I love Pho. It is the best soup I think there is. Perfect mix of noodles and broth and meat (if you swing that way) and most importantly, the flavors from the whole spices that they use. So great. When I lived in the Pacific North West – I would indulge in a big bowl of Pho at least once a week – there were so many mom ‘n’ pop run Vietnamese restaurants in the area, it was easy to try a new place each week. It would compliment the rainy, cold nights perfectly.
Then I moved to Dubai and Pho was removed from my staple diet entirely. I then found out there was one place that serves it in JLT and never really made it “out there” (us old Dubai-ers are so dramatic about driving to new Dubai on the weekend!). One random night though, there was yet again the “where shall we eat?” aimless drive-around that the She Said duo indulge in. While the other she’s husband drove around running errands, the both of us sat in the back seat of the car deciding where we want to go. Finally, the other she decided the Entertainer app was the only way to go.
Wox popped up on her phone and she turned to me and said “Hey, you keep talking about pho, right? This place has some. Let’s go there”. And just like that, a fantastic decision was made. I was finally going to have some pho.
Wox at the Grand Hyatt is described as a “a hawker style Asian restaurant”. The menu is small and precise, making it fairly easy to make decisions. However, bar the soup, the portions are smaller – so you might want to order a few things. We weren’t complaining – we did get to try a few things and that’s never a bad thing!
The space is lovely, you can chose to sit by the “kitchen” which is an open space in the middle of the restaurant.
While the menu stated they served a beef Vietnamese soup and I don’t eat beef, they were more than happy to make me a chicken version (or what we call Pho Ga to be precise). After a little while of trying to subdue my excitement, the big bowl of pho finally arrived.
The pho was so very good – the broth was very well flavored and the noodles were cooked perfectly. I also realised how much I missed all the extra add-ons and really being able to make your bowl your own!
The soup of the day (most days) was the Seafood Congee. Given that a congee is a rice porridge and may not look like it is the tastiest soup in the world, the flavor in this bowl will surprise you.
Stir-fry morning glory – one of my favorites. All vegetables should be cooked and prepared this way -I would eat more of them. Also, they used the perfect amount of garlic making it not very over bearing at all!
Tamarind prawns. Here’s the thing – I dislike tamarind. I think it is so sweet that it kills all other flavor in a dish (and I know how many people love this stuff but I really can’t take it). Having said that, I don’t know what they do with this tamarind – these prawns are amazing – while they are sweet, they have amazing flavor.
Chicken stir-fry with lemongrass, garlic and chilli. Enough said.
Salt & Pepper Stir Fry Calamari. The best calamari that I have had in a long time. Hands down. Everything savory should be coated in that batter and deep-fried.
Though I was so full, I couldn’t pass off a little portion of the sticky rice with mango and coconut cream. Topped with some peanuts, this desert isn’t very sweet, making it a perfect, refreshing end to the meal. The only thing I would change? – More coconut cream, please! You can never have too much coconut cream!
Located at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, I was a little skeptical when I walked in about how pricey this place was going to be. It was an awesome surprise to know that it really isn’t the worst pricing ever (most dishes ranging from Dhs 30-60) and if you are a few people and order a few plates, you really do leave full and so very happy!
LOCATION: Wox, Grand Hyatt Hotel