Yum Cha @ Ba Restaurant and Lounge

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.

Taken in 2013, during our stay

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 –

This is what you get 🙂


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? 🙂 

First Impressions

Ultimate Summer Colour Trends Sale

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
Seafood laksa, Fairmont-style


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 🙂

Mixture of chilled/BBQ selection and dim sums

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.

What else?

The deep-fried soft shell crab was more deep-fried batter than crab. Sigh.

Now, the downfall.

Sticky rice with mango

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.

In conclusion

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



Posted by

Dubai resident. Stays most of the time in the marina as she can't be bothered going anywhere else after work and in the weekends. Originally from the land of the orang utans, spent the latter half of her life in the land down under. Always on the look out for deals, loves organising get-togethers, and occasionally steals some time for a sip of wine or four at ladies nights.

5 thoughts on “Yum Cha @ Ba Restaurant and Lounge

  1. Oh my! It’s not really a good sign, when you need alcohol to make the food bearable, is it? I’ve heard a lot of mixed reviews about the yum cha at Ba, and the only good reviews I’ve seen has been from people who, honestly speaking, don’t have a clue about what they’re talking about. Fairmont is a beautiful place though and I also like Ba Lounge. maybe they could start offering food-less boozy brunches? PS: That sticky rice is the saddest thing I’ve ever seen.

    1. haha, food-less boozy brunches, lol!

      the first part of the brunch was good though, i think something went wrong halfway through, no one checked what was going out of the kitchen or something, it was just downhill !

      yeah, the place itself is nice ay, we could go back next time for their ladies nights 🙂

  2. The coffee takes ages to come but thankfully they came with the right orders and my Americano tasted fine. The sesame seed ball, which is part of the dessert tasted good as well (the right texture and just about right sweetness). For me generally the food that they serve is alright (siu may is fine, buns are good, the spring rolls are crispy and tasty as well). the laksa and dan2 noodles were very appetising too (good starters).

    Now the ugly part :
    – to be fair the decoration and interior is impressive but for me they don’t really suit the yum cha atmosphere (the mixture of black and gold in the restaurant theme does not give the number ‘8’ justice).
    – dim sum selection is fusion (mango sticky rice, papaya salad and udon) lacking of traditional dim sum selection, at least for me… My typical dim sum favourites (凤爪,排骨,芋角 and 虾卷) were not in the menu. Also there is no cheong fun, although I am personally not a fan.
    – 虾饺 was a bit too dry for me.
    – we were accompanied by songs from Ellie Goulding and Pit Bull for the first 20 minutes of our yum cha session
    – Refilling of tea was quite slow.

    nevertheless, the company was great and it was good to meet new friends in this hustle bustle town. An important part of dim sum is also to talk, chill and enjoy the day, which I think we did pretty fine in that department.

    I was able to show off some rusty ping pong skills as well. Gotta agree that the view from Fairmont is great with Dubai Marina in the background.

    Definitely Looking forward for future eat out! Thanks for the invitation 🙂

    1. hey terry, thanks for the detailed feedback ! i’m waiting for ron to give me his version as well, haha.

      let’s go and try all the yum cha’s in town. one by one! 🙂

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