Sunday, June 20, 2010

Toshi, The Grand Millennium

In a nutshell: Great food from the Orient at great value
Score: 4/5

Toshi is The Grand Millennium’s other main restaurant, along with Dante (see April 30 post). We visited on a Friday night and there was buffet plus à la carte on offer. At AED 145 for the buffet including 1 drink or AED 185 for an all-you-can-eat-and-drink buffet, we opted for the AED 145 option (you can use your Grand Club M card on the 145 offer but not the 185). Toshi follows its Asian theme through from the little bridge you walk over to enter the restaurant, through to numerous Buddha statues, a Japanese gate leading into a private dining area and Chinese lanterns. With dark furniture and red roses on the tables and views out over Dubai (Toshi is up on the 18th floor), it is very elegant. The views would be better in daylight though!

I’m not a big fan of buffets but this one was above the norm. There was a sushi station where the chefs were making fresh sushi/sashimi (I don’t eat it so have to admit I don’t know the difference!) There were also Peking duck pancakes, an assortment of small salad plates, tempura prawns, spring rolls, dim sum, miso soup and more. It was a fairly limited selection but that lent itself to the freshness of the food since only small amounts were laid out at a time and they were regularly replenished – you could tell it hadn’t been sitting there for the past hour or so.

In terms of main dishes, the chef explained to us what each was and told us that if we wanted anything different then he could make it for us. It wasn’t busy when we got there so I’m not sure if he could be as accommodating on a very busy night, but he did make me fresh vegetables without garlic and we actually got to stand in the kitchen to watch him cook it. Again, the selection was quite limited but each dish was fresh and sometimes less really is more – 8 or so flavoursome, almost ‘straight out of the pan’ dishes win hands down over a spread of 20 choices that have been made in bulk in the afternoon and are just being topped up all night.

You would need to be a seafood lover to really make the most of the buffet since there was a strong prawn influence. There were chicken and beef options, but the majority were fish and prawn. Since Simon and I love prawns, we weren’t complaining. A dish that I haven’t seen on other Dubai buffets was Prawn Laksa. The condiments were all laid out so you could place as much of the noodles, bean sprouts, fried onions and chilli as you wanted before topping it off with the Laksa and a huge Indonesian prawn cracker. Not a spicy food fan, I nevertheless felt I should try their signature dish and, whilst it did make my lips tingle, it was well worth it. We’re going to Indonesia in 2 months so I’ll be able to compare flavours then!

I find with most Asian restaurants that desserts are a bit disappointing so I settled for the fresh fruit (lycees and pineapple). There were a couple of cooked desserts but no labels, when we asked the waitress what one particular dish was she replied, “it’s pudding”. Well, yes…Turns out it was a sort of bread and butter pudding. All the staff were very friendly, smily and helpful. Simon was in shorts but we were allowed in with the request that in the future we adhere to the dress code of trousers for men.

Next time I’m arranging a big night out with all our friends, I will be recommending we go here. Whilst not the party atmosphere of some places, I’d rather have a great meal with attentive service and then head somewhere else than risk an upset stomach from somewhere else. Only thing that could be improved is the music – an Asian restaurant should play Asian music but we had Norah Jones and co playing.

No comments:

Post a Comment