Asian Street by Thai is Dubai’s newest and, dare I say, most authentic Esan and Thai street food restaurant. Located a skip and a hop away from Sausage Fabrique at lake level in Cluster F, JLT, its modest interior is made up of a couple of simple table and chairs, a full-length beverages fridge on one side and a waste level ice cream fridge on the other, beside the cash counter. An overworked floor standing fan barely succeeds in compensating for the useless a/c. My favourite part of the restaurant is being able to look into the kitchen from where one is treated to a symphony of elements – sight, sound, smell and taste; the intense whooshing sound of their wok burners still gives me goosebumps. Sitting around a table with my fellow food adventurers, we could have been in any small, back-street eatery in Bangkok.
And then they bring out the food – authentic, aromatic, packed with pungency and flavour. White people be forewarned, this is not food for the light-hearted. If you don’t like spicy food – don’t go. If you don’t like fish sauce – don’t go. If you don’t like dried shrimp – don’t go. And unless you are a whacked out of your mind, chilli-addict head-banger, order everything medium…and even then you’ll still burn twice; once while you eat and again when…well, you know. Try the Tom Zap Nau: hot and sour Esan beef soup – if you like Tom Yum, you will love this. The Laab Gai: spicy minced chicken salad and Pad Krapow Gai: wok fried minced chicken with hot basil both use mince chicken as a base but they’re totally different in character – try both. The green curry is insane. As is the green papaya salad. And the Yam Woonsen Taley: glass noodle salad with seafood. I could go on and on. Everything I’ve had there is great.
The best part of Asian Street is owner, Thip, of Park Hyatt’s Thai Kitchen fame. She owns AND runs the place. Talk to her before you do anything. She is an encyclopaedia of all things Thai. Subjectively the best VFM casual dining Thai restaurant in Dubai – definitely my favourite and well worth a detour – 4½ from 5.
Xerxes (pronounced Zûrk’seez) – Food Adventurer Extraordinaire – Shamelessly Exploring the Boundaries of Gluttony
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 him on his culinary journey on Instagram: @ravenousxerxes or reach out to him via email on firstname.lastname@example.org.