Nobu, Atlantis, Palm Jumeirah – A Masterclass in Consistency
Fr & Holidays: Lunch, 12:00 - 3:00
Sa - Wed : Dinner, 7:00 - 11:30
Thu, Fr & Holidays, Dinner, 7:00 - 12.30
Daily: Bar: 6:00 - 1:00
Find the menu here: Go
1,200 AED for 2 with a bottle of wine.
Atlantis Hotel, Palm Jumeirah
Email: [email protected]
Consistent - you know what you'll get
Wide menu options
Good drinks list
Can be pricey
“A chef should strive to be consistent, at experience, but not consistent in taste.”
Having Just watched the new Bradley Cooper movie Burnt, PalmJumeriahGuides.com now ‘knows’ that the difference between a good restaurant and a great one is the opposite of consistency when it comes to taste. To be great, according to the movie at least, is to “surprise” guests with unexpected flavours, tastes, and textures, that presumably they will love.
Nobu on the Palm never surprises – if you regularly visit. It is incredibly consistent serving, time and time again, perfectly identical replicas of the dishes that made Nobuyuki “Nobu” Matsuhisa’s name. However, if that means that this would not be considered a great restaurant the dishes its sorcerer’s apprentices serve, day in day out, are magical nevertheless – in experience, and in taste.
Nobu on Palm Jumeirah still serves up Matsuhisa’s signature dishes in almost exactly the same way they have always been served: Miso Black Cod, Soft Shelled Crab, Rock Shrimp Tempura, and every time we have them, we ask ourselves why would you change anything quite so good… We are clearly not alone. Nobu opened with the Atlantis hotel eight years ago, and PJG’s team cannot remember a single change being made to its menu in this time. More surprising however is the consistency in its popularity. Dubai adores anything shiny and new – and this restaurant is neither, quite the opposite in fact – and yet is as popular today as when it opened.
If we were to be critical, it would simply be to turn its strength, into a weakness – more specifically, do not go to this restaurant to find innovation in the Nobu menu. If you visit Nobu elsewhere, most notably in Malibu, you find two menus. The traditional menu, and the new menu. There is no new menu serving locally created dishes here.
The ambiance in the Dubai restaurant cannot quite escape the massive hotel it is within, but there is good with that. It keeps the restaurant buzzy with guests, and there is a good mix of local and tourist diners each night. Despite this being a relatively expensive place to dine, empty tables are difficult to spot – although there’s usually at least one or two for those turning up late. About 90% of tables were busy on the Thursday night we visited.
The restaurant and bar has also been designed well (and it has been designed, but more so than for example the very plain Nobu in Mayfair). There are two spaces, the first the bar where you can have pre-dinner drinks (and a cigarette if you smoke – this is Dubai), and the second, larger space for dining (smoke free thankfully). Both spaces manage to be at the same time intimate yet buzzy and spacious, classical yet modern. We think it has something to do with the light. Although there are high ceilings and modern design and finishes the low lighting shortens spaces, and envelops diners in their own unique bubbles for the duration of their stay.
There are almost no bad choices on the menu we have found (although few would be pressed to say this is a restaurant to go to for Sushi (for that head off the island to Zuma at the DIFC)). For tempura dishes, for fish, for fusion despite its relative age, and despite its Atlantis location, Nobu just cuts the wasabi. If you love your food Nobu should be on your list of Palm restaurants to try, and retry. It’s that good.