At a friend's house the other day we ordered a takeaway delivery from Royal Orchid, a Thai, Chinese and Mongolian restaurant in Dubai Marina. I have to admit, I wasn't expecting much but when the food arrived, I was very pleasantly surprised.At a friend's house the other day we ordered a takeaway delivery from Royal Orchid, a Thai, Chinese and Mongolian restaurant in Dubai Marina. I have to admit, I wasn't expecting much but when the food arrived, I was very pleasantly surprised.
From an extensive menu filled with plenty of Thai and Chinese favourites (red curry, papaya salad, Peking duck and so on), we chose crispy honey chicken, stir-fried greens with garlic, Peking duck and pine nuts in lettuce cups, tofu in chilli plum sauce and chicken satay.
The food arrived in just over 30 minutes, which isn't bad at all and everything was still hot. More importantly, though, it was very tasty. Twiglets of golden chicken were chewy and crunchy at the same and had been finished off with sesame seeds that clung to the honey glaze. The meat became a bit dry when it was left to sit, but eaten straightaway it was nice.
Chicken satay, meanwhile, was an excellent, light version of what can often be a cloying, underwhelming dish. The meat was lovely and tender and had clearly been marinated for some time in plenty of garlic and kaffir lime. The sauce, meanwhile, was aromatic and coconutty.
The Peking duck cups were very good, too. Tiny pieces of diced meat were bound together in a properly strong, sticky-sweet hoisin sauce, just waiting to be piled into the little rounds of iceberg lettuce which provided a bland, welcome foil to the assertive richness of the duck.
The tofu, meanwhile, had been a controversial choice, with one member of our group declaring it boring. It was anything but. The wobbly cubes of pillowy white tofu had been coated in a very thin - almost translucent - batter, before being lightly fried and drenched in chilli sauce which had a kick to it. A scattering of shredded spring onions added a nice bit of texture to the dish.
Everything - including the the crunchy, soy sauce-soused green vegetables - was fresh and flavoursome, without excess grease or salt. I didn't wake up in the middle of the night dehydrated and desperate for a glass of water, as so often happens after eating a Chinese meal.
Royal Orchid isn't a cheap option - our meal came to around Dh165, but as a treat, it's worth it.
Royal Orchid, Marina Walk, Dubai Marina. For home delivery call: 800 ORCHID (672443).