Background: Earlier this year, Jumeirah Emirates Towers announced the reopening of The Agency an outpost that was popular throughout the noughties among the top social circles of Dubai.
What’s it like? The first impression upon entering is its dark wood and crimson velvet furnishings that resemble a colonial bar that’s antiquated but modern with its Gatsby-esque charm. The mood lighting is just enough for us to see the menus and the cosy booths of the bar are well-placed to offer privacy for business meetings too. There are pillars and a certain symmetry in the design which makes this quite a treat to the eye.
The venue: Situated on the ground floor of the hotel, it is its lobby bar and quite the place to unwind. It takes you back to the jazz era with its beautiful Art Deco interiors.
Food and drink: An exemplary wine cellar catches my eye as I enter The Agency. Settling down, I’m offered the menu which is quite exhaustive with its wine collection. The classic cocktails and its range of spirits seem impressive. However, I ask the sommelier to suggest a pinot noir (or a similar light-bodied one) by the glass from their list. First up is the French Louis Max wine which comes from the region of Bourgogne in France. A blend of Syrah and Grenache grapes, it’s fruity and easy on the palate. However, I insist to try another one as it’s a bit dry for my liking. Next up is a Pinot Noir from the same wine brand of Maison of Louis Max. With its dark ruby red colour and aromas of small black fruits, liquorice and spices, we have a winner. My company chooses a classic old fashion which turns out to be a perfect blend of sweet and citrusy. We also try the Zonin sparkling Prosecco which has a clean long finish with its passion fruit notes, an ideal choice for warm evenings in the emirate. Nothing better than a charcuterie board to pair with our wines and cocktails, and the bar triumphs with its sharing platter that comes with different types of cheese including truffle brie, parmesan, marinated feta, burrata, camembert, reblochon. There is also a selection of tapenade and beef cold-cuts that is presented on the board with the cheese. The food is mostly sharing tapas and bar bites. However, I did find a range of main courses from pasta to steaks on the menu as well.
Service: The service is attentive, warm and knowledgeable – always a plus when you’re trying to learn more about wines. They were also happy to offer me a shawl as the bar was a bit cold for me.
Verdict: The music isn’t too loud for conversation to be carried on and the selection of wines and spirits is quite elaborate with a truly international wine list. By Akanksha Maker
Hours: Daily 11am-1am
Location: Lobby Level, Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, UAE
Contact: +971 4 330 0000; jumeirah.com