Kun Lun is a newly opened authentic Chinese restaurant in the China Cluster of International City, Dubai’s unofficial China Town. It joins the likes of Home World and Sun Tour Seafood in offering an altogether more upmarket proposition to the value for money eateries which make up the bulk of the Chinese restaurants in that area. Like the aforementioned, it too is unique in that it only has private dining rooms, all of which are well-appointed and handsomely decorated with round, lazy Susan dining tables at the centre of each room.
The Kun Lun menu is not specific to any one province in China and instead offers specialities from Sichuan to Hong Kong – basically all over. We didn’t try any starters, preferring to pack in as many mains as possible. Interestingly, because my daughter joined my food buddies and me on this all-important initial visit to Kun Lun, we first ordered her preferences – noodles and rice; Stir-Fried (Flat) Rice Noodles with Beef and Dried Beef Floss Fried Rice to be specific. As it so happens, they turned out to be the only two dishes we didn’t feel compelled to get up and dance a jig over. That said, not a trace of either could be found by the end of our meal.
We also ordered the Kun Lun Stir Fried Shrimps (which would normally have been pork), Green Sichuan Pepper Fish (Qing Hua Jiao Yu), Taiwanese Three Cup Chicken(San Bei Ji) and a Braised Ox Tail dish, the name of which was definitely lost in translation (Beef Tail with Pepper and Screw). I cannot think of another time our hard-core group of foodies was so wowed as it was over these dishes. In fact, all were so good I am hard-pressed to pick a favourite. If I must though, it would have to be the superb poached fish. Our one big disappointment was not having time to order their Signature Crispy Duck which needs 2-hours advance notice – next time. Nicky and I are dying to see how it stacks up to Quan Jude’s.
Service was surprisingly friendly for International City. Thanks in no small part to our Filipino waiter, Joseph, who ensured we wanted for nothing throughout our meal. He was joined by an assertive Chinese lady who spoke good yet choppy English. Together they helped shape our order – my thanks to them – everything they recommended exceeded our expectations. And that really sums up this first at experience at Kun Lun – it exceeded expectations and as a consequence has earned itself a place on our favourites list of International City eateries – no small feat for a newly opened restaurant. I must also thank my dear friend Yongyi for pointing me in the direction of this gem of a 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 his culinary journey on Instagram: @ravenousxerxes or reach out to him via email on email@example.com.