Located on Pearl Jumeira’s waterfront, Nikki Beach Dubai offers guests a hedonistic vacation-like experience with stunning panoramic views over Arabian Gulf’s turquoise waters.
A beach club renowned for being somewhat of a celebration spot is not necessarily the first venue that comes to mind when planning a leisurely lunch or al fresco evening under the stars. Still, the multi-faceted Nikki Beach Dubai, with its sense of unrestrained luxury and seriously Insta-worthy venue, offers a dining destination not to be overlooked.
Walking past a reception desk constructed from natural wood, we are immediately enveloped by the venue’s chicness, which embraces tribal touches and blindingly bright white décor to striking effect. Despite the current restrictions concerning live music and entertainment, the beachfront venue manages to retain a lively and inclusive ambience where people leisurely sip on cocktails while relaxing upon sun loungers submerged in the alluring waters.
On this occasion, we’re keeping our feet firmly on dry land, with our reason for visiting Nikki Beach Dubai being their restaurant. A dining destination that offers both indoor seating and al fresco dining poolside, accentuated by glimpses of both the pool and beach, flanked by slender palm trees and strategically placed parasols. We immediately wish we’d made our reservation a couple of hours later, as this restaurant offers an ideal spot for sundowners.
Seated comfortably as enchanting dream catchers catch the breeze, we are afforded the perfect vantage point for people-watching while soaking up the relaxed and sophisticated atmosphere. Service is prompt and efficient, and we’re soon taking recommendations from a menu of globally-inspired cuisine that draws inspiration from Nikki Beach’s 14 worldwide locations, including Miami, Koh Samui, Santorini and Barbados.
The eclectic menu from Executive Chef Kavish Chimajee, formally of seafood speciality restaurant Catch at The St. Regis Abu Dhabi, fully embraces the shoreline location. Presenting a light and fresh mix of salads, sushi, ceviche and grilled seafood that focuses on locally-sourced ingredients.
We begin with the raw bar and are thoroughly enamoured with the blend of smashed avocado, radish and ginger marinade that form the delightful tuna tartare (AED 75), with the vibrant green avocado bringing a burst of colour and flavour to the more delicate upon the plate. The seabass ceviche (AED 65) is perhaps our favourite dish of the day, taking immaculate slithers of seabass and enlivening the fish with tropical passion fruit, fiery jalapeño and togarashi in a dish of impeccably balanced flavours.
The selection of Makimono Sushi Rolls also impress and are showcased via a presentation method that we’ve not seen before. The Marbella Spicy Tuna Roll (AED 85), inspired by Nikki Beach’s Mediterranean location in Spain, presents spicy tuna tartare, jalapeño peppers and tempura flakes into rolls that embody a pleasing contrast of textures. Similarly, the Saint Tropez Roll (AED 85) is generously stuffed with crisp tempura shrimp, crab meat, crispy quinoa and Sriracha.
While tempted by the garden-fresh selection of salads and an appealing choice of steak and meat dishes, we find it only appropriate to indulge in seafood from the grill, given the enviable location and ocean vistas. We’re not at all disappointed by the sheer simplicity of the 280g of Tiger Prawns that are split in half and lightly charred upon the grill. Only a small spritz of lemon is required to elevate the plump and juicy flesh encased within the brilliant pink shells.
The Nikki Beach ethos revolves around the idea of exclusivity that is captured by the philosophy of “tell only your best friends.” But we beg to differ. The dining within this small slice of escapist paradise should be shared and relished, for Nikki Beach Dubai’s restaurant offers exquisite cuisine perfectly suited to the location that leans into lighter dishes inspired by the ocean. While the pool and beach areas are strictly adults-only, the restaurant and its al fresco patio welcome families and children.
There’s a reason Nikki Beach Dubai has garnered a reputation as a luxury destination for the discerning global traveller, and after dining at their restaurant, we can certainly see why.