While there’s no shortage of fine dining restaurants in Dubai, the city has suffered from a lack of concept restaurants à la the other financial hubs of the world, like New York or London. This paucity is finally laid to rest at Table 9, whose predecessor at the Hilton Dubai Creek was the inimitable Gordon Ramsay’s popular restaurant Verre.
Michelin-starred chefs Nick Alves and Scott Price have shied away from the rigid confines of three-course dining and experimented with a flexible course system. This means that you can order different portion sizes, as suits your appetite for that day, varying from piquant appetisers in the short menu to the vegetarian and non-vegetarian fixed menu option.
With a charismatic server and knowledgeable sommelier things already start rolling with the sweet corn mousse that is creatively served in a clay flower pot accompanied by pickled shallot and amaranth seeds. Hen’s egg — which is a must-try here — is crispier than expected, escorted as it is by pancetta, mushroom puree and sweet maple vinegar caramel syrup.
Despite the dark interiors of the packed diner, the light shines on the star of the show: poached lobster that is wrapped with roasted coconut, fresh and raw mango, a perfect balance of sweet and sour, just like the doctor ordered. Crumbly quinoa infused with beetroot puree and crème fresh horseradish paste gives a nice kick and the crispy scallops seaweed (made with cabbage, though it’s hard to tell the difference) with pan-roasted plum puree is another must-have.
What’s really unique about this restaurant is the live video that screens chef Nick’s hand as he prepares our dishes. It gets even better when he invites us into the kitchen after the meal is over, allowing his charm to wash over our pleasant food-induced coma.
If you wish to try something different, go for the roasted and poached pigeon that is made into a croquette and supplemented by oak leaves and blackberry vinaigrette.
Once you’re in the mood for something sturdier, plump for the roasted duck breast with potato gnocchi and the lamb served with a delicious tomato chutney and aubergine paste.
Lest you forget, don’t miss the desserts ranging from apricot sorbet with macadamia crumble, to chocolate parfait with hazelnut mousse. Like most happy endings, we are sent away with a “pick and mix” goodie bag full of sweets that are crafted on-site and served Hong-Kong style in a push trolley. We approve!
Ramsay-esque meals they may not be, but you can be rest assured that Nick & Scott’s food at Table 9 comes a close second. A perfect nine on nine.