It isn’t uncommon for a new venue to pop up in Dubai. In fact, at times it’s like there’s a tidal wave of them coming in at the same time, throwing terminology such as ‘authentic’ or ‘contemporary’ at us. How good are they, though? Questionable, but then we find a place like Distillery that labels itself as a ‘hipster late-night bar and gastropub’, and actually delivers.
Set up right on the streets of Souk Al Manzil, we enter and are immediately hit with a nostalgic hit of Shoreditch. Lengthy bar with brass-themed furnishings, high-stools surrounding big black barrels masked as tables, comfy brown leather couches for dining – throw in a brick wall painting and yeah, they’ve nailed the hipster part. As enticing as the bar looks, we sit near the back and are speedily served with menus and recommendations. We take our time, as the dishes and mixed drinks are so quirky that we want to be sure what we’re ordering. We also want to try everything.
Each of the bar’s signature drinks is intriguing, and jam-packed with ingredients such as Indian spices. You can enjoy a mixed drink in a yoghurt-rimmed glass or one that comes in a tea set with a ginger cookie. We love the creativity, and each drink goes down well. If there’s one thing we need to say about the food, get the chicken burger. It’s massive, cheesy, spicy and messy. As in, lick-the-plate-clean kind of deal. Top pick for sure.
It’s a trendy spot for all tastemakers, night owls and everyone in between, and we can quickly see it becoming a regular.
When: Open Sunday-Thursday 4pm-midnight, Friday-Saturday noon-1am
Where: Souk Al Manzil, Manzil Downtown Dubai
Contact: +971 4 329 8899