I’d call Sticky Rice a hidden gem if they hadn’t already impacted the F&B scene with such sustained fanfare. So, hidden it may not be, but a gem it certainly is. And it’s the family orientation which, in my mind, gives it that edge over similarly sized (and priced) propositions, Smiling BKK for example. Located on the edge of Sobha Daffodil and a construction site in JVC, as bona fide Thai has they claim to be, Sticky Rice has absolutely zip where view and ambience are concerned. Okay, Kew The Duck does add a little colour and individuality to an interior I otherwise found cramped and uncomfortably smoky – their kitchen vents don’t work properly (a building defect not theirs). I shudder to think what the inside will be like in September…add hot and sticky to smoky.
All these gripes and groans are quickly forgotten (if not forgiven) the minute they start serving. The food at Sticky Rice is really good. My wife and I enjoyed the Green Papaya Salad (Som Tam Thai) and their Green Curry (Kaeng Keaw Wan) although, because my wife had asked for the pungency level to be kept low, I felt these dishes were less flavoursome than they should have been. The Pad Woon Sen (Stir Fried Glass Noodles) however, was excellent. Pad Krapow (Fried Basil) is usually made with chicken but we had ours with seafood. It comes with handful size of sticky rice with a fried egg on top – superb. We ended our meal with a take away of Mango Sticky Rice (Khao Neeo Mamuang). Why a takeaway? Because by the time we got to the end of our meal our eyes were watering profusely from the smoke.
Service is friendly and accommodating in that wonderfully warm and genuine Thai way. As mentioned earlier, Sticky Rice is a family affair so everyone you interact with are family members and this makes all the difference because they all work with a passion hard to find in employees. Did we enjoy our meal? No, the smokiness made it too uncomfortable. But we enjoyed our food. So, unless conditions improve, I doubt we will go back. That said, I will definitely consider ordering in. I must also add that my wife and I are of a maturing age where we prefer certain creature comforts on our lunch or dinner dates together. Younger couples may not feel the same, and to them I say, go and visit this restaurant because, Zen and Thai Beef Salad aside, it’s one of the better Thai propositions in Dubai.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org.