China Grill – The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi

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China Grill, popular in New York and Mexico has now opened its doors in Dubai! Boasting it’s way through since 1987, China Grill is captioned as one of the hottest destination spots in New York City and have have been featured in diverse publications as The New York Times, In Style, Bon Appetit, The LA Times, 944, and The Miami Herald (to name just a few) and have won awards ranging from Zagat NYC’s “most popular nightspot” to Esquire Magazine’s “Best New Restaurant.”

A few weeks ago I was invited for a menu tasting session to China Grill. I was nothing less than fascinated when I stepped into the restaurant. As you enter you can feel the cozy yet lively vibe of the restaurant because of the music and the entire set up. The dim-lit restaurant has the most beautiful décor with gorgeous hanging lights, comfortable seating, alcohol and good service. It definitely offers everything you need for a good ladies night out, date or a regular catching up session with your mates. I took 2 of my Instagram followers (@naomi_dsouza) that won my Tasting session giveaway to try out the menu with me.

We kicked off the session with DRINKS;

Pineapple and Coriander Crush (a Siamese trilogy of Pineapple, lime and coriander) and a Mango & Red Thai Chili Lemonade – Both the drinks were quite an eerie combination but it sure was rejuvenating and delicious!

Moving on to the STARTERS;

Crackling Calamari – We felt a few calamaris were overcooked and the lime miso dressing was overpowering in a few areas. Nonethless, this Salad was absolutely delicious and addictive! One calamari is definitely not enough.
Char Siu Bao (stuffed with Chicken & Char Siu Sauce) – My table was confused with how this really tasted. Firstly, it was a bit sweet. Secondly, there wasn’t enough Chicken stuffed in the bao. Thirdly, inspite of the sweetness the taste eventually gets to you and you start enjoying it. How this dish tasted is quite debatable according to different palates.
Wild Mushroom Spring Rolls – These tasted quite ordinary, nothing very fancy or unique. Nonetheless, the outside coating was crispy and fillings were a 10 on 10!
What I didn’t really get is the Menu. Under the Dim Sum section they have Bao (bread), spring rolls and vegetables. They should definitely improvise on the naming of the sections.
Salt & Pepper Soft Shell Crab – I was quite skeptical to order this as I’ve never tried something like this before. The concept of this is, the shell is fried enough until it semi-dissolves and becomes a part of it’s flesh. The crab was definitely appetizing and excessively juicy. I did feel a part of the ‘juicy’ feeling was the bit of oil trapped in the crab.

Moving onto the MAINCOURSE;

Barbecued Wild Salmon – The salmon was topped with Chinese mustard sauce, baby bok choy and radicchio. This dish did not disappoint us, we were in love with the Salmon as it tasted absolutely healthy, was juicy AND Barbecued!
Grilled Garlic Shrimp & Kalbi Spiced BBQ Short Ribs – Both the dishes were nothing but a hit! The shrimps were succulent, very filling and went well with the accompanied fettucine. Whereas the quantity and the taste of the ribs was perfect!
Mashed Potato – This was made with WASABI! Definitely something unique, creamy, delicious and a must have!

DESSERTS;

Most of the desserts were a disappointment for the following reasons;
Bananas in a Box – Since I don’t like fruits in my dessert I requested the caramelized bananas to not be added. Beneath the Dome made of chocolate lies Vanilla Icecream & Macadamia Nougatine. The dome is then flambéed (process of igniting liquor in order to emit blue flame) causing it to melt and further showcasing the ingredients. This dessert deserves nothing less than a 10 on 10 for visual appeal but doesn’t taste great at all (with or without the banana). The quality of the icecream was not great but the alcohol was strong indeed.
Cheesecake Lollipops – It was BEAUTIFULLY presented in a mini-garden and we couldn’t wait to gorge on them! We were told the cheesecake lollipop flavors were Strawberry, Passionfruit, blueberry & lychee. I could not identify what-was-what as firstly, the hard exterior barely gave out the flavor and secondly the cheesecake inside was the same (irrespective of the flavors mentioned). The cheesecake tasted as good as the ones you get in KFC or Pizza Hut. Nothing great just visually appealing once again.
Mochis – I loved the Chocolate and Lychee Mochi but not the Green Tea as I felt it tasted quite odd.

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