Having recently moved to Reem Island, we here at Out & About UAE were very keen to try some of the culinary offerings close to home. So early one evening we headed into Boutik Mall to see what was on offer, and were pleasantly surprised to find the Asian inspired Smoking Doll right on our doorstep.
We are big fans of Asian food and the flavours that come with this specific cuisine and having travelled extensively around South East Asia we were very happy with what the menu had to offer – with firm favourites such as massaman curry, pad thai and mango sticky rice.
Upon entering the restaurant we were immediately transported into an elegant environment, which is dimly lit and cosy. The dark interiors are punctuated with sharp bursts of orange from the leather upholstery of the booths and Asian-inspired touches are littered throughout the venue – the most striking of which are large hanging lights which resemble parasols when you peek inside. These brought back fond memories of our travelling adventures in Thailand and provided a nice touch of nostalgia (for us anyway). The ambiance created at Smoking Doll is very chilled out and relaxed with mellow house music playing, making for a nice accompaniment to the meal. The venue is trendy (but not pretentious) and opens out into a large outdoor area that will be perfect for those winter evenings when the temperature has dropped, this is also a great spot for catching the sunset, dining as the last of the suns rays dip below the horizon.
Before even trying the food, we were impressed to say the least.
The service was prompt and friendly and the staff are dressed in Japanese inspired kimonos to further enhance the Asian-Fusion concept of the venue. The menu was explained in great detail and the staff took the time to answer any questions that we had, helping us to pick the best food options to suit us. We started with some iced teas which were absolutely delicious, they were aromatic without tasting overpowering or artificial and the flavour combination of lemongrass and ginger was fragrant and not to sharp, whilst the peach and white pear option was absolutely divine. These may in fact be the best iced teas that we have yet tried in the United Arab Emirates!
The menu on offer is actually quite extensive and covers a variety of Asian cuisines and flavour combinations. It is surprising that with so much choice on offer, that the quality of dishes is of such a high standard. It seems that anything which the chefs at Smoking Doll turn their hands too, is done exceptionally well. Offerings include Thai Tom Yum soups, Japanese sushi, Chinese wok dishes, curries, salads and more…
We started our meal with the chicken and sweetcorn dumplings which were plump and tasty and steamed to perfection, accompanied with a selection of delicious dipping sauces. We at Out & About UAE are addicted to dumplings and dim sum, and these certainly did not disappoint.
Next to the table were our main courses of honey and soy stir fried beef with morning glory, carrots ginger, broccoli and steamed jasmine rice and also prawn pad ki mao – both of which are served in large deep bowls. The food itself cannot be faulted as the spice infused meat really made the dish really succulent and the vegetables were fresh and not over-cooked, as tends to happen all to frequently with Asian cuisine, Our only disappointment was that for the fact that the food is served in such large bowls, the portions themselves were a little on the small side – it other words we wanted much more of this delicious food!
Unfortunately during this visit we did not try any of the deserts on offer, but will definately by trying the lime and ginger creme brûlée and the dark chocolate mouse during our next visit. Our overall experience at Smoking Doll was a pleasant one and I can see that we may become frequent visitors to this particular branch. So if your looking for somewhere new to try, with some of the best Asian food you can get in Abu Dhabi then we thoroughly recommend a trip to Smoking Doll. An added bonus is that you can use the 241 entertainer vouchers here too.
Location: Boutik Mall, Al Reem Island, Abu Dhabi
All views within this blog are our own and all photographs are © Out & About UAE, unless otherwise stated.