Inspired by the sounds and sights of the city that never sleeps, The Bronx can be found in the spectacular 22,000 square foot tent in a one-of-a-kind venue, Bla Bla Dubai. But, be prepared to rewind your expectations, for this is a venue that does things differently – and, we’re here to explore it all.
We shimmy to the entrance of the venue, the tracks are lively and so is the hostess. With a beaming smile, she’s ready to show us what The Bronx has to offer. As we climb the industrial stairs, there’s a giant spray-painted image of King Kong to the left of us, and to the right lies a huge red-neon sign that reads ‘The Bronx.’ It’s hard to resist taking snaps of the graffiti-lined tunnelled booths filled with retro timers. This venue has truly nailed the interiors and the décor brings the edge of the Big Apple right across this spacious restaurant and bar.
The lovely hostess hands us our menu designed like the front of a newspaper ‘The Bronx Post’ and works as our guide, helping to navigate us through the beastly menu and ensuring we get the best out of the experience. We’re seated a level above the crowd in the booths, which are the best seats in the house for admiring the interiors and are great for people watching.
The buzzy underground theme extends to the fun cocktail menu. The Bronx is the kind of place you come for catch-up cocktails and then end up staying all night. Happy hour is available Sunday to Thursday, from 6pm to 8pm. It’s affordable and a real thirst quencher – all in a cosy space. The drinks incorporate ingredients like lychee and orange marmalade. While pondering over what to start with, we fear we’ll have cocktail envy, so we opt for the signature The King Cocktail (lime juice, angostura bitters and ginger). The innovation of how the cocktail is presented is 10/10 – a cocktail in a cage, with King Kong breaking through the bars. We also try The Bronx Martini (passion fruit syrup, vanilla syrup and lemon juice), served in a martini styled glass with a replication of the Empire State Building for the stem of the glass. China Town (grapefruit, peach puree, lychee) and Brooklyn (white foam, citrus and popcorn) are both firm favourites. Non-cocktail drinkers will also find an impressive grape, hops and hops selection, plus a variety of mocktails.
The food menu represents comfort food at its finest. Served in red plastic diner baskets that are ideal for sharing, the options include low-key bites like quesadilla (AED 45), dynamite shrimp (AED 70), stuffed jalapeno (AED 30), and a lighter choice would be the California rolls (AED 50) – there’s something for everyone.
Our food journey starts with the highly recommended beef brisket sandwich (AED 45) that steals our sense of smell! The Big Apple is known for their deep-pan pizzas and we cannot resist the pepperoni pizza (AED 70).
Open from 6pm until 2am, and now open from 4pm on Fridays, the hearty food make for a perfect catch-up with friends or an essential after-work stop in JBR. The only thing missing is jumping in a New York City yellow taxi home!