Nobu by the Beach Near+Far rating: 9/10
Why book Nobu by the Beach
Most are familiar with Nobu – the eponymous and now iconic chef Nobu Matyhusia and the pioneer of Japanese-Peruvian cuisine. Since opening in 1987, the brand has birthed much-loved – and imitated – dishes like miso black cod and yellowtail with jalapeno sashimi, attracting a crowd of celebrities and brand devotees. In Dubai, Nobu is located at Atlantis The Palm – moving to a striking new bridge location earlier this year, but there’s also another, more laid-back, almost playful and stripped-back alternative. Located at the new Atlantis The Royal, this chic, minimalist beach club and poolside is a haven for sipping sake and cocktails and nibbling on bite-size black cod: the first-of-its-kind Nobu by the Beach.
Comprising limpid blue swimming pool sunloungers, cabanas with billowing white drapes and the main event – a beachy casual iteration of Nobu – Nobu by the Beach is arguably Dubai’s chicest new opening. Sitting in the shadows of the city’s most impressive new hotel opening, the cantilevered Atlantis The Royal, the views are stunning: the megastructure, beach and Dubai skyline, swaying palm trees, and manicured green gardens. Come for a pool day (pricy but worth it), book a table for lunch – best to maximise the gloss Palm Jumeirah and ocean views and sunny tropical garden feel – or take a seat at the vibey bar, complete with an army of good looking bartenders and DJ, for a crisp bottle of rose and breezy bite takes on Nobu signatures (the black cod bites in lettuce wraps and wagyu sando are unmissable). This is sublime summery Malibu-meets-Dubai -style at its finest.
Guests experience two distinct moments at Nobu by the Beach – the pool and the restaurant. The poolside offers a peaceful, zen and elegant vibe, where guests hude away in cabanas or lounge on sunbeds – and a small handful glides around in the large temperature-controlled swimming pool lined by palm trees. The restaurant gets more high octane = channelling the vibe of its Nobu sister properties with a super chic and smart atmosphere, complete with a DJ, wrap-around bar and beautiful ocean views. Lunchtime in the sun gets lively – and those visiting for lunch will want to grab a seat at the bustling bar post-meal and to enjoy the fresh cocktail menu and beach views – plus an insatiably cool vibe.
Guests can either come to Nobu by the Beach for a pool day or just to the restaurant – the pool offers one of the city’s most stylish pool and beach days. A collection of comfortable loungers with umbrellas is available to reserve for AED250 Monday to Thursday and AED350 Friday to Sunday and on public holidays – which is not redeemable on any food and beverage. Getting more exclusive, the next option are the plush double daybeds (from AED1,000) on their own private poolside podium, followed by tropical open-air cabanas (AED3,000), air-conditioned cabanas (AED5,500) and the ultimate luxury book – the private pool cabanas (AED7,500), tucked away from the main club and white Dubai skyline and ocean view.
The Food And Drink
Much hype has been placed on the elegant, landscaped beach club, but the restaurant is worth a visit in itself – and a true destination dining spot in the city. Fans of Nobu will find all the classics in contemporary, beachy, bite-sized, made-for-sharing makeover. Food is fresh, zingy, light and flavourful – and unmissable dishes include the light and bite-sized tacos, crispy rice, sea bass coconut ceviche – served in a hollowed-out coconut where you’re encouraged to scoop the lime-soaked flesh out when finishing, and the crisp and flavour-packed spinach and avocado salad. It’s not all light, however, and the decadent wagyu beef tenderloin sando is butter soft, perfectly cut, with crispy edges and served with piping hot fries and creamy aioli. This is Nobu 2.0 and couldn’t be more fitting for its stunning beachy location. Come for lunch to capitalise on the view, or grab a seat at the bar and order yuzu and sake cocktails as you watch the glamorous clientele flit in and out and the DJ amp the tempo as the afternoon lols on.
The beds are pricy, but the price is reflected in the feeling of exclusivity – the peace, the lack of crowds and the elegance of the space. There’s a real air of refinement, the epitome of the Nobu brand in the beach club. The restaurant cannot be overlooked as an extension and is a stand-alone dining destination in its own right – offering that same Nobu service, menu and experience, but with a beachy, sunny, laid-back modern vibe – plus views and greenery which transport you to a tropical island.