Located on paradise isle Palm Jumeirah, the distinctive Thai architecture of Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort is the first indication that an eclectic experience awaits in every aspect from daycations, to hotel stays and dining. From authentic flavours of the Australian outback to the delicate dishes of Vietnam, Irish chef Maurice Fitzgerald is the at the helm of an impressive dining offering.
“I have been in the industry for the last 20 years or so, and have travelled a lot, experiencing different hospitality environments. Based in Dubai for the past 12 years, I joined Anantara Dubai a little over 18 months ago where I am in charge of the culinary department which looks after all dining outlet and food within the resort, “ Fitzgerald says.
“My philosophy regarding food is to buy high-quality products and not to complicate the dishes too much. I try to keep things traditional and use seasonal ingredients. The great thing is that the variety of restaurants we have allows me to do that as the food is very different in each one, “ he adds.
The luxurious resort is home to six dining outlets, each excelling in its own area of expertise. Crescendo is the hotel’s international restaurant where an amazing array of flavours hails from the Middle East, Europe and Asia. Mekong is a charming venue where quirky rickshaw-style seating and stunning exotic interiors are the perfect canvas for the delicious Thai, Vietnamese and Chinese fare. Elsewhere, one of just a few Australian restaurants in Dubai, Bushman’s Restaurant & Bar has carved out a fantastic reputation for its quality meats, wines and authentic dishes, while The Beach House and Lotus Lounge are both stunning dining spaces where lighter fare from around the globe is on the menu. With so many different dining concepts under one roof, sourcing quality ingredients and staff is of paramount importance.
Fitzgerald says: “The chefs who are in charge of each of the restaurants come from each of the regions of the world we are representing, ensuring that we give an authentic experience. Also, the ingredients that we use come from those regions to ensure you get the real flavours of that particular cuisine.
“For example Mekong is an Asian concept so the food items will come from Thailand, China and Vietnam. Our aim is to keep the dishes as original as possible. As a result, our curries in Mekong are renowned. At Bushman’s, our meats are always complimented as we source the best meats to be found in Australia. We source the majority of our products for the restaurant from Australia, all the way from the bush herbs and spices to the meats. “
With such an incredible selection of dishes on offer, it’s no surprise the restaurants are a huge hit on Dubai’s dining scene. Offering his own expert recommendations on menu highlights to try, Fitzgerald says: “I love the beetroot gnocchi at The Beach House Restaurant. It has pumpkin and sage, and is an earthy dish that’s also gluten free, so it fits the bill for many people.
“Our Kangaroo dish in Bushman’s is another favourite of mine as it’s such a simple dish, but with many flavours. People love to taste something different with the bush spices and the wok fried bok choy.
“The duck curry in Mekong is my favourite from this restaurant as we don’t temper it with spices so it’s as original as you would get anywhere in Thailand.“
It’s this commitment to authenticity and quality that sets the restaurants at Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort apart, despite the fact that there is a competitive climate on Dubai’s busy dining scene.
“Dubai is always changing and so is its food culture, with over 8,500 restaurants in the city, it’s very much a melting pot as we have so many different nationalities. Having lived here for almost 12 years, I have seen that people follow food trends, which Dubai continues to provide. People still want to have comfort food and the days of eating up to six to nine courses just don’t happen anymore. People are a lot more health conscious and aware of finanical considerations.
“At Anantara, we believe in delivering high-quality food at reasonable prices, and ensuring that we create memorable experiences so our guests will return for again and again. There is still a lot more that we would like to develop from a culinary perspective, so stayed tuned and visit this wonderful Thai resort. “