Sui Mui – this is the revamped of what used to be Spice Emporium in The Westin Mina Seyahi. We’ve been to Sui Mui a couple of times now since it opened last year – it’s always our go-to with the family and friends, after a day spent at the beach.
We returned last Wednesday night to review their ‘Street Food Night.’ The marketing blurp describes it as “Embark on a culinary journey through Asia and experience more than 10 different countries.” Being stuck in Dubai this year has been tough for us (and everyone else) and we got a bit excited that we could possibly try out some dishes from home . The question on our minds though…… was it going to be authentic?
So off we went to the Westin on a Wednesday evening with the family, a quick drive up the road. We were quite pleased that they were ready to let guests in at 6pm eventhough the official timing was 6:30pm. Not many places start dinner that early in Dubai and it works better with families. In early, out early 😉
What do you get?
In the outdoor terrace, there’s a setup of street food style carts, reminisce of those from South East Asia. The staff serving were predominantly from Thailand – chatting within themselves in Thai, which made the experience even more authentic. For a split second I felt like I was back in Bangkok again.
One corner you get the grill section where you pick and choose what you want – satay chicken, chicken balls, squid, prawn and beef.
And on the main corner you get noodle soup – I was delighted to see that they were using pretty much the same type of asian noodle cart I grew up to – that steel-frame, the huge long ladle, and the display of fresh meat and fish balls on the side.
You then have a selection of sushi for the sushi-lovers. Hainanese Chicken Rice. Dim sum. Then a simple dessert cart serving ice cream, fruits, doughnuts and what the thai call bua loy, the chinese call tong yuen, the filipinas call ginatang bilo bilo (credits to C for telling me this). It’s essentially glutinous rice balls served in coconut milk and syrup.
Look, the next day my husband said to me if we should go back to Sui Mui again for dinner. Then in the weekend he suggested once more. It was that good. Where shall I start?
The chicken skewers – love the marinade – I would consider it their own style of teriyaki. They got the hainanese chicken rice pretty much spot on – the rice in great texture and taste, the steamed chicken moist and flavorful. They even have the chilli sauce that is normally served with chicken rice – combination of garlic, ginger, chilli padi and lime juice. Cherry to the cake? They serve it with sliced cucumber as well – just the way they do it in Malaysia or Singapore. This is possibly one of the only time when I’m not going to put sushi above the rest, because there’s so much more to rave about the other street food items. Well to be fair, sushi’s not really ‘street food’. But I’m not complaining at all that it was there 🙂
Anything that wasn’t so great? Well. Beef skewers were average – a bit tough. In Malaysia when we have beef skewers, they make it really thin. The big fat beef skewers I feel is more of the arabic or western style? I suppose they were trying to cater to the wider market especially here in Dubai.
I was really pleased to see the tong yuen (glutinous rice balls) dessert. There was definitely too much sugar but I’ll forgive them this time as I was so happy to have it. In the chinese culture, we usually make it in December for the Winter Solstice festival (Dong Zhi) and every year when I spend it here in Dubai, I get quite homesick as I have no idea where to go. Plus I’m too lazy to make it 😉 I now know where to go!
Can you order anything else?
Like you need to eat anything more but this is Dubai isn’t it – there’s so much variety. You have another menu which you can order ala-carte items from. Malaysian Char Kuey Teow, Black Pepper Beef, Pad Thai and lots more. My 6 month old decided to eat the menu so I never got around to take a photo of it. We were quite happy with the food from the carts, we really only ordered the kuey teow. Asked for it to be non-spicy so the kids could have it but I suppose the message didn’t get through which was a little annoying. It’s a good thing the kids could eat everything else from the street carts.
Right behind us was the cart where the bartender did the drinks. I know I know, we chose the best spot. These guys did make an effort to be creative – I would say the drinks are a twist to the usual favourites – pina colada is called bali sunset, where they use lychee on top of pineapple juice. There’s also the Nah Manao – a twist to the standard mojito by using spice rum. I had a few – and it was good, however I don’t think it was very strong. A bit more alcohol would have been nice for this stressed out mum ha ha. Maybe I should have told them 😉
Yes, they do serve beers. Stella, Heineken. C’mon, you could add in Asahi or Kirin to the mix ? Your drinks cart has a massive Kirin logo on it already. Or hey, add in Umeshu plum wine ? Then you’ll see us here every week.
What could be better?
Other than the minor comments on the tong yuen, and possibly adding more asian beers to the mix – they definitely need more staff. A lot of people were waiting to be served that evening and at one point, other than the chap preparing the satays and the guy doing the noodles, there was only one other person serving the guests.
When it comes to authentic taste – I’ll give them points for that. Simple thing like getting the rice of the hainanese chicken rice right. This is somewhere we have been before on our own expense, and happy to return again for good asian food. It’s sad that we’re losing a lot authentic south-east-asian eateries these days – Shanghai Chic and Leten have both disappeared. I think they might have gotten a bit ambitious with the marketing blurp though – it’s definitely not ’10 countries’ ;)! Maybe the three that does the best asian food? Hee hee. Malaysia, Thailand, and Japan 😉 Sorry Singaporeans, Hainanese chicken rice is ours, not yours.
- Sui Mui
- The Westin Mina Seyahi
- Offer : 149 AED Soft Beverages Package, 249 AED Beer and Cocktails
Disclaimer : We were guests of the Westin Mina Seyahi to review the Street Food Night at Sui Mui.