Review: Noir Dubai
Set high up on the upper floors of the Kempinski Mall of the Emirates, Noir is, for lack of a better word, decadent.
The venue – formerly known as 1897 – originally opened its doors in 2015, with décor inspired by the New York of the 1920s. Like the speakeasies built in that time during the Prohibition era, Noir is built for a clientele that appreciates the good life, with plush furniture, an impressive cigar menu and an above-par drinks selection.
As the name suggests, Noir has gone for the ‘dark and luxurious’ look with a touch of OTT vibes. Chief among these art-deco-inspired interior touches is a resplendent glass chandelier that includes more than 1,000 custom smoked glass filaments.
The concept is on point. But does that make the venue worth your time?
Noir Dubai: what’s the vibe?
While Noir is big, it’s sparsely filled on weekdays, with ample space to choose from among its large sofas, low tables and a long bar. Regulars there will know that a familiar sight at the venue is Dominik Schachtsiek, the lounge’s head mixologist and a charming and well-known conversationalist.
The lounge even includes a romantic touch in the winter months in the form of a fireplace, as well as classic black and white pop culture films projected on the walls. Compared to many of the new openings that are springing up throughout Dubai, Noir is a little quieter, with guests who tend to stay for hours on end, largely because of its expansive and creative drinks menu.
While at most Dubai bars one has to scream over the loud DJ beats to make oneself heard, Noir’s dim lighting, low-key crowded and peaceful interior make it a place to get a conversation going.
Noir Dubai: how’s the food?
Most Dubai venues try to impress with quantity when it comes to menus. However Noir’s approach is the complete opposite: less is definitely more when it comes to the food. The Latin American and Asian fusion menu hits the right spots after a long day of work, with the stand out items being the spicy potato, Noir Tempura and double mini burgers. While fine-dining food it is not, it is the right kind of comfort food/bar bites.
Noir Dubai: what’s the verdict?
Noir is one of Dubai's best kept secrets. It’s the perfect spot for the quintessential Esquire reader to relax after a long day’s work. While from an outsider’s perspective it may seem gimmicky and a knock-off of similar speakeasies in other cities, it’s well worth a visit.
Noir Dubai: Where is it?
Noir Dubai is located on the second floor of Kempinski Mall of the Emirates.