This article first appeared in the May/Jun 2015 issue of WGM.
Macau’s poker fraternity have become more than familiar with Flame Bar at City of Dreams since the PokerStars LIVE Macau room took up residence alongside in 2013, but with a collection of 57 different rums and 22 cocktails on offer it’s also a great place to meet with friends for a not-so-quiet drink.
The Stallion is a lot of things – partygoer, social animal, red carpet regular and VIP superstar – but I also enjoy a good game of poker from time to time. After all, how else am I supposed to fund my lavish lifestyle?
Consequently, I had spent quite some time over the past few years following the PokerStars LIVE Macau room from home to home – starting at Grand Waldo, then over the bridge to Grand Lisboa, back to Grand Waldo in 2012 and eventually to its current home at City of Dreams. In fact, even settling in at City of Dreams hasn’t been easy. When the PokerStars team first arrived in 2012 they were located on the main gaming floor before later moving upstairs to the much quieter second floor.
The good news about this final move is that it situated the room’s poker tables right alongside Flame Bar, which as luck would have it was one of the few bars in Macau I hadn’t previously spent any great length of time propping up.
I’d like to say that any bar is a good bar, but Flame Bar has been burdened in the past by its location away from the buzz of the main gaming floor and with only a collection of hybrid machines for company. Now, with the clicking of poker chips and the chatter of players finally giving the place some atmosphere, Flame Bar has evolved into a great little place to gather for a drink or simply to keep an eye on the poker action.
The bar itself is fairly unassuming. Not particularly big, the oval-shaped serving area is a decent place to pull up a seat during quieter times and chat to the friendly staff although when the crowds come you might be better advised to find a high table or grab one of the dozen or so seats facing out over the gaming floor.
This was certainly the preferred option of this Stallion when I first wandered up to Flame Bar recently. After ordering a Tsingtao at the bar, I found a comfortable spot from which to watch the poker before a few familiar faces sauntered in and we grabbed a small table at the other side of the bar. Needless to say by the end of the night our crew had grown to more than a dozen and the Tsingtao supply had been exhausted!
Fortunately, it is rum rather than beer that Flame Bar is best known for with a massive range of 57 different rums including the special house blend known as Flame Grog. Flame Bar also has a selection of 22 mostly rum-based cocktails to choose from – each served in its own collectable tiki mug inspired by native island cultures. Not only can you gradually work your way through the menu but also build your tiki mug collection until you’ve acquired the whole lot!
For the record, my favorite cocktails are Chococabana – which boasts white rum, Crème de Cacao, coconut cream and chocolate – and Karo Bandrek with spiced rum, Malibu, Triple Sec, pineapple juice and a squeeze of fresh lime.
There are even a few group options – headed by the lethal Rum Galleon. For MOP$1,200 you’ll be presented with a large ship-shaped mug filled with Flame Grog, cranberry juice, Chambord and fresh strawberries … topped with a bottle of Moet & Chandon champagne. The menu describes the Rum Galleon as serving six people so it’s probably best not to try this alone!
For the poker players among us, I don’t advise spending too long at Flame Bar before you hit the tables for fear of misreading your cards, but as a place to relax with a drink afterwards or catch up with friends for a fun night out – and a sneaky cocktail or two – you could do worse than this colorful little gem.