What’s not to love about Thai cuisine? The exotic blend of herbs and pungent spices makes Thai dishes a treat for the entire senses, and despite having that ‘feel good’ comfort food vibe, Thai food in general is very wholesome and healthful.
Great news for Thai cuisine lovers out there, we have a brand-new nook in town that gives you an entirely authentic Thai dining experience. Introducing Master of Wok, now open on the bustling 2nd December street juxtaposed between swanky Jumeirah and great-value Satwa.
As I walked in to the restaurant, the beautiful aroma of freshly cooked Jasmine Rice greeted my nostrils and whet my appetite. The interiors here are an absolute work of art with an intricately designed bamboo ceiling, flamboyant Asian-inspired wallpapering and quirky filament light-bulbs.
The menu is extensive and covers quite a few dishes that genuine Thai cuisine lovers crave and cannot find in most places, and best of all the dishes are very reasonably priced.
The kitchen at Master of Wok is headed by Chef Songpol who hails from the North Eastern province of Thailand and has been working in well-established restaurant chains across Dubai for over 5 years.
We started our Thai dining experience with chilled servings of fresh coconut water, sipping all the goodness straight out of young coconut shells.
My little one is a huge fan of Tom Kha Gai, an authentically Thai chicken soup with a coconut milk base that has the aromatic scent of lemongrass and galangal. Although Tom Yum soup tends to the most widely ordered Thai soup across the world, I too love a bowlful of Tom Kha. It’s like an affectionate hug in a bowl.
One of my favorite Thai starter dishes if the Larb Gai. This is a spicy Thai salad featuring minced meat, often chicken. At Master of Wok, I tried the minced duck option and absolutely loved it. If you are after a quick, light lunch, one serving of this would be the perfect order.
Another popular Thai appetizer is Som Tam, the shredded green papaya salad accentuated with a special blend of Thai condiments.
As we were a table of 5, we also ordered in a mixed platter of appetizers that included skewers of Chicken Satay, yet another portion of Som Tam salad and the Thai equivalent of Spring Rolls.
When ordering noodles at a Thai restaurant, chances are you’ll be going for the ever-popular Pad Thai. The Pad Thai at Master of Wok is absolutely delicious, and the balance of hot and sweet with that minuscule crunch of peanut hits the spot perfectly well.
However, if you want to impress everyone around you with your Thai cuisine know-how, ask for Pad Kee Mao. Translating to ‘drunken noodles’, this traditional wide rice noodle dish that is stir-fried with dark soya has such a fiery hit of red-hot Thai chili that it is recommended for drunkards looking for an instant sobering effect. Not all restaurants list this on their menu, and those who do often shy away from the addition of chili fearing they will fend off their patrons. Not so at Master of Wok! Dare you to order this noodle dish in Thai chili hot.
We also had an order of Gang Dang, an authentically Thai Red Curry featuring seafood, vegetables and meat of your choice, and a hint of bamboo shoot. You can order curries at Master of Wok with plain rice, Jasmine rice or brown sticky rice. I had it with brown rice, and even after my bowl of rice was gone, I picked up that bowl of curry and spooned it down like a soup. Absolutely delish!
Chef Songpol insisted we should try his mango and fish salad. I was expecting a small bowlful like the Som Tam. The Pla Tod Yaam Mamuangcame as a literally ‘huge’ surprise! This dish features a whole-friend sea bass, crisp and golden and topped with a very refreshing tangy hot and sweet shredded green mango salad. The mango works deliciously well with the fried fish, and this big platter was forked into and cleaned up in no time.
Ending on a sweet note, ofcourse I had to order the much-loved Thai dessert Mango & Sticky Rice. Did you know the authentic Thai name is Khowa Niew Mamuang? At Master of Wok the mango is deliciously ripe and sweet despite being off-season, and I love the fact that they serve extra sweetened coconut cream on the side.
Another one of my favorite Thai desserts is the classic Tab Tim Trob, a simple concoction of sweetened coconut milk served with water-chestnut pearls and coconut gel. Master of Wok has an interesting variant where the water-chestnut is replaced with tapioca.
Overall, we had a wonderful time at Master of Wok. Love the ambiance and the amazing feast created by Chef Songpol. Our server Elaine made us feel right at home, and kudos to Restaurant Manager Anushka for putting together such an amazing Thai concept. Will surely be coming back for more real soon!