mat:— Des fez
Edinburgh. A Tuesday night in January, less than a week after Hogmanay. It’s cold and windy. Underneath the streets 180 people are dancing, drinking and eating in a Moroccan souk. Jonathan Trew slaps on the suntan lotion.
Some people like to dance. some like to drink. some like to eat. Po Na Na Souk gives people the chance to do all three. Set underground in what used to be the cellars of a whisky wholesalers. Po Na Na is a bar that offers evening meals and snacks as well as a dance floor and DJs.
The name translates as ‘magical niarket' bar and much like an Arabic souk it‘s the kind of place that you could easily get lost in. Rooms lead into other rooms. alcoves branch off into booths and mirrors confuse the casual wanderer into thinking that the place is twice the size of a subterranean football field. Just to add to the disorientatiiig effect. large portions of
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the ceiling are obscured by hanging drapes and Moroccan lanterns. The floors look like a mosaic that‘s been half-uncovered by an archaeological dig and the walls are decorated with the occasional burst of Arabic text and French street signs. Zebra skin upholstery adorns one of the two bars and a selection of fel. [i la Tommy Cooper have pride of place on the gantry. There is nothing quite like it in the Central Belt and the overall effect. especially late at night. is more than a little surreal.
The Moroccan influences don‘t extend as far as the menu which has plunipcd for the bistro angle. Starters are around the £2~£3 mark with the likes of jalapeno peppers stuffed with cream cheese and a salad of crispy bacon. lettuce. croutons. smoked cheese and vinaigrette. The main courses continue in a similar vein offering spicy pork ribs with barbecue sauce. salmon and vegetarian crepes. all for about £5vt‘o. Last orders are at about l()pni which is when the l)Js kick off and the dancing kicks in.
The music policy changes each night along with the DJ and runs the gamut
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Po Nu Nu Souk: clever design makes it difficult to know where reality ends and the walkls begin
from 70s disco glaiii to the latest underground house. We feel duty bound. on the grounds of nepotism. to recommend Sunday nights when The Lists own l).l Jiiiii ‘ll Boy‘ Byers. 0f plain old .liiii as we know him. is the man flicking through his white label collection.
While there is a distinct lack of(),»\l’s jostling lt‘l' space on the tlztttcclloot‘. l’o :\'a Na Souk does attract a wide range of thrill seekers from early tvveiity- somethings upwards. Obviously not everybody vvaiits to stay on the daiicelloor until 3am but given the diversity til. t'tititits. lititiilts. nooks and crannies that make up l’o .\'a .\'a. there‘s space for everyone.
Po Na Na opened just before (‘liristiiias and is prov iiig evti'ciiiely popular. So popular iii fact that they are now levying a £3 ciiti'y charge after llptii. WetluStiii inclusive. So. ifyou want to drink or dance late then get there early or cough tip. .'\lteriiativc|y. they are offering membership cards at £35 a year which allow free entry and will get you past the queues.
[’0 Na Na $011k Btu: HIV/(rick SHIT] (llll(/(’I'II('(l//l ('(t/t; RUH‘L't'l. 23/) .3334.
Hat trick: 3 tez on a table, yesterday
94 The List 24 Jan-6 Feb I997