Asian5 is a restaurant franchise which includes dishes from Thailand, China, Singapore, Vietnam and Indonesia in its menu. There’s something for everyone including vegetarians and vegans. In fact, there’s an extensive vegan section including red curry and laksa. The interior of Asian5’s Downtown Dubai branch (the original) is clean-cut and modern and will not look dissimilar to diners who have recently visited Wagamama (no connection). The kitchen is on the ground floor and can be looked into through a glass display. There is an outdoor seating area which is still usable although noisy. The main dining area is on the first floor.
Asian5 was created by the same people who brought us the Lemongrass Thai restaurants which I loved and was sad to see close. So, I knew their food was going to be good. Although this isn’t a pukka authentic Asian restaurant in the same way Streetery is, it’s close enough to the real thing to satisfy all but the most extreme. I love all South-East Asian soups, so my food buddy and order ordered an extra spicy laksa and a pho and shared. Both were very good, the laksa better than the pho which I found too sweet. We started our meal with gyoza which surprised me by being steamed rather than fried. It was okay. I will try the Shumai next time. We ended our meal with the excellent (if a little dry) sweet sticky rice with mango.
Service was friendly but not fast, and I must admit, I did find our waiter borderline overconfident and slightly pushy. I remember highlighting the service at Lemongrass as among the best in Dubai. If these guys have the same DNA, they will get it sorted. I have queued for longer than I care to admit for lunch at their DAFZA branch because of the Lemongrass connection and their laksa so you could say that I have a soft spot for these guys. I’ll be honest, Streetery (https://zendubai.com/) is far more to my taste than Asian5 but where sterilized, pasteurized and homogenized Asian restaurants are concerned, Asian5 is one of my favourites and well worth a visit.
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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.