Thai food is without a doubt my favorite cuisine in the world, and since my recent trip to Bangkok, it has become even more so. The quest to try every single Thai restaurant in Dubai continues, and so we ended up at Mekong Anantara, The Palm.
Mekong Anantara is one of those places which reaffirm your decision to eat there from the moment you step in. I felt like I had teleported to Thailand! The ambiance was on fleek, there were so many details and the whole restaurant smelled like delicious food!
This was withot a double, one of the prettiest, most visually appealing and best decorated restaurants I’ve been to in Dubai.
The manager (Sumi) welcomed us so very warmly and was so enthusiastic that (a) I could have hugged her and (b) it inevitably put us in an even more excited mood than we had walked in with.
I cannot stress enough on how Mekong is easily the best decorated Thai restaurant in Dubai- except it’s not strictly Thai. Because the Mekong flows thorugh 5 countries, you can expect to find not only Thai food here, but also, Vietnamese and Chinese. I wish I also saw some Burmese and Cambodian dishes on the menu too, that would really set this restaurant apart!
The last Asian restaurant we ate at before Mekong, and in the same week, was Yuan at Atlantis. Unlike Yuan, where our server broke into a cold sweat every time we added another item to our order, the team at Mekong Anantara wanted us to try everything. I always appreciate such generosity, but as always, only ordered as much as we could eat. The chef still insisted on sending out one of his best-sellers (prawn dumplings), which we hadn’t ordered but he really wanted us to try. One bite in and we understood why.
Ladies and gentlemen, this was one of my top two meals of the month in Dubai. Here’s what we had:
Lo and behold: the best amuse bouche till date! Miang Kham platter! For those who may not know, this is a savory version of the paan. You take a betel leaf, place a little bit of everything on top, wrap it up, and eat it. The fillings include red chilies, lemon, ginger, onions, dried shrimp, peanuts, coconut slakes and the special sauce that you have to taste to truly appreciate.
Som Tam is something I must order whenever I see it on a menu, and while this Som Tam (AED 85) was as legit as they get (o the spice spectrum and otherwise), the lemongrass-skewered satay on the side was a very unusual and unheard of (but welcome) addition.
Compliments of the chef, the deep-fried prawn dumplings (AED 55). With big, fat, juicy prawns, mushrooms, chives and garlic, these babies were ridiculously good.
The Tom Yum Goong (AED 70) was perfection in terms of flavor, but a little garnish would have made it visually appealing too.
The Tom Kha Gai (AED 70) could really have used more lemon. My personal favorite Tom Kha is at Thiptara. Both soups were packed with mushrooms, chicken and other goodies.
The Mekong Sharing Appetizer Platter (AED 175). This is easily good fro 4 people to share, especially if you’re ordering other things. Our favorite things on this plate were the prawn cakes, the sun-dried beef, and the prawn salad (which was again on betel leaf).
On to the mains, we ordered a Phad Kaprow Goong, at a hefty price tag of AED 155, but boy oh boy, this was one very huge serving of big, juicy prawns.
We also ordered Chicken in Green Curry (AED 105). It was far less spicy than I wold have liked, and not the best Green Curry I’ve ever had, but not bad.
One of the most exciting bits at Mekong Anantara was the bottomless (and FREE!) rice options: both white and black.
Zero point zero surprises here, I ordered sticky rice and mango for dessert. In Thai this is known as Khai Niew Ma Mung, and is essentially just ripe Thai mango, served with sticky rice (which is sometimes dyed with pandan or butterfly pea tea), and a side of sweetened coconut cream. This is the simplest, most delicious fruit-based dessert ever.
Service was truly spectacular; some of the best service we have experienced in Dubai, in fact. The last time I was this pleased with the service was at The Restaurant.
Mekong has definitely made it to my top 3 favorite high-end Thai restaurants in Dubai, alongside Pai Thai and Thiptara.