Dokuz is more of an evening, poolside lounge than a restaurant. Located on the 9th floor of the Fairmont Dubai at the very beginning of Sheikh Zayed Road, Dokuz is billed as a Turkish restaurant, not something you would guess from their resident fiddler, who played non-stop Arabic music throughout the time we were there. There’s no doubting that the setting is pretty. You’ve got the pool, the view of Sheikh Zayed Road from the 9th floor, and a perpetual purple hue from the building lights. It’s not spectacular but it’s better than sitting indoors at this time of year. Ah, and there’s a bar and there’s shisha.
The food at Dokuz was a bit like its view, good but not spectacular. Mezza is brought to the table on a big tray, in typical Turkish style. We chose a few. I didn’t particularly like any of them. The mixed grill which followed was a generous portion but nothing to write home about either. The Kofte was especially disappointing. What saved some grace was the Manti, but only some. Whoever made the Manti needs to practise his/her technique in binding these little meat-filled dumplings; many of them fell apart leaving pea-sized meatballs at the bottom of the dish. That said, the taste was spot on, and was the highlight of our meal.
Service is friendly but painfully slow. Although the pool area is not so big, as more guests arrived, the few wait staff struggled to cope. The shisha guy on was on his toes though, and we looked on in envy as he hustled between tables. I’m still not sure what Dokuz is meant to be. As a Turkish restaurant, I give it firm thumbs down. But as a licensed shisha lounge which serves Turkish mezza to enjoy with your drinks/shisha…hmm, yeah, I could see that making sense. That said, I still wouldn’t come back here – the service is simply too slow.
Waste NOT. Want NOT.