Hoi An is the best Vietnamese restaurant I have ever been to. It certainly offers one of Dubai’s best South-East Asian brunches, which is what my son and I went to sample. Located on Level 1 of the Shangri-La Hotel on Sheikh Zayed Road, Hoi An is handsomely decorated with light wood carveries adorning the walls and ceiling fans adding to the character of the wood thatched roof. It’s a small, tasteful, comfortable setting.
The Hoi An brunch is an à la carte affair. Upon being seated by one of their friendly hostesses, one is presented with a special brunch menu comprising of Hoi An favourites – starters, mains and deserts. They take your order, then just bring you little tapas size portions of everything – it’s quite amazing. The food is exquisite. I don’t think I have ever been to a restaurant which has wowed me quite like this one. I think they must have served us no less than twenty different dishes, stand-outs of which were (starters):
the Tôm chiên (wok-fried golden garlic prawns), all the Há cảo hấp (Vietnamese steamed dumplings), the hand-rolled Vịt cuốn lá lốt (grilled foie gras sausages) and the Phở bò Việt Nam (traditional Vietnamese soup with beef), which was the best I have had anywhere; my son had three bowls to my two. There wasn’t a single item we did not like.
The mains were equally good with my personal pièce de résistance being the beautifully marinated Bò nướng sả sốt nấm (grilled striploin beef) which was so perfectly cooked it could shame many a steakhouse. Also noteworthy were the Cá nướng lá sen (oven-baked sea bass with onion and ginger), Gà Nuong (Vietnamese grilled chicken) and Gà xào sả ớt (wok-fried organic chicken, chilli, onions with XO sauce).
By the time we got through our mains, we were as stuffed as we were familiar with restaurant manager, Luyen Pham and her amazing team who pampered us no end, coaxing us with their warm and friendly South-East Asian charm to try each of the amazing dishes…and then bringing us more…far more than we thought we could eat. But there was one more round to go – deserts. No matter what you do, do not leave Hoi An without trying the Mango puree with coconut ice cream – it’s to die for.
And there you have it – Hoi An, the best Vietnamese restaurant I have been to…anywhere, and well worth a detour.
Hoi An Brunch Packages
AED 185 Foods only
AED 205 with soft drink
AED 310 Alcohol Package, (red wine, white wine, sparkling wine, Heineken beer, cocktail of the day)
Waste NOT. Want NOT.