Yes, we know that Thailand will soon open for tourists, but you don't have to wait for your next flight there for a Thai culinary journey. Under Thailand's Department of International Trade Promotion, comes Thai SELECT, a stamp of authenticity given to Thai restaurants for the authenticity of food, hospitality, and atmosphere, and we have quite a few to choose from in the UAE.
For a restaurant to be Thai SELECT certified, firstly, the head chefs must produce proof of at least two years' worth of experience in cooking Thai food, or hold a Thai cuisine training certificate from accredited institutions. Secondly, at least 60 percent in the menu must be authentic Thai dishes, and the cooking methods used must be the same or very similar to those in Thailand. The restaurant must also use Thai ingredients, such as lemongrass, galangal, Thai basil, coconut, and tamarind.
Beyond food, Thai SELECT also certifies restaurants based on the level of hospitality and the overall atmosphere. Here is the list of eight restaurants in the UAE, do check them out.
The Bambooda restaurant evokes all the charms of an authentic Thai village, with tables set among lush greenery and perched in between Thai huts alongside waterfalls and streams. Guests can savour a menu full of exotic drinks, colourful dishes and banquets bursting with all the traditional flavours of Thailand that delivers a dining experience that is truly memorable.
(Movenpick Grand Al Bustan Dubai, Casablanca Rd., Al Garhoud, Dubai)
Ph: 04 705 4660; https://www.roda-hotels.com/al-bustan/restaurants-bars/bambooda/
Wise Kwai offers unique flavours and aromas of Thai cuisine, expertly prepared, from handmade starters to deliciously unique desserts. All ingredients at Wise Kwai are freshly picked and cooked with a range of authentic spices that will transport you to Thailand.
(Dusit D2 Kenz Hotel, Al Khareef 1st Street, Barsha Heights, Dubai)
Ph: 04 567 2246; https://www.dusit.com/dusitd2-dubai/dining/wise-kwai/
Khunchai Thai Restaurant
The Khunchai Thai Restaurant offers authentic flavours of Thailand in a warm and welcoming setting right in the heart of Jumeirah. The restaurant's Thai chef extraordinaire makes use of select Thai ingredients to make everything from seafood delicacies to curry, rice, noodles and even desserts.
(B2 Mall, Jumeira St., Dubai)
Ph: 04 388 7995; https://www.facebook.com/khunchai.thaifood/
Little Bangkok is one of the most popular Thai restaurants in the UAE, with multiple locations across Dubai. At Little Bangkok almost everything is made from scratch whether it is Bangkok's famous papaya salad or the perfect Pad Thai. Whether you dine indoors, outdoors, or order delivery, at Little Bangkok you can experience Thai food the way it's meant to be.
(UP Tower, Ground Floor, Next to Emirates Tower Metro;
JLT, Cluster I, Platinum Tower Lake View Side;
Business Central Tower, Ground Floor, Tower A. Media City)
Ph: 800 226 4565; https://www.littlebangkok.com/
Savour authentic Thai cuisine and hospitality at this Thai SELECT-certified restaurant in Abu Dhabi overlooking the stunning Al Raha beach in the Al Bandar area, Abu Dhabi. All the dishes are packed with unique Thai flavours and made using fresh Thai ingredients prepared by expert Thai chefs.
(Al Bandar, Al Raha Beach, Abu Dhabi)
Ph: 02 874 2263; https://desertlotusuae.com/
Rhong-Tiam takes Thai cuisine to a whole other level with its healthy menu of organic and gluten-free options. With a chic design welcoming guests, the restaurant delivers high-quality food, which is a treat for the body and the soul. The menu is prepared and conceptualised by Thai - Michelin Star chef Andy Yang.
(Wasl Vita Mall, Al Wasl Rd., Jumeirah 1, Dubai)
Ph: 04 343 0011; https://www.facebook.com/RhongTiamDubai/
Spicy and Ginger
Spicy and Ginger restaurant's dishes are cooked meticulously in Thai style with spicy, hot and mellow tastes. All the dishes are made with Thai ingredients that are carefully selected by experienced chefs. Drop by Spicy and Ginger for an experience in Thai cuisine you will never forget.
(Ground Floor Shop 4, Marasi Drive, Bay Square Building 4, Business Bay, Dubai)
Ph: 04 570 5921; https://spicyandginger.com/
Sticky Rice is a small family-run Thai restaurant with a big personality and passion for serving nothing but bona fide Thai food and desserts. All their food is made with the highest quality Thai ingredients that are sourced locally whenever possible. Nothing says Sticky Rice more than their wide variety of Mama's special Thai dishes.
(Jumeirah Village Circle, Sobha Daffodil, Shop No. 6, Dubai)
Ph: 04 580 8350; https://www.stickyrice.ae/