Eat Sleep Rave Re­peat PACHA IBIZA DUBAI

Infusion Magazine - - JUST FOR KICKS -

launch­ing a club in Dubai is all about bal­ance. Bal­anc­ing what you’d like to do, with what you can af­ford to do, bal­anc­ing what your cus­tomers ex­pect and what you can de­liver in an ul­tra- com­pet­i­tive mar­ket place. And Pacha Ibiza Dubai is a prime ex­am­ple of that, hav­ing to bal­ance huge ex­pec­ta­tions, their de­layed open­ing, three rooms of mu­sic and thou­sands of club­bers ev­ery week­end. They quickly adapted their game­plan – gone is their nu- disco room, with hip hop and RnB in­stead fill­ing the Red Room void, while big names like Paul Van Dyk and Der­rick Carter have been drafted in to give the club trac­tion. And it’s worked, with sell out crowds, in­creased col­umn inches while – cru­cially – leav­ing their main room and rooftop mu­sic and food pol­icy in­tact. And that bal­anc­ing act is quickly on show as we sit down for din­ner, as a bald and ex­ceed­ingly buff man per­forms keep­yup­pies with a glass ball be­fore care­fully bal­anc­ing it on his head and waltzes out of the room. From there, 4 stunning women in full Brazil­ian re­galia strut around flap­ping their fairy wings to a bang­ing Brazil­ian house sound­track. If you’re ex­pect­ing your meat and 2 veg to come with a side of in­ter­pre­tive dance all night, you can re­lax. The shows last around 5 min­utes and ramp up in fre­quency un­til 11pm, so there was plenty of time for us to take in the cock­tail menu and dig into the creamy truf­fle pop­corn.

The ser­vice through­out is warm and chatty, and our server Riona quickly de­liv­ered our first course: tuna and salmon sashimi, a fresh and crunchy mango and pa­paya salad and a trio of dumplings which quickly be­came an early dish of the meal con­tender. With beef, truf­fle, lob­ster and veg­etable dumplings mixed with a range of sauces in­clud­ing spicy pineap­ple, they’re only up­staged by the next show. With res­i­dent DJ ejaz con­trol­ling the tempo with a warm nu- disco set full of fun basslines and vo­cals, we’re drawn back to the main stage as the wild- eyed fe­male aeri­al­ist con­torted and whirled her way to the top of the main room’s cav­ernous ceil­ing be­fore drop­ping within an inch of the care­fully faded wooden floor. It was ab­so­lutely stunning, with some of the leg bend­ing moves enough to make even Bar­bie blush. With our jaws hand­ily propped open from the show, we’re then de­liv­ered our mains: a del­i­cate Chilean sea bass which dis­solved on the fork, a rich and warm chicken curry in co­conut sauce and a per­fectly cooked side of veg­eta­bles. The serv­ings are nicely judged, leav­ing us look­ing for­ward to desert which is sadly the only off note of the evening. The Ja­panese rice flour dumplings looked amaz­ing. And with blue­berry, ap­ple and ba­nana va­ri­eties filled with cream, it sounded just as good. But the claggy, doughy tex­ture and bub­blegum taste just didn’t hit the spot for us.

As ever dur­ing the night, the next bite- size slice of en­ter­tain­ment was never far away. First, the bald keepy- up­pie man re­turned with a 2m wide hula hoop and pro­ceeded to whirl and twirl him­self into a spin­ning vor­tex, like a gi­ant dirham coin stuck in an eter­nal loop. Very, very im­pres­sive, as was the body- pop­ping jug­gler who leapt with all the grace of prime- time Michael Jack­son. But again the high­light came with the aeri­al­ists. This time a dou­ble act, it was the worst anti- smok­ing ad­vert we’ve ever seen as the two im­pos­si­bly lithe con­tor­tion­ists swapped drags on a cig­a­rette, firstly with their hands and then with their feet craned back­wards over their head, as if ten­dons and car­ti­lage were just mere med­i­cal terms. Yeah, smok­ing is pretty cool when you can do that. With over 150 din­ers booked in, Pacha was at ca­pac­ity and come 11, the show ended, and the dance­floor be­gan in earnest. The big­gest prob­lem is that you might let your ex­cel­lent food go cold while you’re en­grossed in the stunning shows, but Pacha have neatly bal­anced the din­ner and the shows so you can get the best of both worlds.

Pacha Ibiza Dubai, Mad­i­nat Ju­mierah, 8pm-3am, pacha.ae, 04 567 0000 Din­ner and show - 5 days a week (Tues­day - Satur­day)

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