Review: Benjarong at the Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi
New menu, new flavours, same Thai excellence…
Step into the Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi, and you’re greeted by a multitude of dining options that will only make it harder to decide where you want to sit down for a meal, if you’re arriving without a reservation. Exemplary Thai elegance envelops you as you arrive and make your way through the property to Benjarong, located at the far right amid an incredible Indian concept, a good ol’ Irish pub, and more.
At Benjarong, you’re on a culinary odyssey to Thailand with inimitable flavours that blend creativity and culinary excellence. This authentic Thai eat packs in all the flavours you would expect or imagine at a five-star Thai dining concept. A revamped menu has greeted guests for weeks now, and we’re eager to unravel everything it packs and more, especially after we’re told it reflects the rich culture, traditions, and of course, the flavours of Thailand.
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‘Benjarong’ refers to Royal Thai ceramics; porcelain painted in five colours, that was once used to gracefully serve royal cuisine. On that note, we begin our evening with a serving of fresh Gillardeau oysters served with Thai lemon sauce (Dhs80 for 3 pieces), and some of our friends at the table, with no prior experience with shellfish are compelled to give it a try. These are also served in portions of one, and that would be a mistake as this dish compels you to try, a second, third (and perhaps even an eighth, their larger serving size). We’ve gotten to the point at What’s On where we feel like you can’t go wrong with lemon in anything, anywhere, and this is no exception. A second appetizer arrives, the Yum Som-O (Dhs65), pomelo salad with seared scallops, water chestnut, cabbage and lemon dressing. There’s the lemon again, and it’s added in so well to create a stirring combination with the seafood. We move on to the Tom Kha Pu Thalay (Dhs66), a tangy soup with mushroom, coconut foam and Thai herbs. Don’t think twice if you want to dig around in the foam and devour a spoonful, because we did too. Coconut adds a tropical touch but is also prevalent in the soup’s texture and volume.
We leave room for mains and beyond, and freshly picked from Benjarong’s seafood aquarium, a lavish Canadian lobster Phad Pong Kraree (Dhs245) arrives. If you’re a fan of Thai flavours, you won’t be disappointed as the meat is tender and mixed in with native seasoning, celery, onion, and egg. Meaty, flavourful, and quite the catch indeed. We round things off with the Khaow Neaw Mamung (Dhs55), mango done four ways with sweet sticky rice and coconut crème, for dessert. The mango shines like the star it is, in this incredible finisher.
As you exit, you stroll past the same numerous dining concepts we mentioned. One thing’s for sure, you’ll be pencilling in dates for visits to them, after a dinner well done.
Verdict: Authentic flavours, classic combinations and Thai tradition make Benjarong a preferred pick in the capital.
Benjarong, Dusit Thani, Muroor Road, Abu Dhabi. 12pm to 3pm and 7pm to 11.30 Sun to Fri, 12pm to 4pm and 7pm to 11.30 Saturday. Tel: (0)54 990 8007, @benjarongabudhabi
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