Chinese wealth, prosperity and good fortune from Ba
Published on August 17, 2015
If you want to savour the taste of delectable Chinese cuisine, you’ll have to dress to impress to dine at Ba. We arrived to Fairmont the Palm, where the restaurant is located, on a Saturday evening dressed “smart and casual” as per the dress code. Ba in Chinese meaning ‘8’ stands for wealth, prosperity and good fortune, and we were ready for all three… or eight.
At the entrance we were greeted by very friendly staff at the reception, and after asking us whether we’d prefer to sit outside or indoors, we were escorted downstairs to the outside terrace. The upper floor is divided into a bar with a sitting area and lounge for smoking shisha. Descending down the stairs you enter the main dining hall, with wide open spaces of a chic and elegant interior with only a little touch of Chinese.
The outdoor terrace is located almost on shore and opens up beautiful views of the sea. The atmosphere is that of candlelight due to the fire heaters, except for the fresh breeze coming from the sea. In all senses a relaxing and cosy place with a great view of the Dubai marina skyline, chilling music and amazing weather. In terms of al fresco dining it is a perfect place for a romantic date or a special evening.
The menu boasts a rich variety of seafood with live fish and lobsters available, poultry with chicken and the signature duck, and numerous dishes with difficult-to-pronounce names. There is also pork offered and some dishes include alcohol. As we sat undecided on what to order, friendly waiter Roberto approached and offered us assistance with a master knowledge of the menu. We waited for our appetizers sipping Ba’s signature cocktails, also suggested by Roberto as the “best”. The Sparkling Pomegranate Martini was sprinkled with plenty of gold dust on top and looked as good as it tasted with a tad bitter yet fruity taste. My Raspberry and Lychee cocktail in the brightest pink, was a bit too strong nevertheless it was an interesting mix of the sweetness and sourness of raspberry with the exotic flavour of lychee combined with alcohol.
For appetizers we had white prawn dumplings and prawn spring rolls, both served with chilli and soya sauce. The dumplings had a soft and subtle taste of the dough so the chilli sauce made it really sensational. Prawn spring rolls were cooked to perfection with just the right amount of crispiness. Appetizers served their purpose and left us anticipating the main course.
My friend’s Wok fried Kuam Po Chicken with cashews, glazed with a special sauce was very rich with flavour and a bit spicy, the nuts in the dish gave it a pleasant crunch. For the chicken we had string beans on the side, which turned out to be the perfect side dish. We suggest instead of the offered rice and noodles, go for the string beans. The simple texture and taste of the beans went well with the rich flavours of the main dishes. Deep fried prawns with sweet and sour pineapple sauce was my top pick of the evening. Fried prawns glazed with a caramel like sauce with pieces of pineapple made a stunning mix, boasting with flavour. The juicy pieces of pineapple made the prawns taste sweet with a spicy aftermath. You wouldn’t be able to tell whether it was prawns or chicken. The dish was more sweet than sour, but utterly finger licking. As a side dish to the prawns, the fairly simple vegetable fried rice made a good combination.
Cooked by all Chinese chefs under the supervision of Master Chef Lau, the dishes were quite a sumptuous treat. Both the prawns and the chicken had very rich flavours, perfect with the more simple sides. Despite being very hungry we got full really fast. Roberto’s recommendations left us very satisfied with the main course.
We had barely any room for dessert but we couldn’t resist dessert. Pineapple tart with vanilla ice cream for one, and peanut chocolate caramel fingers for the other. Both deserts looked wonderful. The tart was puff pastry with a piece of glazed pineapple along with vanilla ice cream and a sesame seed cookie — the taste was fairly average, a bit too much pastry and not enough pineapple for us. The chocolate fingers didn’t boast flavour either but were served with most heavenly tasting ice cream, which we decided tasted like creamy caramel flavour. The best part of the dessert though was the Weekend at Shanghai peach tea. The rich aroma could be felt before it was even poured, served in a glass teapot – this one we strongly suggest! It was a charming ending of our dinner as we enjoyed the beautiful night view, while sipping our tea and inhaling the wonderful fruity notes.
Overall, the whole experience at Ba Restaurant was quite a pleasurable one. The service is outstanding with friendly waiters that will easily suggest you the best from the menu and provide exceptional service. By the end of our dinner the outside terrace was almost full and yet the atmosphere was still quite charming, with soft ambush of different languages, relaxing music and soft light. We strongly suggest Ba if you want to have a nice Chinese dinner in an intimate and pleasant atmosphere.