Preview: Miss Tess at Taj Dubai
Miss Tess is a heady mix of Asian food, funky cocktails and eclectic entertainment. Expect a variety of Asian flavours that span the entirety of South East Asia, alongside comedy martial arts demonstrations and – rather bafflingly – a performance by Mario and Luigi (who arrive on a bicycle to an 8-bit soundtrack from the game that bears their names).
The restaurant is aptly fronted by Miss Tess, a brand ambassador-come-hostess dressed in a kimono. She's there to explain the menu, or simply to make sure every guest is having a good time at the rambunctious restaurant. Elsewhere, the staff have been trained in the 'chatty' form of restaurant management, providing not just food recommendations and general knowledge, but also witty observations about other tables and the performances.
Entertainment takes the form of a DJ who sits near the middle of the room, as well as two waiters/performers who will – seemingly at random – jump out of nowhere to perform one routine after another. They vary; from kung fu demonstrations and impromptu gangham style dance numbers, to said Mario and Luigi impersonation and even a Dragon Ball Z fight scene (complete with bright yellow anime-inspired wig).
It's an interesting backdrop to the food and drink. There's a small bar as you walk in to the restaurant that serves a variety of clever-cocktails served in all manner of Instagram-friendly vessels. There are drinks that come in plastic bags, Nikon camera lenses, jars, pots and even a his-and-hers set of Chinese porcelain figurines.
Fortunately, the food is a lot more traditional. The menu sticks with pan-Asian favourites like sushi, hot and sour soups, satay starters and mains. Unlike the rest of the venue which dials up the 'Asian flavour' to an extreme level, the food remains authentic. You won't find anything kooky, in the Thai curry – for example – just a fragrant and well-made dish with the correct amount of spice.
Miss Tess at the Taj Hotel in Business Bay is well worth a visit, even just to experience the madness of it all.