By Thomas Shambler
Lots of deals have been made over a great meal, and Novikov's business lunch certainly won't hurt your business' chances
When Arkady Novikov first opened the doors to his Mayfair eatery in London, much fuss was made about the high-end fusion faire. Now, two years after, he brings his Italian/Asian lounge and restaurant menu to the UAE. With a selection of Asian dishes available from the menu, complete with big-name wines, champagnes and a selection of cocktails, it's no surprise that the high-end hotspot is full most evenings. However, if there's not enough time to wine and dine your guests over a full evening, Novikov provides its very own business lunch. Far more than a quick bite to eat, a business lunch must present everything the restaurant does well, at a decent price. That said, it also needs to be quick enough to get in (and out again) in under an hour.
Novikov's Shinkansen menu includes a soup, two starters and a main. Three courses may sound like a belly-full for lunch, but portions are controlled and, providing you don't go overboard with desert, won't send you in to an unproductive post-food coma. At first glance, the food looks typically Asian. Nigiri and maki rolls, dim sum, Japanese cucumber tataki with tempura. However, each dish comes with a surprising element – be it the addition of a tiny quail egg with the sushi, or dim sum garnished with black truffle. Mains are kept simple, with bigger portion sizes. Canadian beef fillet is grilled to perfection, and the miso chicken yakitori is served on its very own charcoal barbeque. If there is anyone on the table worth impressing, be sure they have the crispy duck, served with pancakes and hoi sin sauce. It's delicious.