Signature dishes: Al Mahara

Dine in style at this exquisite under-the-sea-themed restaurant

Recipe

Designed for anyone wishing to indulge in a memorable fine-dining experience, Al Mahara offers a true spectacle for the senses in the most remarkable surroundings imaginable. This signature restaurant at Burj Al Arab owes its charm to the combination of a unique under-the-sea setting and serene, colourful sea life environment, which serve as a backdrop during your dining experience.

Renowned for excellence and innovation in food creation, Burj Al Arab’s executive chef, Maxime Luvara, creates a range of sense-stimulating culinary delights that will satisfy the most discerning guests. You will also have a dedicated waiter and sommelier to cater to your every request throughout the evening.

The Chef
Maxime Luvara

Chef Maxime Luvara was born in Italy and raised in France, undoubtedly an excellent combination for anyone working in the culinary world. He has over 15 years of experience in the art of   classical French, Mediterranean and fusion cuisine gained at Michelin-starred restaurants across the world. He joined Burj Al Arab’s culinary team as executive chef in November 2010. He has extensive culinary knowledge and experience gained by working closely with such prominent figures as chef Alain Ducasse in Le Louis XV – the three-Michelin-starred restaurant in Monaco – and with chef Antoine Westermann in Le Burehiesel, another three-Michelin-starred restaurant in Paris.

Additionally, he has worked in many other restaurants and kitchens at some of the most luxurious hotels in the world, such as three-Michelin-starred hotel restaurant Troisgros in France, two-Michelin-starred De Crillon Les Ambassadeurs in France, and One and Only Le Saint Geran in Mauritius. Maxime’s natural flair for composing the most exquisite and aesthetically pleasing dishes imaginable offers a real culinary treat for the most demanding food connoisseurs. He is passionate, creative and has excellent taste, which are some of the most desirable qualities in his profession. Maxime is an inspiring team leader who believes in his colleagues and shares his extensive experience with others.

The details
Open daily 12.30pm-3pm, 7pm-midnight. Burj Al Arab, Umm Suqeim (04 301 7600).

Read more about Al Mahara.

Alaskan king crab and foie gras ravioli, stewed leeks in vinaigrette jus soup recipe

Atlantic wild turbot cooked in vine leaves, vegetables blanquette, cep relish and tapioca recipe

Pure Arabica coffee Chantilly, Ghana origin chocolate cremeux, hazelnut Speculoos recipe


Signature dishes
Starter

Alaskan king crab and foie gras ravioli, stewed leeks in vinaigrette jus soup

Chef's inspiration

A never-ending quest to combine the  exquisite taste of foie gras with other  ingredients brought about this dish,  mixing the sweetness of crab meat and the creamy texture of  foie gras ravioli.

Ingredients
For the pasta dough
500g flour
4-5 eggs
1 tbsp olive oil
5g salt

For the crab
400g crab meat
1 orange (zest)
1 bunch chives
100g shallots
10 drops Tabasco
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

For the foie gras
1 piece foie gras loaf
Salt and pepper

For the baby leek
8 pieces of baby leeks (or 2 leeks)
Vinegar

For the jus soup
2kg crab shell (alternatively use the lobster head that you might have eaten the day before)
2 carrots
3 onions
1 fennel
3 tomatoes
3 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp fennel seeds
1 bay leaf
5g whole black pepper corn
500g porcini
250g chestnuts
150ml cream
50g butter

Method
For the pasta dough:
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, and keep in the fridge for a minimum of one hour before use.

For the crab
• Check the crab for any loose pieces of shell.

• Chop the shallot and the chives. With a microplane grater make orange zest and add all those ingredients to the crab, followed by the Tabasco, olive oil, salt and pepper. Keep in the fridge.

For the foie gras
Cut at an angle thick slices of foie gras. Sear with salt and pepper in a hot pan for 30 seconds on each side. Chill quickly and make small round pieces of foie gras for the ravioli using a cutter.

For the baby leek
• Clean the leeks and stew in a little chicken stock with a bit of vinegar until it is soft and tender.

• Drizzle a spoonful of Dijon mustard if you like.

For the jus soup
• Toast the crab shell in a pot.

• Sear the carrots, two onions and fennel together, then add the tomato paste, fresh tomatoes, garlic, whole black pepper corn and bay leaves.

• Add the toasted crab (or lobster) shell to the pot.

• Cover with water, bring to boil and then simmer for 40 minutes.

• Strain and reduce.

• Make a puree with the porcini and chestnuts, and sear the last onion with the porcini. Add the chestnut, some water and cook until soft. Mix and keep chilled.

• Combine the two together, plus the cream and the butter, and then mix again.

