Culture, Fat Nancy's Dubai, Food

The Troyka Bar is Backstage Dubai

Seventies ‘teatime’ and TV was fun – Getting dressed up in pyjamas to see the spectacle of a large mahogany box (TV) wheeled out. The TV set was the thing that made it exciting. Because seventies TV programmes were not. They were usually made up of  bad actors, wearing various shades of brown  and trying not to wobble the stage set when they closed a door. But the massive mahogany TV can make the long winter nights something to savour. If the picture goes wobbly – just bang it in the right place to get a good picture, which feels like ‘The Fonz’ Fonzerelli in ‘Happy Days’.

Because, If the content is a little ‘tongue in cheek’ and it doesn’t run as smoothly as you’d hope… They are some of the reasons for enjoying it. So let us introduce you to the mahogany clad Ascot Hotel in Bur Dubai. With its faux-period facade, and an interior filled with regency fittings that hark back to a time of kitsch grandeur  – It is the seventies sitcom of Dubai, it’s the Yogi Bear & Boo Boo of hotels. It’s a shining gem amongst the city’s over polished modernity. Get there late (after 11pm) and let the costumed doorman guide you to a dodgy little lift, straight to the fifth floor and The Troyka Bar!


The loud music will pull you into the retro-looking bar and restaurant. Think long tables of families, sequin clad can-can dancers swinging their legs in the air like they’re trying to kick off some particularly tight fitting shoes and a live Russian band playing all those Russian hits you’ve never heard of. Think jiving middle-agers and tightly clad Russian ‘mumsies’ dancing like they’re in a seventies talent show. Imagine a wedding atmosphere or a cruise ship dining hall, mix it with lukewarm buffet food, vodka and you have it, a feast for the senses.  Here is a video clip of the kind of entertainment you can expect.

Head down with a table of friends, take part in the 175dhs buffet, settle in for the night and join in with the chaotic, raucous, all age dance floor. Or duck in after dinner for a late night cocktail at the bar and enjoy the show. The drinks are hardly made by trained mixologists and it seems a Margarita, Daiquiri or Tom Collins are all the same drink here, which is a ridiculously sweet and badly made Mojito –  but these are all reasons to love it. It’s not because they are slack or don’t care, in fact it’s quite the opposite – it’s just because they are like a seventies TV show that is actually very entertaining. This is a bar that is from another era and we hope it stays that way because we’ll be back to sip Piña Coladas at the bar faster than you can say The Dukes of Hazzard and because this is backstage Dubai at its finest.