WISE KWAI: AUTHENTICITY IS IT’S SECRET INGREDIENT
We needed to find a place that served Thai, was quirky, had great food, served alcohol, had insta-able (is that even a word!) food presentations and above all a place none of the famous-five of us had been to. If you think that’s a tall order, especially for us easy-to-please-folk (*wink* *wink*), it was indeed. We settled on the recently opened Wise Kwai (I call it recently opened because I just heard about it, thanks to another fellow foodie enthusiast). We did have to compromise on one of our ‘requirements’ – the DusitD2 Hotel at Barsha Heights does not serve alcohol (we were told that you would not find pork at any of the restaurants either) – but then again, lunch-time with no alcohol but interesting mocktails was a great compromise.
The interiors are a mix-and-match that is done perfectly right (for a change) – it’s got these enormous disc shaped ceiling ‘chandeliers’ with quirky wall hanging spread across the restaurant – from hanging cameras to old film reels – from what I understand these small details are a tribute to one of Thailand’s greatest film and theatre journalists, Wise Kwai (the man who the restaurant is named after).
DRINK OUT LOUD
Nom Yen/Pinky Milk: Thai red syrup and milk – the sound of this would make you wonder – but honestly, it’s quite a refreshing drink especially in the summer months.
Tomyumtini: This comes with ginger, chilli, kaffir lime and lemongrass – this is perhaps the spiciest thing I had at lunch – it was one of those drinks that is not meant to be refreshing – the spice kick was a bit much to accompany the food according to me.
ON A PLATTER
Here we tried to make our lives easy when it came to choices – so we went for the Wise Kwai Mixed platter – fish cakes, vegetable spring rolls, chicken in pandan and crispy beef. I am not a beef person, but I honestly have to say that the beef in this platter was the best of the lot.
MAINS LAID OUT
This one proved a bit difficult when it came to choosing – what with all of us enjoying different things. So after a bit of deliberation and a bit of compromising this is what we ordered:
Gai Rue Neua Phad Kra Pao: stir fried chicken with chilli and basil leaves. This is one dish I more or less order at every Thai restaurant I visit – it’s like my bench mark dish. And this one at Wise Kwai was superb.
Pla Neung Ma Nao: steamed fish with coriander, garlic, lime and chilli sauce. Looking at the ingredients we felt this was a sure winner, but it turned out to be the biggest disappointment of the afternoon. There just did not seem to be enough flavor when it came to this dish especially considering the ingredients listed.
Pad Prik Gaeng Gai: Basically, this was red thai curry with prawns. I had never known red thai curry to have grapes and pineapple in it – well this was a first for me. Taste wise, the curry was superb. We had ordered it medium spicy, but for an Indian palette it was tasty but did not have the spice kick.
When it came to dessert, as we were celebrating a birthday (we of course had got the customary cake from Sugaholic) we did not order any. But along with our cake, out came the most delicious looking dessert platter with mango and chilli sorbet, homemade coconut jelly and Thai pumpkin custard (I think I might be missing one other dessert on the plate – sorry can’t remember it all). I was floored by both the sorbets.
If I could sum up Wise Kwai’s food philosophy, it would be fresh, healthy and organic wherever possible and authentic (right down to the music they were playing) and the Thai hospitality extends through every person you meet at the restaurant – they are polite, patient, accommodating, helpful and above all – they smile.
Location: Wise Kwai, DusitD2 Kenz Hotel, Barsha Heights, Dubai Open from – Weekdays 12 Noon – 3 PM and 6:30 PM – 11 PM / Weekends (Friday and Saturday) 12 Noon – 11:00 PM Telephone: +971 4 567 2247