Perched amongst the glitzy rooftops of Downtown Dubai and offering one of the most impressive skyline views in the city. Lies a little known poolside retreat, Cabana. Situated at the Address Hotel Dubai Mall (not the one that caught fire last New Year’s Eve), Cabana have launched a weekly Brazilian BBQ theme night, with the aim of kick starting your weekend in Samba-style.
Thursday nights at Cabana are now home to ‘Churrasco Nights.’ Offering diners a tantalizing selection of premium meat cuts, grilled to perfection and partnered with some fine Latin-inspired cocktails. A relatively new concept to the Dubai Marketplace, the term ‘Churrasco’ quite literally refers to the grilling of meat over fireside embers. A technique this began in Southern Brazil, before spreading throughout Latin America and then worldwide.
There’s something exciting about having elements of your meal brought to the table on skewers. As the waiters present a selection of lamb, chicken, beef and prawn dishes for the perusal of diners, the beauty being that you can take as much as you want. Selecting specific pieces of meat that have been grilled to your liking, nicely charred on the outside but inevitably tender within.
With rooftop terrace season finally upon us, it’s a smart move from the Address Hotel to launch a time night such as this. The cooler weather now provides the opportunity to comfortably dine al fresco and in a city renowned for so many vantage points and picturesque vistas, being so close to the Burj Khalifa can only be described as extraordinary. Watching the rainbow of colours and patterns dance across the exterior of the worlds tallest building, transitioning from mashrabiya to UAE flag is something that you’re unlikely to forget in a hurry.
Returning poolside, Cabana offers a space that’s a juxtaposition of casual and upmarket. Rattan furniture is clustered beneath fragrant frangipani trees, perched at the waters edge. Take a step back, diners have the opportunity to indulge in a private cabana (minimum of six people required) that feels like Colonial Africa transformed into the modern era. Complete with comfortably plush sofas, air conditioning units and billowing drapes. In all honesty, it’s been a while since we’ve been so enthused by an outside space and Cabana maintains a clever balance in its transition from daytime sun trap to chic night spot.
Cabana’s Churrasco Night brings an injection of atmosphere to proceedings with a live band and samba dancers. As the evening progresses and the crowd gets going, it feels as though Brazilian carnival has danced it’s way out of Rio de Janeiro’s Sambadrome and onto the rooftops of Dubai. All thanks to a duo of energetic dancers in high heels and feathered headdresses, conducting frantic samba routines amongst diners and the Passadores (meat waiters).
The ambiance is certainly engaging and with punters getting onto their feet to blow away the cobwebs of the working week. Cabana certainly presents an electrifying ambiance but what of the food?
As the waiters move from table to table with their skewers of grilled meats (in a serving style known as rodízio), the choices are good. An abundance of lamb chops, rib eye, chicken drum sticks, flank steak, lamb leg, tiger prawns, beef tenderloin, short ribs and chicken / beef sausages are presented with flair. Upon selection, diners are asked to prise off cuts of meat with metal tongs and when it all gets too much, just flip over your given disc from the green to the red side. Indicating to the team that you’re full and may be suffering from a mild case of the meat sweats!
Like with anything, the experience is subjective but for us the highlights were definitely the beef tenderloin, flank steak and the fiery chorizo style sausages. While we found the short rib to look the part but be a little too fatty for our liking.
It’s not all about meat and although Cabana may not be the ideal dining destination for vegetarians, there is a fair sized buffet selection inclusive of salads, grilled vegetables and rice based dishes to accompany all that protein. Service throughout was quick and if anything, a little too over-enthusiastic.
If you’re not too stuffed an extensive selection of cheese and desserts is also available. Unfortunately we found that the desserts fell victim to the common buffet problem of looking better than they tasted. It didn’t really matter though, seeing as we had consumed more than enough meat for one evening. After dinner, why not indulge in the delightful shisha selection while enjoying those expansive Burj views?
For the fact that Churrasco nights are only held once a week, the team at Cabana certainly impress. The quality of the meats is especially good and for a restaurant that’s generally known for light bites and standard poolside fare, it’s pleasing to see them turning their hand to something completely different and succeeding admirably.
The party atmosphere and iconic location are certainly the draw here and we can’t recall a time in recent memory where we’ve had such fun at dinner. Come prepared to eat a lot and dance a bit, while sipping on great cocktails under the shadow of the Burj Khalifa.
Combining two of our favorite things, the start of the weekend and grilled meats. Cabana should be the next place to start your Thursday night out. Add it to your calendars now!
395 AED++ (house beverages)
Location: 3rd Floor, The Address Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai, Dubai
Social: Instagram / Twitter / Facebook
Hours: 9am – midnight
Phone: 04 888 3444
We were invited to dine at Cabana. All views are our own and all photographs are © Out & About UAE. Cover image used courtesy of The Address Hotel Dubai Mall.