Things got off to a slow start for Beirut import Couqley, which initially didn’t quite draw the evening bar crowd when it first opened in summer 2016. Fast-forward just over a year, however, and the French bistro is a force to be reckoned with on JLT’s thriving nightlife scene.
A raft of deals throughout the week seem to have helped the venue’s bar lure as many punters as its bistro side, even if service does tend to err on the erratic. (A Dhs89 bottle of grape isn’t quite so enjoyable if it’s sipped while bathing in the neon light of a service room door left wide open all evening, and in the company of a stack of used glasses waiting to be whisked away to the dishwasher.)
Nevertheless, Dhs89 is excellent value for a bottle, and you’ll find it daily from 4pm until 8pm, alongside selected drinks for Dhs25, and nibbles starting from Dhs9 (for a soup). On Wednesdays from 8pm, ladies get unlimited selected drinks and three-for-two on bar bites, and if you’re a night owl, there’s a further daily happy hour from 11pm. It’s unlikely, however, that you’ll stick around long enough to see through both.
While Couqley offers indisputable value, the experience still feels just a little too stilted. There are simply better nights out to be found very nearby.
The bottom line Good value, but not worth going out of your way for.