Nineteen, Address Montgomerie – a ‘precious’ fine-dining experience
Due to my fantastic experience at The Address Marina before, my expectations about Nineteen were quite high. Luckily for both, service staff and myself, the expectations were not only met, but exceeded.
We did not have any reservation and rocked up at Nineteen at about 20:30 on an Saturday night.
Hungry and looking for another extraordinary fine-dining experience, we were greeted nicely and the hostess took us to the terrace of the restaurant. All light in candles only, well it was Earth Hour 2013, the lightning gave the establishment a beautiful touch. It was not very busy and Mr.Suryan was very quick in presenting the food and beverage menus offering while offering some water. Two Gin&Tonic and a little more time to have a look into the menu, was our first order. The drinks were served within seconds, a plus for them. We had a look at the menu, and it was quite limited to be honest. The food menu sounded delicious and tempting, but it was not as extensive as expected for a restaurant which has been awarded by TimeOut Dubai, as the recommended contemporary European cuisine establishment for the years of 2007 – 2009.
We ordered beef tartar, crispy goat cheese, halibut with ratatouille and sea bass. We ordered a bottle of Riesling as well to go with the food. Still sipping on our aperitifs we were offered a glass of wine, but denied as we wanted to finish our long drinks first. California Maki was served as an amuse bouchée to keep us busy while waiting for the starters – a nice touch, but we recommend the Chef to stick to contemporary European and not to Japanese cuisine.
Still enjoying our drinks, Mr.Surya offered to poor the wine, we denied again, as we only had a couple of sips and were not even close to taste the wine yet. Very attentive – but a little less sometimes is more. He served our starters, and yes, the goat cheese was crispy and the beef tartar was up to expectations. Finally Mr.Surya, had the chance to poor our wine, and he kept poring. The starters were delicious. Three minutes after the starters were cleared, the mains were served. Service was fine, but a little less pushy and a bit more time between courses would have made the overall experience just perfect. The halibut and the sea bass food presentation was lovely but the taste was a bit boring. Fish is fish, but there are so many interesting ways to prepare a fish dish in a unique and creative way – the Chef must have missed those. Nevertheless, we are here to write about service and not food, and this is what we focused on. All of a sudden Mr.Surya disappeared and another young lady approached us, clearing our dishes, asking for our well being and started a random conversation with us – Ms.Precious. A nice touch to be honest, at least when it comes to guest relations and simply, good service. A small chat about Dubai and the weather, the lady from South Africa tried her best. She presented the dessert menu and recommended us frozen yogurt and Creme Brûlée. She mentioned that the Creme Brûlée at Nineteen was not like the usual Creme Brûlée and that was what made us ordering the same to share. Good up selling skills Ms.Precious. She said it will be served within 15 minutes and it actually arrived in 13. A good example of ‘under promise, over deliver’, well done!
Indeed, it was different, served with lemon sorbet on the side the Creme Brûlée more or leas tasted like creme yogurt, but nice. To be honest, Ms.Precious warned us that this was something special, and again she did not promise too much.
When handing over the bill, she again asked about our well being and offered to call a taxi for us. Just as I would have rated all of it as perfect, she also told us about events they host in future and immediately asked of we wanted to make a reservation for the next time. Well, once you have just finished a three course dinner you do not motmally think about when to go for dinner next, again, less pushy and would have been nice – might be a standard to ask that nothing against Ms.Precious, she was precious!
Overall the experience was great, service was attentive and very polite.
The Bad: food was not quite up to expectations. We expected a bit more from a restaurant which had been awarded so many years in a row.
The Good: service with curtesy, attentive and spot on.
We will be back.