This famous restaurant on the first floor of Burj Al Arab Jumeirah previously saw Nathan Outlaw at the helm but has now been taken over by the equally accomplished Kim Joinie-Maurin; a 2 Michelin-starred chef originally from France but with Korean, Australian and Vietnamese heritage. His multicultural upbringing is very much reflected in his food and his impressive career has seen him work under renowned chefs across the globe. In keeping with the restaurant’s overarching theme – Al Mahara translates as The Oyster Shell in Arabic – Joinie-Maurin has created an innovative menu that places seafood at the heart of his culinary artistry. He has become renowned for his acute attention to detail to ensure that diners have an unforgettable experience from start to finish.
For a full experience of Head Chef Joinie-Maurin’s gastronomic prowess diners are encouraged to dine from the Chef’s Menu with a choice between 5 or 7 courses and optional wine pairing throughout. Highlights include King crab with Daikon and a honey and sherry vinaigrette; sea bass with barigoule artichoke and a vongole emulsion; and John Dory with coco paimpol and a mussel foam. Seafood purists on the other hand may prefer the Seafood Tower available for two people to share and served in the shell either hot or chilled on ice.
Alternatively a la carte options are also available. Starters are a delectable selection of seafood small plates including crispy oysters and caviar with a cucumber sauce, and red gurnard fish soup with brown shrimp and sea herb oil. From the mains we like the sound of wild turbot with green asparagus, snow peas and lemon beurre blanc or breaded barramundi with lettuce and a warm tartare sauce. Finally for dessert how could anyone resist the allure of sticky toffee pudding with dates and clotted cream or crispy chocolate with peanuts and vanilla.
The restaurant’s moody interiors have been ingeniously designed to make guests feel as if they’re dining in an underwater world, complete with an enormous floor-to-ceiling aquarium and marine detailing throughout.