Dubai has a great selection of authentic Chinese restaurants, so whether you are craving dim sum, hot pot or just a nice bowl of noodles, there is a place for that in Dubai. Furthermore, many Indian restaurants in Dubai also serve a wide range of Indo-Chinese dishes (Chinese food adapted to Indian tastes). Except for Chongqing Noodle House, the restaurants in this guide are not the cheapest in town, but they are not ridiculously expensive either, and 100-150 AED will go a long way.
None of the places mentioned below serve alcohol or pork.
Xiao Wei Yang (Little Lamb)
This Inner-Mongolian hot pot chain has branches across the city, and the restaurant has managed to build a large fan-base among the expat crowd in Dubai. Most people go for a yin yang bowl with two different kinds of soup; the mild, clear soup and the hot & spicy soup, and the different sets with meat and vegetables are very good value for money. You cook your own food in a big pot at the table, and when the food is ready, you dip it in sauces from the buffet. The dipping sauce buffet is an additional 5AED or so, and even though it is optional to order the sauce buffet, this is something that you do not want to miss, as it is the sauces that make the hot pot so delicious. Not sure how to mix your dipping sauce? Try a mix of sesame sauce garnished with garlic, cilantro and a dash of oyster sauce and chili oil, it is a safe bet that most people like. Hot pot is meant for sharing, so grab a friend or four, and get ready for a night of hot pot fun.
Best for: Chinese hot pot, dinner
Xiao Wei Yang, Opposite Royal Meridien, JBR, Dubai, Tel: +971-(0)4 4214650
Din Tai Fung
The popular Taiwanese restaurant chain made dim sum mainstream in Dubai, and no matter when you go, there is almost always a line outside the restaurant, because nobody does xiao long bao (soup dumplings) better than Din Tai Fung. At least not in Dubai. In addition to XLB, the spicy wontons at Din Tai Fung is also a good choice and so are the noodle dishes, especially the Dan Dan Noodles in Spicy Sesame Peanut Sauce. Please note that Din Tai Fung in Dubai does not serve pork. Instead, the dumplings are made with chicken and lamb, so if you have tried Din Tai Fung at other locations, you will probably notice the difference. There are four branches of Din Tai Fung in Dubai, but the restaurant in Dubai Mall is the nicest in our humble opinion.
Best for: Xiao long bao, spicy wonton, lunch
Din Tai Fung, Dubai Mall, Dubai.
For some reason, Long Teng has managed to fly under the radar for most tourists and non-Chinese expats, which is rather strange, as the restaurant serves truly amazing food and is very popular among Chinese people. In fact, Long Teng feels like an upscale version of Din Tai Fung, but at the same price point, which makes the restaurant a great place for dinner. The cheung feung at Long Teng is is very good. Try the ones with prawn and with barbecue chicken, they will blow you away! The Crystal Shrimp Dumpling and the Turnip Cake with XO sauce are also dishes that Long Teng does exceptionally well, though you might want to stay away from the xiao long bao, because even though they are decent, they are not like the xiao long bao at Din Tai Fung, so they might disappoint, if you have tried the latter. For dessert, order the cute Egg Yolk Buns that look like little angry birds and taste delicious.
Best for: Dim sum, dinner
Long Teng, U Bora Towers ground floor, Business Bay, Dubai, Tel: +971-(0)4-248 1993
Chongqing Noodle House
Small mom-and-pop noodle shop in International City’s China Cluster, serving different kinds of homemade noodles . The food at Chongqing Noodle House is to the spicy side (Chongqing used to be part of the Sichuan province in China, known for hot and spicy food), but manageable, and you can always ask them to add less chili if you are concerned about whether you will be able to handle the heat. The food is served in takeout boxes, so it is easy to get your leftovers to go, just ask for a lid. Most dishes cost 17-23AED and Chongqing Noodle House is a great place for a casual, inexpensive meal.
Best for: Noodles, lunch
Chongqing Noodle House, Shop No 16, China F15, International City, Dubai