More than just a lounge: Pure Sky Lounge - Hilton Dubai The Walk at JBR

Roof top bars or sky lounges as they are fashionably called these days have been known to have a nice selection of drinks and passable food. The idea has traditionally been that you would dine at a restaurant off site and then visit the sky lounge for some drinks, and if you are feeling peckish, you then order some tapas and light snacks. To say I was intrigued when I saw Hilton Dubai The Walk's  Pure Sky Lounge create a 9 dish set menu is an understatement. In a lounge culture where food is an afterthought, this promised much. 

On arrival my guest and I are shown to the bar. It is small and intimate, but a nice way to get the evening started. The music, club beats, set the tone, but is perfectly pitched and does not interfere with the conversation. It is there but not there, if you will. It is a particularly humid evening, so despite the gorgeous views from the terrace, we decide to have dinner inside and then move out for drinks. Situated on the 35th floor, the terrace gives views of the soon to be completed Dubai eye, and other stunning images of the Walk area. In the distance, is the iconic Palm. 

Our waiter for the night, shows us the menu. He assures us that the 9 course menu is not as intimidating as it sounds and that the portions are actually manageable. Nonetheless, I opt for 5 course while my guest goes for 3. We decide to have the shared dessert. 


We start with the Yellow fin tuna tartar, bonito flakes & wasabi avocado puree to share. It was one of quite  a few Asian infused dishes, something that appeals to me. I like that Asian style dishes are generally light and perfect for a late dinner. The dish itself leaves me with mixed feelings. Tuna is one of those ingredients where whatever is added, should be subtle and not overpowering. I find the mayo-like wasabi sauce too intrusive. We mention this to Chef Edward, solo on the night in the absence of the head chef, Sven Schmidt. I appreciate his openness to my concern.

This is followed by the Crispy goat cheese, honey & thyme. It is lovely balanced salad - the saltiness of the goat cheese against the sweetness of the honey. Soon after, I have the Curry roasted cauliflower. The madras curry powder is used just perfectly, ensuring just the right level of spiciness. Also, there is a crunch in the cauliflower. Texture. Yum. The disappointment of the tuna tartar is now long forgotten at this point. 

The music, meanwhile,  continues to create a chilled mood as a remixed version of Mary J Blige's Family Affair plays. As I am tapping my feet to this, Lemon seared bay scallop & miso butter risotto is served. The scallops are fantastic. I get all the naturalness in it, the subtlety of flavour that is in scallops. As for the rice, it is cooked well, not too hard and not too soft. Finally, Chef has used lemon in the rice very generously, leaving it rich in flavour.  

My final dish is the Cod fish with yuzu truffle sauce and  broccoli puree. With memories of the tuna coming back as the cod is served, I am wondering if the the cod will be overwhelmed, but I am pleased to say it is not. Just a perfect piece of cod. The natural taste of the cod, much like the scallops that preceded it,  is very much in tact, and a fish that is so easy to over do, is cooked immaculately. The other highlights on the plate are undoubtedly the fennel and ponzu sauce brining contrasting flavours to bear on the cod. Highly recommended. 

Dessert is next. I have been a  fan of Alinea's Grant Achatz' dessert, having seen it on social media. When I see our waiter bringing a special table mat to the table, while Chef Edward brings a number of containers with ingredients, my eyes light up. My guest senses my boyish enthusiasm as I realise what is happening. Chef talks to us as he creates desserts. He starts with lines of dark chocolate and then...well, you have seen a  Joan Miro painting - imagine an edible version of one of his works. Dark chocolate, vanilla cream, fresh fruit, meringue...Even though I see what is unfolding and I can predict what might happen next, that knowledge does not prepare me for the wonder in front of me. It is a dessert that captures the playfulness of food, the innocence of it all and also the evocation of childhood.

After what can only be described as an epic dessert, we move to the terrace. A light breeze greets us that provided some relief from the heat. From a very reasonably drinks menu, I have a Johnnie Walker Black, taking in the sights of Dubai at night. Time stands still as I see the lights. Midnight, but they have not dimmed yet. The bright lights of Dubai seem even brighter tonight.

Pure Sky Lounge offers guests more than just a night out for drinks. Rather than tapas or bar food, a succinct but substantial menu makes dinner followed by drinks  a great way to experience this venue to its fullest. Some good dishes, warm and attentive staff, the view and of course that dessert - Stellar venue. 

The lowdown
Pure Sky Lounge
Hilton The Walk, JBR,
+971 4 3991111

9 Dish set menu  250 AED
9 Dish set menu plus sharing dessert 325AED per person
A la carte menu available. 

Brandon Stoltenkamp