Ice Cafe (Ice Bar)
Compilation: Haj Seyed Reza
Time in Dubai's Ice Cafe
Deep-freeze dining debuts in Dubai
at Dubai's Times Square mall had crashed to sub-arctic levels
as the Middle East's first ice lounge, Chillout, had opened.
at the restaurant is sculpted out of ice. Diners will sit on ice
benches or chairs, eat at ice tables, out of ice plates, drink
from ice glasses served from a bar made of ice.
want Chillout to be part of people's lifestyle and not just a
unique experience that will fade away with time," Spokesman,
Sharaf Group said. "It even has an ice gallery showcasing
that is an ice portrait of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid
Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler
of Dubai. Freezing at minus 6 degrees Celsius the dining area
is, well, biting cold. A whopping Dh9 million investment, the
restaurant is Dubai-based Sharaf Group's enterprise while technical
inputs came from Canada-based Iceculture Inc, who are credited
with building ice lounges around the world, informed a spokesperson
for Sharaf Group.
Chillout to be part of people's lifestyle and not just a unique
experience that will fade away with time," he said. "It
was a special operation which took a year and a half to carry
sqft restaurant has three areas. The lobby and the lounge areas
are separated by what is called the Buffer Zone. Once in the lobby,
visitors will be given thermal gear to protect themselves from
the chilly conditions.
a hooded parka (a heavy jacket), disposable woolen gloves and
a pair o shoes. Visitors are advised to first spend a few minutes
in the Buffer Zone to get acclimatized. The temperature in the
buffer zone is set at 5 degrees Celsius which gives the body time
to adjust to the sharp drop in temperature in the dining area.
the first thing I learnt was that, contrary to my fear, nothing
was wet or dripping. I touched the walls, the sculptures, the
tables and chairs to see if they were wet. They were all made
of ice all right, but wet they were not. "It is a popular
misconception that furniture at an ice restaurant is wet. It is
the moisture on the surface of ice that gives it the wet feel.
There cannot be any moisture at minus 6 degrees. Every bit of
it turns to ice," explained the spokesperson.
which will serve cold cuts, cheese, juices, ice creams and mocktails,
can accommodate 40 guests, including relatively intimate table-for-two
arrangements for couples. Seats are cushioned and acrylic-topped
tables are adorned with decorative pieces sculpted from crystal
clear ice. Vapour-mouthed visitors can feel secure in the knowledge
that there are sheepskin throws for the asking should things get
too nippy for their comfort.
chandelier in the middle of the lounge is made out of ice blocks
strung together by cables, as are ice-beaded curtains in the couples'
to the fact that this is a non-alcoholic restaurant, what makes
Chillout different is that the lighting here is amazing. "It
almost makes the ice a secondary feature," said Julian Bayley
of Iceculture Inc. And it shows. The diffused lighting is constantly
changing colours as it filters through clean blocks of ice, filling
them with low-lux hues of varying patterns. "As far as the
ice component is concerned, there are several features that are
exclusive to Iceculture Inc.
the ability to produce portraits in ice with nothing more than
food colouring and snow is something I don't think has been done
before, to my knowledge," added Julian. First-timers must
be cautioned that the only thing hot in this restaurant is the
samples of spices framed with ice blocks and embedded into the
wall, of course, made of ice, providing a curious backdrop to
the juice bar. Coming as it does in the hottest part of the year
the timing of the coolest place in Dubai couldn't have been better.
* The ideal
time to spend inside an ice restaurant is 30-40 minutes. While
in other countries people are asked to leave after that period,
Chillout will not follow that policy.
* There are
no toilets inside the restaurant.
* The workforce
comprises people from cold countries such as Romania and Russia
ensure they can withstand sub-zero conditions.
at the restaurant are instructed to step out to normal temperature
at regular intervals.
lights called LEDs have been used.
They do not
emit heat hence do not cause the ice to melt.
* All the
ice work was done by Iceculture Inc in Canada and was shipped
to Dubai in temperature-controlled reefer containers.
* The flooring
of the restaurant is made of special anti-skid ceramic tiles.
is claimed to be the only ice restaurant in the world to serve
food round the year.
* Other countries
that have ice bars and restaurants include the UK, Australia,
Canada and New Zealand.
Times Square mall, between the 3rd and 4th interchange on Shaikh
Opened: Thursday, June 21
Timings: 2pm to 10pm (Saturday to Wednesday and 2pm to midnight
on Thursday and Friday)
Tel: 04 - 341 8121
Cover charge: Dh60, includes thermal gear and a free mocktail
Cold cuts: From seating to glassware to cutlery and crockery,
everything is cut in ice
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