With Ramadan over, we were excited at finally being able to eat again without having to scour the city to find somewhere that’s openly open during daylight hours and decided to pop down and try Dai Pai Dong Chinese restaurant at the Rosewood Abu Dhabi for a cheeky Eid weekend lunch. I’ll keep this one brief on the ramblings with just the main findings and lots of pictures 🙂

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The king dragon sits outside Dai Pai Dong guarding the entrance

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What's a Chinese restaurant without duck?!

What’s a Chinese restaurant without duck?!

The decor of the restaurant speaks for itself, it’s very enticing and feels very, er, Chinese – there’s something quite exciting about the location of the restaurant too, deep in the bowels of the hotel and Galleria tunnels lies this exotic, mysterious place that just asks to be investigated!

Barbecue chicken puffs

Barbecue chicken puffs

Though the restaurant looks like there are lots of dark corners to hide away in secrecy, it’s actually very cleverly lit so that you can easily see at your table, but the rest of the restaurant appears subtly lit which only adds to the mysterious excitement of the place.

As for the food – choose from a wide range of dim sum or from the main menu, a variety of Chinese specialties including pork! I can’t remember the last time I was able to have sweet and sour pork so that alone was pretty exciting! Each dish was presented to us one by one as soon as they’d been prepared and we were impressed with the quality and taste. I must say the barbecue chicken puffs were incredible… I could have eaten a tonne of them, perfect little puff pastry balls of barbecue chicken deliciousness that they were!

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Crispy fried squid

Chicken potstickers

Chicken potstickers

Perhaps the most disappointing item we ordered were the chicken potstickers – they were cooked wonderfully and had a great texture but for me, they needed a little extra oomph which I found with the accompanying soy and sweet chilli sauces.

Speaking of soy sauce, they have the most amazing soy sauce! I was so impressed with the deep, hearty flavour that I actually asked our waitress where I could buy some! It’s not often that I get that excited about something so simple, but the flavours were so rich and delicious I need to have some of those at home! (You can find a similar good quality soy sauce in the Chinese supermarkets here I was reliably informed, and apparently there’s one near Abu Dhabi Mall and one near the HSBC building).

Sweet and sour pork

Sweet and sour pork

For the mains we chose the sweet and sour pork (of course, since it’s a rarity in these parts!) and some chicken hand pulled noodles along with some fried rice. The dishes were great, I think perhaps our eyes were bigger than our bellies as we ended up with rather a lot of food, but it was all very tasty. It’s worth noting that the noodle dishes change every three days so watch out for the latest special concoctions. It’s certainly a place I’d go back to – I think I’d like to work my way through more of the dim sum menu next time 🙂