Crab Craze at Benjarong Royal Thai Cuisine, Dusit Thani Hotel Dubai

I love crabs. Actually I am crazy about it.

Back in the Philippines, I can eat two big fat steamed mud crabs alone but since it is rarely available here in Dubai I go for fresh water crabs and I can finish four or five in one sitting, depending on the size of it.

I don't know how to cook any other crab dish except for the easiest steamed crabs. I eat it with bare hands, dip the crab meat in a Filipino style vinaigrette which is just a simple mixture of palm fruit vinegar, crushed garlic, salt and pepper. Eat it with rice and I am a happy kid.

Earlier this month, I was invited by a fellow blogger to join him for dinner at Benjarong Royal Thai Cuisine at Dusit Thani Dubai. He said that there is a crab craze going on and we should go and try it. What do you think my answer was? Of course a big fat YES!

When I saw the two ladies playing music using traditional Thai instruments in the lobby of the hotel, I told myself this is going to be a great culinary adventure.

The Crab Craze started on the first day of January and will last for a month. It is now the best time to check out Benjarong if you would like to taste some authentic Thai crab dishes and if you would like to feel like a bit of Royalty. Benjarong is at the 24th floor of the Dusit Thani Hotel Dubai. It's got a beautiful view of the Burj Khalifa. The place has some warm interiors and very Southeast Asia.

We started with a serving of MIENG KAM, a popular traditional snack of Thailand. Mieng KAM means eating many things in one bite. There is a lot going on in this appetizer, there are pieces of peanuts, some coconut shavings, and I think some shrimp paste served in a leaf. You roll the leaf holding everything inside and you dig in. I've had Mieng Kam before and I still love it, it is so amazing.

Then came in PU-JA or deep fried crab meat and minced chicken in a crab shell with sweet chili dipping sauce.

I remember my aunt used to prepare this dish for us. It is also one of my favorite among her dishes, little did I know at that time that this crab recipe has a Thai origin.

Pu-Ja was served along with another appetizer, the SOM TUM PUNIM or the spicy green papaya salad with soft shell crab. It was way too hot for me so I paired it with the crab cakes and this two appetizer truly complimented each other. The sweet-salty-spicy-lemony flavors explodes in your mouth with every bite, it makes you reached out for more.

The next thing I knew, our table was once again overflowing with crab dishes for the main course. I did not know where to start so I looked for the most familiar dish. I took a serving of SEN JUN PAD PU. It is fried rice noodles with crab meat. It is my third dish for the night and I am loving it, its comfort food at its finest.

The true king of the night was the PU PAD PRIG GAENG or the stir fried Alaskan King Crab with red curry paste string beans and sweet basil. It is out of bound. I can't get enough of it hence I reached for a second serving with some extra rice. Trust me this is the dish that I can have with rice all day long. If I'm not in a fine dining mood here, I would have used my hands to eat this crab so I can get all those soft spicy bits of crab meat tucked in the shell.

Another winner for me was the LON PU-KEM or salted crab in coconut cream dip served with blanched vegetables. I say this is a very healthy dish and a delicious one too. I can imagine myself munching on this instead of my popcorn while watching a movie at home. It is sooo goood!!! Look at all these colors.

The only dish that did not get a good rating on my plate was the dish called GAENG SOM PUMA NORMAI DONG. It is hot and sour curry with blue crab and sour bamboo shoot. Don't get me wrong though, the only reason why I didn't like it was because I don't eat bamboo shoot, also it was way too aromatic for me.

Chef Naruemol Poolkuan is doing a great job at Benjarong`s kitchen. If you want to know, she used to cook for a Royal Family back home and even until now when this family visits Dubai, she is the one they sent for.

I am truly honored to meet a woman like her who is very passionate and dedicated to her work. When you are a food blogger, it is always an honor to know and meet the chef.

During the dinner, I ordered a glass of lemon grass juice but I envied my friends chilled coconut water in the shell so I ordered one for myself after finishing my drink, it was really nice and refreshing. The touch of the purple orchid was so pretty and made the simple sparkle.

Dessert is inevitable even after all that food, there should always be a room for it especially if it is sticky mango rice and water chestnut in coconut milk then some hot tea to accompany it and end our wonderful meal.

This is my first food post on the blog and I am so happy about it. As expected, I had a great night and a wonderful experience at Benjarong and most importantly  it gave me an idea where to go when I am craving for crab dishes I cannot cook myself at home.

Thank you Benjarong for having us.


My Yellow Bells

Carla is a lifestyle blogger based in Dubai who's thankful to call this ever-evolving city her second home. The pages of this blog are filled with stories about her expat life in the sandpit. It features dining and travel adventures in and around the city and beyond. It also features food recipes, parenting tips, and fashion style.


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  1. Dear Cara,
    Thank you for the review of the Royal Thai Cuisine, I also love crabs. I will certainly visit this restaurant next week. The interior looks very nice. I would like to share a really great free app I've recently discovered with you. It is called Carde at All image content of top social networks is there. It can be helpful to you in communication with your followers. Thank you again and I am looking forward to your new posts!

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