My husband and I have frequently dined at Voi for special occasions so this was certainly not a new outing for me; nonetheless it is always fabulous to be going somewhere this smart and elegant as a treat so I was excited about our evening ahead. Located at the Jumeirah Zabeel Saray on The Palm, this high-end restaurant is the perfect hideaway for a romantic evening or celebratory meal. Although it feels as though the restaurant is always pretty empty, the lack of customers doesn’t dissuade us from coming back time and time again because we always experience a warm and inviting atmosphere, coupled with exceptional colonial French Vietnamese food. I highly recommend Voi for your next date night mamas!
The interior of the restaurant is grand in every way, with high ceilings, mirrored pillars and a cream, black and grey colour palette. There are crystal chandeliers hanging from the ceilings and gorgeous thick draped curtains, complemented by beautiful accent flower arrangements.
After a waitress seated us at our table, we were offered a fragrant chilled towel and presented with the menus. I was really hoping that they still served the delicious crab meat and vermicelli soup that I had been craving so badly, but to my utter disappointment this was off the menu this season – if you have ever tasted it mamas, you will know it is out of this world and well worth a visit alone!
Being semi regulars at this haunt, we were both aware that the chef always offers a lovely amuse bouche to start and a delicious plate of petit fours at the end, not to mention the fact that the portions are quite generous, so we decided to share a starter and order 2 main courses.
The amuse bouche, presented with compliments from the chef, was a deliciously succulent, melt in your mouth square of chicken in a sweet chilli and coriander sauce, with a shot of what I can only describe as a kiwi juice blend. The combination was spot on and made us eager for more! I was also pleased to see a full bread basket offering traditional prawn crackers as well as different flavoured breads served with a spicy tomato tapenade and swirls of salted butter.
For starter, we ordered a plate of the mixed imperial hue steamed dumplings. Glistening packages filled with guinea fowl, lobster or duck, mixed with spring onion and shitake adorned the plate in front of us, served with a wedge of lime, soya sauce and an onion and chilli garnish. The dish was flawless, brilliant for sharing and there was a great mix of textures with the crunch of the fried onion, the softness of the dumpling parcel and the sumptuous ‘melt-in-your-mouth’ filling.
We opted for 2 fish main courses but there are many other choices for those with different tastes; From the black pepper beef to the spiced lamb, the French duck to the chicken confit, there were definitely plenty of menu items that caught our eye. The tiger prawn dish we ordered was fresh and colourful with 2 giant prawns on a bed of crunchy greens and risotto with a light prawn bisque on the side. Delicious! We also devoured a delicate pacific sea bass, which was steamed in banana leaf and accompanied by a mound of perfectly cooked baby bok choi in a reduction sauce and a bowl of fried rice. On the side were different options of salt and pepper mixes (I really love these finer details that restaurants offer these days). I cannot fault any part of our choices – Chef Pham certainly knows how to excel in this type of cuisine and the flavours, presentation and quality of food is of the highest caliber.
We didn’t indulge in dessert this time round as I was already all caked out following a tea party in the afternoon with friends and I had spotted a little pop-up ice cream stand in the lobby of the hotel that I thought would offer the perfect ending to a stunning evening. We were however treated to a selection of petit fours with our coffees, which offered decadent chocolate as well as a delightful mouthful of pistachio cake and some fruit crisps.
This restaurant is pricey for sure, however our good friends at the Entertainer offer a buy one get one main meal free so with this in your pocket and some sensible ordering, you can enjoy an impeccable meal without breaking the bank.
I left the restaurant with a satisfied and a rather familiar happy feeling. The evening offered the best culinary experience one can expect and was the perfect way to celebrate my birthday (shhhh) in a quiet and intimate manner. So for those looking for a perfect date night and an exclusive dining experience, look no further…
Set menus start from DHS 300 a person
Jumeirah Zabeel Saray
Tel: +971 4 453 0444