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It is impossible not to love this brunch!
As huge fans of their refined Japanese food, we were eager to try the newly launched Saturday brunch at 99 Sushi Bar in Abu Dhabi.
The concept is clear and all about ‘carpe diem’ culinary experience as guests can visit the restaurant every Saturday between 1 pm and sunset (yes, sunset overlooking the sea and Abu Dhabi’s skyline!) to experience their newly launched ‘ZEITAKU’ brunch (since March 2018).
‘Zeitaku’ actually means extravagance in English and it is exactly that-a ballet of 11-courses that will really impress you!
11 courses can seem a lot and definitely had us worried. After experiencing it, we must say it works well as the different bites are perfectly sized and each offers a different flavor and taste.
This brunch revolves around three notions we are personally looking for when visiting a brunch: culinary execution, attention to detail and overall experience.
Upon arrival, guests are invited to first visit the outdoor terrace overlooking the sea. If you are already familiar with the spot, you’ll see a change in the look of the terrace as now cozy burgundy velvet sofas are displayed all around the terrace for guests to enjoy their drinks on. A pleasant start, especially as the terrace is shaded and has a nice welcoming breeze.
Once ready to start your brunch journey, you can head indoors. The restaurant decor is quite classy mixing different decor genres: vintage ceramic floor tiles, black and gold details and of course those Kartell cult chairs and lamps we adore.
Our 11-course journey
After tasting the edamame and hosomaki, the first two courses which came to the table were meant to be enjoyed with the hands. Their revisited “pizza” is refreshing: served cold, it is prepared with fried corn tortilla and is topped with tuna usuzukuri, olives, onions, green chili. The association works well and the refreshing tare sauce binds it all.
The fatty tuna and smoked bacon beef taco surprised us as the different ingredients are nicely displayed on a large flat yaki nori. You have to roll it yourself and although we felt slightly clumsy rolling ours, we liked the playful side of this ‘bouchée’.
After enjoying the spicy and creamy tiger prawn tempura, our partner adored the spicy tuna tartar served with daiko and shoestring chips in kimuchi sauce.
Don’t hesitate to ask for a pause after this first round of dishes as what comes next is a ballet of pure delight showcasing some of the restaurant’s signature makis, nigiris and rolls.
From butterfish nigiri topped with truffle, salmon flambé nigiri with lime, scallop nigiri with one slice raw and the other cooked and topped with yuzu mayonnaise, this is an unforgettable feast for the palate.
The Temptsuyu Maki also surprised us and was quite playful to watch and taste. The fried tempura is filled with salmon roe, salmon fillet and comes with dry tuna flakes on top. What’s quite fun is the fact that the flakes give the feeling the dish is alive as they start moving once the waiter pours a tentsuyu* sauce in the plate.
*tempura dip prepared with dashi, mirin, soy sauce and sugar.
Before switching to sweets, there are two more courses to taste: a fatty tuna tartar gunkan that is prepared with smoked beef bacon and quail egg and skirt steak. We preferred the second one as the thin tender slices of steak were very flavorful thanks to the galagal sauce (similar taste to ginger).
Lastly, raspberry mochis come to the table bringing the final refreshing touch and putting an end to the extravaganza experience.
To conclude, this newcomer is a must-visit if you feel for haute-couture Japanese cuisine, as the quality of the ingredients is top-notch and each bouchee is an experience on its own for the taste buds. A big thank you to 99 Sushi Bar for welcoming us to experience the brunch launch!
Served every Saturday between 1 pm and sunset
Pricing : 399 AED for the soft package, 499 AED with bubbles and premium house beverages, 699 AED with champagne (inclusive of taxes and VAT)
99 SUSHI BAR ABU DHABI | Inside The Galleria Mall, above Loca restaurant, Al Maryah Island – Abu Dhabi
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