Glitz and glam are all well and good, and heaven knows we have an abundance of it here in the Emirates, but sometimes we can crave something a little funkier, a little more organic and the newly opened Tr!beca in the JA Ocean View Hotel on The Walk offers just that.
A New York inspired bar with lashings of wood, exposed pipework and one-of-a-kind furniture pieces make this new hotspot a must visit. However, don’t think you need to go for the decor alone, Tr!beca Kitchen & Bar is the first restaurant in JBR that serves up healthy organic food and beverages. As if we needed another excuse to have a glass of wine!
Ok, so the word ‘healthy’ can be a little misleading, please be under no assumption that Tr!beca is another run-of-the-mill bar-cum-restaurant attempting to redefine the way we eat. This venue has been redefining the Dubai social scene entirely and looks set to even challenge our brunch conception with its new Friday offering.
We popped down on Thursday night to put its extensive cocktail menu and its Mediterranean fare through its paces to see if it really lived up to all the hype.
The food menu is not particularly expansive or overly inventive but it covers the basics with a twist. To start, the king prawns served with coconut cream and polenta were very good as was the baked greek feta with cherry tomato. There is something of a vegetarian twist to the menu, although meat does feature, this being a great USP for Tr!beca in a city dominated by meat-loving menus. For main course you have a choice of pasta, pizza or meats and fish. The grilled cajun chicken is delicious, served up with the chef’s vegetable of the day and accompanied by thinly cut fries. The Artisan ravioli stuffed with beetroot and mascarpone served on a bed of pea puree is a lot more delicious than it perhaps sounds and is beautifully presented, as all the dishes are. Although the menu is small, the food quality more than makes up for it. It’s easy, it’s appetizing and it doesn’t break the bank. If you’re still feeling peckish, the chocolate fondue with summer fruits is great for sharing, coming in a hollowed out pineapple with a huge bowl of milky melted chocolate.
Tr!beca has a commitment to organic produce and the menu features both naturally and humanely soured ingredients from regional farmers and fair trade cooperatives meaning that we can indulge our conscience as well as our stomachs.
Something you must not overlook is the fantastic drinks selection which features both organic wines and signature cocktail options. The cocktails are so good here that it wouldn’t be unheard of you make your way through the menu and try them all (of course we didn’t do that…) The Sloeberry Sling is particularly good, coming in a tall glass and consisting of a mixture of sloe gin, frangelico, fresh green apple and pink grapefruit juices all topped off with blackberries. It not only looks great, but it tastes great too!
The very best thing about Tr!beca however, isn’t the organic food or the mouth-wateringly good cocktail menu but the live music and entertainment, this really sets the venue apart from anything else in Dubai and gives it a certain rustic, down-to-earth charm that makes it refreshingly different in a cityscape of bars that are often all so similar.
With everything from celebrity-cooking demonstrations to soulful jazz, its easy to spend a good few hours sipping on ‘healthy’ grape listening to the lullaby of the saxophone. Thursday evenings are particularly fun, with ‘A Conversation with the 808s’ recently launched, Tr!beca’s new house band. Think an acoustic melody of much-loved favourite songs, there was even a little Lionel Ritchie thrown in for good measure!
The overall effect is relaxing, making Tr!beca a great place to gather after work when you’re looking for an unpretentious nightspot to drink, dine and socialize. It’ll easily become your new favourite place, and with an enviable location just off JBR, it’s so easily accessible, you’ll pop back time and time again.
As we mentioned, Tr!beca have just announced the launch of their ‘Big Apple’ Friday brunch, which as you will have guessed, is an organic brunch, making it the first of its kind in Dubai. In laid-back NYC style, the brunch starts at 2pm on a Friday which leaves you to have a lay in before enjoying a whole 4 hours of good food, good music and good company.
The Big Apple Brunch is every Friday 2-6pm
AED349 with selected house beverages and cocktails
AED199 with soft drinks