Thursday, June 24, 2010

Zyng – Ibn Battuta Mall

In a nutshell: Excellent Asian food and very good service
Score: 4/5

Zyng could be described as a casual version of Toshi since it also offers a variety of Asian cuisines, including Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese and Thai. Just around the corner from Japengo in Ibn Battuta’s China Court, Zyng offers tables for four or long tables with benches where you can probably squeeze 4 people on each side (depending how big they are). It’s not Wagamama-style though; you won’t be sitting next to someone you don’t know.

One of the things I love about Zyng is their Asian Market Bowl which allows you to select which protein you want (beef, lamb, chicken, fish, prawns), which sauce (sweet & sour, oyster etc), which accompaniment (white or brown rice and various types of noodles) and finally there’s a vegetable station where you load up your bowl with whichever veg you want. Kind of like a Mongolian BBQ I suppose. On this occasion, I decided to have the teriyaki salmon instead and it was great – perfectly cooked, tender and flavoursome with a sweet teriyaki sauce and mixed vegetables. I was charged an extra Dhs 6 to have brown rice which did seem quite a lot but was worth it to avoid refined white rice. Even if they charge for it, it would be great if more restaurants would start to offer brown rice as an alternative.

To start with we ordered edamame which are Japanese soy beans, steamed and then sprinkled with salt – you eat them by pulling the beans out of the pods with your teeth and throwing the empty pod in the bowl provided. Whenever we have edamame, especially at Zyng it reminds us of the first time Simon ate edamame. He joined my family and I late for lunch – we were already eating the edamame…you can guess what’s coming…he sat down, saw all these green beans in a small bowl, grabbed one and put the whole thing in his mouth. It wasn’t until he said that he was finding it really stringy that we even noticed – and then we realised that the bean he’d put in his mouth was one of the ones discarded by someone else after pulling out the beans! Yum!!

My Mum’s favourite Vietnamese dish is Phô and (apart from seeing my sister Lucy) having Phô is one of the things she most looks forward to when she visits Vietnam, so she was over the moon to see Phô on the menu at Zyng. Phô is a rich broth with noodles, vegetables and meat in it. Although it looked like the real thing, it was quite tasteless because the broth lacked any real flavour. The Tom Yam Soup that my brother Struan had was also tasteless, again because of the stock. Maybe they’d dissolved a stock cube in hot water? Disappointing.

Despite the disappointing soups, though, I would highly recommend Zyng for a quick and reasonable meal offering options that are a bit different to other casual restaurants in Dubai. Most main courses range from AED 50-80 and the service was relatively quick – always good if you’re planning to have dinner and then go to a movie at the cinema across the way.


  1. Fair comment, as mentioned tastier stock would have made the soups a lot better!

  2. not been there for a while but recollection is the salads are good and the starters are a better option than the main courses which have been disapointing at times - that is perhaps why I have not been for a while. WAH

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