I don’t know if you would remember but ages ago, I forgot to make a reservation and had to find another place at the last minute to go to dinner. Well, the “secret” place (and I don’t know why it was a secret) I originally wanted to go to was Alto Mar at the Jumeirah Fishing Harbor. And guess what, after trying to get schedules to match, I finally made it out there!
I had heard heaps about the Jumeirah Fishing Harbor but didn’t know where exactly it was or what to expect. When I got there, I realised that there is this fairly long strip of a hidden gem along the water and like anywhere else in Dubai, has so.much.food.
We made it there around dusk and it was stunning. You wouldn’t think you were in a city. Also, I can’t wait to head back to this place in the winter time. So much outdoor seating!
Alto Mar has it’s own little corner and has outdoor seating (again, can’t wait for winter time!).
The inside of the restaurant screams one thing. Minimalist.
There isn’t a lot going on which I weirdly like. It’s like they are saying – “we look neat and maybe not like a whole lot, but it’s about the food!” It’s also not a very big space and oddly enough, that’s what I really liked about the space. Reservations will be necessary – as we all know now! Even the night we were there, most tables had a “reserved” sign on them when we got there.
Once we sat down and ordered (our server was super knowledgeable about the menu), they got us a little bread basket with fresh, warm, mixed rolls. They were especially tasty with the green olive tapenade that it comes along with.
We were also given a wee try of salmon bruschetta. The salmon topping they had on the little crostini was creamy and delicious.
We were also given a complimentary tasting – Shrimp on mushroom puree.
Now any other food blogger in the world might have asked questions like what was the occasion – why the complimentary tasting? Is this new on the menu, a new dish they trying out? Not this food blogger! I gobbled it up, loved it, really wanted more and didn’t ask any of the necessary questions. Useless, I know. But I would ask about this if I were you.
For starters, we ordered the codfish cakes. While they were tasty, I never like my seafood cakes (crab or fish or anything else) as crispy as all places tend to make them. And while the taste was great, they were a little too crispy for my liking.
A must order starter followed next: Fried shrimps with olive oil, garlic and coriander flavoured with lemon juice. The shrimps aren’t deep fried but pan fried and the oil, garlic, coriander and lemon were all used in perfect proportions. The sauce was used for (and I would recommend you try it) bread dipping.
Then came out the mains. And these portion sizes are amazing, I tell ya!
The Seafood Paella (this is a portion for two people). There were prawns, mussels, calamari topped on rice. The rice was packed with flavor. Definitely a good paella and that portion for two, can feed more than two!
Slow-cooked sea bass with tomato rice & mix vegetables. Tomatoes aren’t my favorite thing but that rice, I would eat again. Also, sea bass is one of my favorite fish. When the dish was served, it looked like steamed sea bass and like it might taste like nothing. This sea bass didn’t by any means taste like nothing. It was cooked perfectly.
The Alto Mar Special Salad. I am always weary to order a salad for a meal. Most of the time they are tiny and don’t do anything for me. But check this plate out! This salad was SO big and very tasty.
The main I picked was the scallops and asparagus risotto. Of course I would pick the creamiest of all dishes on the menu. And it was the best.choice.ever. I will say this – it is very rich and I was grateful I was sharing! The scallops were fresh and that part of the meal, I wish I wasn’t sharing. I love scallops and don’t get to eat them often and so I was stoked that it worth all the cream!
Parking may be a bit of an issue here, given my party of people carpooled and made it there earlier than the dinner rush, we didn’t have any problems but I can see how it could be a little bit of a challenge so plan ahead.
While the food isn’t cheap, the portions allow for sharing, making it not as bad. This most definitely is a good place to go to with a group of people and it is a place I can’t wait to go back to in the winter. Head on over folks – just don’t forget the reservation!
LOCATION: Jumeirah Fishing Harbour, Jumeirah Beach Road