China Grill, one of New York’s most sought-after dining destinations, has finally landed in the Dubai foodie scene.
China Grill Dubai is located in The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, the uber stylish five-star property at the heart of Dubai’s Media City.
China Grill is an extension of The Westin, but has a driveway of its own adjacent to the hotel’s main entrance. The restaurant offers a free valet service from its designated parking lot, and we were escorted into the lifts.
As the lift doors slide open, the stark concrete of the parking lot is replaced with the muted lighting and heavy red velvet of the lobby area. The staff at the reception area are immaculately dressed, and very cordial.
China Grill consists of two levels. The upper level (from which you enter into via the reception area) is the Bar & Lounge, and the lower level opens up to the restaurant area.
China Grill’s Bar & Lounge area is the perfect spot for catching up with friends over drinks and snacks.
Serious gluttons like us can head straight to the restaurant downstairs!
I had read about the interiors of China Grill, I was aware it had been done up by some of the world’s most renowned designers, but being there in person I was absolutely awestruck. Crafted dark wood, muted leathers, a hint of ethnic reds and a sea of lanterns. This place looks like modern Chinese art.
China Grill has an open kitchen right at the center of the restaurant, and it adds to the drama of the ambience, watching skillful chefs put together the final touches of their masterpieces.
Trance music blared out of the speakers. The tempo was upbeat and blended perfectly with the funky interiors.
We were a table of two, and had two staff members attending to us for the night. Andrea skillfully did the serving and quick table wipes between courses, and Ronald acted as the host, full of helpful suggestions.
The staff are very well-versed on the menu offerings, and if you are unsure on what to order, you can easily pass on this task to them.
For drinks, we went with Ronald’s suggestions and hubby had the The Golden Age, and I ordered the Yuzu Spritz.
The Golden Age is China Grill’s signature mojito featuring an exotic blend of lychee, passion fruit and fresh mint leaves in Matusalem Platino Rum. Hubby is not a rum fan, but his comment was ‘I never thought rum could taste this good.’
The Yuzu Spritz is a ladylike drink served chilled in an elegant wine glass. It is a special blend of Aperol, sour plum and a touch of yuzu (an exotic Asian citrus fruit) all spritzed together in sparkling wine. It was garnished with generous shavings of yuzu, and the bitter zest added body to the otherwise bubbly fruity drink.
For appetizers, we ordered the Dragon, Spicy Beef & Scallion Dumplings and the Jalapeno & Lime Cured Scallops.
China Grill has generous-sized portions, and each dish is cut up to be chopstick friendly and easy to share.
We asked for wasabi to go with the Dragon, and discovered China Grill makes their own fresh wasabi. This is not your commercial tube variety, and you can definitely get more of a pungent, heady kick!
The Spicy Beef & Scallion Dumplings were decadently moist bags of Chinese-style minced meat drenched in a flavorful ginger-soy sauce.
I also enjoyed the shredded salad that accompanied it. The salad featured an unusual mix of fresh mango, carrot, capsicum and green beans.
I love the taste of spicy hot chili and sour food, and rarely do you see a menu item offering a combination of both. So I had to give the Jalapeno & Lime Cured Scallops a try.
The first spoonful hits the taste-buds with so many contrasting flavors all at once. There’s the tartness of the lemon, the exotic creaminess of coconut milk, and the sharpness of salt crystals.
The scallops are a beautiful ‘melt in your mouth’ texture, and are in perfect harmony with this zesty concoction. Bite-sized cubes of icy cold watermelon added an element of surprise to the dish, and a sprinkling of black cumin gave it an unexpected exotic twist.
The ever so helpful Ronald suggested we try the Yellowtail. These are succulently smooth little bites glazed in an orange-ginger marmalade, and garnished with sweet mango and jalapeno. And aren’t they photogenic to boot?
Next came the mains. Hubby ordered the Shrimp Stuffed Crispy Chicken, and I went for the Szechuan Wagyu Striploin.
The Shrimp Stuffed Crispy Chicken was a new-age take on the traditional Chinese crispy duck. The outer layer was delightfully crisp, and the inside was moist and cooked to perfection.
What makes this dish uniquely clever is that it’s made up of two layers, one of chicken and the other shrimp. With each bite, you get a taste of both coated with that deliciously crisp Chinese-style coating.
The Shrimp Stuffed Crispy Chicken was served with traditional Chinese-style XO sauce. I am a huge fan of this dried shrimp based sauce and its nutty sesame oil flavor. I even had it with my Wagyu!
And here’s my absolutely divine serving of Szechuan Wagyu Sirloin!
This is a succulently moist, flavorful steak of premium quality Australian wagyu beef. If you are a wagyu fan like me, you know how the beautifully marbled the meat is, and the ripples of rich Szechuan sauce accompanied by the crispiest shreds of deep-fried potato made this dish a pleasure to eat.
I ordered my wagyu medium-rare, and the photo below shows you it was cooked to perfection.
For the sides, we ordered Crispy Kale and Wasabi Mashed Potatoes.
The Crispy Kale is yet another twist of a Chinese classic. Crispy spinach can be found on many Chinese restaurant menus, but China Grill reinvents this dish with kale, a leafy green thats been making headlines in the world of super-foods.
However, China Grill’s Crispy Kale is anything but health-food! The kale has been deep-fried till crisp and seasoned with sesame seeds. This is a deliciously greasy side-dish accentuated with a strong sesame aftertaste.
The Wasabi Mashed Potatoes had a silky smooth finish, and had a very subtle wasabi bite. Mashed potatoes and meat is a marriage made in foodie heaven, and this mash with the wagyu is as decadent as it gets!
The presentation of the Wasabi Mashed Potatoes resembles a pretty, hand-crafted gift a Japanese school girl would give to her BFF.
For hubby, Ronald suggested his very own personal favorite; Tom Yum. This is a heady concoction of Tanqueray gin infused with the robust Thai flavors of kafir lime leaves, lemongrass and Thai red chili. Hubby found this refreshingly exotic and would order it over The Golden Age.
I went for a mocktail, and ordered the Mango Chili Lemonade; a tangy lemonade with fresh mango whirled in along with Thai red chili for a hint of heat. It was sweet and sour with a dash of hot, a perfect fusion Asian drink.
Finishing this meal was a mammoth task. We found the American portion sizes to be overly generous, and when it came to desserts, we decided to share one between the two of us.
I asked Ronald what their most popular deserts were. He recommended the Cheesecake Lollipops and the Banana Box. Thinking cheesecake sounded too heavy, we opted for the latter.
China Grill’s Banana Box turned out to be a flambouyant treat. A large ball of chocolate was ignited before our eyes, and fizzled out in seconds to reveal a divinely rich mess of caramelized nuts, glazed bananas and decadently dark chocolate. A scoop of vanilla icecream was served at the side to alleviate from all this richness.
China Grill lives up to their tagline, ‘Expect the Unexpected’.
China Grill is more than just a restaurant concept. Their innovative Asian fusion menu stems from the ingenuity of world-class chefs. Combine this with an ultra chic ambience crafted by internationally renowned interior designers, and it comes as no surprise that China Grill still manages to be one of New York’s most sought-after dining destinations since its beginnings nearly thirty years ago.
China Grill at Westin Mina Seyahi is a hidden gem. Discover a whole new world of Asian cuisine, make a booking today.
China Grill is open daily from 6 pm onwards. The restaurant closes at 12 am, and the lounge is open till 2 am. Also note that children under 8 are not entertained at China Grill restaurant, and to access the lounge you have to be 21+.