x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

All-day dining restaurant Nine7One is a pleasant surprise

Nine7One at The Oberoi Dubai offers a tasty mix of international cuisine in a relaxed setting.

Nine7One all-day dining restaurant in the Oberoi Hotel in Business Bay, Dubai. Antonie Robertson / The National
Nine7One all-day dining restaurant in the Oberoi Hotel in Business Bay, Dubai. Antonie Robertson / The National

Nine7One is the all-day dining restaurant at The Oberoi in Dubai. I don’t expect much from all-day dining restaurants. They usually don’t specialise in one cuisine, instead offering a mishmash of intercontinental food that offers something for nearly everyone who walks through the door. That often results in food that’s mediocre, at best.

But Nine7One has found a way around that typical pitfall. The dining room is small enough that you can see every table from wherever you sit, but big enough to not feel cramped. The decor is warm with yellow, grey and wood tones. There’s a brick pizza oven and a rotisserie pit along one wall, but they weren’t fired up during my visit. The focal point of the room is a vast, glittering chandelier. One wall of the restaurant is made of glass overlooking a courtyard (with outdoor tables) that surround a large water feature.

It was quiet the day I visited, with just a few businessmen meeting over lunch. The staff was friendly and efficient. I didn’t wait long for anything, nor did I feel rushed.

As expected, Nine7One’s menu doesn’t focus on one cuisine. Here, you can find fish and chips, chicken schnitzel, lamb kofta and black Angus tenderloin all under one roof.

I started with a simple caprese salad. But instead of a typical (and uninspired) presentation of sliced tomatoes and mozzarella drizzled with balsamic vinegar, I was presented with an unusually large portion of a variety of heirloom tomatoes, mozzarella balls and burrata cheese. The tomatoes were fresh and juicy; the mozzarella was moist and milky and the burrata was as good as it gets.

The rest of the meal continued to impress. The chicken schnitzel I had was crispy and cooked well. I was expecting German schnitzel with gravy, but this was more like chicken katsu and perhaps should have been named as such. It was breaded with crunchy panko and came with sweet tonkatsu sauce (Japanese barbecue sauce). This was a tasty dish, but one end of the chicken did have an unbalanced ratio of breading to meat, erring on the side of too much bread.

On the shortlist of desserts, I was surprised to see serradura, a Portuguese dessert, also known as sawdust pudding (serradura is the Portuguese word for sawdust). It typically consists of layers of crushed biscuits (the “sawdust”) and a smooth custard. Nine7One’s serradura is an upscale version of this classic dessert with layers of vanilla mousse, crumbled biscuits with pistachio and mango mousse. It’s topped with fresh mango purée. Though I was full of schnitzel, I devoured it all.

If you’re in the area, it’s worth a visit.

Lunch for one at Nine7One, The Oberoi, Dubai, costs Dh230. Call 04 444 1407 for reservations. Reviewed meals are paid for by The National and conducted incognito