It's often the case that you might want just a taste of fish when you order a meal, even if you don't want all of your meal to feature seafood. Choosing a fish starter is a great way to go, and with Thai cuisine, there are plenty of dishes that will fit the bill. Tom yum koong and prawn satay are just two examples.
It's not surprising that Thai cuisine features a lot of seafood and fish dishes. All around the country, not just along the beautiful coastline, but also in the centre and south of Thailand there's an emphasis on creating salty and flavourful dishes, and fish and fish sauce are often used to achieve that.
We've rounded up a list of the tastiest fish starters in Dubai.
1. Tod Man Pla
At the Lemongrass Thai Restaurant you'll get authentic Thai cooking and flavours in every dish. Our fishy starter pick is Tod Man Pla, skewers of fried fish in bite-sized balls. These come with ajad sauce, a typical Thai cucumber salad or pickle that makes for a perfect dipping accompaniment to the fish balls.
Alternatively, go for the other fish starter on the Lemongrass menu; Goong Choub. Here prawns are battered and deep-fried, and come with a dipping sauce of sweet chilli.
2. Prawn Cakes
You know you're in for a fine dining experience when a restaurant has earned itself a Michelin Star, and that's exactly what's happened at Rhong Tiam in Jumeirah. The focus on the menu here is Thai food that's delicious and healthy at the same time. There are plenty of choices for anyone on a gluten-free diet, or who wishes to consume organic food only.
To have a seafood starter, try the prawn cakes. These are mouthfuls of deliciousness that are made even better with the addition of dips of sriracha aioli and sweet plum sauce. A truly satisfying way to begin a Thai taste extravaganza at Rhong Tiam.
If soup's your favourite way to start a meal, there's also the Tom Yum with prawn - a spicy coconut milk soup flavoured with lemongrass and herbs, with floating prawns to fish out as you savour your soup.
3. Fried Calamari
It wouldn't be fair of Thai cuisine to claim fried calamari as a national dish, but the guys at Fuchsia Urban Thai certainly give this ever-popular starter a Thai twist. The calamari are battered and dipped in breadcrumbs infused with the flavour of kafir lime leaf before they're fried and the dish is served with a spicy peanut dip. The lime flavour complements the fish perfectly, making this a starter you'll want to have again and again.
Fuchsia put a modern touch on many traditional Thai dishes and as well as soups like tom yum, you can also try the Clear Seafood soup, which features prawns, calamari and mussels in a clear and tasty broth with mushrooms.
4. Gong Hom Sabai
Love the combination of seafood flavours and spring rolls? Then you have to try the Going Hom Sabai at Thai Time Restaurant in downtown Dubai. Here the prawns are wrapped in spring rolls and fried to crispy perfection. Alternatively, there are Tod Mun Pla or Koong Satay - that's prawn grilled on skewers.
As for soups, our pick is Gaeng Jeud Woonsen Lookchin Pla - a fish dumpling clear soup that comes with glass noodles. One of the most popular soups on the Thai Time menu is the Tom Yum Koong, which some would consider to be one of the most well-loved dishes on any Thai menu.
When you're in the mood for a superlative seafood starter, check out the Thai menus at Deliveroo.