Hatched in Spain, where their sushi outposts draw a host of celebs hankering after their innovative take on Japanese cuisine, this is the first overseas foray for 99 Sushi Bar — a group that’s perfected their signature foie gras with raspberry, truffle butterfish and lime-tinged salmon flambe nigiri.
Purists who cannot fathom how dishes can be improved using new techniques and ingredient combinations should pay this swanky sunlit spot that overlooks the water a visit. Perch by the sushi bar to see the maestros assembling inventive maki rolls or torching bite-sized nigiri — like a Spanish red shrimp version that pays homage to its conceptual home.
The ‘warm’, cooked sushi toppings – quail egg and veal bacon or roasted eel with tare sauce — that garnered the original a Michelin star, are a speciality here too.
Dish after dish impresses; from a tower of tiger prawn tempura with a spicy creamy sauce, a mainstay of modern Japanese haunts, to more unusual squares of gleaming tuna tartare teamed with the added textural crunch of shoestring fries, and slivers of scallop sashimi with three distinct sauces. The less adventurous have plenty to opt for too; there are moreish lamb gyozas, soft shell crab rolls, miso slow-cooked beef ribs or red miso black cod amongst a host of options on the gargantuan menu.
It’s lucky the service team know their dishes so well; let them guide you towards all the perennial favourites.
Try out the Zeitaku Friday brunch that offers up 11 of the restaurant’s top dishes; the set menu including soft drinks starts from Dhs299 or the omakase menu’s available anytime for Dhs149.
INFO: The Galleria, Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi, Tel: +971 2 672 3333, 99sushibar.com, @99sushibar_ad