Review: Good food and fun times at Phoenix Social Club

A few famous faces are already frequenting Phoenix Social Club – the sassy new restaurant and bar inside Dubai’s H Hotel.

Okay, so original James Bond star Sean Connery, Elvis Presley and Audrey Hepburn are actually large portraits, but this is arguably the kind of venue they might once have hung out in, and you can imagine a few other celebs pitching up.

There’s a timeless classiness to Phoenix Social Club (PSC) inspired by the supper clubs of 1930s and 1940s Los Angeles, Miami and New York.

Think snazzy furnishings, subtle lighting, cosy corners and innovative drinks and dining to keep discerning night owls occupied.

A cleverly curated blended beverage selection includes our new favourite Shizzle My Swizzle (AED 55) in a plushly decorated copper cup alongside the eponymous Phoenix Elixir (AED 65).

Monthly innovations are created in conjunction with the culinary team, responsible for an indulgent dining experience that we cannot recommend highly enough.

Imagination fuels an eclectic selection that starts with PSC’s signature tandoor-baked flatbreads, taken up a level by moreish accompaniments, including roasted capsicum cream (AED 30), Wagyu pancia (AED 48) or burratina with paprika truffle honey (AED 54).

A sharing scenario continues into a smaller plates selection, such as outstanding chargrilled octopus (AED 75), dispatched with style courtesy of miso foam and yuzu kosha.

Matching this for commanding flavour is zesty hamachi ceviche (AED 70) and slow-roasted miso pumpkin with sweet potato, with sweet potato crips, pickled pumpkin and pumpkin seed cream (AED 40).

Also vying for Insta lens time is a colourful, palate-cleansing strawberry and cucumber salad with goats cheese sorbet (AED 40).

Even good old veg patch staples get a stylish lift here – cue heirloom carrots in coconut, kafir curry, bolstered by quinoa and puffed wild rise with a shot of coriander (AED 35).

Larger dishes also shine, the likes of Wagyu striploin with eggplant (AED 100) and a stand-out beef cheek tortellini (AED 70), sent into legend territory with porcini beurre monte. Then there’s a memorable black cod paired with braised daikon (AED 75).

This clever kitchen isn’t lacking dessert options either with a sweets list including compressed watermelon accompanied by fresh mangosteen (AED 30) and textures of white chocolate, kefir lime and basil.

Claiming our tastebuds on this side of the menu was cultured saffron and pear sorbet with spiced caramel, vanilla yoghurt, milk crumble, apples and brick pastry (AED 30).

These canny combinations and intuitive ingredients place the kitchen up there with our other imaginative, city favourite – Madinat Jumeirah gem, Folly by Nick & Scott.

And if you want to see PSC’s young chef and his team really run through their skill set, they’ve launched Experimental Tuesdays – weekly between 7-10pm, foodies can embark on a culinary journey through a degustation menu of both food and drinks. Vegan and vegetarian options are available on request.

PSC is described as a post-prohibition lounge and bar exuding ‘modernised nostalgia’ and a place where old and new collide.

This manifests itself as stylish decor with a timeless edge, mixing old values with up-to-date demands to give a classic yet on-trend feel.

The overall result is an experience that is fancy yet relaxed, upmarket but not stuffy, and casually.

Phoenix Social Club is inside The H Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road. Call 04 3383434 to book. Experimental Tuesdays cost AED350 for the full degustation menu and drink pairings and AED290 for soft drink pairing.

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