Bar of the month: SoBe at W Dubai – The Palm
Is it ‘so good’ or ‘so what’ at this cool new rooftop bar?
You know there’s something special about SoBe before you’ve even made it to the SoBe bar. Perched atop the new W Dubai – The Palm, SoBe is reached through a private elevator, shared only with Akira Bak, the self-titled Japanese-Korean restaurant next door.
Once inside, the fifth floor hotspot is just as impressive. Dark, industrial interiors are interrupted with neon hues of pink and purple, which lead out to the alfresco terrace. Pick a seat outside. There are palm trees covered in fairy lights lining both sides of the long terrace, and offerings of low booths for big groups and high tables for two, four or six in the centre. The views are stunning – and it’s a rare spot to enjoy a full 360-view of Dubai from every angle. Twinkling ocean? Check. Dubai Marina skyline? Check. That wow-worthy vista across the Palm towards the Burj Al Arab? Check mate.
Few things would make us drive our way to the far west crescent at rush hour – but making sunset at SoBe is one of them. They clearly think the sunset views are something to celebrate too – with servers dressed in all-white navigating a ‘sunset ritual’ through the bar as the sun sets. It’s an unusual interruption as the chatter from the tables around us dies down, but we enjoy watching table after table get up and follow the train of waiters as they carry a flame around the bar to light the fire pit at the far side. Conventional? No. But fun? Absolutely.
The food menu is concise, and successfully sticks to the South Beach-style cuisine while adding playful touches to its Latin American dishes.
All designed to share, the ‘So Nachos’ (Dhs45) are a generous portion, although served in a bowl that they almost overflow out of, meaning it’s hard for us to mix the pinto beans in with the guacamole and sour cream. Another thing that strikes us is the price. Outside of happy hour, drinks start from a reasonable Dhs39 – which is one of the cheaper house drink prices we’ve seen in a while.
Couple that with those wow-worthy sunsets, and we reckon SoBe is about to be your go-to sundowner spot.
W Dubai – The Palm, Sat to Tue 4pm to 1am, Wed to Fri 4pm to 3am. Tel: (04) 2455555. marriott.com