EXOTIC FLAVOURS

In aromatic surroundings, you’ll find the brand new Zoya by Maui at the 5-star Sofitel Dubai The Palm. FACT’s Hayley Alexander takes a seat for a bespoke culinary journey through India.

It’s no secret that Dubai’s dining scene is bursting with Indian restaurants. From the contemporary cooking methods to the traditional recipes, celebrity chefs’ ventures and even fusion concepts, you name it and Dubai has got it. So, it takes a very unique and standout place to really make a mark. Enter Zoya by Maui at Sofitel Dubai The Palm and be prepared to rewind your expectations for this is a restaurant that does things differently – and we’re very much onboard.

As we walk up to the entrance of Zoya by Maui, we’re greeted by the sounds of live entertainment and costumed waiters. We’re excited to be a part of this food journey. Starting in the North of the Himalayas and winding all the way down through the tropics of Goa and finishing deep in Kerala, on the edge of the Arabian Sea – we’re ready to sample it all.

Located in the heart of Sofitel Dubai The Palm, the venue boasts generous indoor and outdoor seating. We decide to sit outside overlooking the shoreline. We’re in awe of the view; sat under the stars as the spices of India drift through the evening breeze. Tandoori masala tea, poppadum and a mix of chutneys is served as a staple upon arrival – a beautiful added touch that doesn’t go unnoticed by us or the guests around us too.

As expected, we’re spoilt for choice with what to order. You’ll find an array of options that cater to a variety of dietary requirements – making Zoya by Maui a place for every palate.

We finally decide on traditional dishes with a modern twist; for our appetisers we opt for Samosa Chaat, a fried savoury pastry filled with tempered potatoes, mint sauce, yogurt and tamarind topping. It’s as good as what you’ll find on the streets of Mumbai. Packed with flavour and plenty of crunch!

The Amritsari Macchi is enveloped in a caraway seeds flavoured batter, fried perch and served with mint sauce. Seafood lovers will adore this fried fish snack which is hugely popular across the Indian state of Punjab.

We then move on to our mains where a tandoori dish comes calling – as it goes without saying. The Lamb Chops Burrah came highly recommended to us by the waiter. Overnight marinated lamb chops in Indian spices, roasted and charred to perfection. They’re sizzling and luscious, and we don’t hold back with digging in – exquisite.

Being big seafood fans ourselves, we had to order the Goan Prawn Curry. Spicy Goan region style prawn curry cooked in coconut milk, and garcinia indica friut. It’s simple and authentic with the most delicious spicy, sour aroma and taste. With some naan bread or white rice, it’s enough to satisfy all your Indian food cravings. Complimenting the cultivating dishes, as you’d expect from a traditional Indian restaurant, is a selected array of perfectly priced mocktails and bespoke cocktails – we try the highly recommended Mango Lassi Highball – it was everything we wanted it to be and more. A selection of Indian vino and hops are also available for the very decent price of AED40.

Other traditional dishes include delights such as Kerala Fried Chicken as well as vegetarian and vegan options such as Achari Aloo and Panner Khurchanwala. An extensive fish menu is also available offering coastal favourites such as Meen Moilee.

Service at Zoya by Maui is efficient, warm and informative as the staff are confident in explaining the ingredients in every dish and the level of spice! These are just a few attributes that will keep the crowds rolling in.

Get a group together, sit outside and enjoy authentic Indian food guaranteed to create a lasting impression. Another fabulous gastronomic voyage that Sofitel Dubai The Palm has managed to get completely right. ✤


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