Smiling BKK

From Time Out Dubai Eating Out 2010This hard-to-find joint is a Dubai institution, and deservedly so. The cheaply priced Thai food is good, but not exceptional – but don’t be fooled, this is not why people come here. It’s one of the few spots in town that is neither a hotel-based blow-out nor a neon-lit canteen: dim mood lighting is provided by dozens of mismatched hanging glass lanterns, while entertainment comes from walls packed with photos of regulars, magazine celebrity pages and constantly blaring music TV. It might not sound much but the buzz, no-nonsense staff and ridiculous dish names (‘The name’s Bond – James Bond’ is a pad thai, while ‘Billy Jean’s not my lover’ takes the form of steamed fish) combine to provide a refreshingly mad experience. Dubai would be incomplete without it.

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