Nippon Bottle Co.

A speakeasy on Sheikh Zayed Road. Or is it a sports bar?

Tucked away in the Dusit Thani Hotel on Sheikh Zayed Road is Nippon Bottle Co., a speakeasy-style bar with moody lighting and a mellow vibe.

The bar itself is quite cool, with cherry blossom and Japanese décor and a large, central bar. The mirrored entrance is funky (and disorientating) but doesn’t really reflect (in any sense) the bar inside.

The space is dark and cosy, with comfy sofas lining the walls. But somehow the vibe isn’t quite intimate or trendy – despite being fairly busy on our visit, it still feels a bit cold and clinical.

A highlight is the drinks menu, which is is extensive with a huge list of Japanese beverages, including a large selection of malt short drinks from Scotland and Japan, which range from reasonable to super-pricey.

There are some deals throughout the week, too – though not particularly generous ones – including a happy hour from Saturday until Tuesday where you’ll get 35 percent off from 4pm until 8pm. There’s also a Sunday ladies’ night, with three free drinks, though it starts at 8pm, which is feels a little late for a start-of-the-week post-office catch-up. And every Wednesday there’s a deal offering unlimited drinks from 9pm until midnight for Dhs169 for gents.

Confusingly there are also screens dotted around showing the football. Is it a speakeasy or sports bar? We’re not sure it knows itself. And the compact bar food menu is equally at odds, with snacks ranging from wasabi prawns to beetroot arancini.

Nippon Bottle Co. is fine if you’re in the area, but there are better places to visit.

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