Chimes crowd-pleasing menu diners who prefers their dishes pungent-chili friendly.
Chimes, Dubai, Cuisine: South-east asian
In a city full of claimed-authentic Asian joints, I thought to myself if they are yet another geared-toward-the-west restaurant.
As we walked into their clean open-kitchen dining room, I took my time browsing their far eastern/ South-east Asian (mainly Singaporean, Malaysian, and Thai) menu. Predictable mains and side dishes didn’t stir my appetite, but their far from the tired norm selections namely the Mee soto, Fishball noodle soup, Malaysian fish curry and Wok fried chili mud crab took me by surprise, they were my three comfort foods I’ve missed eating since 2009.
Chimes churned out enough Chinese, Thai and Malaysian/ Singaporean food to fill a 5-page menu. Though I was tempted to order the three mentioned above on our first visit, It was still a daunting task deciding what to eat!
We started off with their Thai starters, traditional deep-fried fish cakes served with cucumber sauce (Thod Man Pla), and chicken in pandan leaf. The fish cakes lacked flavour, a snoozer starter in my opinion.
If you’re fickle deciding which pan-Asian dish to order, go for their traditional Malaysian/ Singaporean dishes: Hainanese chicken rice and Laksa soup.
The tiny shrimps and tofu shreds in my bowl of laksa didn’t wow me enough. If they were to substitute it with de-shelled tiger shrimps and tofu puffs as per the original Malaysian recipe, this dish would be a hit. Not the best flavour-wise but satisfactory enough to come back for seconds.
Both the M’sian fish curry and char kuey teow were particularly disappointing, they didn’t rank anywhere close to home. The spices and ingredients used in their Malaysian fish curry were vastly different. What a misconception really… I was tempted to suggest they drop the ‘Malaysian’ word and rename the dish ‘Fish fillets in Thai satay curry’ instead. It basically lacked complexity.
So what’s missing in their recipe to make a good fish curry? Tamarind paste, tumeric powder and curry leaves to enhance the flavourful aromatic pot of curry are the essential core spices, an absolute must. The other no-no ingredient in Chimes fish curry; Fish fillets. Usually fish heads, whole Mackerel or fish steaks are best suited in this recipe. I expected chunky pieces of fish steaks!
Their limited but worth-ordering desserts includes nominally treats like banana ice-cream, sweet sticky rice and Asian fruite salad scored them some brownie points. With extra tummy space, I couldn’t resist their photo-delicious Sak Kan Ta Lup (sago with rockmelon with sweet coconut milk). Loved the generous portion.
Those craving for spicy-pleasing Thai/ Pan-Asian food, Chimes cooking style caters mostly to western and local diners who prefers their sauces and curries pungent-chili friendly.
Location: Seven Sands Hotel Apartment, Al Barsha
Tel: 04 3234211
- Cuisine: South-east asian
- Location: Dubai
Cuisine: South-east asian
In a city full of claimed-authentic Asian joints, I thought to myself if they are yet another geared-toward-the-west restaurant. As we walked into their clean open-kitchen dini… read more
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