Food, fun, events and studios, these are our favourite things in the UAE right now…

Catching feels over cocktails and tapas… at Salmon Guru

The seasoned bar wizards who brought us Salmon Guru in Madrid – ranked within the World’s 50 Best Bars for several years running – dropped this Dubai ode to creative cocktails in June and were immediately met with rave reviews, including mine, which will feature in the next issue of What’s On. Embrace the fantastic vibes inside this intimate, narrow space on the ground floor of the Opus by sidling up – or even behind – the bar and peruse the playful cocktail list. Better yet, take a recommendation from any of the expert bartenders who’ll create something so unique and serve it in one of Salmon Guru’s customised cocktail vessels, the likes of which you’ll have never seen before. Throw in some bougie tapas shareables – think Spanish cured beef slices, anchovy croutons, or bigger bites like the hens croquette or golden fried oysters – and consider date night done and dusted. – Laura Coughlin, Head of Content

@salmongurudubai

Drinking ‘could-be wine’ and trying new summer dishes… at 21grams

Life can get tough. Times can get dark. But 21grams exists, so all’s right with the world. Easily one of Dubai’s most truly magical spaces, inventive Balkan cuisine – with lots of new cool summery dishes to try right now – surprisingly excellent non-alcoholic wines, and the warmest of welcomes from owner Stasha and the team are just some of the reasons why it continues to be one of my favourite spots in the city. – Laura Coughlin, Head of Content

@21grams.dubai

Reaching peak Dubai with laundry service from… 5asec

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by 5àsec UAE (@5asecuae)

One of the best things about Dubai is how there’s a home service for (almost) everything, whether it’s booking an at-home barber, getting discount dining deals or delivering anything from groceries to medicine. With two weeks of holiday washing to get through, I called on 5asec to help get the bulk of my laundry done. Order via phone or Whatsapp, they arrange collection from your house at a time to suit you, with options for general wash and fold, wash and press, plus an array of clean and press services for special items. There’s even a bag and shoe cleaning service for keeping your accessories in check. Within 36 hours of collection everything was back, perfectly cleaned and pressed. – Alice Holtham, Group Digital Editor 

@5asecuae

Tucking into my favourite avocado eggs at… Bounty Beets

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Bounty Beets (@bountybeets)

I must get asked for breakfast recommendations on a weekly basis as part of team What’s On, and one place I revert to time and again is Bounty Beets. Not just because I love the pretty interiors (who hasn’t snapped their photo with the phone box by the entrance?), but also because their all-day breakfast menu is one of the most extensive in the city, packed with healthy options as well as some sweet treats for when only cheat day waffles will do. Their twist on an avo toast, with fresh chunks of tomato and crumbly feta, is one of my favourites. – Alice Holtham, Group Digital Editor

@bountybeets

Getting my tiny little mind blown at… the teamLab Phenomena preview

Last week Abu Dhabi’s DCT announced that a new megaproject will be joining the Saadiyat Cultural District’s collection of museums, galleries and places of worship — teamLab Phenomena Abu Dhabi. And despite the fact it’s not due for completion until 2024, there is a way to get an electric FREE preview of its truly astonishing installations. It’s being held at Mamsha Al Saadiyat from June 24 to July 17. You’ll find it next to the new Society Cafe. When I went in earlier this week to hype check the place, it almost literally blew my mind — walking off the beach-hemmed boulevard straight into what feels like some sort of digital-Narnia splinter world, was just absolutely dizzying in an entirely pleasant way. Miles Buckeridge, Senior Online Reporter

@teamlab

Eating mega pints of French food at… Raclette

So same day, same place — shhh, it was a big day for me — I had lunch at Mamsha Al Saadiyat’s French brasserie plug, Raclette. They do a ‘Menu du Jour’ deal, essentially a business lunch menu that changes up every weekday. You get three courses and if you fancy a grown up sip with your Parisian culinary drip there’s a package with two hours of free-flow (including prosecco). How much? Dhs139. Which might make this the best bargain on the strip. I had French onion soup, mussels in cream and tarte tatin. I may have waddled out of that place, but I waddled out beaming. Miles Buckeridge, Senior Online Reporter

@racletteuae

Excited to check out the new ice bar at… The London Project

Even though I was born and raised in Dubai, the summer heat is something that I am just not used to. So, when The London Project announced that it is opening a new ice bar, I knew I had to check it out. We’ve been told guests will find themselves in a simulation of an ice castle with ice penguin sculptures, a throne and more. It’s the first-ever licensed ice bar in all of the GCC with one-of-a-kind cocktails and you can fuel up on dishes from the raw bar. They’ll even give you faux fur coats to stay warm! Excited! – Aarti Saundalkar, Online Reporter

@thelondonprojectdubai

Booking in an appointment to calm my curly mane at… Pastels

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Pastels Salon (@pastelssalon)

Taking care of curly hair isn’t easy and for the longest time, I had no go-to salon in Dubai. Thankfully, a friend introduced me to Pastels. I was skeptical but, my locks were in desperate need of some love and I have never looked back since. The staff there are all lovely and well trained and do what’s best for your hair without pushing extra products or chopping off too much. It’s been a while since my last visit so my hair needs some help. I usually get an express hair scrub followed by a tiny few snips by their fantastic stylist, Georgie to help shape my hair. – Aarti Saundalkar, Online Reporter

@pastelssalon