Has a recent reboot made this award-winner even better?
Ba Restaurant & Lounge is by no means a new addition to the dining scene that has sprung up on the Palm Jumeirah in recent years, but after a recent remodelling (down from two sprawling floors to a more cosy one), it’s back with a new culinary vision and a menu to match.
The decor strikes the right balance between Far East nouveau chic and the kind of luxury you’d expect from Fairmont The Palm, where the restaurant calls home. The lighting is low and the music is moody, making it perfectly suited for a romantic evening for two or an intimate gathering between friends.
Previously, Ba’s menu offered a sprawling selection of perhaps one too many choices, but the new crop of dishes has been specially selected by the restaurant’s chefs to highlight the best parts of four key Asian cuisines: Japanese, Chinese, Taiwanese and Korean.
There’s plenty of dishes to choose from, as evidenced by an extensive sushi selection that includes maki, sashimi and the restaurant’s signature rolls. We recommend the PMI Roll (Dhs80), eight exquisite hand-crafted prawn tempura and wagyu beef rolls slathered in cream cheese and teriyaki sauce.
Next up was Ba’s secret weapon – the steamed buns. We sampled the wasabi prawn (Dhs42) variety, which was positively moreish. Our main courses continued along a similar level of exceptional quality. A black pepper beef dish (Dhs108), seemingly simple with its accompaniment of steamed broccoli and capsicum, was a highlight thanks to the tender cuts of wagyu and a sticky sauce.
The honey baked cod (Dhs144) also impressed – the fish cooked to perfection and flaking off under our fork with ease.
For dessert, the yuzu citrus tart (Dhs44) was delicious – essentially a creme brulee infused with the sour Japanese fruit – and came with a generous dollop of yuzu sorbet to cleanse the palate between bites. The menu also offers a selection of mochi (Dhs58) for those looking for a more traditional Japanese ending to their meal.
Ba Restaurant & Lounge had a lot to live up to (it’s a previous What’s On Awards winner), but thanks to a refining of its menu into a pan-Asian culinary journey, revisiting this Palm-side eatery should be a top priority.
Ba Restaurant & Lounge, Fairmont The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, Mon to Sat 5pm to 1am. Tel: (04) 457 3457. fairmont.com