|Safari Dubai Restaurant
|11am - guests leave|
|3-301, Jinyinhui, 150 Central Kehua Rd.|
|028 6763 8282|
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Susan Johnson (more chengdu)|
Middle Eastern food is sadly under-represented in Chengdu, so we were thrilled when MORE was invited to try the wares at Safari, whose proprietors hail from Dubai. Safari has been open for only a few weeks, but the place already has many fans. For the time being only one set meal is being served, but the kitchen changes things up every few days so the regulars do not get bored.
We started with a vegetable soup whose simple ingredients belied its big flavour. Smooth, rich hummus and a plate of eggplant dip with flatbread arrived next. We then enjoyed a couple of beef dishes, one with a sesame sauce and one with eggplant and peppers that reminded us of yuxiang eggplant, in a good way. The server set down a colourful plate of rice and chicken, calling it 'shou zhua fan' – it was quite different than the Xinjiang dish though. Although we usually prefer being able to select dishes from a menu, the set meal saved us the confusion of trying to figure out and choose unfamiliar foods, and we did love most of what we were served. Soft drinks, juices, beer and cocktails were featured on the beverage menu.
We liked the attention to detail in the space – there are two dining rooms and a few outside tables, and the lighting, decor, and tableware all make a beautiful setting for the food. They also provide shisha (water pipes) and when we left, guests beside us were relaxing in a cloud of chocolate flavoured smoke. Safari is just slightly outside the areas with a lot of international restaurants; it's a stop or two away from Kehua North Road and less than ten yuan on a three-wheeled motor cab from Tongzilin. Guests can expect to pay around 100RMB each, including drinks.