On Cloud Nine or left high and dry at the Burj Khalifa’s new restaurant?

You’d be remiss not to have high expectations when dining at Burj Khalifa. After all it’s going to be compared to topnotch restaurants such as At.mosphere, the world’s highest restaurant, and Armani/hashi, where sushi is an accomplished art form.

3BK – named after its location on the third level of the Burj Khalifa – is a subtly-grand, independently-managed restaurant that opened in October. The website promised a ‘multi-sensory dining experience’ – not a hugely original concept – but with an outdoor terrace and ‘unparalleled’ views of Dubai Fountains, it’s one that we’re excited to try.

We were struck by the simplicity of the dishes on the menu, which had none of the over-the-top fanciness that you might anticipate (although they were printed on some very posh paper).

Starters ran the international gaunt from ceviche to skewers, spider rolls and scallops. We played it safe with a guacamole (Dhs42) that’s creamy with a hint of lime, and the crispy prawn tacos (Dhs40) served with tiger prawns and yuzu mayonnaise.

Meanwhile the chicken skewers (Dhs45) were presented beautifully and were pleasantly tender, although we’d have enjoyed a dipping sauce as an accompaniment.

Next came the chef’s surprise of scallop stones (Dhs120) – arguably 3BK’s most ‘multi-sensory’ dish. The chilled scallops were coated in Greek yoghurt and covered in squid ink to make them resemble pebbles. The were then placed in a bowl with real pebbles and served with whispering dry ice, used to create the sounds of crashing waves. Fun, if a little gimmicky.

The mains section is a little easier to decipher with a couple of vegetarian options including roasted cauliflower (Dhs75), several steak options (from Dhs320), fish (from Dhs175), risotto (Dhs89) and a fried whole seabass (Dhs295).

We opted for the seabass, a melt-in-the-mouth dish served with fried green plantain and salsa roja. Equally delicious was the miso marinated black cod (Dhs175). Be sure to order a side of truffle fries (Dhs40), which are an excellent accompaniment and a generous helping.

The star of the show for us was the chef-recommended vanilla cheesecake (Dhs60), which was light and fluffy and jazzed up with passionfruit seeds, mango sorbet and a sprinkle of biscuity goodness.

The large outdoor terrace is opening in November, and with a dedicated alfresco bar where you can drink, dine and enjoy shisha, we’ve no doubt a night at 3BK will meet those high expectations of yours.

3BK, Burj Khalif, Armani Hotel Dubai, Level 3 1 Sheikh Rashid bin Mohammed Blvd, Dubai, Wednesday & Thursday, 6pm to 3am, Friday to Tuesday, 6pm to 1.30am. Tel: (04) 888 6333. 3bkdubai.com

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Images: Provided