Showing posts with label prawn. Show all posts
Showing posts with label prawn. Show all posts

Paluto Restaurant (Dubai)

Thank you to Parv for all these pictures!
Who would have thought that amongst a desert there are waterfront markets? Yet, that’s exactly what you’ll find in Deira in Dubai – a sprawling multi-wing facility where you can buy seafood from one area, vegetables and spices from another, and even find restaurants to cook the seafood for you along the waterfront.

It seemed like a novel idea and had us visiting Paluto Restaurant by Chef Boy Logro (a celebrity chef from the Philippines) one afternoon. In reality, the link to a well-known chef doesn’t seem like a necessity for a place where customer purchase their own ingredients, fish mongers clean it for them, and all the chefs do is cook it (either fried, grilled, or in soup form) for AED25/kg. Aren’t we all our own chefs at this point?

Patrons then wait around for an empty table and their food to be prepared. There’s a hunting-and-gathering feel to the meal, except I guess the hunting is fairly easy when it’s all laid out on ice and in tanks amongst the stalls. It’s a part of the meal that we skipped, since we didn’t visit the Waterfront Market early enough to source our own seafood.

Truth be told, I was glad we missed that part of the experience as seeing things swim and wriggle before breaking bread is the least of my desires. Plus, going after the general rush, meant there was no queue so we could sit and enjoy drinks (the serve yourself fountain pop variety) while we waited for the food preparation.

As the mixed seafood platters arrived – one tossed in lemon herb and the other in a sweet chili (both AED149), we started salivating at the combination of blue crabs, shrimp, and mussels. This was sure going to be a messy lunch that had some reaching for the plastic gloves.

The two sauces were so different – the lemon herb a bit too mild and needed more seasoning, while the sweet chili having a fiery heat that could be too much for some. Of the two, the chili drew me in and had me spooning the thick sauce over the unlimited rice that arrives with the meal. Still, the seafood itself was mediocre; while the shrimp were nice, the crab wasn’t cleaned properly (who leaves the gills on?) so there was a musky after taste and the mussels no different from the frozen variety found in supermarkets.

Personally, I preferred the simpler varieties. The deep-fried prawns (AED49 for 12) done with and without batter were delicious. A hot sweet nugget that I could have had a dozen to myself.

Even the grilled fish (AED149 for a large size) had potential… nice and meaty, but, sadly overcooked. The chili soy sauce on the side helped flavour and hydrate the fish a bit.

Perhaps the most surprising was the vegetable Hakka noodles (AED29), long chewy egg noodles tossed with julienned vegetables and enveloped in a lovely wok hay. They were so good that we added another order.

With fresh seafood, it’s smart to remember that simple is best. Dipped into hot oil or a faster lick on the grill is all you need. When in doubt, just remember K.I.S.S. – keep it simple, stupid.

Overall mark - 7 out of 10

How To Find Them
 Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
 Address: In the Waterfront Market (Al Khaleej Road)

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more -
Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!