When a starter is going to set you back Dhs250, you want it to be good. Very good. And thankfully, this baked scallop dish from the new menu at Nathan Outlaw at Al Mahara is. Very good indeed.
It’s a price tag that might make you wince, but when a chef who holds four Michelin stars at his seafood restaurants in the UK is at the helm, it’s likely to be worth it.
Since taking over in August 2016, Outlaw has worked on the venue’s menu and last month was in town to launch a new version.
The three scallops in this dish are from Scotland, and Outlaw says there’s no better source in the world. They’re placed in their shell and put in the oven with a knob of seaweed butter. After a few minutes they come out and a crumb topping is added. Once another couple of minutes have passed they’re done, the butter bubbling underneath and the crumb carefully crisped. A wedge of charred lime is added and they’re served.
The centre of the scallops is translucent, the sweet taste of the meat is complemented by the richness of the butter, earthiness of the seaweed and sharp acidity of the burnt lime. Superb.
Speaking to Time Out ahead of the new menu’s launch, Outlaw said: “It’s taken me seven months to source the finest seafood in the world. But we’ve done it with lobsters from Devon, Cornwall or Scotland, Scottish langoustine and scallops, Russian or Norwegian king crab, Madagascan prawns and Irish oysters. It’s the best you’ll find anywhere.” Who are we to argue?
Dhs250. Nathan Outlaw at Al Mahara, Burj Al Arab, Umm Suqeim (04 301 7600).