Is JLT’s newest restobar worth a visit?
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. naradxb.com