If, for the purpose of this description, I can associate Michelin star Xiao Long Bao masters Din Tai Fung with a Toyota, then their latest incarnation, Han Shi Fu is a Lexus. Located in the Aloft Hotel City Centre Deira, Han Shi Fu is beautifully decorated in a style reminiscent of swinging Shanghai in the 1920’s. Inside, pride of place is shared between a full-length bar and a dumpling surgery room display similar to its famous sibling.
The cuisine Han Shi Fu serves is best described as Asian
fusion. A leaf through their menu points to an obvious bias towards dim sum
which is why we started with the aptly named, six coloured soup dumplings:
Black – Truffle Mushroom
Red – XO Sauce
Yellow – Curry Crab Roe
Green – Kimchi Beef
Blue – Foie Gras
White – Chicken
Our follow up starters included a shrimp brioche (basically a fancy name for sesame prawns on toast) and an expensive Thai seafood salad which I must admit was excellent. We kept our mains simple and meat-free (my wife is a pescatarian) trying their signature Szechuan spicy noodles, XO fried rice, stir-fried spinach and sweet and sour fish.
Although the character of the two are entirely different, as they are siblings (or at least from the same parents) Han Shi Fu is going to have to get used to being compared to Din Tai Fung. Hand on heart, the only things I found at Han Shi Fu better than Din Tai Fung were the ambience, the fact that it is licensed and the amazing service. We were looked after by a bubbly young Filipina by the name of Yen (like the currency) who used her excellent command of English and amazing product knowledge to take us through the menu and recommend some of the dishes we had. Her attentiveness and hospitable attitude (along with the Thai seafood salad) were the highlights of our meal.
That said, there’s nothing in Deira comparable with Han Shi Fu and I have no reservations in recommending this superior Chinese restaurant.
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Xerxes physically dines at, or orders from, each and every venue he reviews. He pays in full for whatever he and his companions eat, drink, take away or occasionally throw at each other. Xerxes accepts no money, gifts, discounts or free meals in return for reviews or favouritism. What you have read was NOT influenced in any way by the venue. Join me on Instagram @ravenousxerxes or email me on email@example.com.