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Voulez-vous Voi?

Voi, I can’t begin to describe how eagerly I’ve been awaiting your opening. Ever since FooDiva reviewed your cousins, North Indian Amala and Turkish Lalezar at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray on the Palm, I’ve been counting the days…so a month into opening here’s our restaurant review.

Voi’s cuisine is French-Vietnamese straight from the heart of French colonial rule in 1920s Vietnam. Chef Phuong Mai, a Vietnamese national from French influenced Hanoi calls the menu “authentic Vietnamese with an inspiring French twist”. The finesse of French cuisine married with the intense, vibrant flavours of Vietnamese, what better relationship could you ask for?

But firstly it’s the grandiose interior that captured FooDiva’s attention; soaring ceilings, glittering crystal chandeliers and a monochrome theme, all lend themselves to sophistication and elegance. But too much bright light makes for an awkward atmosphere. Dim a little to recreate some of that 1920s romance.

After indulging in too much bread; gosh those bloomer-style buns were delish and an exquisite Vietnamese rice paper roll as amuse bouche, we settled on signature items; a good way to test a chef’s skills. So many dishes appealed, it was truly a difficult choice.

FooDiva opted to start with a marinated grilled quail salad – slightly poached eggs drooling over the warm, generous chunks of quail breast – enough to mix in well with salad leaves and al dente asparagus spears. Heavenly. My dining companion highly rated his blue prawns with tangy guava, fennel and Nuoc Mam; a traditional Vietnamese fish dip. Sweet and zesty.

Whilst many main courses called out to the diva in me, I do love duck; the French duckling (canette) breast was cooked rare as I love it, and topped with a generous chunk of foie gras – all on a bed of brussels sprouts, asparagus and tamarind sauce. A little too much fennel for FooDiva’s liking, but that’s a personal choice – I would definitely order this dish again, sans the fennel.

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