Al Mahara

There’s really no ignoring it. The most prized dining experience in the most opulent hotel in the world begins with the worst fairground ride in history 25 Reviews

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There’s really no ignoring it. The most prized dining experience in the most opulent hotel in the world begins with the worst fairground ride in history. Strapped into your personal submarine (or ‘lift’, as it’s otherwise known) you are meant to believe that you are being transported across the seabed to your waiting table, rather than merely traveling down half a floor. It’s unbelievably corny, a bit patronising and unintentionally hilarious, but as much as the sub-Disneyland sub leaves its mark, Al Mahara’s centrepiece – a giant fish tank – cuts into the memory like a scalpel. Black tipped reef sharks, hammour the size of toddlers and Monterey eels gaze out through the immense tank, provoking bouts of guilt about what you’re about to do to their cousins.

Your piscatorial remorse is further compounded when you are presented with the daily special, a live lobster waving its tentacles limply at you.

Sadly, for the lobster, your tastebuds will probably trump your conscience, though you’ll be underwhelmed by the tail and claw starter combo. Tagged with a bland carrot salad the meat is limp and, forgive us, lifeless. Crab cakes also fail to set the senses alight, comprising rubbery bread-crumbed balls. But just as you start to fear another case of style obliterating substance, the chef returns with a one-two whammy that will have you reeling in delight. The line-caught sea bass is an absolute knockout; simply grilled with fresh vegetables and the subtlest of lobster froths, the fish’s flavours will dance on your palate. The brawny codfish also punches above its weight, baked and served on a bed of potato with a foaming cream broth, it manages to be light and pleasantly hearty.

The finish will also restore your faith in Burj-priced fine dining – crêpes suzette flambéed in front of your eyes. Savouring the tang of oranges, liquor and caramelised butter and taking in your own underwater views, you might almost forget the naff submarine, lobster guilt and the colossal bill weaving its way in your direction. Almost.

By TimeOut Dubai Staff

Time Out reviews restaurants anonymously and pays for meals. Of course, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or independence of user reviews.

Details

  • Location: Burj Al Arab, Umm Suqeim, Dubai
  • Tel: 04 301 7600
  • Travel: Jumeirah Road
  • Website | Send mail

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Al Mahara On The Map

User reviews

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DecorFoodOverall
  • Users voted this restaurant most suitable for: Romantic

User reviews:

Posted by: john on 18 May ' 13 at 05:58
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  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

wonderful experience & freindly staff.

food was out of the world

Posted by: Jesse Pinkman on 05 May ' 13 at 11:47
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Lovely setting but it wouldn't make a top 10 of seafood restaurants in the city. And the prices are a total rip off.

The equivalent of 145 quid English for a small lobster main course? Ha ha ha.



Posted by: diane on 17 Apr ' 13 at 00:48
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FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Business lunch
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

not impressed at all

Posted by: christine zaiser on 18 Mar ' 13 at 12:29
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Had a lovely lunch there - the service was discreet and the food was tasty and we had a tour straight after the lunch so they knew we are eating against the clock and really made an effort to serve the three course fast. As well really liked the fish book they gave us to explain what fish are in the aquarium. Nice touch.

Posted by: marianne zaiser on 18 Mar ' 13 at 12:27
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Great Business lunch and they allow kids for lunch in this restaurant - so when we had family over - we went there and my niece was amazed at all the fish and they gave her a little soft toy turtle and a kids activity pack which she really loved.
So what can I say attentive, caring service in a fantastic serene environment.

Posted by: ed on 24 Dec ' 10 at 10:37
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Overall this place is too kitsch, too try-hard and too pricey for what it delivers. We went with Taste of Al Mahara set menu, which is one of their ‘mid’-priced set menu (850 D).
The first course, langoustine carpaccio, was passable but the light palette of the carpaccio was totally overpowered by the sickly sweet honey jelly. Next course of scallop truffle just didn’t work, with the pasta grossly undercooked. This was followed by a crustacean bisque which was just coloured tasteless watery cream. The main course of halibut was good but undersized and the accompaniments were plain. Dessert was not memorable. Do your wallet and stomach a favour and give this place a wide berth.

