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DINING

COCKTAIL KITCHEN Cocktail Kitchen marries hyper-trendy New York style with laidback Catalonian. The neighbourhood hangout in JLT has a distinct underground feel with a ridiculously long bar, concrete floors, leather apron-clad bartenders and DJs spinning vinyl records. The Mediterranean influence shines through in a daily aperitivo from 5-8pm where vermouth plays a starring role in the cocktails, alongside elaborate Italian canapes such as olive ascolane, fried green olives stuffed with spicy minced meat and grilled bruschetta with figs and melted blue cheese. The venue offers several spaces for diners to get a front-row view of the high-octane mixology, tasting tables where they can witness the bartenders’ artistic flair up close or a back room where larger groups can get a private masterclass.

While the venue is seductive, the real reason to come back is the quality of ingredients in both the cocktails and gastronomy. Friday brunch is a chilled affair, a world away from the hectic buffet brunches in Dubai. The a la carte menu is reflective of the restaurant’s easygoing vibe. Must-tries are the beef carpaccio with caper berries, baby beetroot chips drizzled with a balsamic emulsion and the Bloody Mary short ribs, all served at your table in a well-lit enclosed terrace. For the pick of the cocktails, StopWine-ing is a favourite, a refreshing blend of Lacuesta blanco, Qcumber soda, basil and cucumber topped with sparkling wine. Armada Bluebay Hotel, Cluster P, JLT +971 56 828 0727

2016 MAY / JUNE

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