Welcome the Year of the Rabbit with the Best Chinese Restaurants in Dubai

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Lunar New Year, also commonly known as Chinese New Year, begins on January 22, 2023 and ushers in the Year of the Rabbit. The rabbit symbolizes positivity, auspiciousness, and wit — and its year is believed to bring in a dose of calm, good fortune, and relaxation. Whether you subscribe to these traditions or not, a little optimism is something we can all get behind.

Another Lunar New Year tradition that we can all relate to is feasting on good food. From authentic dim sum treats to elaborate tasting sets, Dubai is brimming with options for all your Chinese-food cravings. Read along to discover Savoir Flair’s picks of the best Chinese restaurants in the city that you can visit all year ’round.

Chuan

Chuan is named after a steady and continuous stream that flows forever, and we couldn’t think of a more fitting name for this waterside restaurant at The Pointe. From the recurring motifs to the color palette, everything feels serene, atmospheric, and eternal — it’s like stepping inside the royal dining room of a Chinese emperor. At the helm is Chef Sun Yonghe, whose decades-long experience involved serving esteemed dignitaries and royalty alike. As expected, every single dish was meticulously prepared, beautifully plated, and utterly delicious.

Starting with the house’s best-selling small plates, we particularly enjoyed the citrusy punch of the shredded yam salad, as well as the pungent and rich ‘KouShui’ shredded chicken. From deep richness, we moved on to warmth and lightness with the hot and sour soup. The gelatinous broth is topped with mushrooms, shredded chicken, and a swirl of chili that delivers a piquant taste that spice fanatics will love. The Peking duck is China’s grandest culinary creation, and Chuan’s version is the result of tedious and careful preparation that was perfected centuries ago. Each part of the duck is enjoyed differently: the crispy skin is enjoyed with a sprinkle of sugar, while the rest is served the traditional way with pancakes, scallions, cucumbers, and plum sauce. After a savory-rich journey, the egg tarts and mango sago for dessert give a pleasant mix of textures and temperatures for a sweet finish to the meal. Chuan’s contemporary take on the finest of Chinese cuisine may not be identical to a Chinese emperor’s feast, but we’re pretty sure it’s the closest we’ll ever get to tasting one.

 

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Demon Duck

The dining experience at Demon Duck is like discovering Chef Alvin Leung’s multilayered personality in four courses. It’s only been less than a year since the innovative chef behind Michelin-starred restaurants across East Asia and Europe opened his first venture in Dubai, but it already has become one of Savoir Flair’s favorite dining spots. The self-proclaimed “Demon Chef” also claims to have invented his own style of cooking, which he calls “X-Treme Chinese”. What exactly is “X-Treme Chinese”, you might ask? Simply put, it is Leung’s intriguing reinterpretation of Chinese dishes, elevating them into an art form.

His ingenious twist on the classic chop suey gives it a tantalizing punch, while the house specialty ‘Bang Bang Chicken’ never fails to satisfy with its refreshingly piquant flavor. Other must-haves include the ‘Demon à l’Orange’, which is dramatically prepared on a live cooking station, flambé style. The deliciously concocted dried, aged Chinese mandarin and char siu sauce complement the velvety softness of the duck breast, inspiring a newfound appreciation for the classic dish. Flamboyant, impish, and sometimes unpredictable, the gastronomical world of Demon Duck certainly lives up to the hype brought upon by its famous chef. So when the occasion calls for a compelling menu of creatively executed yet nostalgic dishes, there is none better than this.

 

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Hutong

Serving up contemporary and (occasionally) fiery Qing Dynasty-inspired cuisine, Hutong is redefining Chinese fine dining right at the heart of DIFC. Paying homage to the traditional recipes of northern China, Hutong successfully highlights niche ingredients, nostalgic flavors, and intricate service alongside a decidedly modern setting, complete with a beautiful outdoor terrace.

