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Paradiso Dubai Review: Marvellous mixology arrives on JBR

The whimsical watering hole features glow-in-the-dark libations and playful glassware. 

When a bar hits number one on The World’s 50 Best Bars ranking, you know it means business. Paradiso has made its way from Barcelona to the newly-opened FIVE Luxe in Dubai and is a must-visit venue. 

More than just a bar, Paradiso provides an experience rooted in the art of wonderment anchored around impressive interiors, beguiling beverages, and tempting tapas. Over-stimulation prevails from the moment the velvet drapes are swept back to reveal the striking interiors, which immediately causes you to revert back to a sense of childhood nostalgia.

Dubai’s new hip hangout is inspired by magic surrealism and has crafted a monochrome paradise that would make Willy Wonka proud. The décor features everything from hot air balloons suspended mid-flight to oversized lollipops and carousel horses that have broken free of their moorings. A bar counter sweeps down the righthand side of the venue, yet the majority of the action at Paradiso takes place on the terrace, which overlooks the JBR beachfront and almost-in-motion Ain Dubai.

Paradiso Dubai
Crunchy Octopus Crackers

Paradiso Dubai may not be the best spot for those who suffer from coulrophobia. The outdoor area boasts a carnivalesque wonderland centred on an outdoor bar that is flanked by clowns and sprouts from the terrace like an upended trumpet. 

Offering a playful selection of bites and beverages, the menu has been crafted by Head Mixologist Giacomo Giannotti and offers tipples topped with clouds or served inside mechanical trains. The drinks may be picture-perfect, but the gimmickry of each beverage is in pursuit of storytelling rather than social media clout. 

Paradiso Dubai
Gelato Paradiso

The Immersion (AED 85) is a cunning combination of Flor de Caña, Amaro Savoia, yuzu, seaweed, coconut, roasted pineapple and hibiscus. Served in a giant oyster shell with a lemon and mint sorbet resembling a pearl, the drink is a tropical blend of sweetness and salinity that is balanced rather than boozy.

Playful glassware prevails with Roots (AED 60), a floral mocktail made with Lyre’s non-alcoholic gin, peas, lemon verbena, roses and soil. Like its namesake, the display resembles a tree root and is topped with a living plant. The Lyre’s gin is poured over said plant before dripping through the soil and into the glass, imparting vegetal and earthy notes into the colourful concoction.

Paradiso Dubai

Elsewhere, Legacy (AED 80) is a smokey delight served inside a book and made from a marvellous mix of rum fat-washed olive oil, fennel cordial and caper honey, while Magic Wizard (AED 75) places a creamy and tropical rum-based drink inside a magician’s hat rather than a rabbit. Our favourite, however, was the Insta-worthy Gelato Paradiso (AED 80), blending turmeric-infused vodka, grapefruit, amontillado sherry, sage, peach and kefir nitro foam into a creamy concoction served inside a glass designed to look like an ice cream cone.

The beautiful beverages are perfectly paired with a small selection of bar bites and tapas, which surpass the drinks when it comes to fun and frivolity. Crunchy Octopus Crackers (AED 35) are shaped like the eight-limbed mollusc but are moreish morsels made with rice, purple corn, tapioca pearls and kimchi powder. Served in a popcorn packet, the Huancaina Puffs (AED 30) is a textural oddity that belies expectations, generously stuffing crispy cassava puffs with a cooling yellow chilli foam and a generous dusting of paprika.

Paradiso Dubai
Wagyu Air Baguettes

The Wagyu Air Baguettes (AED 40) wrap cured beef tenderloin around smoked cream, olive oil caviar, and pickled onion, resulting in a tempting treat that is slightly salty but offers a rich yet beautiful bite. We finish with the small but mighty Pain Perdu (AED 55), where a brioche mini loaf is smothered with caramel toffee sauce, coconut crème anglaise, almond crumble and a dollop of vanilla ice cream.

With imaginative and creative recipes across both the beverages and bites, from glowing green Kryptonite cocktails to drinks served in guillotines, Paradiso is the place if you want to experience a wonderland of marvellous mixology.

We’ll see you behind the curtain.

GO: Follow @paradisodubai on Instagram for more information.

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David Tapley - Editor-in-Chief
As editor-in-chief of the region’s most fiercely local lifestyle publication, David is a self-proclaimed hip-hop aficionado, championing all things food, travel, street art, and streetwear across the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

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