Bar review: Alma Bar
Is this DIFC’s next must-visit hotspot?
From London’s Soho all the way to Dubai, Alma Bar is an enchanting cocktail bar located within the grounds of Sucre bringing together art, culture, creativity, and a unique menu of bites and drinks.
Spotting what we hope is the entrance, we part the chain link curtains and enter the moody bar and are immediately drawn to the three digital art pieces set behind the stage and the lavish bar. It’s still fairly bright outside when we arrive, a stark difference from the mood inside, which embraces shadows, plush red hues, grand green and gold detailing and assorted Arabian trinkets.
We take a seat and dive straight into the cocktail menu with an Almarita (Dhs80), a strong and fiery drink with togarashi Timur salt dust on the glass, giving a sweet and spicy note to each sip. We also enjoy the New Fashioned (Dhs85), a twist on the classic that replaces orange with a mild banana flavouring. For a lighter sip, the Mama Quilla (Dhs80) has fruit profiles with a mild sour and salty aftertaste.
For bar snacks, we start with the classics. The crispy squid (Dhs75) with black garlic aioli was crunchy and the jalapeños added a satisfying heat on our palate. Next, we try the padron peppers (Dhs70), which come topped with salt flecks and are served with a tomato-based red pepper sauce. We were looking for the heat but it never arrived, so this is a good option for those who prefer their bites mild.
Waiting for our next dish, the vibe and volume begins to pick up, though we’re never forced to resort to frantic shouting across the small marble table. Clearly a popular new haunt, we notice a huddle of guests at the bar sipping drinks as they wait for tables to be vacated.
At 9pm, a live band kicks off and the ambience slips into something more comfortable and jazzy. As it does, our next dish, sea bass crudo (Dhs85), arrives. The bite comes together well when all the elements are assembled on the spoon.
Our final dish for the evening is the steak melt tacos (Dhs90) served with a chipotle sauce. Each bite is a full and meaty mouthful, though the beef could have perhaps been a little more tender.
We leave with the fiesta still in fevered swing, live music dictating the tempo with gusto. It’s a school night and as conscientious objectors to using Chat GPT in the office, these reviews won’t write themselves.
What’s On verdict: A suave spot that might just be the perfect new post-work drinks destination
Alma Bar, Sucre, Podium Level, Gate Village 05, DIFC, Mon to Wed 6pm to 2am, Thurs to Sat 6pm to 3am, closed Sun, live music from 9pm on Wed. Tel: (0)4 227 5569. @almabardubai
Images: Alma Bar