The Shortlist

Al Mahara, Burj Al Arab
Nominated for Best Seafood
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The Al Mahara experience starts with a journey in a circular lift (not dissimilar to the one in Dumbledore’s office in the Harry Potter movies), followed by a walk through a golden archway into a scene straight out of The Little Mermaid. Lunch and dinner are served in the presence of a gigantic fish tank, which really is a sight to behold. Gold and aquamarine dominate the decor, and tables surround the tank – dining here is an event as much as it is a meal, and we recommend you visit with plenty of spare time. While the service is impeccable, knowledgeable and polite, it’s also very, very slow (it can take up to 50 minutes for starters to arrive). The food, meanwhile, is decent without being exceptional, although the sea scallops starter with black truffle potato, forest mushrooms and parmigiano tuile may well be the best scallop dish we’ve ever tried. As expected, a meal here is very expensive, but Al Mahara is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Open daily 12.30pm-3pm, 7pm-midnight. Burj Al Arab, Umm Suqeim (04 301 7600).

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