, 6pm to 11.30pm, Friday and Saturday, 12pm to 11.30pm. Tel: 800 666353. jumeirah.com

Images: Provided