Promising to bring Levantine nostalgia to Dubai, Antika Bar, tucked away on the first floor of Al Fattan Currency House Dubai Financial Centre, pays homage to the timeless arts of the Levant region.
As we walk up to the entrance of Antika, we are greeted by the sounds of live entertainment and a beaming smile from a hostess who stands on the rolled out red carpet. If you’re searching for a lively venue, this place is all about entertainment. Expect to be enraptured in the energetic atmosphere created by singers, dancers, musicians, and DJs mixing old and new Arabic favourites. Open from 5pm until 3am, this spot boasts generous seating indoors and outdoors, resulting in the perfect after work lounge or dinner venue for the DIFC crowd.
Inspired by the hidden theatres of 1950’s Lebanon, Antika is effortlessly classic with rich antique details and carefully thought out seating, ensuring guests can watch the show at all angles. We’re enamoured by the detailed feature wall filled with antique toys and ornaments, the theatre style drapes and 1950s Hollywood style signs. It’s a cosy venue and one you can easily lose yourself in. We love that our seats are close to the stage and on the same level as the live performers, making us feel like a part of the show.
Our order is taken by Ali, who advises us straight away that on Mondays we should mezze. Filled with a wealth of knowledge surrounding Lebanese cuisine, Ali runs through the cold and hot mezze menu. Monday’s open mezze night, meaning that from 8pm to midnight, guests can get stuck into the various mezze, dessert and a selection of house beverages, for AED 299 per person.
A firm favourite with locals from the Middle East, the Levantine staples at Antika are presented with a twist and include hummus, vine leaves, moutabbal, shanklish, labneh, spicy potatoes and fried kebbe. It isn’t easy, but we try not to overindulge and leave space for what is about to come.
After a short break, we move on to our hot mezze and are presented with kabab skewers, beef and chicken shawarma, cheese rolls, traditional tabbouleh and fattoush. Whilst our waiter carefully presents the food on the table, we sit up because there’s so much to sample, and it all smells SO good!
For dessert, we indulge in the Oum Ali. For those who have not tried it before, it’s a dish very similar to a bread pudding. The Oum Ali at Antika is designed for sharing and while we don’t usually share dessert, at this point, we’re ready to roll out of Antika!
The DJ track starts to fade, the lights go down and the live musicians really give it their all. Within seconds they have the diners full attention, with lots of clapping from the seats. Antika is known for its entertainment, and it did not disappoint!
This bar and lounge in the heart of Dubai’s Financial Center does not come with the expected high DIFC prices. The knowledge of the staff made the experience personable, and the entertainment creates a truly memorable night.