>Shangri-La Hoi An Visit

>I was reading through TimeOut Dubai and found out that Hoi An was having a special set menu on at this monsoon time in Vietnam. The Hoi An chef came all the way from Vietnam to cook for the Dubai Hoi An restaurant for 2months using only the fresh and in-season ingredients from Vietnam.

Hoi An is located in Shangri-La Hotel on Sheik Zayed Road in Dubai, the one and only Vietnamese restaurant. The decor of the hotel is lovely, with Dunes Cafe on the left and the Lobby Cafe on the right. High ceiling, blocked facade and a lovely and very interesting hanging sculpture on the front of the hotel, hanging just above the front entrance of the hotel.
Opposite Hoi An is Shang Palace, a chinese restaurant. We haven’t tried this restaurant yet but enquired about it. The prices are fairly steep for a la carte but we found out that they do an early bird yum char for Fridays from 11am – 12.30pm only for AED88/person which is the cheapest so far we’ve found. We have yet to try it out so we can’t wait. For the 2nd seating from 1pm-3pm, it’s AED108/person which is also not too bad.
We were early for our special menu meal, which was only served from 7-8.30pm, we arrived and sat down at the bar just outside Hoi An. The decor was lovely, the sofas and chairs were of high quality leather and setting, with a major Asian influence. We had pre-dinner drinks of green apple and Amstel Light.
The restaurant opened at 7pm and we were first in. The environment was dark and intimate, the cutlery and layout is very Vietnamese influenced which was nice. They even have ceiling fans rotating overhead.
We decided on the set menu which was AED180 for 2people considering that is the average price for 1 dish in the a la carte menu. The portions were fairly generous but definitely not when you’ve had Vietnamese food in Asia or anywhere else in the world really! This is Dubai for you, right?
First up for entree, we had blue crabcake with thousand island dressing and vegetarian springrolls with hoisin sauce.
Fried chicken wonton with black mushrooms in chicken broth for starters
And for the shared mains, seafood green curry (fish, cuttlefish and prawns) in aubergine, carrots and lettuce, fresh spring onions, lemongrass and kafir lime leaf. The second main was barbecued poussin with some super hot sauce on the side. I nearly choked my eyeballs out! It was good but too hot for me. Think it was a mixture of peanut, lime juice, fish sauce, fresh bird eye chillies, lemongrass and kaffir lime leaf, all processed into a paste. All served with a side of fragrant jasmine rice.
For dessert, we had mandarin peel with coconut ice cream, raspberry jelly and strawberry.
We ended the meal with jasmine tea for myself and peppermint tea for my husband. The meal wasn’t heavy at all which was good. We were comfortable at the end of the meal which was nice. The entire meal started at 7pm and dessert finished at 8.30pm. It’s kinda weird and scary! It takes 1.5hrs for a 4course meal? Spooky! We will probably go back for the set menu, but the vegetarian dishes were quite reasonable too. We hung around abit to check out the portions from the a la carte menu and they were reasonable. Some of the dishes sound really interesting and we’re keen to try too. We enjoyed our experience at Hoi An.