Sundowners, an undisturbed view of the Dubai Canal, your favourite hits from the 80s and 90s and yummy food to share – show us a better way to spend a Saturday afternoon.
We arrive at The Backyard in the Steigenberger Hotel Business Bay just in time to catch the sun dipping over Dubai’s newest waterway.
(First we accidentally end up on the equally lovely pool deck, but look out for the titular graffiti, head down the stairs and you’re in the right place.)
Loud but not overbearing music, bright art work and a clutch of ways to joyfully waste our time establish the weekend vibes and we eye up foosball, pool tables and retro video games.
Nicely presented mocktails (AED 40 each) – a peach cooler and a rosemary citrus spritzer – are a little too sweet to be refreshing, but a tangy chicken and pomelo salad (AED 40) redeems matters with a perfect balance of flavours and good variety of textures. Juicy chicken, fresh pomelo, crunchy cashews and a thin rice noodles bind it all together and we love every bite.
Top marks for fresh and crunchy nachos (AED 45). Each layer packed with decent of amount of cheese, salsa, guacamole and sour cream, but we debate whether the guac is homemade.
These bar bites would be enough to see you through sunset, but we take our work seriously enough to order mains.
We’re glad we did, because the lamb ribs in a glazed honey sauce (AED 80) are tender and well seasoned. Chicken schnitzel (AED 65) is a served as breaded chicken filet burger with a fried egg on top. It’s so delicious we can forgive the break with Germanic tradition.
Both come with fried panisse – doughy sticks of chickpea flour – the texture and taste of which is somewhere between polenta and potato and sponge.
Well fed and in comfortable seats, we feel welcome enough to stay well past sunset. If you linger long enough, from 6pm Tuesdays, The Backyard plays host to Zumba classes.
What: The Backyard
Where: Steigenberger Hotel, Business Bay
Cost: AED 270 for two, with soft drinks
GFC Member review by:
Natasha Hall – Mentink
Quote: “It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up”
Gourmet treat: Perfectly seared salmon
Guilty treat: Big ball of vanilla ice-cream with a warm chocolate brownie