Living in Dubai means you’re spoilt for choice with every new experience more elaborate and exciting than the next. Renowned as one of Dubai’s biggest playgrounds for art, fine dining, and entertainment that lasts all night long, Babylon, Addmind’s latest concept has opened its gates in DIFC and redefines decadence in the city. Laced with striking fabrics, eye-catching textures, and intricate lighting, Babylon is a complete sensory experience from the plate to the stage. Like its name suggests, the venue was inspired by the ancient Babylonian Empire, a place once admired by all. The ancient city was devoted to lavish excesses. Similar to its namesake, Babylon is a place of pure indulgence.
Serge Trad, Director of Marketing at Addmind Hospitality and winner of the F&B Marketeer of the Year Award in the Leaders in F&B Awards 2022, talks us through the thought process behind Addmind’s latest adventure.
Serge has been with Addmind Hospitality for over nine years and says that the secret to the group’s ongoing success lies in its ability to operate like a real family with an insatiable desire to always stay ahead of consumer and cultural trends. “We never follow trends; we stay on top by starting trends that many follow. In addition, having strong leadership in our upper management is our biggest advantage.”
Addmind is a group that doesn’t take no for an answer, nor do they compromise on quality– this is evident throughout their locations. “We were the first to create our own costumes with a dedicated backstage dressing room with makeup artists, costume designers and hairdressers. We dedicated a large budget [in the six figures] towards entertainment alone to make sure that an experience in itself.”
“Babylon is the fruit of all the collective efforts we have put into creating this grand scale concept of dinning and a show. We have brought people in from all over the world from Britain’s Got Talent and America’s Got Talent, and we continue to have big entertainment budgets to ensure that we bring this level of entertainment to DIFC to fulfil the gap in the market.”
Serge is not exaggerating, Babylon’s show is unlike anything you’ve seen before. This region is filled with fantastic dinner and show venues but what the team at Babylon are doing with their level of entertainment could change the standards of dinner and show venues. Each neo-classical act has truly stellar performers, choreography, music, and theatrical elements that will capture your attention and keep you hooked for hours.
Upon entry you’re greeted by a facade with glowing neon lights reflecting off vertical slats showcasing Babylon’s silhouette logo. You multiple in number as the mirrors covering the walls and ceiling makes the space feel infinite. Descending the staircase you’re met with a patchwork of glazed tiles, which guide you to the main room where you can observe up close the attention to detail. A surprising and distinct feature is the metamorphose of the venue as the night progresses, making each hour a performance to remember.
The venue also has a private bar, called The Diamond Bar for those that are looking for a more intimate experience or for private functions.
Designed by world renowned interior designer Lázaro Rosa-Violán, Babylon’s interiors draw on Rosa-Violán’s signature use of structure, shape, and sense of space. Reinterpreting details from the legendary hanging gardens of Babylon, the venue’s bespoke interior design incorporates beautiful ornaments, bold floral patterns, and rich foliage, aimed at bringing the worldliness of the ancient city to the DIFC dining scene. The creation of the space which incorporates a distinct range of atmospheres was designed to admire the show from any angle.
When it comes to the food, the creators of this establishment are not playing around with Babylon’s showstopping menu. Serge passionately reminds us that at its core, Babylon is a restaurant with a show. Introducing a wholly distinctive cosmopolitan offering, Babylon’s menu features a variety of starters, refined sharing dishes, as well as mains that ignite the curiosity to discover an authentic gastronomic heritage. Guests can start their culinary journey with a selection of raw, cold, and hot hors d’oeuvres, including Scallop Carpaccio; Tuna Tiradito; Wagyu Beef Tataki; Burrata; Lamb Katsu; Warm Prawns; Oxtail Kunefe Pie and more.
For the main course, diners can choose from expertly crafted dishes, such as Chilean Sea Bass; Smoked Lobster; King Crab Cluster; Chateaubriand Roast; Japanese A5 Wagyu Beef Kushiyaki; Tajima Full Blood Wagyu and Beef Tomahawk. Catering to the diverse preferences of Dubai’s diners, Babylon’s menu also features a selection of pasta dishes, Neapolitan pizzas, and the freshest sushi, as well as delectable sushi and seafood platters.
“Babylon was a true link between the East and the West. There’s a fusion of Asian and Mediterranean cuisines in the menu. Everything comes together at Babylon – you can enjoy a spectacular show while enjoying premium food, in one of the most uniquely designed spaces.” Says Serge.
Babylon’s cuisine strikes the perfect balance between the most exquisite flavours from around the world, encapsulating the rich tale of the fabled metropolis. This is reminiscent of ancient Babylon, one of the first truly cosmopolitan cities. Each dish on the menu has been designed to take diners on a sensorial culinary journey, with carefully selected ingredients and techniques that combine traditions with a contemporary approach.
“My team and I have worked incredibly hard to curate a menu that is entirely unique, using a truly distinctive combination of ingredients to create a revisited neo-classical cuisine that fuses classicism, heritage, and modernity with a dedication to ingredient-driven cooking,” explained Executive Chef Carlos De Los Mozos.
“An elegant melting pot, Babylon celebrates the best traditional techniques, the finest ingredients, and the contemporary flair of culinary arts from around the world. Featuring a diversity of tastes between local and exotic, Babylon’s menu is fun and designed to serve the purpose of indulgence while being shared by everyone at the table,” added Los Mozos.
Complementing the exquisite cuisine, Babylon’s mixology follows the seasons, playing with the four elements – earth, air, fire, and water. This masterfully curated in a selection of sweet, sour and sharp flavours that promise a spectacular journey for the palate. Guests can indulge in a high-quality yet playful selection of signature drinks, such as the velvety and aromatic Silk Road; the complex and smoky Artemis’ Kiss; the elegant and revitalising Love Potion; or the citrusy and fragrant White Paradise, with many more delicious concoctions to choose from.
Serge is confident that the experience waiting for residents and visitors behind the gates of Babylon is one that is the talk of the town. He stated, “Babylon is here to stay, and it is a brand that we will keep evolving. We are here to prove that we have the winning formula and Babylon will be a trendsetter.”
Whether you come for dinner and stay for the show, or come for the show and stay for dinner, Babylon is ready to take you on a hedonistic journey that will transport you back to a time and place where everything is possible.