I’ve driven past Prax’s a month ago, and was really keen on doing a pit-shop seeing their very striking signage. The bold, bright blue of their logo is hard to miss despite the tiny, narrow size of the place.
Located on one of Jumeirah Beach Road’s busiest food stops (just a block down from the very famous Ijaza cafeteria, opposite Mercato Mall), Prax’s opened its doors last November and already has quite a queue lining up for their American-style boxes of Asian flavors.
Come to think of it, I haven’t come across any other Chinese eatery in Dubai that offers food in this all-American style disposable box! Being Dubai, ofcourse the humble takeaway box gets a face-lift. The colorful graphics of Prax’s looks stunning on these boxes, don’t you think?!
But before we delve into the Prax’s boxes and their respective contents, let me give you a virtual tour of the premises. The restaurant itself was never really designed for dine-ins. It is very small and narrow, and more than half the interiors is taken up by its very visible, bustling kitchen.
One line of the interiors has bar-stools for seating, and the front of the space has an outdoor patio where we were seated, facing the Jumeirah Beach Road traffic.
For our round of appetizers, we started off with Prax’s dimsums. Below is their Chicken Siu Mai and their Prawn Har Gow. The dimsums come with the obligatory serving of soya sauce on the side, as well as a very delicious Chinese chili jam that is made on the premises. The dimsums were soft, perfectly cooked and well stuffed with filling. Pity each plate only comes with 3 pieces!
We also had a bowl of Prax’s Tom Yum Soup. For a restaurant that claims to be predominantly Chinese, they are spot-on with Thai flavors in this soup. The balance of hot, sour and sweet played perfectly well on my taste-buds, and my little 5 year-old had a whole bowl to herself! Given she is an exceptionally fussy eater, this is a huge compliment to the Chef.
And here’s Prax’s Papaya Salad, yet another nod to beautifully blended flavors of Thailand. I asked for mine to be extra spicy 🙂
For mains at Prax’s, you have the option of creating a customized dish in 4 steps: 1) Choose a base (mainly noodle options, or jasmine rice, or vegetables), 2) Choose a protein (tofu, chicken, beef or prawn), 3) Choose a sauce (six variations to choose from), and 4) Pick a Topping (18 options to choose from).
Not feeling very experimental, we decided to go for the tried and tested created by the chef 🙂 We tried Prax’s Chili Basil Beef, Green Curry Chicken and the Sweet and Sour Prawn.
Our favorite was the Chili Basil Beef. The heat of the chili laced with the characteristic Asian fusion of basil was a real treat to eat. The egg noodles were cooked to perfection, and had a very generous amount of beef, mushrooms and crunchy french beans tossed in.
If you’re craving curries, Prax’s might be a bit of a shocker. They don’t do curries the conventional way. Rather, it is mixed up with the ‘base’. In this case, both our curries were mixed in with the Jasmine rice. I guess it makes their life easier, making it more convenient for a paper box.
The Thai Green Curry at Prax’s is like a rice pilaf loaded with Thai flavor. If I was expecting rice with curry on the side, I might have been disappointed but I had been warned… and I absolutely loved it! The appearance of this dish is deceivingly bland, when it is in fact very flavorful indeed. I especially liked the bits of fried eggplant, delish!
Prax’s Sweet and Sour Prawn is apparently one of their best-sellers, and I can understand why. Once again, the curry has been mixed into the rice. This mix is far sweeter than the Green Curry. I love how the prawns have been battered and added into the mix. Crunchy cashew has been topped as garnish, and as a tangy surprise, it also has bits of chopped pineapple tossed in!
The portion size at Prax’s is generously large, and we couldn’t do justice to the two ‘curries’. I was more than happy to take these gorgeous boxes home with me 🙂
For dessert, Prax’s has two variations of Panna Cotta. One is Coconut and Ginger, a dedication to the Asian flavors of the restaurant. The base has a delicate hint of coconut, and is mixed in with crystallized ginger. The flavors are delicate as they are flavorful.
The other Panna Cotta won our vote hands down. Inspired by Middle Eastern flavors, this is Prax’s Date and Caramel. A must-try for caramel crazy dessert fiends like me 🙂
Overall, Prax’s is an experience in itself. You will probably be hard pressed finding a table in this tiny joint, but you can always call up for deliveries, or do pick-ups yourself. Look them up on their social media handles, call them on 800 PRAXS (77297) and do let me know what you think. Eating out of that box is novelty in itself 🙂