Review: Does Koko Bay deliver the promised Balinese vibe?
It is, without a doubt, one of Dubai’s most Instagrammable new hotspots…
Since it opened at the start of September, it’s no secret that a seat at new Bali-inspired beach bar and restaurant, Koko Bay is currently one of the hottest in town. Its Instagram followers have boomed by the thousands in just one month and it’s usually booked out on the weekends.
Naturally, we went to see what all the fuss was about…
You’ll find Koko Bay on the strip of sand known as Palm West Beach, Palm Jumeirah. Seating spills from the Insta-worthy indoor restaurant to wooden rattan furniture on the decking and beach. Cushy blue bean bags, cabanas and crocheted white parasols bring that Bali vibe.
The prime location offers incredible and unobstructed vistas of the Arabian Gulf and that iconic Dubai Marina skyline. Watching the sun set from here is truly breathtaking and guarantees one of those ‘pinch me’ Dubai moments.
The European-Asian inspired menu is delightfully varied. For nibbles, some comforting potato spirals (or curly fries to some) and chipotle mayo start proceedings off nicely, as we sip on a refreshing beverage and watch the sun go down.
Of the hot appetizers, the well-deserved winners are the pulled-duck lettuce cups (Dhs79) and the lava prawns (Dhs79) served in a tangy Asian sauce. The chicken teriyaki skewers (Dhs59) are aromatic, smoky and flavourful.
The steamed dim sum in the assorted basket (Dhs89) is delicate and moreish, with options including chicken and basil, prawn Sui mai and edamame, water chestnut and truffle. The assorted sushi platter (Dhs189) is presented beautifully.
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After a stellar round of appetisers, the mains do, unfortunately, leave a little to be desired. The Cantonese style steamed red snapper (Dhs119) shows all the promise of being a stand-out dish, but it is overcooked and lacked the fragrant Cantonese flavours that we’d hoped for.
The ultimate surf and turf platter (Dhs355) boasted baby calamari, sea bass, striploin and spring chicken, served with three different sauces, jacket potatoes and corn on the cob. Whilst it is pleasant and great for sharing, there isn’t quite the depth of flavour we expected.
For its incredible location, undeniable atmosphere, chic setting, tasty food and innovative beverages, Koko Bay truly has the whole package. It’s undoubtedly one of those places you’ll want to visit again and again.
Koko Bay, Palm West Beach, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, Sat to Wed 12pm to 12am, Fri and Sat 12pm to 1am. Tel: (04) 572 3444. @kokobayuae