"If I were to dine at Burj Al Arab, I'd dine in Junsui." That's the thought I've been keeping to myself for several years just in case the husband would ask me out on a date to the 7-star hotel. :)
Although the Afternoon Tea at the Skyview Bar is well-recommended and Al Mahara is the most popular for date nights, I'd still go with the Far-East Asian buffet that Junsui caters. With the staggering prices, I honestly think buffet-dining offers the best value for money!
So, when Jumeirah Restaurant Week 2015 came, my husband and I agreed to book a weekend dinner in Junsui; an Asian restaurant studded with thousands of Swarovski crystals at the Ground Mezzanine level of the world's most luxurious hotel!
|Date Night at Junsui in Burj Al Arab|
I placed our dinner reservation over the phone two weeks before the start of Jumeirah Restaurant Week. It was a day after I read a press release; a week before the event's official website was opened for booking! That's how excited I was, or shall I say I was just too keen on getting a slot. If the restaurant can be fully-booked on regular weekends, how much more on the first weekend of JRW!
Being a giddy early bird got us a table for two at a prime dinner time. So, off we went to Burj Al Arab before sundown.
|Burj Al Arab at sunset|
Heading to Junsui is a one special journey. We got to soak up the 7-star opulence at Burj Al Arab's main lobby. We walked beneath one of the world's tallest atrium and through the gold-covered columns. And then, we were whisked to the ground mezzanine floor in a sophisticated golden elevator.
There, we found Junsui brightly illuminated with crystals! Junsui is a Japanese word for Pure. The name itself made me expect impeccable service, classic ambiance and food prepared in purest Asian tradition.
|Junsui - Burj Al Arab's Pure Asian Restaurant|
|Junsui's lounge embellished with Swarovski crystals|
A staff gave us the warmest welcome and introduced the buffet stations before guiding us to our table. The food selections occupy almost half of the restaurant; buffet sections are located opposite the dining hall. The set up reminds me of Jumeirah Beach Hotel's Latitude; only with a more sophisticated appeal.
The dessert station is located right across the entrance of the restaurant. I found it quite ironic to be greeted by a chocolate fountain, but I eventually realized it's on the right spot when we're already seated at the dining hall. Junsui's buffet is efficiently arranged in such a way that guests start the culinary journey at the far end of the restaurant to the front.
Tucked at the far end is the Cold Buffet section with a sushi bar, a selection of seafood and all sorts of salads. Main courses in five types of Asian cuisine (Korean, Japanese, Indonesian, Thai and Chinese) are offered in adjacent rooms. Each section has live cooking stations where chefs interact with diners and create specialties.
|Seafood at the Cold Buffet Section|
|hot dishes at the Chinese Station|
|Dim Sum and Dumplings and a friendly Chef|
|the lovely dessert station with a chocolate fountain as a centerpiece|
As Junsui offers diversity in the buffet and personalized meals in live cooking stations, Ed and I submitted to an intimate and unhurried dinner.
We started with seafood and sushi from the cold buffet. All were exquisite, most especially the lobster claws! ;) Then, I filled my second plate with Indonesian fare. The Nasi Goreng was a little spicy for my liking, but I guess that's how it should be. The mixed seafood with coconut sauce got my thumbs up and definitely deserves a mention!
While having our meal, a chef went to our table and offered us fresh-from-the-pan soft shell crab. I love crabs, and I love freshly cooked fried food; hence it was a deed greatly appreciated.
|fancy dinner in a 7-star property|
|Seafood and Sushi|
|Indonesian cuisine on my plate #2|
|fresh-from-the-pan soft shell crab|
Ed headed back to the Indonesian buffet section while I went to the Chinese spread. There, I got myself four different kinds of dim sum which were still steaming hot from the bamboo basket. I also asked for our all-time favorite Peking Duck rolls which was, sad to say, already prepared. I was hoping the chef would pick one of the Peking ducks hanging above the station, gently slice a portion of meat... and I'd ask for more skin! :)
The live cooking stations created quite a show that night. We watched the chefs fire up the teppanyaki table several times from where we are seated. I wanted to leave a huge room for dessert, so I asked the chef to make a non-spicy Pad Thai for me instead of the very inviting Wagyu Beef Teppanyaki.
|four of a kind from the Dim-Sum station|
|Peking Duck rolls|
|Pad Thai with lots of prawns and peanuts|
Desserts were simple yet luscious. I had a cheesecake, a pastry, two sticks of chocolate-covered fruit slices and two scoops of sorbet! There were more tempting desserts and I wished I had more space, but those two trips to the dessert station already had my sweet tooth fully satisfied.
|luscious desserts in Junsui|
|Two scoops of sorbet to make my day! :)|
Before our dinner date came to an end, I couldn't help but ask my husband if Junsui lived up to his expectations because it somehow didn't meet mine. Perhaps it is because Junsui reminds me so much of Latitude. Or perhaps I set the bar too high. Then, Ed made me remember where we are that night. We were in Burj Al Arab for goodness' sake!
So, suddenly, it wasn't just about the food. It's about the experience!
Dinner Buffet at Junsui costs 560 AED per person,
but was only 380 AED per person during Jumeirah Restaurant Week 2015.
Burj Al Arab
Ground Mezzanine Level
For restaurant bookings, please visit Burj Al Arab's official website.