I’m happy to say that we’ve found a reasonably priced yum cha experience, close enough to what I’ll call authentic.
Still not perfect…. but close enough.
Some restaurants try to do its best, but without the pork factor, you can never really bring out the authenticity of yum cha. That’s me looking at a lot of good chinese restaurants in Dubai ranging from mid to high-end : The China Club across the creek, the wait-for-30-minutes-I’m-going-somewhere-else Din Tai Fung in MOE, to what used to be Ba in Fairmont the Palm (it had so much potential). Though we’ve been to Royal China in DIFC for dinner and not given its yum cha a try, friends do rave about it – it’s a bit of a shame they don’t serve pork. Same goes with Hakkasan in JET. I know there’s still Yuan in Atlantis (halal) and the new contender Taipei Dao (halal) in Business Bay to try – but as of right now, I’ll put Peacock’s dim sum on par with Shanghai Chic’s (which does serve pork).
Scratch that, it’s better 🙂
Quick rundown of what you get – for 125 AED, unlimited selection of dim sum (food only). You’re given a menu with a tick tick option (like Noodle House) – where you tell them what you want. Selection of soup, steamed and deep-fried dim sums (dumplings, spring rolls and wontons), various main dishes like barbecue pork ribs and pork belly with glutinous rice, and of course the sweets.
As a general, dim sum tasted home-made and fresh (much better than when we used to go few years back). Though it was very quiet when we were there and I was honestly a bit sceptical as we walked into an empty restaurant at 1pm, Saturday afternoon, the food felt as though it was served in a busy dim sum place where they push it around on carts.
Our favourites :
a) Prawn dumpling also known as har gau (cantonese). Wrappers translucent and soft, prawns fresh and succulent. Ba does this pretty well as well, we’ve once did a dim sum making session with the Chef. I’m not sure what has happened to the restaurant (shut?)
b) Chicken and prawn sio mai. You can’t have dim sum without ordering sio mai!
c) Chicken glutinous rice. Just the right amount of salt, rice was adequately steamed.
d) BBQ Pork Bun (Cha Seow Bao) This is a must! Tell me one other place in Dubai that serves this with pork and I’ll go and try it out. This was the highlight of our afternoon. We all had two of these. Fresh bao steamed, the pork fillings just perfect. Shanghai Chic serves this as well with chicken and to be fair it is also very good, but I’m sure they offer the halal version there to cater to a wider audience.
e) BBQ Pork Ribs. Same. Don’t know anywhere else that serves this! Steamed pork ribs with black bean sauce….
f) Sweet Red Bean with Sesame Seeds. I’m glad they offered real dim sum ‘desserts’ here. Not a matcha something, or liquid nitrogen something.
What could be better :
a) Most of the servings, comes in 3s. This was a bit awkward for us as there were 4 of us – and generally when you go for yum cha you would normally…. go with friends, and 3 is quite an odd number. We had to order two servings of each (6 pieces) which we did finish …but I would suggest if they could switch it to 4 pieces/tray.
b) Though they did have quite a few non-typical dim sum dishes – Pork belly with sautéed vegetables, which is fine for those who wanted bigger dishes…. I would suggest to include more dim sum varieties like rice noodle rolls ( cheong fun – pork, beef, vegetarian ) , BBQ pork puff ( char seow sou ), more vegetarian options, Siao Loong Bao ( to beat Din Tai Fung’s ) and Portuguese egg tart ( dan tart ).
c) Ambience. The word needs to get out (which is what I’m doing!!) – so more people know about it and go! Other than our table of 4, there was one other couple… and that’s it. Such good food but so empty. I did tell the staff that the next time I return I’ll make sure the restaurant was packed! The Latin American brunch downstairs offers pool and beach access with reservations of 6 or more – it will be awesome if Peacock offered the same deal as well ?
d) And once it does get packed, suggest to change the serving style to the standard dim sum-on-cart way, for a truly authentic dim sum experience. You’ll not only get the chinese flocking in.. but everyone else in Dubai!
e) Tea to be included in price. 125 AED for unlimited food is reasonable – though it would be nice to just simply add in a pot of tea for that price. People don’t like to pay extra for ‘this and that’.
f) Lighting. Yum cha places needs to be bright. It was way too dim on a Saturday afternoon. Suggest to increase lighting… no one likes to come to a dark restaurant on a weekend afternoon, unless you’re going to a bar-like brunch like China Grill.
g) Details online. Still can’t find details of the yum cha on the website itself, though it is on the Facebook page. I cannot emphasis enough on how hotels and restaurants need to present right information on all platforms, and to do a check on what is presented on other websites. Zomato is currently showing incorrect pricing and details as well – suggest to get in touch with them to update.
So those are our collective thoughts. Such a good deal, such great dim sum from a talented chef. We would return with friends and family – and for those who don’t know – you get 20% off with SPG membership and it is free to join.
Foodiva once had a post on instagram asking where was the best place to get dim sum and I suggested Shanghai Chic. I would now like to revise that and say – Peacock Restaurant in good ol’ Sheraton Jumeirah Beach Resort. Go try, and tell me what you think of it 🙂
- Dim Sum Brunch
- Peacock Restaurant
- Sheraton Jumeirah Beach Resort
- Friday and Saturday 12:30 – 3:00 pm – 125 AED (food only)
- Deal : 20% off with SPG membership / 50% off Two Main Courses using Voucherskout ( as recommended by Grace from Sandierpastures – thanks for the tip!)
Disclaimer : We were guests of Sheraton Jumeirah Beach Resort for the yum cha. Thoughts are our own, though it is entirely up to you to judge.