Caramel. It's a gorgeous place in DIFC, and the only Caramel outside of Las Vegas. So far, so good.
The problems began when we walked in. The greeter on the door asked us "do you have a reservation?" The answer was no - since when do you need a reservation for a quick post-work drink?
Well, this being Dubai, you tend to need a reservation. And I understand the principle of this. If I'm going to a busy place I want to be sure to get a table. Call me old-fashioned (or just old) but I like a comfy seat on which to sip my sauvignon blanc. But when we arrived at 7 pm, the place was empty.
"If you don't have a reservation, you can't have a seat madam" we were told. We reasoned that the bar was empty, and were told that "all the tables are reserved."
"From what time?" was my next question - if they were booked from 9 or even 8, no problem, we wouldn't be long. It was a school night, after all.
"They are all booked from 7.30 madam" was the response. We were offered a couple of small uncomfortable looking seats right in the middle of a walkway. We took them.
My next question was: if, at 7.30, these tables aren't all full, I expect to be moved to one of them. It seemed only fair. After all, they wouldn't be lying to us about the tables being reserved, would they?
But of course they were! We watched and watched, 7.30 pm came and went, as did 8, as did 8.30. Still the tables remained empty. We left very shortly afterwards, after asking the staff to remove the service charge which they'd rudely (and illegally) whacked onto the already hefty bill (a glass of sauvignon blanc: 13 quid.)
This sums up perfectly everything that is wrong with Dubai: too much attitude and an expectation that you should be grateful to even set foot inside an establishment. Caramel: wake up. You're a brand new bar, and word spreads quickly in Dubai. Yes, you're very pretty, but so are many many bars in Dubai. we won't be back.