Posted by: Z on 13 Jul ' 10 at 19:59
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  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

I love sea food, and in Al Mahara restaurant I had the best Lobster I have ever had in my life. This restaurant is wonderful in every aspect.

Posted by: Ken Kavanagh on 13 Sep ' 09 at 06:37
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FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Probably one of the best I have had the opportunity to dine in (no make that the best) whilst some may think this a little expensive boy was the food and service excellent.
The fusion of flavours were a true delight I had Japanese Scallops with a Wagyu Ravioli and Bourguignon sauce for starter my companions had Roasted King Prawns with Pomegranate, Hummous with Coriander and the other had French Green Pea Gazpatcho. All three of us could not believe the intense flavours and the presentation was excellent.
Mains were also excellent two of us had the signiture dish of Norwegian Halibut, Prawns, Gonocchi, Mussels a La Die'ppoise the tastes were behond belief each element adding to the next. Our other companion had Gold Risotto, Wild Mushrooms, Pumpkin, Parmesan which looked a picture on the plate and was a delight to taste.
Deserts were a further delight Crepes Suzette cook at the table, Violet Flower Infused Ice Parfait with Passion Fruit Marshmallow and Blackberry delight and the other was Vanilla Cre'me Brulee with a Compote of Berries.
The cost including 2 bottles of water and a fine bottle of red wine less than 4000 dhs.
If you do nothing else in your life please visit the Al Muhara I firmly believe that you will not regret it.

Posted by: Bev Morris on 25 May ' 09 at 06:00
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

I took my husband and parents to the Al Mahara restaurant as a treat while they were over visiting. Whilst the setting is spectacular and the service is faultless the actual meal (at the equivalent of nine hundred pounds for the four of us) was hugely overpriced. I don't mind paying a spectacular amount of money for something that's spectacularly good but the best that you could say about the food was that it was 'nice'. If you're looking for a good seafood restaurant in Dubai my advice is to forget the Burj Al Arab and head to the 'Amwaj' at the Shangrila - okay, it doesn't have a huge aquarium but the food there is consistently wonderful (far better than the Al Mahara) and the service is terrific.

Posted by: Jane.L on 30 Mar ' 09 at 15:49
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Business lunch
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

I went with my sister for a bussiness lunch, I was very impressed by the quality of meal .
Everything was perfect, the fish tank, the ambience, the food and even if the submarine ride is just a big joke it is still fun.

Posted by: Titou.L on 30 Mar ' 09 at 15:40
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FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Business lunch
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Fantastic Bussiness Lunch with a wonderful Aquarium !

Posted by: Stefan C. on 28 Mar ' 09 at 13:58
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Best food in my life.. I was just celebrating the anniversary with my wife and could n´t have chosen a better location than the Al Mahara. The beautiful Restaurant with the big fish tank makes a unique ambience.
We ordered the Taste of Al Mahara and every dish was so perfect for us in plating, cooking and most important of course in taste, i must say the best food ever....!!!! We enjoyed every single minute.

Thank to the team and specially thanks to the chefs of Al Mahara.

Posted by: Ingo S. on 23 Mar ' 09 at 09:02
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Business lunch
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

I was for Lunch in Al Mahara and it was great. It was nice to see the Restaurant not so crowded like it was once when i went in the night. we could enjoy the everything. Me and my partner took the buisness lunch menu. Its nice because its changing since i was the last time there and its quick. I like the food a lot. The Lamb was nice cook how i wanted it and the Risotto fom my Partner was just as delicius as mine. The service was perfect like you know from a 7 star hotel.
I love to come back anytime.
Thanks a lot to the team

Posted by: Bernd Grosse on 23 Mar ' 09 at 08:43
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

I was coming to the Burj Al Arab the first time and it was just great. We arrived in the Restaurant and I was thinking I`m in a different world. With huge aquarium in the middel let you relax totally. The Service welcomed us very warm and gave us help with the menu and the wine. The kitchen and the food was just great. The presentation and the flavors where uniqe. We took the "Taste of Al Mahara" and it was a perfect choice. The Scallop where nice cooked and sauce very nice in flavor. What i never saw before was the maincourse. I liked it a lot.
I would come back for sure when I`m the next time in Dubai.
The Service and Kitschen was that what you exspect from a 7* Hotel.
Thanks to the whole Team

