El Barrio Restro & Lounge is a Filipino bar, restaurant and music hall at the Hyatt Place Hotel in Al Rigga. Stepping in past the ticket sales desk, where I got my hand stamped, and the butch bouncer, it immediately reminded me of a smaller version of the much beloved but long-gone Music Room at the Majestic Hotel in Mankhool. In addition to a compact stage on one end and a full-on bar on the other end, the other stand out for me was the collection of funky urban wall graphics which were not dissimilar to those at (closed) Cuisinero Uno (now The Backyard) at the Steigenberger Hotel in Business Bay.
My friends and I were there to watch the amazing Egyptian Pink Floyd tribute band, AndrOmida.
It’s very hard to keep everyone happy at events such as these, especially a group of aging fogies who insist on having a table right at the front when all the tables have been taken. So, I am especially grateful of the manager for bringing an extra table in from the side to accommodate our challenging wish; ordering a AED1,000 bottle of scotch when everyone else were more or less nursing beers probably helped with his decision-making but we are grateful nonetheless.
My friends and I are all hard-core Pink Floyd fans and watching AndrOmida perform was a real treat. Their female guitarist, Ally Salem, is sensational and would have made David Gilmore proud. She had us oohing and aahing throughout the night. Do not miss the opportunity to see these guys play – they truly are the next best thing.
Throughout the gig our special table was looked after by a smiley young waitress from Nepal. This wonder girl ensured we wanted for nothing and were able to give the show our undivided attention; popcorn, fizzy drink replenishments, ice, etc. she brought it to the table before we asked – super.
None of us had even heard of this place leave alone been here but El Barrio has earned our respect and a place on our go to places in Deira. Try it, I am sure you will not be disappointed.
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Xerxes physically dines at, or orders from, each and every venue he reviews. He pays in full for whatever he and his companions eat, drink, take away or occasionally throw at each other. Xerxes accepts no money, gifts, discounts or free meals in return for reviews or favouritism. What you have read was NOT influenced in any way by the venue. Join me on Instagram @ravenousxerxes or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.