Sustainable, fresh, and backed by the 3Fils crew – could Dubai’s new seafood spot soon have you hooked?

“Since 1995”. That is what’s inscribed on Bordo Mavi’s logo in between the illustration of a young fishmonger cradling his catch. The man in the picture is Ersan Yılmaz, a legendary Turkish fishmonger in his homeland, despite only being in his early forties.

Bordo Mavi Dubai is his first international outpost, and the latest addition to The Lab Holding’s restaurant portfolio, which includes big names such as 3Fils, BRIX, and SLRP Ramen. It’s not surprising then that Bordo Mavi occupies a prime spot in Jumeirah Fishing Harbour, right next to BRIX Café, BRIX Desserts and 3Fils. At this point, the area might as well be renamed The Lab’s Fishing Harbour.

Walls within the precinct have been knocked through to make space for Bordo Mavi. It’s now a huge, stripped-back, light-drenched, open-plan restaurant. There are bare brick walls, Bali-style lampshades, and huge wooden tables meant for group dining. There are flourishes of greenery in between the dedicated bakery, charcoal oven area and massive seafood display. But the veranda, overlooking the quaint harbour’s tranquil waters, is the spot to aim for.

We’ve decided against the classic route of picking a fish and getting it grilled or pan-seared (there’s sea bass, sea bream, turbot, Dover sole, pomfret, scorpion fish, lobster and more), in favour of dishes with flavours and flair from Turkey.

There are no.3 Gillardeau oysters (Dhs44 per piece), huge briny morsels flamed-coated in a creamy wagyu butter that gives a richer taste than any we’ve tried before. There’s a creamy soya marinated, sustainably-sourced sea bass (Dhs175), and we enjoy the satisfying way the flesh slips from the skewers. But a potential contender for Dish of the Month comes in the form of a shallow terracotta pot, filled with six expertly pan seared prawns (Dhs63). The prawns are plump and so fresh they squeak and bounce beneath the teeth. They sit in a bubbling pond of rich Black Sea butter, garlic and chilli powder – a 250-year-old recipe, we’re told – just begging for a bread intervention. Get a couple of their very good salads to accompany your seafood lunch – the fresh rocca, tomatoes, Black Sea cheese and pomegranate molasses (Dhs49), and the tomato with red onion and basil leaves (Dhs36) both hit the spot.

Desserts fall by the wayside. Neither the dense rice pudding or the thyme-flavoured ice cream could come close to the immensely delicious appetisers or main courses. But as you can guess, we let the desserts disappointment slide, because Bordo Mavi – and everyone working within it – has a warm, beating heart, just hoping to be loved. And loved it is.

Verdict: Worth a visit just to drink the Black Sea butter liquid gold. The wonderful seaside harbour location is a fabulous bonus.

Bordo Mavi, Jumeirah Fishing Harbour, Dubai, daily noon to 11.30pm. Tel: (0)4 341 3844.