Although I was not entirely recovered from the week of Bangkok feasting, I had previously booked a visit to the Conrad’s Vii terrace and lounge prior to my trip and decided to honor the reservation, because honestly, when am I ever going to pass up sushi?
Honestly, I think we can determine a patron is not ‘cool’ enough for a venue if it takes them a substantial effort to not only enter the facility but also to exit said facility. I could posh this report up and tell you that I walked the red carpet to the front of the line and the lift doors opened just for me, but I would be lying. Instead, I walked through the hotel lobby and got into an elevator no less than 3 times, only to not be able to achieve actually getting to the 7th floor. I did make it to the 6th floor, only to be told I needed to go to the Lower Ground level to get to the one elevator (on the right) that goes to the 7th floor where Vii is located. Probably, you are cooler than me, and would not experience this kind of directional faux pas.
Fortunately, on arrival, the staff were all very polite (and dressed immaculately). With fancy menus (signature cocktails on an iPad), my dining partner and I decided to order a range of options including: Signature Sushi platter (AED180, there is a special on Mondays, and also in-house sushi chefs), Grilled, sliced wagyu (AED110, easy to eat, share, and enjoy), Panko coated shrimps (overpriced at AED135), Truffle Fries, and of all things, a fairly decent Asparagus and Wild Mushroom Risotto (AED80, what is the going rate for risotto in this town, anyone?). With prices a touch higher than they should be, I did think all of the plates delivered in taste and presentation and would order them all again. However, as we were sitting on one of the side couches, the low tables in the lounge made eating a bit problematic. And honestly, I got the feeling that most guests are there for drinks/music, rather than dining.
The ambiance is… Well, I don’t think the venue knows exactly what it wants to be on Monday evenings. While I loved the ‘Alice in Wonderland’ type atmosphere throughout the space, and certainly appreciated the talented duo (acoustic guitar and voice), who added a mellow note to things, I’m not sure the clientele particularly matches this vibe (neither did the shisha, lovely as it smelled). For such a beautiful setting, I think there are a lot of opportunities here, but I’m not sure how it is best capitalized. Overall, a nudge on service (drinks went empty once or twice) and potentially opening a bit earlier (7 PM) would be my only notes.
Would I go back? Well… I rarely find myself in the mood for this type of evening (preferring more of a traditional ‘sit down’ dining environment), furthermore, given my issues with simply getting into the venue, I think I’ll show myself to the door and keep enjoying something a bit more down market (Lucky Voice).