Akmal embarked in his culinary journey at a young age during high school with his parents as a hawker. Life was straight about food, simple food and gatherings.
With over 20 years of great experiences working with great chefs like Dan Hunter, Luis Andoni Aduriz and Yasuhiro Sasajima, Akmal has emerged with a style and identity of his own.
Over a 7 year stint as Head Chef in Iggy's Restaurant Singapore, in 2012, it was in the prestigious World's 50 Best restaurant awards landing it on position no. 26 and No.1 restaurant in Asia. In those years, he has cooked for famous figures including Singapore's late founding father Mr Lee Kuan Yew with other politicians, participated exhibitions, and culinary competition such as the San Pellegrino cooking cup and represented Singapore in a showcase in San Sebastian Gastronomica. He has also cooked along side with legendary chefs like Tetsuya Wakuda of Tetsuya's Sydney, Massimo Bottura of Osteria Francescana and several more.
Moving to Dubai in 2014, he joined the Starwood Group and headed Le Royal Meridien latest project, collaborating with Richard Sandoval Hospitality, Zengo. This move provided business and management essentials of running a food and beverage operations. Participated in a culinary convention, Parallelo Norte in Monterrey Mexico alongside Joan Roca of El Cellar de Can Roca, Rick Bayliss, Guillermo Gonzalez of Restaurant Pangea and many more.
In late 2016, 3Fils was born in the Jumeirah Fishing Harbor. An original concept that pathed a new wave of home grown concept serving great food and service out of hotels and lavish locations. In 2019, 3Fils was listed for the 10 coolest places to eat by Forbes magazine and made it to the 50 Best discovery list by The World's 50 best. It eventually topped the MENA 50 Best at the no.1 spot following Akmal's departure.
On the 2nd January 2021, in the middle of pandemic, Goldfish Sushi and Yakitori was opened and was awarded Highly Commended New Casual restaurant by TimeOut awards with just 3 months of opening. It was also awarded Bib Gourmand by the Michelin Guide 2022 and listed in Gault & Millau 2022.
With the latest opening in 2022 is 11 Woodfire along Jumeirah Beach Road situated in a stunning 3 storey villa. A cuisine entirely based on wood fire cooking and using top quality ingredients. It has also been awarded 1 Michelin star by the Michelin Guide UAE 2022 and 1 Toque by Gault & Millau UAE 2022.
Akmal was also awarded the INC award for Excellence in Gastronomy during the 2022 INC congress in Dubai.
Follow Akmal on instagram @akmalanuarofficial