If you’re on the hunt for a new steakhouse where the ambience is valued as highly as the cuts, head to BOA Steakhouse at the Eastern Mangroves Promenade in Abu Dhabi.
The American restaurant has two branches serving the celebrity set in Los Angeles and is looking for similar success in Abu Dhabi.
Situated near the water, BOA overlooks the mangroves and provides a great view of the Abu Dhabi skyline.
The interior is different from the stuffy, formal steakhouse you might expect – it is modern, edgy and with a young vibe. There’s a chrome fixture that partially divides the dining room – adding a cool, art deco feel to the space. The music is funky and louder than you’d expect, but works in this space.
We sat in a comfortable, rounded booth and were immediately greeted by our server. Our serving team made themselves readily available but bordered on being too rushed, and we had to tell them that we’d like to relax and enjoy the experience. Service slowed – and sailed smoothly after that.
We opted for the jumbo lump crab cake with Cajun remoulade and a Caesar salad to share for appetisers. The fully packed crab cake came with a tasty, but too thin, layer of remoulade. The Caesar salad was prepared table-side, a common practice at upscale steakhouses. The romaine lettuce and croutons were mixed with a dressing that had such depth of flavour – due in part to the crushed anchovies – that I wanted to order a second serving.
The list of steaks on the menu is impressive in comparison with local steak houses. Even though most of the meat is shipped from the US from a halal supplier, BOA also offers Australian beef. We chose the 28-day dry-aged bone-in rib-eye (Dh425). We also ordered the Australian Blackmore Wagyu beef strip, with a 9+ marble score (Dh395).
All cuts come with a choice of rub or sauce, but we felt steaks like this should be able to stand on their own, and they did. The Wagyu strip (180g) was tender and had a strong umami flavour, and the giant rib-eye (450g) was cooked exactly as we’d asked. We ordered two sides as well – chipotle lime corn and creamed spinach – small supporting roles to the meat, which was the star of the show.
I don’t think anything can top the steaks, but dessert comes close. My new favourite pudding is BOA’s homemade mascarpone cheesecake with fresh berries, vanilla Chantilly cream and home-made strawberry ice cream. The BOA Snickers bar, with fleur de sel and caramel ice cream, was good, too.
The vibe, the decor, the food and the service at BOA succeed at setting this restaurant apart from its competition. It is, quite simply, one of the best new restaurants in town.
• Dinner for two at BOA Steakhouse, Eastern Mangroves Promenade, Abu Dhabi, costs Dh1,280. Call 02 641 1500 for reservations. Reviewed meals are paid for by The National and conducted incognito