China Sea is an authentic Chinese restaurant (from Tsingtao in the Shandong Province) in Deira. Located in a two-story stand-alone building on Al Maktoum Street just past the Clock Tower (behind Emirates gas station and car wash), China Sea has been around for ages and is today nothing less than a Dubai landmark.
Its stereotypical Chinese, ageing interior is spoilt only by the faint yet ever-present smell of vinegar and seafood, consequences of the cuisine served there. The ground floor is a classic table-chair affair whilst the first floor is made up entirely of private dining rooms.
The food at China Sea is amazing. You will find it especially so if you are fond of seafood, which is what this restaurant specialises in. Note, there are a number of aquariums in the front where seafood ranging from fish to crab are kept, so if you want to order fresh whole fish you can.
But this is an eatery which will wow you even if you omit seafood from your order. Definitely try their longish Gootey Dumplings (the lamb is particularly good). And if you’re trying to figure out how (or why) a Chinese restaurant is serving a German dumpling, remember that Tsingtao was once a German enclave, hence the famous Tsingtao beer. Also, worth trying is their sour fish soup although this may not be to everyone’s taste. In general, everything is very, very good.
Service is surprisingly friendly for an authentic Chinese restaurant, especially upstairs in the private rooms which groups can use at no extra costs (depending on availability). Note, there is ample RTA parking around the back. Another idea is to give your car into the Emirates car wash to clean while you dine.
There are a number of authentic Chinese restaurants which have opened up in recent years, some of them outstanding, yet China Sea remains one of my all-time favourites and is well worth a detour.
Hey! Now read this –
Xerxes physically visits each and every venue he reviews and pays full price for whatever he eats and drinks. Xerxes accepts no money, gifts or free meals in return for reviews. What you have read was not influenced in any way by the venue.
Join me on Instagram @ravenousxerxes or email me on: firstname.lastname@example.org