Mahmoud Turkmani on what to expect at Blue Marlin Ibiza UAE this winter

We caught up with Blue Marlin Ibiza UAE’s resident head chef, Mahmoud Turkmani, to get the lowdown on the beach club’s new seasonal menu additions.

Blue Marlin Ibiza UAE has just reopened for the new season, which is very exciting! Tell us more about what diners can expect from the outlet and its menus this winter…
Thank you… there’s lots in store to look forward to. We have the split dining areas with their own menus, the Saturday brunch themes and what’s particularly exciting is the weekly selection of premium Atlantic seafood. We now have Caviar on the menu and if anyone wants a degustation menu, we have that available as well.

Are there any standout foodie offers taking place at the moment that our readers should know about?
We will have pop-up brunches on some selected Fridays this season, and 5 – 10 new dishes weekly as a “chef’s recommendation,” which will include seasonal ingredients with Spanish and Japanese flavors.

What are some of the signature, ‘must try’ dishes that you’d recommend ordering and why? Definitely the paella – I mastered the stock recipe in Spain which gives it a really authentic taste. Or the fish of the day, as we get a weekly selection of Atlantic fish. We serve this dish with Mediterranean vegetables and Bilbaina sauce, which is garlic, chili pepper and sherry vinegar from the Bilbaina region in Spain, the sherry vinegar gives the sauce a special character.

We like the look of the Saturday brunch for the upcoming cooler months. Can you tell us more about the concept?
The Blue Marlin Ibiza UAE brunch is really unique. It’s delicious food in an Ibiza style setting. We have some really cool themes this season, for example Mexican Street Food Brunch, a Spanish Brunch with a massive Paella live outdoor station with a wide range of tapas, and a BBQ Brunch with high end beef cuts and seafood.

How do the menus differ to suit each dining area at the venue? (beach, restaurant, terrace etc.)
For the beach, I have kept it light and fresh. Some of the dishes we are serving there are Seabass Ceviche, Kaiso Salad, Spanish Cecina and a tapas platter, while for the Terrace, I’m focusing on bites such as Pimentos de Padron, a selection of vegan tapas. And finally, for the restaurant, we are a la carte, with up to five new dishes weekly.

What are your three favorite ingredients to cook with and why?
This season, I would have to say Terre Bormane olive oil, for its rich enhancement of whatever its combined with. White balsamic for pretty much the same reason, and Manchego cheese which is made in the La Mancha region of Spain from the milk of sheep. It’s aged between 60 days and two years and has a lovely buttery texture.

Your favorite place in the world to visit for culinary offerings and why?
For sure Japan, the early morning fish landing and auction in Hokkaido was an incredible experience, and learning how the Japanese achieve Umami in flavor which is second to none.

What has been your fondest culinary experience to date?
It’s probably a tie between Cusco, Peru for ingredients I haven’t seen before, such as their peppers, potato’s and over 50 varieties of indigenous corn, and London for its vibrant food scene.

To learn more about Blue Marlin Ibiza UAE, visit the website here. If you enjoyed this article, you may be interested in reading more of our chef interviews here