From Downtown Beirut to Dubai International Financial Centre, Antika is a Lebanese restaurant that serves some decidedly contemporary fusion fare. Traditional mezze comes with a Levantine twist – think hummus infused with lemon, grilled octopus tagine, and fattoush with truffle and roasted beetroot.
Elsewhere on the menu are everything from black cod with wasabi miso and scallop carpaccio with truffle, to “Lebanese-style” salmon ceviche and goat's cheese baklava.
Entertainment lies at the heart of this concept, though. The restaurant and bar serves shisha, and is known for its singers and belly dancers. Live acts and modern cuisine will be part of Antika Bar’s Dubai outpost, which is due to open in Al Fattan Currency House at the end of August, brought to the UAE by Seven Management and the Bulldozer Group.
The plush interior, too, will take its cues from the Lebanon branch, with antiques scattered throughout and a centre stage for the performances.
The venue promises to being “Levantine nostalgia to Dubai” and is inspired by the “hidden theatres of 1950s Lebanon” – a reference, perhaps, to stage performances and screenings that brought the community together in ornate spaces before in-mall multiplexes took over.
Antika Bar DIFC will have an al fresco space for the cooler months, and introduce two weekly brunches and a ladies’ night soon after it opens.