I have had the good fortune of reviewing a number of bars and restaurants in my time in Dubai. I launched the Time Out Restaurant Awards, Hot 100 Restaurants, Shortlist Brunch Awards and introduced Esquire’s Top 50 Restaurants as well. I have been extremely lucky to have been invited and experienced the best that the UAE has to offer.
The most recent invite was to review the new bar called Ergo located in The Dubai Edition hotel in Downtown Dubai for Emirates Man. I had not heard of it prior and went in with a completely open mind.
I arrived and was taken to the bar – so far so good. The design of the bar was very cool, and it was as if we had entered a hotspot in Europe. We scanned the cocktail menu and were immediately impressed by the artisans serving us behind the bar.
Although not a cocktail man myself, I could happily have spent the evening working my way through their wonderfully curated list of liquid experiences.
At this point, we were introduced to the very French charismatic owner ‘Jimmy’. I had been pre-warned that Jimmy was the Gordan Ramsay of cocktails, so I was pleased to see the master behind the curtain. His enthusiasm and passion for the project kept us all in a spell, hanging on to his every word.
As he explained his plans for a massive chandelier feature that would hang above the bar, I couldn’t help but notice how on-point he looked for a place like this with his Jordan 1s and also how he truly wanted those around him to feel as relaxed. The music was a mix of ’80s and ’90s hip hop, which set the tone for a non-pretentious and animated vibe.
Often when a venue is referred to as a bar, your level of expectation with the food dips considerably. But as stated earlier, I came here with a completely open mind. Turns out that while Ergo may have had a fun bar vibe, this place will go toe to toe with the best restaurants in town – it’s a good time to remind yourself here that Jimmy was the former global bar development director for none other than the legendary Zuma.
The food menu at Ergo proved to be eclectic and continued with the theme of non-pretentious and adventurous creations that we had just seen over at the bar. For starters, there was a wide selection of raw and cold cuts, soulful hot bites, and salads. I highly recommend the smoked oysters with spicy salsa and cucumber vinaigrette.
For the mains. I enjoyed the Mediterranean octopus and braised chicory whilst my partner in crime for the evening enjoyed the quite specifically described “250 days grain fed Angus Rib Eye”. Next time, I will try the linguine/sea urchin cream as the table next to us was raving about it. For dessert, I demolished the Tonka Crème Brulee with my friend, enjoying the chocolate mousse.
The venue may be called Ergo, but for me, I will only ever know it as “Jimmy’s Maison,” and I cannot recommend this amazing bar experience more. If you visit this bar in a year, I guarantee every plaque and award available in this city will be proudly located at the entrance. Go now and enjoy it, so that you can visit repeatedly. You’ll likely see me there next week, the week after that…and thereafter.
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