Brunch Review: Nobu Dubai
A decadent brunch that celebrates the best bits of dining at Nobu…
Any restaurant that makes it more than a decade on the Dubai dining scene joins an elite group of must-be-doing-something-right restaurants. Among them, is Nobu, which has spent 14 years welcoming guests to enjoy fine Japanese and Peruvian fare at Atlantis, The Palm.
But after a long stint in The Avenues, the restaurant has been given a glow up, and risen to the rooftop of the hotel. It’s here we find ourselves one Saturday afternoon for their recently relaunched Saturday brunch. The new restaurant has the same rich and refined feel of the original with dark woods, rich jewel hued furnishings and gold accents. But it’s been elevated at its new rooftop location, with floor-to-ceiling windows, a grand sushi counter, and a sprawling terrace with mesmerising views of the Palm fronds and city skyline. If weather permits, book a table outdoors: this has to be one of the best alfresco spots on the Palm.
Brunch begins at 12.30pm, a little earlier than most, and despite arriving around 20 minutes late, we’re still among some of the first guests. The format ensures guests get to experience all the best bits of Nobu’s menu, with the first part inviting guests to fill their plates at the live stations, and the second part arriving as multiple courses of sharing plates served to the table.
The live stations are laid out across the sushi counter, a showcase of Nobu’s perfectly plated raw dishes. There’s plump, juicy oysters arranged on beds of crushed ice, slivers of yellowtail dressed with jalapeno, and bowls of baby spinach shaved with fresh truffle. We return again and again for the cubes of crispy rice, which guests heap with raw tuna and salmon, topping each bite with roe or fresh spring onion.
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Next, on a large platter arrives a signature selection of Nobu sushi and sashimi, with salmon onigiri, yellowtail and avocado among some of our favourite choices, but we’re hard pressed to find one we don’t like. We even ask for extra beef tataki jalapeno rolls, the tender Wagyu as fresh as it is flavourful.
The main courses are then served to share. Some are small bites, like the Nobu quail benedict, a mouthful of runny egg on a crisp benedict base, others like the sizzling ribeye, is of more meaty size, and one of our favourite dishes of the day. The black cod in butter lettuce is slightly drier than we hope, but the creamy rock shrimp with a welcome punch of spice more than makes up for it.
We activate our second stomach for dessert, squeezing in bites of chocolate cake, cheesecake and mochi to end things on the sweetest of notes.
On the drinks front, there’s a choice of red and white wine, regular and pink bubbles, sake, bottled beers and a sake-based cocktail all included in the house package. It’s also nice to see a choice of three mocktails available to guests that opt for the soft package. Service is slick, and no glass goes without being topped up.
Our only disappointment is that towards the end things feels a little rushed, which is perhaps down to it being a three-hour package rather than four. Last orders are taken promptly at 3pm, and as soon as it hits 3.30pm, the music concludes and the restaurant quickly clears out. But for a best-of-both-worlds brunch offering where the food quality isn’t compromised, this brunch is at the top of its game.
Brunch by Nobu, Nobu Dubai, Level 22, Atlantis, The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, 12.30pm to 3.30pm, Saturdays, Dhs575 soft, Dhs675 house, Dhs795 Champagne, Dhs275 children. Tel: (0)4 426 0760, atlantis.com/dubai/dining/nobu, @nobudubai