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Gate Village 06, DIFC, PO Box 506620, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

IF YOU’RE IN THE MOOD FOR A COCKTAIL EXPERIENCE that blends Japanese-influenced style paired with a strong foundation in the classics and served with a healthy dose of theatre and fun, then enter Zuma Dubai. You know you’ve stepped into a world all its own as the sake bar welcomes you. With a ringside view from the standing section of the bar’s mixing areas there’s a lot to watch, from the ice block being carved with deft precision to the showmanship of the bartender who presides over the dedicated Martini station.

This is a high-volume bar that knows its audience hates to wait for a drink, no matter how brilliant it is. (To that end the bar has been redesigned to allow the entire team to flow to the needs of not only the sake bar but the venue’s additional lounges and dining rooms.) But this is also a bar that loves to entertain.

Bar development manager Jimmy Barrat believes in what he calls the “happy meal technique”, attracting guests who would normally order a mainstream drink by offering them something more. 

In addition to a renowned menu that offers Japanese twists on the classics as well as libations devoted to the fresh and seasonal, Barrat has added a tailor-made solera system for his Japanese Negroni, a spicy wine reduction for his Toji Blazer, and a custom-blended vermouth.

Now pair all of these remarkable liquid theatrics with a Japanese food offering that’s second to none and you’ll know why Zuma Dubai is high on the radar.