For the ravioli
• Roll the pasta very fine and cut in half.

• Place the foie gras, put the crab mix on top. Paint around with water and put the other half on top to cover the filling.

• Press down around the sides to make a hat shape. Cut with a cutter. Keep chilled.

• You can keep some pasta – cut it very fine and let it dry to make pasta hair as extra decoration.

To finish
• With a non-stick pan and a little olive oil, sear the ravioli. Glaze with a bit of the sauce, reduce and glaze again until it becomes thick. Then reheat the leeks.

• In the soup plate, place the crab ravioli, put the leek on top and some pasta hair. Serve the jus soup on the side.

Atlantic wild turbot cooked in vine leaves, vegetables blanquette, cep relish and tapioca recipe

Pure Arabica coffee Chantilly, Ghana origin chocolate cremeux, hazelnut Speculoos recipe


Main
Atlantic wild turbot cooked in vine leaves, vegetables blanquette, cep relish and tapioca

Chef's inspiration

To find a way of using Lebanese vine leaves in an ever more creative way to bring out their flavour. Wrapping them around a wild turbot resulted in a great fusion dish – an unexpected mix of flavours that created an unusual taste.

Ingredients
For the turbot
160g turbot (8 fillets)
8 vine leaves
100g wild rice
15g carrots
15g celery
10g onions
5 tbsp lemon jus
10g truffle or 50g porcini
For cep relish
150g tapioca
30g onions
50g porcini
10g parsley
500ml chicken stock

For the vegetables
2 carrots
1 fennel
2 turnips
8 baby onions
8 baby potatoes
300ml cream

Method

For the turbot
• Soak the wild rice overnight in water. Cut the vegetables into small pieces.

• Cook the wild rice with vegetables in salted water for 20 minutes until the rice is tender. Cool down.

• Add small pieces of porcini or chopped truffle and slowly cook with lemon juice, a bit of truffle oil, salt and pepper.

• Lay the first four fillets of fish onto a tray and place the wild rice on top. Lay the other four fillets on top like a sandwich.

• Place the vine leaves on the tray and wrap the fish.

• Cook at 100°C in a steam oven for six minutes and let it rest for five minutes.

For the cep relish
• Cook tapioca for 15 minutes in boiling water until tender.

• Cut the onion and porcini into small pieces. Sear them slowly for five minutes.

• Add the chicken stock and reduce by half.

• Chop parsley and add to the mix. Check the seasoning.

For the vegetables
• Cut all the vegetables the same size. Blanch in salted boiling water and then cool in ice.

• Reduce the cream with a bit of salt and then mix all the vegetables together before serving.

Suggested plating
• Lay the vegetables blanquette around the plate.

• Cut the base of the turbot and then slit up to reveal the inside.

• Put the cep relish on the side.

Alaskan king crab and foie gras ravioli, stewed leeks in vinaigrette jus soup recipe

Pure Arabica coffee Chantilly, Ghana origin chocolate cremeux, hazelnut Speculoos recipe


Dessert
Pure Arabica coffee Chantilly, Ghana origin chocolate cremeux, hazelnut Speculoos

Chef's inspiration
There are not many ingredients that come together quite so well as the chocolate from Ghana and Arabica coffee – they are a perfect match, an ideal combination that was too irresistible not to work on.

Ingredients
For the chocolate cream
125ml cream
125ml milk
50ml egg yolk
25g sugar
115g dark chocolate

For the coffee Chantilly
40g coffee beans
375ml cream
15g invert trimoline sugar
15g glucose syrup
5g Nescafé Matinal coffee
50g chocolate
18g pure cacao butter

For the Speculoos
Rather than making these buscuits from scratch, it’s advisable to get these biscuits from a store.

Method
• For the chocolate cream

• Bring the milk and the cream to the boil.

• Mix the sugar and the egg yolk together.

• Stir the yolk and sugar into the boiling liquid.

• Try to cook the lot at 84°C.

• Pour on the crushed chocolate, let it melt and then mix with a hand blender.

For the coffee Chantilly
• Infuse the coffee beans overnight with 225ml of the cream.

• Strain and bring to the boil with glucose and trimoline sugar.

• Pour some of the hot liquid onto the melted chocolate and cocoa butter.

• Stir in the centre with a rubber spatula to obtain a shiny, elastic texture.

• Finish with the rest of the cream, then mix.

Suggested plating
• Pour the chocolate cream into the bottom of a glass and then add the Chantilly on top.

• Sprinkle on some crushed Speculoos.

Alaskan king crab and foie gras ravioli, stewed leeks in vinaigrette jus soup recipe

Atlantic wild turbot cooked in vine leaves, vegetables blanquette, cep relish and tapioca recipe

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