Tum Tum Asia is an Indian, 100% vegetarian take on Asian cuisine. Located next door to sweet specialists Shree Gangour, just off Oud Metha’s famous 2nd street (behind Lamcy Plaza), it’s based in the center of one of Dubai’s Indian middle-class neighbourhoods (always a good thing when launching a veg only concept). The interior is really well done, a cross between Carnival and Mr. Miyagi’s – fun.
But my experience there was anything but fun. A waitress tended my table who I could not understand, nor (quite obviously) could she understand me. The poor girl was a nightmare at taking me through their menu. So, I just ordered what looked familiar; Dims to start, followed by a Laksa, and Singapore noodles. Oh, and a (highly recommended) watermelon and lemon mocktail, which turned out to be a total disappointment.
I knew there was something wrong the minute the paneer-filled dim sum was put in front of me; the four of them looked all mushy. I guess I should have figured; steam a dumpling filled with paneer and things are bound to get a little messy. The problem with these ones were that they’d completely fall apart at the slightest touch. So, I sent them back.
For some reason the Singapore noodles were brought out to me at the same time as my dumplings (and before my Laksa). Okay, no problem. Also, no problem that they were using Spaghetti-thick noodles rather than Vermicelli, maybe this was Chef Akshay Nayyar’s twist to the Singaporean classic. But these noodles tasted nothing like Singaporean noodles. These were just super spicy fried noodles.
So, I stopped, put them aside and waited for my Laksa. After about ten minutes, I called my waitress to ask why my Laksa was taking so long. Guess what she said? You wanted the Laksa too?
Yeah, that’s where I blew a gasket.
I don’t know what pissed me off more, the waitress, the disappointing food, or the supervisor I cornered before storming out, whose only response to my foot-stomping rant was rapid fire blinking. Come on, guys – you spend so much time and money putting together a restaurant with such obvious potential, spend a little more on training your people. Anyway, I cannot NOT recommend Tum Tum to my Indian friends, I know they will love it. BUT I didn’t, and am rating accordingly. I’m going to wait till Mamagoto opens in Dubai: http://www.mamagoto.in/. They’ll show all these boys how it’s really done. And they won’t need novelty, toys and gimmicks to get their wows, just amazing Fun Asian Food.