Little Miss India | Fairmont The Palm

Our second Indian dining experience on the Palm Jumeirah in as many weeks bare similar resemblances to one another. Granted, the newly opened Little Miss India at Fairmont The Palm impresses with a combination of striking decor (#Interior Goals) and alluring cocktails, but the comfort food presented in the selection of predominantly North Indian dishes appear similar to Khyber in Dukes Dubai, the Fairmont’s neighbouring five-star property on the trunk of this manmade island.

Khyber may offer remarkable views over the Palm’s fronds but in terms of decor and ambience, Little Miss India wins hands down. Though the restaurants positioning in the hotel may not be the best (it’s a trek through the lobby, past the pool and a number of other F&B outlets before you arrive), persevere by following the signs and your rewarded with a spectacular fit out. Strolling across the beachpromenadeeande with the lights of Dubai Marina twinlking far in the distance, we’re drawn to Little Miss India via the hypnotic soundtrack of classic Bollywood mixed with modern house.


A bustling outside terrace is our first taste of this brand new restaurant as we meander past a colourfully decorated transport truck that appears to have smashed through the wall (more on that later), before entering into the restaurant via a set of ornately carved wooden doors. We arrive inside a colonial style ‘mansion’ that’s part dining room and part glass house. Vegetation hangs from above, as if the ceiling has been covered in plants, amongst which hang chandeliers and scattered across the room are a collection of antiquities. It’s an Instagrammable space and a small bar area represents the remainder of the transport truck we mentioned earlier, a colourful and familiar sight on the roads of the Indian subcontinent.

We soon arrive at a glass show kitchen where the team of chefs can be seen cooking naan bread and we’re promtly seated in some very plush armchairs close to the hub of activity. This second dining room feels more like a gentleman’s study, with portraits hung on the wall (the faces have been replaced with those of animals) and a lot of gold accents. It’s an intimate dining space that offers immediate charm, though the tables are perhaps a little too close together.

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Popadoms & Cocktails

The concept behind Little Miss India focuses on the fictional character of Mohini Singh, the daughter of wealthy spice traders whose worldly travels have been brought back to Dubai and shared with diners in the restaurant. This idea of making the restaurant space itself part of the interplay with diners is a smart move and one that pays of for the team at Fairmont The Palm,

Beginning with cocktails and popadoms, the service we receive is surprisingly good (albeit a little over-keen) for such  a new establishment and there are few signs of early teething issues. The team are well-versed in the menu and offer sensible recommendations, fully understanding and appreciating the spice levels of the selected dishes. We’re freely offered local water over the more expensive branded choice, which has to be a UAE first and another pleasing move by the Fairmont team. With the restaurant near to capacity on the Friday night we visit, there’s a buxx about Little Miss India and the clientele is made up of an even mix of Indian expats, in-house guests and local residents.

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Kebab Platter
A glance at the quaint menu confirms our suspicions that Little Miss India is offering very similar food to that of neighbouring Khyber. Both establishments have wisely chosen to forgo the trend for molecular gastronomy, presentation gimmicks and progressive cuisine, in favour of something far simpler. We begin with the reasonably priced Kebab Platter (AED 110) which includes a selection of tender and beautifully spiced chicken, lamb and seafood kebabs, of which the lemon and saffron marinated prawn Sunehra Jhinga is the highlight. The spice level was perhaps a little too hot for our requested medium, but nonetheless its pleasing to hear that all marinades and pickles are made in-house.
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Bhutiyan Dey Kebab
Even better were the Bhatti Da Smoked Lamb Chops (AED 120) which are marinated in 12 spices and arrive smoked in a glass jar before being transferred to the plate. Again the focus is on the tender meat and the pertinent flavours and although a nice char is transferred to the meat from the tandoor oven, the smoking process appears to be more for presentation than flavour. Our favourite dish of the night was an unexpected surprise, the Bhutiyan Dey Kebab (AED 55) presents a crisp golden crushed corn kebab stuffed with green apple.

Our main course selected by chef included a delightfully creamy (and somewhat sweet) Gosht Awadhi Korma (AED 95), Fish Dhaniya Tamatari (AED 100), Gobhi Adraki (AED 70), Saffron Rice (AED 30), and Peshawari Naan (AED 20). The selection offered some of the menus various highlights with the ginger and turmeric stir fired cauliflower and the distinctly nutty Awadhi lamb Korma being our favourites. Little Miss India 8

It’s hard to determine exactly what it is that makes Little Miss India such an appealing space but the meticulously planned interiors certainly help. Pursuing a vibrancy in terms of both decor and soundtrack that will easily compete with the best of Dubai’s dining and nightlife venues, we really appreciated the way in which the character of Little Miss India is woven into the narrative of the restaurant and the overall dining experience.
The food is good but simplistic and lacks the distinct wow factor of Little Miss India’s numerous competitors. Given it’s such a tough market, this is somewhat concerning, but it’s early days for the restaurant so hopefully, things will change. With both promoting the Lamb Raan as their signature dish, does Little Miss India do enough to differentiate itself from neighbouring Khyber? In terms of decor and ambience we would offer a resounding yes, but in terms of food, both restaurants are offering very similar concepts in terms of menu offering and quality.

Location: Fairmont The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai
Social: Instagram / Facebook / Twitter
Hours:  6:30pm – 11:30pm (bar open from 5pm – 1am)
Phone: 04 457 3457

We were invited to dine at Little Miss India. All views are our own and all photographs are © Out & About UAE. Cover images used courtesy of Time Out Dubai and Hotelier ME.

Little Miss India - Fairmont The Palm Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato