Qinghaihu is an authentic Chinese restaurant in the China Cluster of International City, Dubai’s unofficial China Town. It’s located next door to Wenzhou, the famous Chinese speciality supermarket and one of my favourite Chinese restaurants in International City, Sun Tour. Like many of the Chinese restaurants in the area, Qinghaihu specialises in Xinjiang cuisine, the same province its Muslim owners are from. In addition to being predominantly halal, Xinjiang cuisine is famous for its noodles and fiery lamb dishes (including an excellent hotpot).
Qinghaihu is a large restaurant with a cafeteria style food counter in the middle. It’s where a daily assortment of regional specialities are kept on display for one to choose from; you’ll find everything from trotters to tongue to shank, so long as its lamb. In typical Xinjiang style there are plenty of noodles and noodle dishes (including some awesome noodle soups), pride of place taken by their thick, handmade noodles, which are twice as wide as Italian tagliatelle (and twice as chewy).
An extensive, plastic covered a la carte menu (with lots of pictures, underlined by descriptions in utter gibberish) is available in addition to the cafeteria. The good news is that there are a couple of English speaking Bengali wait staff to help you through their menu, which you know has taxed, before shredding to bits, whatever intelligence, artificial or otherwise, Google Translate may have had. Unless you are with someone Chinese, seek their advice. See if Anwar is around, he is patient and knowledgeable.
The food at Qinghaihu does not have the broad appeal of Sun Tour next door. It is good nonetheless. If you are East Asian and/or have acquired a pallet for authentic Chinese food, you should enjoy your meal at Qinghaihu. My Chinese guests certainly did. But Indo-Chinese fans, weaned off franchises like Chin Chin and the Monk, should not even consider this place. If however, you’ve been (and liked) the restaurant two doors down, or even to the Tang Palace on Al Dhiyafa Road, there is a good possibility you will love this place.