Aiyo. *Palm to forehead*
I really like Fairmont. We’ve stayed there twice now. It is a beautiful hotel on the Palm, with gorgeous views of the marina. Their breakfast spread is great, service had been in our past experience top-notch and it’s just one of those hotels I will recommend you stay in.
Their yum cha brunch was however, really disappointing 🙁
Look, it wasn’t all bad. I’ll try my best to be as detailed as I can. Take note that this is coming from someone who has grown up eating chinese food, and used to go for yum cha every weekend back home. And our group of 6, of more or less similar backgrounds, shared the same opinion. So here you go –
How did we end up there
Entertainer Monthly Offers had a 2 for 1 deal this month for Ba’s Yum Cha, so I jumped at the opportunity to organise a get-together with the bunch. 288AED for 2, including use of the pool and beach. Why not? 🙂
The bar upstairs, and the restaurant itself is really quite stunning. Staff was friendly, guiding me down to our table at the corner. No issues.
Here’s my take.
- The good
For soups, I had the laksa. It was good. I think I can make better (hee hee), but aww, this is part of a brunch so I didn’t expect them to go full-out. The others had the dan dan noodles and wonton clear soup, which I think was pretty tasty as well, so no issues there 🙂
Next came a table full of their chilled/BBQ, and dim sums. Their chicken version of cha siew pao was delicious. (See, not that bad right? 😉 ) The pao was just as I would buy it from my hometown – white, fluffy, soft that it melts in your mouth. I also almost thought it was actually pork, until the lot reminded me that it was just chicken. That good ay. I then asked the staff to get 4 more baskets 🙂 Bit gutted we didn’t order their read bean buns ay.
Onto har gaus, I remember making these with their chef in a past event, and it was really good. This was probably why I had high hopes prior to coming to the brunch, and hey, it did live up to my expectations. Again, we asked for a few more baskets. Steamed chicken siew mai, also just right 🙂
Other good ones are the thai shrimp cake, steamed vegetable dumpling, and vegetable spring rolls.
- The so-so’s
The salads didn’t really leave an impression. I think I only had the green papaya salad which wasn’t that special (they make it great at Benjarong, FYI).
There are a few dishes that you cannot really criticize or appraise either. I mean, things like stir-fry choy sum, and wok-fried kai lan 🙂
- The ugly
Aww, where shall I start?
I think if service was good, we might have been a lot more forgiving. It was really really bad on Saturday. C’mon, it wasn’t that busy, you know that. It was almost impossible to get the staff’s attention, and we had to ask 3 times just to get anything.
Can you see the fried rice in the middle of the lazy susan? Seriously, Fairmont, did you just serve us, that? It’s fried rice, how wrong can you go? 🙁
According to the menu, there are two serves of fried rice. One is vegetable and egg fried rice, the other is chicken fried rice. There was chicken in the other fried rice (see right at the far end of the lazy susan). so I assume it was the latter. This one however, had a few pieces of corn, and then rice with soya sauce. Did you run out of egg? In cantonese, this is the part you go – yao mo gau chor ah?
Next, see the udon on the top right corner in the brown bowl? Menu says wok-fried udon with black pepper beef. Jeez, I didn’t even realise that was what it was supposed to be. I think you forgot the beef? It was literally udon cooked with sweet soy sauce, sprinkled with cut spring onion.
See the noodles on the top left corner, also in the brown bowl? Menu says ‘hakka noodle’ with bean sprout and chinese chive. The bean sprout in there was tiny – the ones you buy from Carrefour in Mall of Emirates are fatter and tastier. This was also equally bad, the noodles was really dry. Everyone just tried a little, and was so disappointed.
The deep-fried soft shell crab was more deep-fried batter than crab. Sigh.
Now, the downfall.
Aiyo, sifu ar. What happened here arrrrrrrrrr?
Did anyone in the kitchen taste the sticky rice on Saturday? It’s not cooked well at all. It too hard, and so dry. You know they always put coconut cream over it, why didn’t you guys do that? It was so disappointing. I’m not sure if you guys realized that all of us just took just one bite of our dessert, not because we were full, but because it was so bad.
Thank goodness the mango sago with pomelo was delicious – and again, you really can’t go too wrong with sago. And the cut fruit, thank goodness, was okay. *Exasperated sigh*
We didn’t do alcoholic package, and I stuck to pu-er tea all afternoon, so no complaints there. It did take them nearly half an hour to get our coffee orders at the end of the afternoon though, with the staff explaining that ‘they ran out of latte cups’. Ah dear.
Look. If you don’t have a lot of experience in dim sums and yum cha, and you’re not too picky when it comes to chinese food, go and give it a try. It comes with the use of their pool and beach as well, so it’s a pretty deal this month with the Entertainer 2 for 1. Suggest you do the alcoholic package as well, cause you might find the food tastier.
If you’ve had yum cha all your life, I suggest you try somewhere else. I really would like to think that their top chefs, was sick that day. Or something. I really don’t want to think that this is their standards of chinese food. I know they can do a lot better.
- Yum cha at Ba
- Fairmont the Palm
- AED 288 including soft drinks and juices
- 2 for 1 this month with Entertainer Monthly Offer, inclusive of beach and pool access
- T: +971 4 457 3338