A gourmand for a day at Al Maha

The Arabian oryx that Al Maha takes its name from

The Arabian oryx that Al Maha takes its name from

The uber-luxurious Arabian inspired desert conservation resort Al Maha on the outskirts of Dubai has always been an overnight retreat or treat I should say. I’ve been super lucky over my umpteen years here to have experienced this heavenly haven three times if my memory serves me correctly. Fortunately for our wallets, it’s now open for us to experience as a day guest, like Six Senses Zighy Bay, whether you fancy lunch, afternoon tea or dinner under the watchful eye of Executive Chef David Miras – and many an Arabian oryx and gazelle.

Thanks to a Twitter event,* organised by social media queen Geordie Armani, FooDiva can certainly vouch for the lunch…which we paid for I should add. The resort is now managed by Starwood’s Luxury Collection brand and the quality of the food has drastically improved since they took over from Emirates’ hotel operating division - when has an airline excelled at F&B?…unless you are flying first of course. Quality ingredients, yes sadly many flown in, but perfectly executed a la Francaise… For AED 240 per person, you can choose three courses from a small, seasonal a la carte menu at Al Diwaan restaurant – soft beverages included. Here’s a taster of our lunch:

Starter - Spanish saffron risotto with crispy chorizo and Manchego foam

Starter – Spanish saffron risotto with crispy chorizo and Manchego sheep cheese foam 

Main - Wagyu beef fillet, white asparagus, sauce chorine and candied garlic Main course - Wagyu beef fillet cooked perfectly rare (almost black and blue), served on a bed of white asparagus, sauce choron (a variation of béarnaise with tomato purée) and candied garlic

Bourbon vanilla cheesecake with compressed strawberry compote

Dessert – Bourbon vanilla cheesecake with compressed strawberry compote – the edible Twitter insignia courtesy of the talented Sibille from Iconycs Cakes

A gracious gazelle at Al Maha

A gracious gazelle on the grounds of Al Maha

Or else an afternoon tea buffet spread for AED 120 will entice with the fluffy, crumbly scones alone which FooDiva secretly scoffed – pray don’t tell. If you fancy splashing out, a five-course gastronomic dinner will set you back AED 490 – just remember to book Safer Driver ;) .

Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa is a one hour drive from Dubai towards Al Ain. On no account should you follow your GPS – click here or here for directions. Unless you have a 4WD, I would recommend leaving your car at the entry gate where security will organise a transfer.

Day use pool, spa and activity packages including lunch starting from AED 550 per person are also available. Licensed. T; +971 4 8329900. E; reservation.almaha@luxurycollection.com Prior reservations essential.

Have you experienced Al Maha? What’s your take on the food?

A bientôt.

FooDiva. x

* P.S – please bear in mind that whilst we paid for our lunch, the event was very much hosted by the resort for Twitterati, so sadly no anonymity on this occasion.

  • Posted under
    Al Ain, Dubai, Hotels, International, Licensed, Restaurant Reviews, Restaurants

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2 Responses to “A gourmand for a day at Al Maha”

  1. kelly July 10, 2012 at 11:45 am

    I do remember experiencing a nice weekend experience there, a few years ago!

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