At 99 Sushi Bar, Chef Ruben has developed a bold and charismatic menu.
Chef Ruben Guerrero is the talented young Chef at the helm of sophisticated Japanese concept 99 Sushi Bar. With a kind smile and a firm hand, the Spanish culinary “conquistador” heads a team of sushi masters trained in the best restaurants in the UAE, delivering an authentic, daring and award-winning cuisine
Ruben was born to be a Chef and perhaps did he get his calling from his grandma’s cooking and the heart-warming “arroz al horno” rice dishes from his childhood. Over 13 years of hard work have passed since then, with such enlightening experiences as working for Jean-Louis Reichel in Valencia and Jaime Oliver in London.
Whether reaching for the Michelin stars at Quique Dacosta, going back to basics at El Submarino or expanding horizons at Aqua Shard, this Chef anchored his skills in a no-nonsense, ingredient-driven cuisine. In times when legendary El Bulli was influencing planet gastronomy, he found excitement in innovation but comfort in tradition.
“Cuisine knows no boundaries, so long as it is rooted in some form of authenticity” and so Ruben was ready to give it wings and fly off to Dubai, where he worked at El Sur and Asia de Cuba, before getting a call from 99 Sushi Bar Company Director Jaime Castaneda. “I was immediately compelled to join this well-established Spanish group and thrilled to sharpen my management skills. And how fortunate it is to collaborate with David Arauz, who earned a well-deserved Michelin star in 2020 at 99 KŌ Sushi Bar in Madrid.”
At 99 Sushi Bar, Ruben has developed a bold and charismatic menu. The delivery is precise, fragranced, bursting with flavour and highly focused on the property’s star ingredient, the delicate and fleshy blue fin tuna, specially imported for them. “99 Jewel is one of my favourite dishes here, made with the fatty belly of the tuna, “toro”, topped with tuna “akami” for color and texture, Beluga caviar and fresh truffle”.
The Chef also has a crush on high-quality imports from Japan, such as the bright-orange sea urchin, which he favours for its strong-tempered iodine. “99 Flag is a succulent combination of toro, sea urchins and caviar. I also enjoy preparing a simple sea urchin sashimi, where the “umami” effect relies solely on top product quality.”
At 99 Sushi Bar, the fundamentals are Japanese, with the signature sashimi platter, available at all venues worldwide. “It’s all about the right produce, the right time in the making and the perfect cut.” But there are also European influences, reflecting the savoir-faire of the brand owners and their teams. “Our meats are not boiled in broths, we sear and then slow-cook sous-vide. As a result, our chicken gyoza tastes like mamma’s roast chicken with vegetables, for example.”
Ruben, like all 99 Sushi Bar colleagues, sees himself as a custodian of the concept, defending the highest standards of traditional hospitality, whilst giving in to an unrestrained curiosity. “To maintain ourselves in the highly competitive F&B landscape of Dubai, no need to reinvent the wheel. Do your best, source outstanding produce, handle them with care and serve them at a fair price, consistently.”