There’s been a buzz of excitement ever since it was announced that the 99 Sushi Bar & Restaurant brand would be adding Dubai to their roster of stunning eateries. With restaurants in Abu Dhabi, Barcelona, Madrid and Bilbao already, you would expect the Address Downtown location to be at the top of its game when it comes to current COVID-19 regulations…and it really is.
Upon arrival you’re given the now-familiar temperature check and offered sanitiser by staff in branded masks, a look they’re very much turning into a fashion statement. You’re then led to the tables – only 50 per cent of which are being offered due to social distancing.
The first thing you notice when you walk in is the charming decor that mixes natural materials with geometric patterns and vibrant colourways. The main restaurant is all wooden ceilings and stone walls hosting mid-century modern furnishings, while the bar area is home to the brands signature slick red – seen in the carpets and walls and contrasts with the huge blue sofas. Although the element of nature is at the heart of the spacious dining area, the clever lighting and intricate dishes (the dishes are placed in the centre of the table under their own spotlights) give the whole dining experience a welcome intimacy.
And what about the food? Simply put…it’s exquisite. Each dish looks like a work of art – and the taste is equally impressive. After an amuse bouche of delicate fatty tuna rolls, we work our way through CapuMiso Soup, (white truffle, and mushroom), creamy King Crab au Gratin, and the divine Okonomiyaki – 99 Sushi’s take on a Japanese pizza, comprising of tortilla, tuna usuzukuri and tare sauce. To follow we tuck into the spicy tuna tartare and then the Obsiblue Carpaccia – a beautiful prawn dish served with New Caledonian ebi, kizami, lime and smoked olive oil.
Toro Flambe Nigiri
Then our favourite dish of the evening: the Lobster Maki (Lobster, Wake seaweed, cucumber and yuzu), a magnificent take on a regular sushi dish. More food followed: grilled Foie – warm nigiri with raspberry and tare sauce, followed by the signature 99 Flag rolls consisting of Toro, caviar and uni (sea urchin) – never had the flavour of the sea been encapsulated in a dish more than this. All of the rolls are served with the house soy sauce, which you can drink on its own, it’s that good!
Then came dessert – the decadent 99 Yuzu Cheesecake. Encapsulated in a dome of spun sugar, the layered cheesecake is a powerful celebration of citrus flavours and comforting buttery shortbread…just delicious!
This new eatery is a real treat in terms of food and setting, and that’s somewhat reflected in the higher price tag, but with stunning views of the Burj Khalifa that’s to be expected. Want an even better view of the world’s tallest building? The outdoor bar and terrace opens at the end of the month and it’s definitely vying for the title of ‘coolest spot in town’ – book your table before its waitlist only.