Phoenix Social
4.7

Phoenix Social Club
Located in the H Hotel on the first floor (where Okku used to be, for those who have visited previously), a bright neon sign of the Phoenix Social Club marks the entrance to this new foodie destination.  Elevated bites are available, or something more substantial if you have the appetite. And don’t let the decor fool you, pricing is quite reasonable at this new establishment.

Reservations
Call ahead on 04 338 3434, or try booking via the website, https://phoenixsocialclub.com/. Heads up — there’s a private room near the lounge and mezzanine level to consider booking when you call with a larger group.

Parking
Street parking is always a bit hectic by the H Hotel, but valet parking is available, and in more pleasant months it is possible to walk from the World Trade Centre Metro station.

Greeting and Seating
Bright neon signage is visible from the first floor of the H Hotel, and longtime Dubai residents might recognize this is where Okku used to be located.  Walking inside, this venue is on fire…not quite literally, but with a large screen behind the hostess stand. Once inside, black and white photos of Hollywood stars line the walls, and a dramatic crystal chandelier hangs from the ceiling.  Behind the DJ booth, there is a large projection screen with old school classic films airing in the background. We first choose to have a drink at the bar, done in a traditional, masculine style, and then move down to the main dining room for dinner.

Service
As we’re guests of the restaurant, and know the chef from a previous establishment, the gang knows why we’re there.  We get excellent descriptions of all dishes from the chef, and our glasses are regularly topped off. Could our plates been switched out a bit sooner between courses?  Maybe, but we’re not too concerned. Furthermore, when a dish arrives with a bit of decoration that my dining partner has an allergy to, the kitchen quickly remedies this by whipping up a special plate just for her in moments.

Our Order
Eyeing the menu, there is plenty for everyone to enjoy, no matter what level of appetite you arrive with.  We start with an absolutely divine Tandoor Bread, and two (of the three) dips.  We get the incredibly moreish Roasted Capsicum, AED30, and Burratina, AED54, a beautiful dish with truffle honey and white balsamic pearls.  Full disclosure, we love these dips so much that we proceed to order no less than three more rounds of the bread just to finish everything off.  Next courses include Hamachi Ceviche, AED70, and another favorite — the out of this world Chicken Liver Parfait, AED35.  Equal parts bitter, crunchy, creamy and luxurious this is a must order a signature dish, and at the price point, we’re well impressed.  Chargrilled Octopus, AED75 arrives next, accompanied by pickled kohlrabi which does a lot to balance this dish.  Next up is the Black Cod (this is Dubai, is it not)?  This take isn’t earth-shattering, but we like the crunch from the daikon and feel the price of AED75 might be one of the most reasonably priced in the city.  We taste a pasta course next, the Beef Cheek Tortellini, AED70, which easily fulfills all of our carb and cheese dreams. The absolute winner of the evening is the melt in your mouth Wagyu Striploin, AED100, which might be our favorite version in Dubai (especially for the cost).  Although we’re quite full, both desserts arrive, the Compressed Watermelon, as well as the Saffron and Pear Sorbet, both AED30 and we’d be rude to turn them down. You can have your Freakshakes, I prefer elevated, subtle dishes. The watermelon is a refreshing way to battle Dubai’s heat, and I don’t mind the lack of chocolate. Overall, it’s worth noting that we would happily order anything we tried off the Phoenix Social Club menu again.

Pacing
We know the kitchen is excited, as dishes come out rapidly.  Given this is the fifth day of operation (and how yummy all the food is), we’re happy to overlook the speed at which plates arrive.  Going forward, I think I would appreciate a slightly slower pace, which I’m sure the kitchen would be amenable to.

Ambiance
With old school Hollywood stars gracing the walls, soaring ceilings, multi-levels, the space reminds us a bit of the now-closed Little Black Door.  Given the restaurant is spread over three levels, the number of covers seems to either orient itself to intimate date night or happening club. 

Price
As we’ve mentioned above, the menu has clearly been arranged with the diner’s pocketbook in mind.  It’s worth noting the AED150 ‘Trust the Chef’ menu (per person) is among the better deals in town, and a trend we sincerely wish others would follow.  Other pricing is in line with other similar restaurants, but this is not a place to break the bank. Plates can be shared or enjoyed individually.

Overall, would you return?
Hearing about the creative and rather original plan for upcoming Tuesday degustations, we’re already planning our next visit. Our only concern is the slightly smoky from those lighting up inside.

Recommendations
The Chicken Liver Parfait, Wagyu, and Tandoor bread dishes are all must orders.  As the team plans on trying out new dishes on an ongoing basis, there is always something new to go back and try.

Disclaimer: MenuPages.ae was a guest of this establishment.