Smoking Doll, the Asian culinary destination recently opened its doors in Nation Towers Galleria. Focused on serving the finest quality South East Asian cuisine, Smoking Doll brings a taste of the Orient to the capital. Dishes offer the perfect harmony of sweet, sour, salty and spicy flavours guaranteed to seduce your taste buds with a variety of textures and fragrances.
As we enter the restaurant we are warmly greeted by the waitress and shown to a table by the window which overlooks the Corniche. We begin to browse through the beverage menu. Smoking Doll has a mixologist onsite who creates a variety of refreshing mocktails. We opt for Doll’s Attraction and The Gentleman. The Gentleman is light and refreshing but it’s the Doll’s Attraction that leaves us speechless, almost literally. Chilli and passion fruit infused in pineapple juice with a touch of sweet and sour. This drink packs quite a punch. At first the taste of the passion fruit is evident it’s only after the chilli kicks in. This combination works well and Doll’s Attraction is well worth a try, just be sure to advise the staff how much spice you can handle.
For starters we order the Bangkok Tom Yum a popular Asian soup to start. The soup has just the right consistency and balance despite its amber appearance the soup is infused with ginger.
We then move onto our mains, fish cakes, spider soft shell crab, smoking rolls, black pepper beef and pineapple and chicken fried rice.
Fish cakes are a common street food dish in Asia but unlike Western fish cakes these fish cakes are not battered allowing the taste of the fish and herbs to be enjoyed. Severed with green mango salad and chilli plum sugar dip, the combination of sweet and sour compliments the fish cakes.
Eager to try the dedicated sushi bar which promising guests the freshest fish, we order the spider soft shell crab maki rolls. Offering an alternative from the regular California maki rolls these maki rolls are made with crispy fired soft shell crab, avocado, cucumber, mayonnaise, tobiko and decorated with battered crab.
The smoking rolls offer a theatrical talking point in our meal. Served in a smoke filled glass cloche when lifted the delightful cherry oak aroma fills the room revealing the smoking rolls. What is evident with this dish is the freshness of the fish.
The black pepper beef wok fired with garlic, baby beans, courgette, onion, and mange tout is instantly to our liking. Typically when ordering this dish the beef tends to be quite hard and unfortunately chewy, luckily this is not the case. Smoking Doll uses a South East Asian cooking technique that ensures the beef remains tender throughout. Pineapple and chicken fried rice works well as a side dish. Slightly stuffed at this point were ready to call it a day until our waitress convinces us to try the crème brûlée. Served warm the crème brûlée is thick and heavy the lime, ginger and mint lift the dish adding a citrus aspect makes it more refreshing and harmonizes the dish.
The tradition of the Smoking Dolls is found in each outlet with relaxed, yet efficient and personal service. Smoking Doll’s food is set against a vast array of Asian teas and mocktails that are passionately showcased by its tea masters and mixologists.
Smoking Doll has recently added a new business lunch consisting of a selection of two-course meals. To begin guests can opt for light portions of dishes such as Thai beef salad, grilled flank steak with fragrant herbs, shallots, spring onion, toasted ground rice and chilli-lime dressing; or the Bangkok Tom Yam, a traditional hot and sour soup with lemongrass and lime leaves, available with a choice between chicken and tofu. Vegetarians can devour salt and pepper crispy eggplant served with sweet tamarind sauce.
For the main course, diners can enjoy deliciously heart-warming options including the chicken and cashew stir fry; served with spring onion, basil, Chinese broccoli and light soy with jasmine rice, or the Panang curry infused with fresh kaffir lime leaves and finished with peanuts with jasmine rice. Pad See Ew, a delicate mix of rice noodles, Chinese broccoli and dark soy, is also available. Those with a penchant for spicy food can delight taste buds with the Pad Ki Mao, spicy noodles tossed with chili, holy basil and soy sauce. Curry and noodle dishes are served with a choice of tender chicken, hearty beef or seasonal vegetables and tofu.
The business lunch allows guests to enjoy appetizing dishes to satisfy the palate either in the restaurant or whilst on the go.
The Business Lunch menu is available daily between (11am – 3pm), priced at AED 50 for two courses or 60 AED with the addition of tea or a mocktail.
Smoking Doll, Nation Towers, West Corniche, 600 560 603