Finding, and then getting to Han Cuisine Restaurant is something of an adventure. Why? Let’s start with the fact that there are NO ROADS. And that’s because they haven’t been completed. So basically, you have you trek across a barren, sandy plot or through a construction site (depending on which way you choose to tackle the course)…not ideal if you’ve just got your car back from the car wash. And then you park, old Dubai style…in the sand. All this will change soon but for the time being be aware of this…um, challenge.
Han Cuisine Restaurant is an authentic Asian restaurant. I’d guess its origins are Singaporean/Malay with a Chinese twist. It’s certainly not an authentic Chinese restaurant as some have suggested. I was lucky to visit Han with a group of Chinese friends who had recently been with me at Tang Palace and Shang Palace, making comparison inevitable. To be honest, I invited them to Han mistaking it for (yet to open) Long Teng, the long-awaited Sun Tour owned seafood restaurant.
Although there were some major let downs, the food at Han was good. The Vinegar Spinach, Cold Black Fungus, and Cold Cucumber starters for example, were disappointing; all three served drowning in a heavy-handed vinegar sauce, the two vegetable dishes slightly wilted, especially the cucumber. Another notable disappointment was the unbelievably bland, and best avoided corn soup.
The rest of our extensive order ranged from good to amazing, the Cantonese Style Whole Duck, Sichuan Style Fish (not for the light-hearted), Beef Rice-Noodles (my favourite), Seafood Vermicelli in Claypot, Signature Seafood Fried Rice and Steamed Whole Fish earning a collective thumbs up from our group of eight.
Service, while friendly, accommodating, and energetic, was a little inexperienced; too many dishes were served without serving spoons (including the soup), plates were not changed as new dishes were served, etc. Perhaps we expected too much; maybe the two palaces (Tang and Shang) we’d been to earlier spoilt us. The interior of Han is modern and well designed, a wall-to-wall mirror on one end disguising the restaurant’s petite size. But the a/c was totally inadequate, even for its minimal space. We suffered. All in all though, we enjoyed our meal at Han Cuisine. I will go back, not for anything I ate there this time, but for the Singaporean/Malay food I didn’t. Laksa anyone?