Bar review: Ling Ling, Atlantis The Royal
Did Ling Ling just become the hottest new table in town?
23 floors high in one of the most talked about hotels of the year, Atlantis the Royal’s Asian restaurant Ling Ling opened to great fanfare in February, with the likes of Emily in Paris‘ Ashley Park, Trey Songz, Fat Joe, and Jonathan Cheban all attending the grand opening soirée.
A concept by Tao Group Hospitality, Ling Ling started out as an exclusive lounge within Hakkasan but has made a promising first impression on the city as a stand-alone restaurant for its wow-worthy views, food, and vibes.
We’re here for a Friday evening session, the vibe is wonderfully fun and varied with large groups and couples either drinking, dining, or dancing. Spanning two floors, the chic dining space features profoundly nightclub-esque lighting, double-height windows, a huge bar for sipping eyebrow-raising concoctions, and an outdoor terrace with panoramic views of the glittering Dubai skyline.
It quickly became apparent that this is not where you go if you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city but, rather, where you go if you want to be right in the centre of it.
The drinks menu is elaborate but it’s the innovative cocktails that are hard to ignore. We order the smoking tequila-based Chaweng (Dhs115) cocktail before looking down at the izakaya-inspired menu.
The sharing-style menu blends a mix of Asian cuisines and is full of words like “wagyu”, “truffle XO”, “24k gold”, and “caviar”. If you’re on the search for pure bred authenticity, then maybe Ling Ling is not for you – but the food is delicious in its own right.
Consider pairing the smoking cocktail with the tea-smoked duck kuih pie tee (Dhs95). Three crispy pastry cups come stuffed with smoked duck, hoisin egg, and sweetcorn, an abundance of textures that will quite literally have you thinking about them for days to come.
The cha ca seabass (Dhs180), soft, tender, moist, and sweetened by a sticky turmeric marinade, is another stand-out dish. The 24k gold makizushi (Dhs550) feels slightly indulgent (yet deeply satisfying). Nine pieces of gold-wrapped, caviar-topped, lobster-stuffed, and a5 Wagyu-rolled sushi are surprisingly-moreish and a show-stopper dish.
For our main course, we were in the mood for seafood so opted for the signature lobster pad Thai (Dhs580), and at once, Bangkok has us with juicy meat, bean sprouts, spiced cashews, and slippery noodles.
Vibe still high, we ended the evening with another cocktail, the unashamedly smart and sophisticated Shilin Nights (Dhs95), which was a fruity and refreshing tipple made with vodka, watermelon, shisho, calamansi, and a fiery kick of ginger.
Verdict: While it might be on the more expensive side, the exceptional cocktails, luxurious food, and stunning views more than justify the price.
Ling Ling, Atlantis The Royal, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai. Daily 6pm to 1am. Friday and Saturday, 6pm to 3am. Tel:(0)4 426 0000. atlantis.com