Restaurant Review: Table 9 by Nick and Scott
When you hear the words Table 9, they are almost always followed by the inimitable lines: “You know, the one that used to be Verre,” or “it’s by the guys who used to work at Gordon Ramsay’s.” Both statements are true. But, to give it its official name, Table 9 by Nick and Scott, doesn’t need to ride on its predecessor’s coat tails. Granted, chefs and creators, Scott Price and Nick Alvis, did serve time under Gordon Ramsay at his Michelin-starred London outpost at Claridges, as well as Verre, and this is no bad thing. Verre was great while it lasted, but this dynamic duo bring something different to the table, if you’ll pardon the pun. Something so special that with only five-months of serving the notoriously picky punters of Dubai under their bold belts, their restaurant is full and the city’s jaded gourmands are trundling down to Deira in their droves.
“Verre was probably the most established restaurant in Dubai, so when we changed the name we always knew the comparison was likely,” explains Nick. “Our aim has always been to take the restaurant to the next level by changing things we think would benefit our guests, making the food and service much more approachable and friendly while still maintaining the same high standards that we were known for and delivering value for money. We are constantly evolving the restaurant into our own vision to give our guests the best possible experience.”
Having trained with globally-famous Ramsay, we were curious who the guys looked to for inspiration these days. “I wouldn’t say I have a favourite restaurant,” says Scott, “but the most exciting meal I had recently was at the Ledbury in London. They serve creative, exciting and honest food with brilliant service.” Nick adds. “I don’t have a favourite restaurant either but my most memorable meal would be at Sat Bains [a two Michelin star restaurant in Nottingham in the UK] quite some time ago. You could see that he was a great chef then and now an even better one, I would really like to go back there to try what he’s doing now.”
Future plans for the ambitious pair including launching a cooking school in Dubai where students can learn how to make everything from bread and pasta and chocolate truffles. Whether you’re a budding amateur chef keen to learn how to plate up like a pro, a home cook wanting to build confidence and repertoire or a kitchen novice who is tired of eating takeout or toast for dinner, there’s a masterclass here to suit you. They’re also going to be offering a vino discovery course so you can impress your friends by picking the perfect grape the next time you’re out at dinner.
As for Nick and Scott’s dream dinner guests, Scott would like to cook for Kate Beckinsale, while Nick “would love to have footballers Robin Van Persie and Thierry Henry sat together in the restaurant one evening.” And who knows… after all, these lads are proof that dreams can come true.
Scott Price Fact File
After reaching the national finals of the Gordon Ramsay scholarship in 2003, Scott was asked to leave the restaurant he was working at in the Lake District and join the team at Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s.
The fast-paced demanding environment of this Michelin-starred kitchen suited him; he was promoted to Sous Chef within 18 months and then Senior Sous Chef soon after that. During this time, he worked closely with Gordon Ramsay on a number of his book shoots and television shows and helped to reopen Ramsay’s London restaurant Petrus.
Known for his instincts, creativity and organisation skills, Scott was selected to relaunch and revamp Verre at the Hilton Dubai Creek.
Nick Alvis Fact File
Nick began his career cooking in a number of country house hotels, before moving to London to work for the three Michelin-starred chef Nico Ladenis, at both Incognico and Chez Nico.
In 2004, an invitation to spend a day in the kitchen at Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s proved pivotal: he remained there for three years, before moving to Petrus, which was then overseen by Marcus Wareing.
After that, he was asked to relocate to France, to form part of the opening team for the restaurant Gordon Ramsay au Trianon in Versaille. Success ensued and the restaurant was awarded two Michelin stars within its first year of opening.
Nick moved to Dubai in 2010 to help Scott relaunch Verre at the Hilton Dubai Creek.
With Nick and Scott at the helm, the restaurant was soon recognised as one of the best in the region.
Just 18 months after arriving in the UAE, the two friends were given the chance to make their own unique mark on Dubai’s dining scene with Table 9.