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.
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.
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.
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.