I am a HUGE fan of Asian food (especially Thai food) so my husband and I were super excited to go to Lao at the Waldorf Astoria Dubai last week. Weekends on the Palm can be quite busy so we opted for a Monday evening dinner date which I thought would be pretty empty especially at the far end of the crescent on the Palm; but the place was packed on a workday evening! Definitely a good sign of things to come!
The restaurant boasts an open kitchen so you see your entire meal being prepared in full view of the guests. I watched the chefs for a few minutes before we started our meal and was really impressed with their presentation and coordination with each other. When the waiter seated us he explained that Lao was a South East Asian fusion restaurant of traditional dishes from Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam with a modern presentation. We were both starving from a busy day at work and decided to start off with some appetizers to give us some more time to decide on dinner.
The restaurant maintained warm light of orange and reds all over which made the atmosphere cozy and comfortable. Although cozy, we both somehow still got the feeling that most of the diners, if not hotel guests, were business colleagues or perhaps conducting client dinners. Quite a few groups seemed to come straight from the office or maybe still carrying on business matters after the work day had finished. As well as being a romantic place, I guess its also a great spot for business dinners!
Soon after we placed our order for dinner, the appetizers; Steamed Lobster Rice Roll and Stuffed and Grilled Calamari arrived. My first impression was that it was quite small, but very well presented. The presentation was 5-star worthy for sure and the taste left us wanting more but such is the name; an appetizer– so we waited for the main course which arrived shortly after.
My husband and I shared our order as always to maximize both choices of the Grilled Mixed Seafood and the Muscovy Duck Breast with Pad Thai as a side dish. The duck breast was tender, juicy and delicious with the honey and ginger marinade. It might have been the best duck breast we have ever had! I can’t say the same for the grilled seafood plate though, honestly.
It was a bit dry; nothing a squeeze of fresh lemon can’t fix, but also a much smaller portion than my husband (or I) expected when he read the description and ordered. The Pad Thai was very tasty and prepared a bit creamier than either of us had ever tasted before. We loved it.
Here’s what we had:
- Steamed Lobster Rice Roll with avocado, chili and onions
- Stuffed and Grilled Calamari with octopus, prepared with mango, garlic, ginger, onion and dill
- Honey and Ginger Braised Muscovy Duck Breast with radish and jicama as garnish
- Grilled Mixed Seafood (shrimp, squid, salmon, scallops and a half lobster)
- Pad Thai as a side dish (bak choi, bean sprouts, tamarind sauce with shrimp, egg)
- Trio of Crème Brulee: Passion Fruit flavor, hazelnut flavor and pistachio flavor
- Exotic fruit plate: Papaya, honeydew melon, strawberry, mango and lychee
When you visit Lao you MUST try the Trio of Crème Brulee…you can thank me later. The flavors were deliciously rich and distinct of passion fruit, pistachio and hazelnut. We ran into the same situation with the exotic fruit plate again though as the portion was quite petite. Lao is definitely the place to go if you find yourself looking for a classy restaurant to entertain more formal relationships such as colleagues or guests from out of town-especially since you can also treat your guests to an amazing view of the Dubai Marina skyline and also Burj Al Arab which is always sure to impress.
- Staff/Service: 4
- Ambience: 5
- Food: 4
- Presentation: 5
- Cleanliness: 5
- Value for money: 2.5
Overall Rating: 4.25
Worth Trying?: If you are looking for an appropriate place to take business associates and clients OR for a fancy Asian restaurant with impeccable presentation, then this is your place!
For more information call Lao at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel Dubai, Palm Jumeirah +971 (0) 4 818 2222.