When you consider the word “noir” you may conjure up iconic images of film noir in your mind's eye. That would be somewhat appropriate for Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates’ classy cocktail and cigar lounge, which projects classic movies onto its outdoor terrace wall – yet there's still something ironic about the name. Dressed in dark woods, with rich, plush furnishings and moody Art Deco light fixtures, there’s nothing about the venue that evokes the void of *black* that the sign on the door may suggest.
On the contrary, it’s an experience that is bound to provoke each and every sense. Stepping into NOIR is an immediate transition from the cool, crisp lighting of the Kempinski lobby, to the cosy and intimate surrounds of the second floor bar and lounge. Your eyes dart between each item of evocative art, from the butterflies in bell jars to the abstract portraits, and your nostrils are wafted with the fragrance of cigars and spirits.
This isn’t the stale smell of indoor cigarette – a far cry from it – it’s the aroma of fine cigars from Havana and the Dominican Republic, unsheathed from the amply stocked humidor at the end of the bar. With your cigar sommelier on hand, make sure to drop in on a Wednesday’s “Connoisseur Knights”, where aficionados and the uninitiated alike can discover pairings of incredible cigars with refined beverages. And what a beverage menu it is.
The cocktail menu at Noir is a true tome of classics, craft cocktails and the venue’s own tipples with a twist. Order an old fashioned and sample the only rye whiskey available in the country, while the barman imparts his knowledge of the brand and tells the story of each and every drink. And what better time to sample the goods than on a Thursday ladies night, with packages available from 8pm till midnight, or the subsequent Friday ‘midnight brunch’ where you can work your way through the menu over the course of four hours.
A world-class cocktail lounge also needs world-class fare, and Noir won’t give your tastebuds a rest till you leave.
A world-class cocktail lounge also needs world-class fare, and Noir won’t give your tastebuds a rest till you leave. The exquisite selection of small plates ranges from fresh ceviche and salmon poke bowls – along with other mouthwatering seafood delicacies – to classic tapas such as patatas bravas, but not as you’ve ever seen it before. Noir puts its own iconic twist on every dish and in this case it’s a bevy of baby tomatoes in a tangy tomato sauce. Meat lovers will also wring their hands with glee at the delectable chunks of Angus beef and the flavour-filled lamb chops on the bone. You won’t know whether to reach for your glass or your fork.
If you can peel yourself away from the indoor sofa seating and Art Deco surrounds, now is the perfect time to enjoy the second-floor terrace with flame fixtures and an extensive shisha menu, which isn’t available inside. Taste for yourself soon, and don’t be left in the dark.
Where: Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates,
Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai
Tel: +971 4 341-0000