Little Miss India
He came, he saw, he ate and this is how it went down....
Now let’s be honest, there are a lot of Misses when it comes to attempts at character led dining destinations in Dubai, but this little Miss isn’t one to be missed.
Little Miss India is purported to be the eclectic and extravagant 'Mistress' of the mansion over at the Fairmont on the Palm.
She promises to take you on a culinary journey across India showcasing the vibrant and punchy flavors that the region has to offer. The alluring menu is set against a breathtaking backdrop that suits the narrative perfectly.
The interiors have been expertly crafted by hospitality allstars Stickman Tribe and are replete with lots of lovely details, photos and ornaments exploring the life and times of Miss India with the center piece being a hand painted Indian Bedford truck that also serves a bar. There is great attention to detail and it’s playful yet refined and engaging. Yes there’s a bar. There aren’t many licensed Indian restaurants in the city, so you should you desire there’s a range of exotic sounding cocktails, as well as a decent grape and hops list.
There are essentially three main areas, each with their own vibe - the outdoor garden and terrace, the main dining room and a smaller more intimate space that has direct views of the kitchen.
Hanging plants offer a sense of calm to the main dining room which leads to another smaller area that has a VIP feel to it with slightly more regal stylings. It is here that you can get up close and personal to the chefs as they go about their business with a series of nicely appointed tables that are akin to chef’s tables.
The venue has a colonial vibe and is certainly atmospheric. It’s actually worth a visit in its own right, even if finding it is a somewhat convoluted journey from the main hotel entrance. Be that as it may, the reason you’ll visit is for the food, which is excellent.
The menu revolves around Northern Indian flavors, so you’ll see items from the Tandoor, Curries, Biryani’s and Breads. To kick things off and as a compliment of the host you’ll be presented with a delectable trio of chutneys to accompany your papadums. Miss India’s take on this very standard appetizer is anything but standard. It’s here that you’ll see that this is elevated Indian, think mint green apple, tamarind chili and a pickled-flavored yoghurt. Each brings its own unique punch of flavor and is a really nice approach to the humble papadum.
Also worthy of mention is the exemplary service. Which you would have rank to as being some of the best service on offer in Dubai. The host and the wait staff were all highly personable, informed, attentive and avoided any desire to up-sell which is always appreciated. So too the local water.
Ok. So onto the mains and the clear stand out here is the wonderful Indian style mixed grill called the Kebab Platter (AED 125) which offers some beautifully spiced and juicy prawns, lamb kofta and a sensational piece of tandor chicken. Next up; a very nicely done Butter Chicken (AED 95) that was a pleasure to eat with its soft aromatic spices, the morsels tender and juicy with a hint of chili. This is accompanied by their version of a Mutton Biryani (AED 105) and Naan (AED 18).
The biryani is light and fluffy, and the lamb really nicely cooked without any hint of being over oily. The only let down was the naan, which just lacked star quality. It wasn’t bad, just a little plain and uninspired.
In all, with its impeccable service and lush interiors and great food, this was an outstanding meal and experience and it’s not hard to see why Little Miss India recently picked up the accolade of being Best New Restaurant of the year.
As far as the battle of the Misses go, so far Little Miss India packs quite a big punch.
What we loved:
Wonderful sense of place.
Great value for money.
Excellent, quality ingredients.
What we loved less:
Slightly strange location.
No toilets inside the restaurant.
Akala Quick Facts:
Name: Little Miss India
Location: The Fairmont Palm Jumeriah, Dubai, UAE
Akala Official Rating: 4.5 Stars