Given my blog’s name, I was excited to find out that there is a restaurant in Dubai called Wild Ginger.
Located in Deira City Center, a fellow Dubai Fooderati (who blogs at Rabelaisian Really Gabbles) and I headed over to the other side of the creek for lunch one Saturday.
Wee Scotch also came along and he was totally mesmerized by the pink-purple lighting as we rode the escalator up to the restaurant.
This was my first time in Iconic and honestly, it was color and fashion overload for me so I was glad to step inside the restaurant where the decor, lights and sounds were more toned down and conducive to a relaxing lunch.
One can never truly relax with a toddler in tow but the spacious surroundings, comfortable banquette seating, and the natural lighting helped a great deal.
The menu included a mouth-watering variety of the usual Asian appetizers, mains, stir-fries, and sides spanning the countries of Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, China and Vietnam. There were edamame, spring rolls, chicken satay, miso soup, tom yum soup, thai curries, yakitori, pad thai, mee goreng, nasi goreng…you get the idea.
I was very excited to see that there was a Vietnamese Chicken Salad on the menu. This is a dish my mom often prepared for family get-togethers and as a kid, it was my job to pull the chicken meat off the bones. I would always be impatient and didn’t wait for the just-boiled chicken to cool so there was always the inevitable burning of fingers. Still, I didn’t care because what I was really after, when I thought my mom wasn’t looking, was sampling the steamy hot juicy delicious chicken meat.
In my mind, I pictured shredded chicken on a bed of cabbage with a dressing of lemony Vietnamese fish sauce and garnished with fresh herbs like mint and Asian basil. What arrived on our table was not at all like what I had imagined or was used to. I grabbed the menu and double-checked the item description, “Cucumber, capsicum, mix lettuce topped with fried noodle and served with orange segment and citrus dressing.” Oh.
I very much enjoyed the mixed salad with the nice citrusy dressing and the chicken breast was quite tender. However, I wouldn’t have classified it as Vietnamese.
We ordered one of my favorite appetizers which is Wasabi Prawns.
I like it when the wasabi shoots up your nose leaving you gasping for air, and for a second you wonder what-the-heck just hit you. And then all senses return to normal and you reach for more wasabi dressed prawn just for another nose-jarring effect.
These prawns could have used more punch to the wasabi as there wasn’t any of the wasabi-up-the-nose feeling.
Chicken dumplings are a huge comfort food for me. I can’t help but order them off any Asian menu that I come across.
The Malaysian Beef and Black Bean Stir-Fry was our favorite dish of the afternoon. Tender beef and flavorful noodles made us very happy and Wee Scotch loved slurping the noodles one by one.
The maki we ordered sounded mouth-watering on the menu but were underwhelming in flavor and crunch.
They were, however, Wee Scotch’s fave over any other dish:
We didn’t make it to dessert but if we had, I would have loved to have tried the Fried Ice Cream (choice of vanilla, strawberry or chocolate ice cream coated with Japanese bread crumbs and deep fried) as it’s been more than five years since I last had one and if done right, are so addictively yummy.
Overall, I think the menu has a lot of potential as there are many familiar Asian comfort food items to choose from. When shopping at Deira City Center, it’s certainly an option to consider for lunch or dinner.
Disclosure: I enjoyed this complimentary dining experience as a guest of Wild Ginger.
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is located at the top level of the Iconic department store in Deira City Center; +971 04 295 3511 IS NOW CLOSED PERMANENTLY.