Wise Kwai is a cinematic themed Thai restaurant at the Dusit D2 in Barsha Heights. It’s beautifully designed; fresh, modern, colourful yet nostalgic and cosy at the same time. Sadly, it’s unlicensed. As one would expect, the all-Thai staff are friendly, polite and hugely accommodating.
Their menu is extensive, covering most popular Thai favourites, many with a little fusionistic twist to them. The kitchen clearly has potential, yet our order drew mixed reactions.
The Gai Rue Neua Phad Kra Pao, stir-fried beef with chili and basil, was too dry. It would have washed down well with a beer, but on its own…well, let’s just say we struggled.
The green papaya and glass noodle salads were good but unspectacular, lacking the authenticity and flare you find them with at say, Smiling BKK.
The Ba Mee Ped Yang, yellow noodle with roasted duck, came with a bowl of delicious poultry stock, the combination of which I liked a lot…even though I found the slices of duck overcooked.
I was particularly disappointed with the stir-fried prawns in garlic and pepper sauce, which I felt were also overcooked, and as a consequence a little mushy around the edges.
Saving grace for the restaurant was one of the best lamb Massaman curries I have ever had – it was superb, and I highly recommend it.
Prices are reasonable, especially when you factor in the 20% discount offered with Emirates NBD cards. All in all, Wise Kwai is a fine effort but unless they get the consistency of their kitchen sorted, I think they will struggle; there are some highly rates Thai restaurants with proven track records in their immediate vicinity, most notably Fuchsia, Prax and a favourite of mine, the Royal Buddha. That said, I feel Wise Kwai is worth a visit, if not for their refreshing interior and excellent service, then for their amazing Massaman curry.