Shaken not stirred

With the endless number of venues to choose from when looking for a night out, sometimes it just makes sense to go with a classic. So, what could be better than teaming an evening at one of Dubai’s most long-standing hotels with a ladies night dedicated to 007’s signature drink? Team TMN were only too happy to investigate…

What: Hakkatini Nights

Where: Hakkasan Dubai, Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai

When: Saturday – Wednesday, 6pm – 2am

The promise: “A relaxed yet elegant experience at Hakkasan Dubai, offering guests a perfect combination of Hakkasan’s beautiful Martinis and delicious small eats”

Did it deliver?  As Team TMN made our way to the outdoor terrace, we were captivated by Hakkasan’s décor, classic in its oriental elegance but achieving a modern feel thanks to the cobalt blue, neon-lit bar that ran the length of the venue. Once outside, we settled into the chilled vibe – incredibly inviting if you’re looking for a relaxed catch up with the girls, as there’s none of the hectic crowds you might find elsewhere.

A great deal if you’re a Martini lover, the ladies night package offered three variations of the classic cocktail, including the signature Hakkatini, the Zesty Martini – which was a particularly intriguing twist on the original – and Lychee Martini, all accompanied by number of small eats.

With regards to the selection available, the food menu – like the drinks offering – definitely caters to an acquired taste. Choosing from a slightly limited menu, we sampled the stir-fry vegetables and pine nut lettuce wrap, the fried soft-shell crab with chilli and curry leaf, the chef’s selection of dim sum basket, the mooli puff, prawn crackers and homemade macaron. While it’s always a good concept to include food where ladies night is concerned, do make a point to remember the ‘small’ in small eats – it’s definitely more of a light-bite over a cocktail than something to hold you over for the evening. Undeterred by this, the peckish TMN team did end up ordering extra plates from the main menu and we spent the rest of the evening partnering great conversation with a cocktail in hand – no better way to spend a ladies night!

The verdict: A stunning venue in an ideal location, Hakkatini Nights is a great concept for those who are partial to James Bond’s signature cocktail. At AED275 per person, it’s not really value for money when comparing to other ladies night offerings, but it certainly seems to be targeting a select crowd. While we would like to see it appeal to a wider audience with a little more choice to the small eats and drinks menu, it still makes for a delightfully relaxed evening.

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