By Lindsay Trivers
December, 18 2017
In a world of cash-conserving Cava and perkily priced Prosecco, there are still times when only the official drink of celebration, Champagne, will do. However, the cost of that glass often sparks a long hard look at the direction your life has taken, whilst you try not to cry into the menu. Yet, believe it or not, there are still bargains to be had, even in Dubai, a city that’s no stranger to ambitious pricing. The Tasting Class spills the beans on where to go for a great value drop of the real French deal, Champagne, this festive season…and beyond.
To get you started, here are 10 restaurants and bars in Dubai where you can find that elusive and affordable glass of Champagne, listed from reasonably priced to absolute bargain – all under AED100 including taxes for the DIFC establishments. Please note – with 5 per cent VAT tax going live in January, likely these prices will rise.
10. Zahira – The H Hotel
The latest restaurant and lounge from award-winning chef, Greg Malouf, Zahira offers a happiness-inducing combination of modern Middle Eastern cuisine and Veuve Clicquot Brut at AED100 a glass. Enjoy it with the whole fillet of wild sea bass – you won’t regret it.
9. Sean Connolly at Dubai Opera – Downtown Dubai
Whether you’re going to the opera, or heading out for the night, there are many compelling reasons to visit this contemporary brasserie – from it’s fresh, produce-driven menu, to the rooftop terrace with picture perfect views of Burj Khalifa, AED5 oysters, and of course, a glass of Veuve Clicquot Brut for AED99.
8. Okku – The H Hotel
Much like a fine glass of wine, this home grown Japanese concept has stood the test of time. And whilst its longevity can’t solely be put down to the Taittinger Brut at AED99 a glass, it certainly hasn’t hurt matters much.
7. Bleu Blanc – Renaissance Downtown Hotel
With an interior that’s best described as French farmhouse chic, in addition to potted herbs, an in-house bakery and rustic, wood-fired grill, this elegant restaurant and bar by American chef David Myers also offers Taittinger Brut for AED98 per glass.
6. Bhar – Renaissance Downtown Hotel
Named after the Arabic word for spice, this colourful and casual modern Middle Eastern brasserie with a spacious outdoor terrace is a great place to watch the sun set, so you owe it to yourself to do it with a glass of Taittinger Brut for AED98.
5. Catch – Fairmont Dubai
Champagne is a classic pairing with seafood, so it makes sense that this funky and sophisticated US import serving modern spins on traditional recipes, would offer great value bubbles – in this case Veuve Clicquot Brut for AED98 a glass.
4. Grapeskin – La Ville Hotel & Suites in City Walk
It’s easy to see why a specialist wine bar would have two different Champagne offerings that make the list. Enjoy a glass of Billecart-Salmon Brut for AED92, or go for an absolute steal with Michel Turgy Blanc de Blancs Grand Gru for AED99. Relax with your bubbles in the industrial interior, which is warmed by accents of repurposed wood, or head outside to the tree-lined patio and bask with your bubbles in the sun.
3. Blinq Cocktail Lounge – The Westin Dubai Al Habtoor City
Glam it up at Blinq Cocktail Lounge where you can sip your AED90 glass of Laurent-Perrier Brut beneath a mammoth dazzling chandelier, and feel utterly decadent surrounded by royal red velvet drapes, gold-accented furniture and perfectly polished surfaces in all directions.
2. Boca – Gate Village 6, DIFC
Nestled in the heart of Dubai’s financial centre, this snug Mediterranean bar, restaurant and patio has become a local institution thanks in part to its house drink specials, tasty Sangria and great value bubbles, Moët & Chandon Impérial, which will set you back AED90, or AED80 during happy hour including DIFC tax (daily 5.30 – 7.30pm).
1. BB – Gate Village 8, DIFC
This multi-story venue feels a little like a cosy speakeasy, with a menu that’s Pan-Asian with a distinct Middle Eastern influence. Its wine list however offers great value for money, with an adorable coupe glass of the little-known Marques de Jonchery Joseph Perrier Champagne for just AED71.5 with DIFC tax.
Any other bargain glasses of Champagne we may have missed?
Lindsay Trivers – The Tasting Class
The Tasting Class is on a mission to improve wine culture in the Middle East. Host a tasting at home with one of their private sommeliers, enrol in their certified Wine & Spirit Education Trust courses, come along to one of their public tastings, or meet the team on one of FooDiva’s Dine Around Dubai experiences.
First posted on: Foodiva
The Wines we tasted