This Lunar New Year, Hutong has prepared a special menu with a variety of limited-edition dishes like ‘Crispy Chili Lobster with Rice Crackers’ and ‘Lobster Lao Hei’. All intended to be shared with the table for a celebratory feast, a plate of colorful dim sum — prawn har gaw, abalone with chicken, mala squid with cod, and saffron mushroom — will also delight guests. While we recommend eating delicate dumplings without extra condiments, Hutong’s special range of sauces is the perfect accent for dishes that can take an extra punch of flavor. Also not to be missed are the restaurant’s regular favorites such as the ‘Hutong Prawn Roll’, the fiery ‘Sichuan Crispy Broad Bean’, and the cleverly executed ‘Wild Mushroom and Truffle Bao’.

In addition to the aforementioned special menu, guests can look forward to a number of cultural performances, with a dragon dance as the culmination of the festivities. Since it’s an auspicious year according to the stars, it might be a good time to place your wishes under Hutong’s very own wishing tree.

 

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Long Teng

Tucked away in Business Bay, Long Teng is one of the hidden gems of Dubai when it comes to Chinese food. This large restaurant boasts such an extensive menu that it can get a little tricky when ordering, but the helpful and knowledgeable staff will guide you on what to order, and their recommendations won’t disappoint.

We started with the steamed chicken and mushroom dim sums and the prawn dumplings – they were so good we went for seconds. Next up, we opted for some dishes from the live seafood menu. The crab, cooked with fried minced garlic and black beans, was exceptional. Obviously, we needed a generous dose of carbs to satiate not only our hunger but taste buds, so we dined on divine stir-fried hofun with beef, and fried rice cooked with fresh black truffle and foie gras. Desserts here are quite quirky and fantastic, too. In fact, we were so enamored by their sweet buns (that come with the face of a chicken on top) that we ordered them in the middle of our meal! One bite and salted custard came pouring out of it. Heavenly, to say the least. The same can be said of the buns filled with walnut and caramel paste.

 

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Shanghai ME

Did you know that there is a tiny but welcoming oasis of lush greenery within DIFC’s concrete jungle? Shanghai ME is a standout venue in the financial district’s trendy neighborhood, promising to deliver a taste of modern Chinese cuisine to Dubai’s fine-dining scene. Its vibrant menu is a fusion of contemporary flavors and signature East Asian dishes, with ‘Roast Duck with Chinese Caviar’ and ‘Soft Shell Crab, Silken Egg & Creamy Wasabi’ leading as the house’s best sellers. The dim sum selection, as expected, is a delightful blend of intricate flavors and textures like zesty kimchi, delicate wild mushrooms, and fruity coriander.

Also not to be missed is the legendary dessert: the hazelnut-coated ‘Giant Fortune Cookie’ with crispy wafer, chocolate, and matcha mousse filling that’s evocative of the exotic holiday we wished we were having. Thankfully, Shanghai ME’s glamorous Art Deco interiors, accentuated by Pop Art pieces and beautiful plants, make for a perfect space to unwind and enjoy some delicious food. And that’s enough bliss to get us through after a busy day.

 

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Zheng He's

Unlimited dim sum? Sign us up. In Chinese, dim sum literally means ‘touching heart’, and truly, there are very few experiences more ‘hearty’ than a dim sum feast with friends and family.

Known for its breathtaking location overlooking the waters at Mina A’Salam and the Burj Al Arab, diners find themselves returning to Zheng He’s for its signature dim sum and traditional dishes that are presented with a modern flair. For brunch, the ‘Yum Cha’ menu is a favorite of many for its delicious spread of dumplings, xiao long bao, and tantalizingly fluffy steamed buns. The selection is wide, but do remember to have the pan-fried ‘Prawn Roll with Mango and Sesame’ — it’s a treat you won’t want to miss. A helping of the ‘Crystal Lobster Dumplings’ is also a must for its exquisite soft skin that easily gives way to an umami-packed broth and flavorful meat. To accompany the small bites, the ‘Egg Fried Rice’ is a luscious and smoky treat, while the ‘Han Pulled Noodles’ cleanse the palate with a subtle and herbaceous taste. All are best enjoyed with a bubbling pot of jasmine tea. Make sure to leave room for the ‘Sago Pearls and Mango’, because it’s always satisfying to end a savory meal on a sweet note.

 

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