By Thomas Shambler
The Far Eastern décor can't be ignored, but it's the food and service that make it a winning restaurant
Zheng He was an explorer, diplomat and fleet admiral at the beginning of the 15th century. He completed several expeditionary voyages on behalf of China's Ming dynasty to Southeast Asia and East Africa. The purpose of these trips were twofold, trade and to extend China's power in those regions. He quickly rose through the ranks, becoming a favourite of the young Chinese Emperor. Surely, there can be no better place to rise through the ranks yourself, than with this conveniently-located Chinese restaurant that bares the same name.
Set along the waterways of the Mina A'Salam hotel, it offers stunning views of the Burj Al Arab with which to impress would-be business partners from out-of-town. Food is good, but it is the relaxed atmosphere and superior staff that win you over. Start with a selection of dim sum, including contemporary dumplings with lobster and truffle. The crispy soft shell crab starter is a winning dish, but it is the braised mince beef and bean curd (meant to be shared) that will entice your guests to sign on the dotted line. Save room for desserts, or head upstairs to Bahri Bar for a celebratory (or commiseration) nightcap.