Go out to Dubai’s secret bar… Nippon Bottle Company
I love secret bars in NYC and London – so I was pretty excited to hear Dubai just launched their secret Japanese bar. Based in Dusit Thani Hotel, the Nippon Bottle company has two entrances – one subtlety behind a library shelf in the hotel lobby and the other on the outside which needs a membership code. Underground vibe, and hip interiors – the bar serve a range of cool drinks with names like Hello Kitty and Blushing Geisha (which I personally recommend). Perfect plan idea for a night out with friends or taking a visitor to a cool new place.
Go out for Pizza & drinks for a casual night out at Jazz @ Pizza Express
You know those nights where you just want a casual night out, but not too casual because it’s a weekend? This place goes perfectly for that. Buzzing crowd, with people from all ages, all styles and all dress codes (I mean, the dress code is your personality!). Jazz at Pizza Express is pretty much Pizza Express with the drinks and Jazz band – Pizza Express as a party. With starters like dough balls and garlic to bresaola and walnuts, main course (it has to be pizza, and you can also make your own), but desserts, don’t even try to miss out on their famous dough balls with Nutella. The service was average (I found myself having to wave my hands for quite some time to get some attention) but then again, it was a full house – a table is filled, the second it gets empty. If you’re in the JLT area and looking for a night out with drinks without dressing up, here’s your joint.
Have a cup of tea & macarons at Dalloyau
If you’re not familiar with Dalloyau, it’s a Luxury Parisian Gastronomy House from 1682 mostly known for their pastries and have recently opened one at Mall of the Emirates in Dubai. Not the largest of menus, but they have options for a light meal from a club sandwich (which is in a larger toast and quite lovely with Chicken Ceasar) or salads (their signature is the Nicoise) – but what I would stop by for is for a cake or macarons with a cup of tea. They have everything from Orange Blossom (this really is delicious and different) to praline and salted caramel macarons. With sweet staff dressed in a French chef uniform, this spot is perfect for a stop at the mall and a catch up over tea and dessert. If you’d like to pick up macarons for a friend, they also have special boxes to take some macarons home – and the shop is opened 7 days a week from 8 30am – midnight.
Pearl bar by Robert Wan
You can take this as a gift to you or a gift to someone but either way, it’s a special one. I recently checked out the Pearl Bar at the Robert Wan section in Harvey Nichols jewellery and let me tell you, it was definitely a ‘pearly’ eye opener. All the pearls have been found around Robert Wan’s private island in Tahiti where the waters are clean and happy – hence the reason he has some of the finest, most beautiful all-natural pearls (they have natural blue, green, black, orange pearls!). The Pearl bar has an interactive activity where you can answer a little questionnaire on yourself, where you are then told which pearl fits with your personality, you then choose your thread and colour (I suggest going for the silk thread and you can change anytime for free for charge!). Lastly, they also recently introduced arabic letter pendants where you can wear your initial or your significant other’s colour. It really is a special, minimal piece and they also have bracelets for men and kids.
Get your beauty treatments & beauty shopping done at Sephora
Sephora are really upping their game recently. I was at their new store in MOE (It’s close to the cinema, love the new location) and ended up getting my beauty treatments like eyebrows, nails and make up while I was there picking up some products I ran out of. They have a nail bar for a quick simple polish change using Formula X nail polish by Sephora (they pretty much every shade available) to a Benefit brow bar, (which I love minus the fact that it’s open to the public) – you can everything from waxing eyebrows and upper lip to a brow tint that takes a few minutes to define the eyebrows. The treatments start with a moisturiser and end with a cooling gel and costs you AED130 for brows, upper lip and a tint. Lastly, they have make up artists for make up if you have a night out – one of my favourites for the past few years is Hanan, who is now based at Mall of the Emirates.
FYI they have 6 stores in Dubai and 2 in Abu Dhabi with beauty services.
Try a Shawurger from JF Street food
If you like the flavour of a shawarma, but love the texture of a burger – this is one to check out. Just Falafel have launched a chicken and beef recipe that comes in a juicy potato bun – the chicken comes with lettuce, pickles and a garlic mayo sauce, where as the beef comes with a sumac onion mix, pickles and tahini sauce. Definitely one to try out, and one to stay on their menu. Pair it with sweet potato fries and a can of coke.
The Hello Kitty Spa
I love anything that feels like childhood, hence the reason me and my sister have spent birthdays at Disneyland. I was so excited to hear that Hello Kitty Spa just opened in Dubai Mall, and I obviously had to check it out for myself. Around the same size as the one in town centre, they really do give you the whole experience and an excessive menu list. As soon as you enter, you feel the Hello Kitty spirit, and the branding inside is the same… Hello Kitty pillows, Hello Kitty towels, Hello Kitty merchandise, all the way to a Hello Kitty Bakery (from cupcakes and cake pops). I booked in for a pamper day – a paraffin manicure & pedicure as well as reflexology (Their menu includes hair, massage and facials as well). For nails, they do have a range of brands from Essie, OPI, Zoya, as well as the child friendly polishes (sans the toxins). As soon as I entered and checked in, I got to wear a Hello Kitty robe, relax during my treatments with Cartoon Network on – the nostalgia feeling was so lovely, and I left very happy. Ask for Sarah, she gives the most amazing massages.