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Is this Dubai’s prettiest new bar?

There are plenty of new bars in Dubai to check out and one you don’t want to miss is The Birdcage in Dubai. Much attention has been paid to the design of The Birdcage, from the glittering chandeliers to the vibrant purple and pink neon bar, which features chic gothic elements.

Found on the third floor at the Pullman Downtown Hotel, we choose a seat by the window to enjoy the views of Dubai. Inside is just as eye-catching though, with neon lighting, holograms of birds, as well as a digital display behind the DJ and bar. The vibe here is different – inviting, relaxing and freeing. We’re told that the mood starts off relaxing but post-10pm, it’s ‘party time’. And the DJ gets it just right, skillfully matching the atmosphere with his music as the night progresses.

birdcage dubai

We turn our eyes to the cocktail menu, which takes us on a journey with Jonathan Gold (a fictitious character), and his adventurous life in drinks. We opt for a Ronin and Negroni (Dhs85), a pleasantly balanced cocktail, which is both sweet and bitter, but the highlight was the kaffir leaf, which added zest to each sip. The Rob Roy (Dhs90) also arrives along with smoky theatrics, and manages to balance sweet and bitter without being overly strong.

We pour over a menu of Asian and Latin American dishes. For cold nibbles, the coco ceviche (Dhs75) caught our attention. The
classic combo of mango and coconut cream complements the sea bass nicely, but the winning note, comes (yet again) from the kaffir leaf. The wagyu tatami (Dhs90) has thinly sliced seared wagyu rib cap swimming in a mixture of lime oil, garlic and seasonal black truffle. It’s salty with hints of lime and we polish off the dish in minutes.

birdcage dubai

Switching to hot dishes, the grilled octopus called ‘ten-tickles’ (Dhs75) comes with a delicious mashed potato, chilli caramel and chorizo. We found it lacking in the spice department but overall, the dish pairing works. We also opt for the fire-roasted black tiger prawns (Dhs85), which come on a bed of coriander, parsley and lemon sauce. The addition of orange segments brings all the elements together surprisingly well.

For our main, it’s the hamachi color (Dhs120), served with a delicious laksa sauce. If you’re a fan of flavours of the sea, you’ll love this dish, but we personally preferred it when dunked in the coconut-based sauce.

On to dessert, we pick the burnt cheesecake (Dhs75) made with ube (a purple yam from the Philippines). The purple-hued cheesecake was light and flavourful, and the burnt topping helped to balance out the sweetness. We also pick the muscovado sorbet (Dhs75) – a light vegan ice cream with an oat-based crunch that comes to the table in a hollowed-out coconut shell – a light cool treat to end the night.

With winter just around the corner, we’re told that the outdoor terrace is opening soon.

What’s On verdict: A pretty Downtown bar that we will happily fly to time and time again.

The Birdcage Dubai, Pullman Downtown, Downtown Dubai, Tues to Thurs 6pm to 2am, Fri to Sun 6pm to 3am. Tel: (0)50 213 5827. @birdcagedubai

Images: The Birdcage Dubai