Dinner Date at Wok & Co. (Ibis Hotel, Dubai)

Wok & Co is one of the newest Asian restaurants to enter the Dubai foodie scene. Located on the Ground Floor of Ibis One Central (near Dubai Trade Center), the interior decor of this place had me floored upon entering.

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Walking into Wok & Co is like entering another dimension, a glorified modernistic take on Asian architecture that you wouldn’t expect to see inside a 3-star hotel. I got rather click-happy and took quite a few shots from all corners of the restaurant.

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The restaurant features an open-style kitchen, and you can actually see the wok and company in action šŸ™‚

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Wok & Co is a pan-Asian restaurant serving up a whole array of delicacies from the Far East. Expect to find Thai favorites, Chinese stir-fries, a few less explored Vietnamese, Malay and Indonesian delights, and also a few fusion dishes thrown in.

The Wok & Co menu complies with the Planet 21 guidelines that were created by the Accor chain of hotels. This program ensures that the restaurant is eco-friendly, offers healthful meals and gives back to the community. Read more on the 7 pillars of the Planet 21 program by clicking here.

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Wok & Co is one of the fewest places in Dubai to serve Kirin Ichiban beer. This malt beer is a favorite in Japan, and Hubby reports he loved the subtle sweetness of this refreshing drink.

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However, my drink was far more interesting šŸ™‚ I ordered Wok & Co’s Tom Yam Sip, an interesting ‘Wok-Tail’ consisting of vodka, lemongrass, galangal, fresh lime juice, lime leaf, Thai red chili and fresh carrot juice. The carrot juice gives the drink a slightly thicker, fibrous texture that ensures the sipping lasts longer. I absolutely loved the combination of Thai herbs and the subtle heat of the slit red chilis. This is a heady cocktail that resembles the famous soup it got named after.

Apparently I am the very first customer to order this drink at Wok & Co Dubai! What an honor, absolutely loved it.

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For starters, we shared platters of Wok & Co’s Steamed Dumplings and Vietnamese Prawn Rolls.

TheĀ Steamed DumplingsĀ platter includes a variety of prawn, chicken and vegetable dumplings, and is served with a vinegar, soya and chili dip. The dumplings are beautifully moist and soft, and each version has its own unique flavor consistency.

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TheĀ Vietnamese Prawn RollsĀ look so fragile and dainty with their translucent rice paper wrapping. These slippery beauties can be a little trick to manoeuvre with the chopstick, but dip it into that Vietnamese dipping sauce that comes on the side, and the efforts are well worth it! The stuffing includes tiger prawns, sweet green mango slices, cucumber, fresh coriander, jelly noodles and chives. A real burst of exotic flavors!

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From the Wok & Co Salads section, I decided to try out theirĀ Laab Ped.Ā I’ve had Thai Laab salad on countless occasions, and absolutely love this spicy minced chicken dish. At Wok & Co, the Laab is made with duck mince instead. I loved the look of the Laab Ped as soon as it hit the table.

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The Laab Ped at Wok & Co is absolutely divine! It has a gorgeous balance of chili heat and tanginess from a special citrus dressing. The gritty crunch of roasted rice is evident in every spoonful, giving added texture and a hint of smokiness to the dish, and I especially loved the use of very finely sliced, deep fried aubergine crisps in this salad. I can easily come back to Wok & Co and have a whole plate of this to myself as a main-course.

 

Dining at Wok & Co, we had to try something from their ‘Wok’ section, and got recommended theirĀ Goong Pad Prik Pow.Ā This is Thai stir-fried prawns coated with the heat of a delectable Thai chili paste, and stir-fried with basil, red onion, bamboo shoot, green peppers and long beans. This is one of those dishes where you get so busy eating up the prawns by themselves, that you forget it was meant to be eaten with the Jasmine Rice that came on the side! If you love Thai and also happen to be a huge fan of prawns, this is the dish for you.

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And are you a fan of Lamb Shank? At Wok & Co, you can have this Malay-style, served on a pool of nutty Malaysian Penang Curry. The meat was cooked to ‘falling off the bone’ softness, and it was a pleasure scooping it all up with that deliciously thick, exotically fragrant curry.

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Halfway through our meal, we noticed a very tall, lean man with curiously sharp, point ears walking past our table. Even the kitchen staff came out to stare. It was Mr. Spock from Star Wars! I ran down the restaurant, camera in hand, quite forgetting that the original Mr. Spock had left orbit quite a while ago. And here’s the funniest thing… he charged me AED 10 for this click!

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I am now guessing he is an escapee from Comic Con that took place in Dubai in early April. Comic Con’s Con Artist I’d say! But this little story had us giggling for hours. May the ‘farce‘ be with you!

The staff at the restaurant were as curious as I was, and shared in the laughter. They tell me Bollywood siren Lara Dutta was also expected to come down for dinner that day as she was staying at Ibis. Sadly I didn’t get to see her, or her lookalike!

We ended our meal at Wok & Co with a shared plate of theirĀ Japanese Green Tea Tiramisu.Ā The traditional coffee liquor in tiramisu has been substituted with semi-bitter Japanese green tea. The creamy sweetness of the mascarpone counteracts the bitterness of the tea, and the flavors are balanced out further with a drizzle of Raspberry Coulis on the outer rim. The pretty green cubes are lime-mint jelly, the perfect garnish for this ‘green’ dessert.

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Wok & Co is a hidden world of wonders. The interior decor is absolutely stunning, and I could easily sit there for hours on end. Their line-up of pan-Asian dishes is extensive enough to please a wide range of appetites, and the staff are obliging enough to tweak the recipe for personal preferences. I am absolutely in love with this place, and can’t wait to get back for more!

Wok & Co is located on the Ground Floor of Ibis One Central (near the Dubai Trade Center). For more details and table bookings, callĀ 04 5195555.

Wok & Co Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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