Is JLT’s new­est resto­bar worth a visit?

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Our team of re­view­ers have been out re­view­ing Nara Pan Asia, Gal­liard plus there’s new Ge­or­gian restau­rant Modi

Nara Pan Asian’s cherry blos­som trees, wall art and Ja­panese street graf­fiti art lends it­self to a fun, ca­sual lo­ca­tion. Split into ta­bles, lounge seat­ing and a large bar area, the newly opened resto-bar in JLT is the for­mer home of Spice And Ice, and of­fers brunch sit­tings on both Thurs­day evenings and Fri­day brunch.

Nara’s menu is a mix­ture of Ja­panese, Chi­nese and Thai dishes. The Thurs­day evening brunch in­cludes un­lim­ited dim sum and sushi but for the fol­low­ing cour­ses though, the restau­rant es­chews a buf­fet for­mat in favour of four rounds of shar­ing plates brought to your ta­ble. There’s also an ex­ten­sive drinks sec­tion with free-flow­ing beer, spir­its, cock­tails and soft drinks.

We’d be hard pressed to pick a favourite from the dim sum and live sushi counter, as all of­fer­ings are so mor­eish we couldn’t help but make sev­eral trips. That said, if we had to pick a favourite, we were prob­a­bly most im­pressed with the spicy tuna and chicken and shrimp dim sum. We picked veg­e­tar­ian spring rolls and spicy chicken bao for the small plates, both so mor­eish we wish there had been more. As for the mains, we opted for the Thai prawn green curry and wok chicken noo­dles. Al­though the noo­dles were tasty, the Thai prawn green curry ac­com­pa­nied by plain rice was a ta­ble-wide hit – creamy and packed full of flavour, we pol­ished it off in mere min­utes. The whole af­fair is sound­tracked with mu­sic and a DJ, with the friendly staff never too far away (and al­ways more than ac­com­mo­dat­ing) for a quick top up of both glasses and plates.

Dessert is the only thing that dis­ap­pointed, with a trio of fruit sticks, and crème brulee served al­most as an af­ter­thought and were mostly left un­touched.

There’s no short­age of Thai, Ja­panese and Chi­nese fare in the city but the big­gest draw of Nara Pan Asian is its au­then­tic fare and im­pec­ca­ble ser­vice. Just make sure you don’t leave with­out try­ing the Thai green prawn curry and spicy chicken bao.

Clus­ter A, JLT, Dubai, Thurs 8pm to 12pm, Dhs349 and Fri 1pm to 4pm, Dhs299. Tel: (04) 4211356. Taxi: down­stairs from the Moven­pick Ho­tel.

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