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As You Fish, Dubai’s new casual seafood joint

Who ever came up with “something smells fishy in here”, clearly had no idea how amazing a fried fish could smell. He should probably have specified the state of the fish – raw fish, uncooked fish etc, without just generalizing. I mean, have you guys smelled a coconut crab curry? Or a tawa fried seabream? “Smells fishy” evidently needs a concept makeover, don’t you think?

Few days back, FoodKissed was at a brand new fish joint, opened opposite Jumeirah Beach Hotel. The name is, wait for it…AS YOU FISH! You can catch your own fish from the fresh fish aquarium at the restaurant and have it served as you wish – fried, tawa, choice of marinade etc. You can wish for it, as you fish for it. Hence, As You Fish. Quite a neat play on words, innit?

To get seated indoors, you need to climb a flight of stairs to the first landing – that’s the only hard part in the experience. Once you achieve that, you have earned your way to enjoying some good food in a cheerful, airy ambience. Come winter, you can even skip that effort by grabbing one of the outdoor tables that is going to let you gaze at the lovely white walls splashed with some fantastic paintings for décor. Just the sort of thing you can add to the interiors to bring life and character to a dining spot. And boy, is this place throbbing with all that life!

Once you are seated and pleasantly convinced that you are somewhere in Greece, overlooking the stark white houses and a gorgeous blue ocean, you can dive into the menu to pick and choose some (very) fresh seafood. Since we were there on an invitation, the Chef relieved us off the agony of decision making and took things into his hands. He brought in a tall cooler to begin with – a restaurant special, called Ocean Miracle. Reflecting the blue hue of the ocean, the cooler was a decent version of a slushie with minimal sweetness and just the right dose of flavor. A relief of a welcome drink, after the hot sun/humid evening outside.

The first dish to arrive was the soft shell crab with dynamite sauce dip. The beauty of the soft shell crab is that it is the perfect dish for a lazy person who couldn’t be bothered with the mess of a shellfish. So if you have butter fingers that is too delicate to crack open a luscious crab, order this dish and all you got to do is bite into what’s on your plate.

Chowders are one of the favorites of FoodKissed couple. Because of that, expectations were high for the Seafood Chowder that was brought in. The appearance was killer, especially with the silky texture of the chowder, and also the ridiculously good looking fried shrimps & calamari on top. The consistency was perfect, the taste was everything good. Chowder scored an easy 10/10.

The main course was a procession of Raandhal masala seabream, Curry rice, Masala butter seabream, Mud crab in coconut gravy and Bread with olive tapenade dip. You’d think oh it all sounds so spicy and scary, but hey ho, the Chef knows just how much you like your spices and tunes the music accordingly. I loved the raandhal masala seabream (which is a best seller from the restaurant’s sister outlet back in Kerala, India), and Mr FoodKissed forked up an indecently large portion of the Masala butter seabream (leaving way too less for myself). The curry rice was the perfect accompaniment with the buttery rice on a bed of lightly spiced fish gravy. The olive tapenade got me thinking as to why I never made it at home despite being seemingly easy and so delicious on a slice of bread. The mud crab was the freshest I’ve had (no surprise since it is freshly caught from the aquarium downstairs) and cut up so well that we had a relatively easy time with the hammers and tools to crack open the crab and hunt for the flesh. And man, was there flesh to feast on!

If I did not get blown away with something, it was the desserts. The two I tried, looked fantastic in presentation. The triple chocolate cake was all towards milk chocolate (not what I expected, with the term “triple chocolate”), but together with the raspberry sorbet, is sure to tickle the fancy of a large section of diners who prefer light chocolatey endings to their meals. The yellow paradise, a lemon cheesecake with Italian meringue is again, a light dessert that could help with your “something sweet” after the meal. It did not bowl me over. I did spot some very fresh Canadian Lobsters in the aquarium, along with some Octopus & Seabass. I’m considering the lobsters to try in my next visit. How do you reckon I should have them?

PS: We went back to As You Fish couple of days back for a dinner meal. This was a self paid meal and our order consisted of Watermelon-feta salad, the seafood chowder, Lemon-thyme mudcrab (cooked on charcoal) and Burnt butter lobster.

The salad was brilliantly refreshing, with a drizzle of honey and topping of slivered almonds. The chowder was served only slightly warm and appeared to be less thicker in consistency than from our first visit. The main course items took a ridiculously long time to get served for whatever reasons, but the wait was justified by a FANTASTIC mud crab dish. The Lobster dish was delicious, but certainly over priced for Aed 170+. We would still give our thumbs up for the food and ambiance of the restaurant, but here’s to hoping the team iron out the beginner’s creases in the operations soon (and also rethink the Lobster’s pricing, perhaps?)

As You Fish  Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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