Contrary to its name, the newly opened Caramel Lounge and Restaurant is anything but sweet and childish. The uber-grown up smart and classy after hours bar is an excellent addition to the DIFC’s (Dubai International Financial Center) selection of venues and an equally noteworthy alternative to all time favorite Zuma, located just five minutes away. A Las Vegas export, you might expect something ostentatious but will be surprised by the sophistication, level of service, and enjoyable cuisine.
Caramel’s twin venue at Bellagio has become a popular celebrity destination and is known for its balance of energy and exclusivity. The Dubai venue is modeled after its Bellagio sister in sophistication and intimacy and is spread over 10,000 square feet seating up to 233 guests with an outdoor terrace complete with private cabanas. Suitable for a business lunch, classy dinner, or an after-clubbing hot spot, Caramel’s advantage is that it can be a little bit of everything.
The menu is a surprising two pages long and highly American including signature dishes from the Caramel Bellagio such as Lobster & Grilled Mango Tacos, Ponzu Yellow Fin Tuna, and Mac & Cheese Sticks with Truffles. Sizes are small but delightfully arranged such as the crab bites displayed as three tiny burgers compiled with a tomato, two slices of toasted bread, and a small olive on top. The black cod starter is notably fragrant and sweet and has been said to be one of the best in the city. Although the entrees are certainly American-inspired dishes, they are not American in size and can certainly be accompanied by a few starters. Caramel’s delectable desserts are heartwarming like something your grandmother would serve after a family meal. The apple cobbler is soft and chewy with the perfect amount of cinnamon while the chocolate fondant is silky with a splendid consistency of sponge. The only thing that might leave your mouth agape is the fact that there are only three choices on the dessert menu! A bit more innovation might be required.
In all, Caramel is certainly a venue to try as it will not disappoint; it resides happily between your extravagant Dubai nightclub and your conservative sleek bar—a spot for all tastes.