Founded by the eponymous Arkady Novikov, this Dubai restaurant is the first Middle Eastern foray for the famous Russian brand, with a flagship eatery in London and another in the creator’s native Moscow. Opened last year, Novikov Dubai is situated in the Sheraton Grand Hotel.
With an interior brought to life by Geometry Design Moscow, stepping into Novikov is like entering a hip subterranean club. Here the focus is on generating an electric ambience through bold choices and a flair for the dramatic. Decked out in warm, earthy tones, the use of natural materials like granite, leather and dark wood highlights an organic theme that is evident throughout. The semi-circular seafood bar, for example, sits beneath an impressive canopy that has been styled to look as if it’s been hewn from amber rock, while dishes are served on striking pieces of glazed earthenware pottery.
The real triumph of Novikov’s decor, however, lies in the inventive and effective lighting design. The restaurant, kept intimately dusky, deploys unique sources of illumination: wall panels of cracked stone are back-lit, clusters of orb-shaped pendant lights glow crimson and strategically placed recessed bulbs bathe each table in its own individual spotlight. All of this is enhanced by the well-considered finishing touches. Simple, clean-lined furniture echoes signature Japanese minimalism, while bowls overflowing with white orchids serve to lend a touch of extravagance and offset the darker tones of the interior.
While guests are welcome to choose their dishes from the fresh seafood ‘market’, the à la carte menu featuring pan-Asian cuisine is best enjoyed as a selection of sharing dishes. Rich flavours are in abundance with delectable starters of truffle carpaccio, Wagyu beef tacos and a tuna tartar prepared at the table. The restaurant’s signature duck dishes can be served either in a traditional Peking style, with deliciously crisp slices accompanied by pancakes, or as a striking pyramid salad, where the duck is paired with five different varieties of cress plus sweet pomegranate seeds for a light, crunchy main bursting with flavour. The dim sum selections – cuttlefish, sea bass, mushroom and chicken to name a few – are served in a delightful range of bright colours and shapes, while a tempting dessert menu awaits those who have room left for more.
Packed with individuality, from the food to the furnishings, Novikov is an exciting and memorable experience not to miss.
Images by: Supplied