Pai Thai is magical. Fact. We’re comfortable sticking by our description, given the traditional abra that transports diners through Al Qasr’s waterways to the restaurant. No matter how hot it is, the terrace is always packed – with a view like that, it’s well worth sweating it out.
The inside space, however, is highly underrated. Traditional Southeast Asian décor gives the place its rustic charm, while the large round tables are ideal for group get-togethers. Pai Thai is famed for its authenticity – the hostess seats you with a “kop kun ka” (thank you), and a doll-like Thai dancer weaves her way through tables with a broad smile. It’s not all a gimmick though, the food measures up. All the signature dishes are here, packed with typical Thai ingredients like spice, coriander, cashew nuts and lemon grass.
The Tom Yam soup is sharp, spicy and sour, just as it should be, while main dishes come with quality ingredients like mammoth-sized tiger prawns, tender sea bass and braised beef. It’s one of our favourite mid-ranged restaurants in Dubai – and we don’t say that lightly.
Three dishes to try:
Plha Nuae Ma Khua Pho
… Or grilled beef salad to you and me. This one has a bit of a kick, but it’s balanced out with lemon dressing, eggplant and lemongrass.
Gaeng Khiew Wan Gai
We know we should go for something a little more original than green chicken curry, but this is the pièce de résistance. Hot, creamy, slightly tangy, just as we like it.
Thailand isn’t known for its desserts, but Pad Thai takes inspiration from the West to liven up its dishes. The tropical fruit crème brulee is served with a Coconut Thai Cookie, and the flavours work surprisingly well.
As part of Jumeirah Restaurant Week, Pai Thai offers a three course dinner for AED180. For more information on Jumeirah Restaurant week, see our round-up here.