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Looking for refined and innovative Japanese cuisine? This new restaurant has it all
It had been a while since we had last visited and reviewed a refined Japanese restaurant on Abu Dhabi Confidential. We are now up to date after visiting the newly launched 99 Sushi bar located inside the Galleria Mall on Al Maryah Island.
This newly launched Japanese restaurant labels itself as ‘Haute Japanese Cuisine’ and fits in the same category as Tori No Su, Hakkasan or Zuma in Abu Dhabi. The hardest part is to locate the restaurant as it is tucked away at the first floor of Galleria mall, just above Nusret and LOCA.
Originating from Spain – with five fine dining restaurants in Madrid and Barcelona – 99 Sushi Bar in Abu Dhabi is their first flagship in The Middle East.
Their sleek Instagram account reflects the atmosphere: an elegant, sophisticated, design, subtle ambience both in the decor and for the palette. Of course we should mention the restaurant hired a brilliant Head Sommelier who previously worked a couple of years at Hakkasan Abu Dhabi and was declared Japanese Sake Sommelier of the year 2016 in London.
Upon arrival, the entrance is quite impressive with a golden vertical wall waterfall. The restaurant comprises of an intimate bar at the entrance, a restaurant lounge and an outdoor dining terrace. Design fans will be in awe of the contemporary furniture with Kartell table lamps and chairs, dark burgundy comfy sofas and beautiful ceramic tiles outdoors. Our preferred spot though is the mesmerizing outdoor terrace with their floor to ceiling moss wall and amazing views at nighttime overlooking the sea and the Tourist Club area skyline.
It’s an ideal spot to bookmark for a sleek dinner out or a romantic celebration. Probably part of the ‘mise en scene’, we loved the way each table has its own pendant chandelier that highlights every single dish coming to your table, each of them is an artwork with colors and scents exploding and exciting your taste buds.
Invited to experience some of the signature dishes on their menu, we had an amazing night and were lucky to experience a wonderful assortment of tataki, maki, nigiri. Before going into details, we must say the portions are generous enough to be shared for a couple and allow you to try different bouchées on their appealing menu.
We started with the tuna tataki that was coated with white sesame seeds with coriander oil and passionfruit and a soy reduction (99AED). This combination worked very well and the mix of subtle scents was amazing in the mouth.
If you wish to try a few warm sharing starters, go for the tiger prawn tempura served with a spicy creamy sauce. It is already one of their best-sellers in Spain and will surely be here too (129AED). The lobster maki served warm is an absolute must-try (129AED); they are flambéed on top with coriander oil and the crunchy cucumber inside the maki contrasts and pairs well with the softness of the roll. Don’t miss the fatty tuna nigiri also called Toro (59AED) which was one of our favorite nigiri.
After this varied assortment of starters, we went on with a main and shared their 99 black cod, an Alaskan cod au gratin with two layers of red miso. Priced at 209 AED, the portion was generous enough for two and the texture and taste were fantastic.
If you want to end on a sweet note, check their mochi selection, one of our personal favorite desserts. It was our first time tasting a passionfruit mochi – topped with raspberry which was great but they also have other exotic flavors such as Mango Thai basil, black sesame or ginger Zing to name a few.
Don’t hesitate to ask for recommendations if you wish to enjoy a mocktail, cocktail or a glass of wine as the selection is also brilliant and the mocktails and cocktails labeling very appealing.
99 Sushi is a welcome new addition to the city with excellent service and classic dishes combined with bold creations.
For reservations, click here.
99 SUSHI BAR & RESTAURANT | Al Maryah Island/ Four Seasons, The Galleria First Floor | +971 2 672 33 33