China Grill is the latest new restaurant and lounge to open in Dubai Marina and while it had a lavish opening party for the who’s who of Dubai, it still seems to be relatively unknown.
Located in The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, the modern venue is situated in a quieter corner of the hotel. After taking an elevator and a stroll down a dark corridor we arrived at the new spot and were greeted by a well-polished hostess. We’d expected the bar to be a little livelier, considering it was a Saturday evening, but we were greeted by only a handful of customers scattered across the spacious lounge.
While the atmosphere was fine for a relaxed drink, louder music would have been welcomed.
The lounge and restaurant concept is split across two floors, with a bar area and restaurant downstairs. The lounge models itself on Asian-inspired cuisine based in a Big Apple-style setting. The large venue was well-ventilated, much to our surprise, so we were able to unwind without being clouded by a thick blanket of smoke, which is all too common in Dubai’s bars. While it lacked the hustle and bustle of New York City, it certainly made up for it with the Asian-infused drinks menu.
We opted to sit at the bar so that we could watch the mixologists at work. The international team of staff were happy to offer suggestions and even offered a few tips on how to best enjoy various mixed drinks. In the mood for something fresh and crisp, we chose a papaya-based concoction and a liquorice-infused creation. Our drinks were prepared in front of us in a timely fashion. The signatures ranged from Dhs65 and upwards for bubbly-based drinks.
Usually when you choose to sit at the bar counter, you put yourself out there for conversation with the staff, which is often the case for solo diners or hotel guests. Luckily, we were only too happy to engage with the friendly, Italian manager on duty who enlightened us with various tales.
Overall the service was friendly, polite and efficient at China Grill. Due to the large square footage, the venue has the potential to be a happening one – once the word properly gets out that it exists.