When Sam suggested a long weekend in Dubai, the first thing that sprung to my mind was brunch! When we visited Dubai 4 years ago it wasn’t over a weekend, so I was eager to have my first Dubai brunch experience. Instantly, I knew if we were going to brunch, we were going to do it in style, and Nobu was where we had to go. Unfortunately, the notorious Beast from the East stopped us from making it to Nobu for our first reservation, but on re-scheduling our flight, we managed to also re-schedule brunch. The team was very simple to work with when making our bookings; everything was done over e-mail and they were very prompt to reply.
Without a doubt, this was what I was looking forward to most during our time away, so as we approached the entrance to the Atlantis Hotel, I was buzzing with excitement. On route to Nobu we were taken in by the beauty and vastness of this hotel – there’s even an aquarium!
We arrived at 12pm, just in time for brunch starting and although it wasn’t full, guests had started to trickle in. After a warm greeting of “irasshaimase” from the staff throughout the restaurant (roughly translating as welcome), we were seated at a good-sized table. One of the waiters handed us the menu – a brunch passport – and explained the different drinks packages. Having already done my research, I knew that we wanted the package that included the Champagne and we were quickly served glasses or Perrier Jouet, which continued to flow all afternoon. At AED650 (around £125), brunch at Nobu isn’t cheap, but the quantity and quality of what we ate, certainly equivalated to the price.
While we browsed through our passports (which offered dishes from 14 different Nobu destinations), we were served the tastiest edamame with salt and some spicy chicken tacos. The tacos were a great fusion of foods and being a big fan of both Mexican and Japanese, these went down a treat!
Neither Sam, nor I, wanted to rush our dining experience, so we made sure to take our time and not fill up too quickly. After our amuse-bouches, we headed to the buffet to explore what we would try next. Normally, I’m not excited by the prospect of a buffet, but this one had the chefs preparing extremely fresh sushi behind the counter. There was so much choice – I just had to take one of everything, but first I arrived back at our table with a plate of yellowtail sashimi with jalapeño to share. The added jalapeño created a great flavor without overpowering the yellowtail.
From my next trip to the buffet, I returned with oysters with a choice of sauce, beef tataki, tuna tataki with tosazu, salmon sashimi, tuna sashimi, scallop nigiri, salmon nigiri, tuna nigiri, salmon & avocado roll, spicy tuna roll, and of course, lobster and caviar. Without a doubt this is the best sushi I’ve ever had. Although it was all incredible, it was the scallop nigiri that is most memorable (can I have some now please?!).
It’s not hard to see why the black cod is what Chef Nobu is renowned for; it was outstanding. I’ve never eaten a piece of fish like this. The sweet, yet salty, flavor of the cod was fantastic and it fell away from the skin beautifully. The Mia Margarita was pretty damn tasty too!
From here, we ordered a selection of items: soft shell crab with amazu ponzu, beef skewers with anticucho, as well as more cocktails and sake.
Once we’d finished with the main menu and buffet, we turned our eyes to the dessert selection. There were a variety of desserts on the buffet, but what I kept returning for was the small chocolates; Sam and I were divided over our preference for the white or milk – the white was the best! We also ordered the matcha French toast from the menu, which was lovely and light – the perfect ending to an outstanding meal.
My whole afternoon at Nobu was ideal. The setting was a beautiful room, with a fantastic violinist, creating a brilliant atmosphere. The staff were lovely, and we never wanted for anything; our champagne and waters were continuously topped up and there was always someone on hand to request any additional items. My first Dubai Brunch experience, and my first Nobu experience, fulfilled all of my expectations and has become my favourite dining experience to date.
Atmosphere – 5
Food – 5
Price – 4.5
Service – 5
Total – 19.5/20