Mahiki’s unique selling point is a Polynesian theme and notorious mixed drinks, the latter a theatrical affair of flaming glasses and juggled bottles. But for all the flash, we’ve heard murmurs from many that they’d rather a simpler, speedier service to combat queues.
The bar’s geographical theme is manifested in the most beguiling way: a totem-style wooden figure holds a vigil over the (decent) dancefloor and straw lines the ceiling. On one wall a window-shaped hole has actually been painted with the view of a tropical sunset. It’s not immediately clear if the décor is misjudged, or an impressive stab at irony. The music policy, however, gives it away – lurching from ’80s soft rock to trance in a matter of moments, Mahiki simply can’t be taking itself too seriously– a quality we admire in Dubai's at times pompous VVVIP nightlife scene. We’ve overheard the phrase ‘a rich man’s Rock Bottom’, and it seems to be sticking.