Spicy revolving spot in Deira 9 Reviews
The only revolving restaurant in Dubai with views of the Arabian Gulf, the Creek and the city. Al Dawaar serves an international buffet of European, Middle Eastern, Asian and Japanese cuisine. (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday)
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In the past year I have been perplexed by a mirrored toilet cubicle (Reflets), given vertigo from a crane-winched dining table at JBR and lost a friend in swathes of dry ice at Kitsune. The fads, it would seem, just keep on comin’.
Last week, however, I decided to go old-school and embrace one of the original members of the eating-out crazes crew: the revolving restaurant. I wasn’t even alive when this slightly bizarre dining phenomenon reared its spinning head back in the ’50s – in Dortmund, Germany of all places. But I wanted in – and I knew that if I could still find one anywhere, it would be in Dubai. The Deira-based Hyatt Regency turned out to be our local revolver.
Twenty-five floors up, my friend and I stepped out of the lift and onto the rotating platform, taking our seats in the dimly lit, sophisticated space. The first thing that took us by surprise was that it was just the interior of the restaurant that moved rather than the entire structure. Of course, on reflection an actual 25-storey building rotating in the air would be plain silly – but there was still something a little unnerving about the fact that, in my peripheral vision I could see that we were moving, but the exterior ledge was not. If you are similarly inexperienced in revolving restaurants, rest assured that you don’t whizz around like a kid on a carousel – we were there for around an hour-and-a-half and did just over one revolution.
Given that it was 7pm on a Sunday the restaurant was relatively busy, with a good eight occupied tables. Pistachio hues, plush carpets and dark wood lent it a grown-up (but not stuffy) feel, and the staff were charm personified. I will never cease to be tickled when I return to my table after a buffet round to find my napkin folded into the shape of a horn. Speaking of the buffet, all the usual suspects were present (a good assortment of salad, cold Lebanese offerings and a slightly half-hearted sushi bar for starters; curries, kebabs and European dishes for mains), and the array wasn’t overwhelmingly vast, to our relief.
To begin, we sampled a deliciously creamy houmous, a fiery Thai salad that bit the back of our throats with heat, and some bread that was tasty but could have done with being warmed. For mains I made a beeline for the Indonesian duck curry, the coconut-laced flavours of which were at once light and pungent in all the right ways, although the meat let it down by being too fatty. My date honed in on the Indian section, adding some Middle Eastern meat for good measure. The zingy tomato sauces and creamy shrimp concoctions of the former did Al Dawaar proud, but she found the beef kebab leathery.
If you visit and make it to dessert, I would advise giving the lemon meringue pie a miss – there was no crispness to the meringue, and the lemon filling was too stodgy and lacking in tartness. The white chocolate cheesecake, on the other hand, was sublime.
Unless you suffer motion sickness, Al Dawaar is quite fun as a one-off novelty experience, but given the Dhs230 price tag (which doesn’t include the expensive drinks) and the not-so-beautiful views of Deira’s construction sites and half-built Palm, it’s probably not going to become your Thursday night regular.
The bill (for two)
2x Buffet dinner Dhs460
1x Large bottle Evian water Dhs26
1x Virgin mojito Dhs32
1x Hardys Chardonnay Dhs40
2x Fresh mint tea Dhs44
Total (excluding service) Dhs602
Time Out Dubai,
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