Dubai has a thriving night life. There are a lot of pubs and lounges here, most of which are in New Dubai. There are also some in Old Dubai (Bur Dubai) but only quite a few can boast about being classy. Estrellas is one of them. Mark and I have opposing opinions, but I totally loved the look and feel of Estrellas!
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Situated at the rooftop of The Canvas Hotel (previously Melia Hotel) near Port Rashid, this lounge has a covered area for small groups and a more spacious outdoor seating area. At the center is a large pool, with one side lined up with cushions where you can sit back and relax while enjoying the view.
There's a top deck with an open bar and a resident DJ playing a mix of Desi and contemporary beats. Purple neon lights dominate the place, with a couple of fire torches throughout the lounge (which doubled as heaters during winter nights). Aside from its chic and lively ambience, the lounge also boasts of its views of the Dubai skyline.
The menu at Estrellas is lit! Literally. The first of its kind among the lounges and pubs that I've been to, their menu came in an illuminated board, making it easy for diners to see the offerings (without having to use their phone's flashlight :p).
The beverage menu features a nice selection of wines, beers, cocktails, and other spirits. They also have mocktails and sodas for those who are not so much into alcohol. They also offer shisha, for those who are keen.
We were served with complimentary roasted nuts (which the server religiously refills) along with our drinks. I had a couple of glasses of their Frozen Strawberry Daiquiri, while Mark went on with his favorite drink—Jager Bomb! I love how my drink came in a white martini glass—so chic!
The food menu at Estrellas has a good variety which caters to both vegetarians and non-vegetarians. There's even a section of the menu for the little ones! It includes dishes from different cuisines—Italian, Indian, Arabian, and Chinese.
The burden of choosing what to have was fortunately taken away from us when the staff suggested that we just sit back and relax while they serve us their best-sellers.
We were served with mixed grill and fried bites for appetizers; Mutton Biryani, Butter Chicken, and Garlic Naan for the mains; and Tiramisu and Kesari Ras Malai for dessert.
The mixed grill platter had Masala Seekh Kebab, Ginger Lamb, and Hammour, Chicken, and Prawn Tikka. Loved the charred flavor in it, but the tikkas were too spicy for our liking. I enjoyed the kebab; it had the right spiciness and was juicy. The lamb was also good—tender, moist, and flavorful. The platter came with mint chutney, cucumber and onions, and yogurt.
For the fried bites, we were served with a medley of Jalapeno Cheese Poppers, Vegetable Spring Rolls, Paneer Chili, and (what tasted like) Squid Balls. I loved the Jalapeno Cheese Poppers (wish they served more :p) and Paneer Chili the most! Yum!
The Mutton Biryani has a generous serving of fall-off-the-bone mutton pieces. Rice was cooked well—well-seasoned and not too oily. It also had the right spiciness level and it came with raita which made the biryani even yummier!
The Butter Chicken was subtly sweet, tangy, and mildy spicy—just the way I like it. There's a good amount of tender chicken chunks, too! Went so well with the hot Garlic Naan.
I enjoyed Estrellas' version of Tiramisu. I liked how the sponge cake wasn't too mushy, and the taste of the cream, coffee, and chocolate was good altogether.
I'm still not used to the spongey texture of the cheese in Ras Malai, so I didn't like this dessert as much. The milk was good, though. Not too sweet. I loved the generous slices of pistachio, too!
Service is also commendable—we were well taken care of the moment we entered the lounge up till we went off. And I'm pretty sure it's not just because they know we're there for a review. Their hospitality is evident in how the staff took care of other guests as well. Mr. Avijit, the restaurant manager, was very hands on.
It's also my first time to be in a pub with kids! Yup, there were a lot of families dining during our visit. The table next to us even had a toddler (complete with baby cart) in tow.
With good pub grub, excellent customer service, and a nice atmosphere, not to mention being family-friendly, Estrellas is a good venue for family dinners and intimate gatherings, night out with friends, or even romantic dates! I just don't think it would be as good during summer. I recommend visiting on winters during night time, when the city lights start sparkling, for an awesome view.
Rooftop, The Canvas Hotel
23 Kuwait Street, Near Port Rashid
Mankhool, Dubai, U.A.E.
+971 (0)4 526 0845
We were invited to try Estrellas and our meal and drinks were on the house, but this post is not influenced nor paid for. Opinions on this blog post are my own.