Posted by: smiit on 21 Mar ' 09 at 19:40
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

the food in the Al mahara Raestaurant its just bring water to your mouth...after leaving the restaurant i can't stand myself nand feel to go back and have the delicious food again....n the warm service from the waiters n sommeliers is just so perfect n friendly....i would suggest go to Al MAhara Restaurant and just celebrate your special moments with your loved one.

Posted by: bert on 21 Mar ' 09 at 09:39
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  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

i dont usually bother with these review things but after such a lovely experience i felt compelled to write something.
The whole bass for 2 persons was amazing, the sushi and foie grass was a unexpected combination but worked really well and the wine list was endless. The only disappointing thing was that the submarine ride was not working when we went but we went for the food not the ride and we left very happy indeed.

Posted by: l waller on 21 Mar ' 09 at 09:28
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Business lunch
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

I was very excited about the prospect of not only eating at one of the most famous outlets in Dubai but also entertaining clients and i was not disappointed. The decor was fabulous , the business lunch menu was very good value for money and the food was well presented and cooked to perfection.
We were all very happy and i will be returning for sure.

Posted by: Jimbo Jones on 20 Mar ' 09 at 20:26
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Business lunch
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

I´ve been to Al Mahara restaurant 2 days ago we had Business Lunch
a 3 course menu which was excellent from plating, cooking and the best was the Price its really a big value for money and all that in the Seven Star hotel Burj Al Arab.
Me and partners thinking now that we should go more often for our business lunch in that Restaurant.

Posted by: melie on 19 Mar ' 09 at 21:03
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  • Best for: Romantic

the scallops with Bourguignon sauce are to die for and I would come back everyday just for this dish !

Posted by: Thomas B. on 19 Mar ' 09 at 20:59
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

In a word : AMAZING experience !

Posted by: Micheal on 17 Mar ' 09 at 06:09
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Business lunch
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Yes it is overpriced in a few things but the food is perfect the flavor fit together the food looks beautiful on the plate.Service very attentive and very good .
The best for the Value of Money is the bussiness lunch 3 course with free flow of water.I went there already a few times and they change as well quite often dont know often but i had only 2 the same menu for bussiness lunch but that was when i went 2 times in 2 weeks,and the food is delicuis.
For Dinner i guess its very romantic.truly a signature 7 star Restaurant.,

Posted by: Julia Le Dorze on 14 Mar ' 09 at 19:10
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Business lunch
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes


I enjoyed my Al Mahara experience very much. All the food was perfecly cooked and tasty and the decoration of the dishes just awesome. The waiters were very friendly. The bussiness lunch is one of the best value for money in Dubai.
In two words : Amazing restaurant !!!!

Posted by: G, John on 12 Mar ' 09 at 19:26
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

The decor is truly spectacular and the service is very professional as you would expect from a 7 star out-let.
The tasting menu is really well balanced , although over priced ,with the scallops the stand out.
Over all, a great place for a nice meal surrounded buy a huge fish tank and a lovely experience, if u get the opportunity to go you must.

Posted by: Jim K on 26 Feb ' 09 at 12:46
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FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Spectular setting and ambience. All of the food was very good and much was spectular. The service was very good. Amoung the best in Dubai and probably merits its 2004 rating of top 50 in the world. It is over priced by any standards and therefore not worth the value except as an occasional expereince.

Posted by: David on 28 Oct ' 08 at 14:14
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Bring the atmosphere and bonhomie with you - you won't find it here.

What you will find is a fairly bland interior with lots of fish, a monotonous international menu, with food competently cooked, but beautifully decorated on the plate.

I loved the submarine journey down - and the stop off at the Captain's Bar was an A* experience. But really, that was the highlight.

If it was true that it's the journey that matters, not the final destination, I would have given this an extra three stars.

But that would be bllx.

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