This quirky watering hole is the talk of the town, but does it live up to the hype?

When we first heard about the opening of The House Party Bar, we were skeptical. In a world of uber-luxe, international concepts, could a cheesy, retro, multi-roomed house party bar hold its own?

The House Party Bar has taken over a large portion of the space formerly occupied by Cirque Le Soir, although a smaller version of the circus-themed club opens later in the night, accessed via a secret door from The House Party Bar.

Cleverly split into a series of rooms you’ll find a games room complete with beer pong and table football upstairs, adjacent to the children’s playroom, where revelers can dive into a neat ball pit.

Downstairs, there’s a kitchen (where you’ll find the bar), a living room (with another bar), astro-turfed garden, bedroom and even a bathroom complete with tub and toilet. We take a perch around the bathtub, and settle in for an evening of cheesy hits.

The food isn’t fancy, and that’s exactly why it works. A concise menu boasts a collection of appetizers, burgers, pizzas and sides, with a handful of dessert options. It’s mostly finger food and served up on boards and baskets that wouldn’t be misplaced at a college frat party. Quirkily named starters included ‘Dip Me Baby One More Time’ mozzarella dippers (Dhs40) which we dunk in a spicy tomato sauce and ‘I Don’t’ Wanna Miss A Wing’ chicken wings. The wings are drenched in a spicy sauce which is tasty, but slightly overpowering, which leaves us gasping for a glass of water served up in kitsch red plastic cups.

The pizzas are easy to share, generously portioned and come in four simple toppings, or a make your own. We opt for The Goodfellas (Dhs75), a double mozzarella base that’s heaped with slices of pepperoni. It’s not the best pizza we’ve ever tasted (the base is a little dry), but as a bar snack – it works perfect. Be sure to load up on sides – it’s a choice of classic fries or sweet potato (both Dhs25) and a portion of onion rings served up with tartare sauce (Dhs35). There’s also an option to double up on your fries and add three extra onion rings for a reasonable Dhs25, which we do and don’t regret.

Between snacking, you can tackle the giant jenga, table football and challenge fellow partygoers to a game of beer pong while the DJ spins nineties and noughties hits that have us on our feet by the end of the night.

The House Party Bar may not be the most novel name for a throwback bar, but its cheesy tunes, inventive interiors and retro games make it a must-try nostalgic night out.

The House Party Bar, Fairmont Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, Mon and Thurs 6pm to 3am, Sun, Tues, Weds and Sat 6pm to 2am, Fri 4pm to 3am. Tel: (050) 995 5400. Metro: World Trade Centre.

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