BOA Abu Dhabi is serious about its steak but with an emphasis on fun

There’s a new steakhouse in the capital and it promises to deliver a steak unlike any other that you’ve had here before.
BOA Steakhouse in Abu Dhabi. Courtesy BOA
BOA Steakhouse in Abu Dhabi. Courtesy BOA

BOA steakhouse celebrated its grand opening last week at the Eastern Mangroves Promenade in Abu Dhabi. From California – complete with an ultra-hip vibe – it’s the first international restaurant for the popular Los Angeles eatery.

The right place

The American co-owners Lee Maen and Philip Cummins are confident Abu Dhabi is the right city for their first venture overseas.

“It’s a great place,” says Maen. “We were blown away by how clean and safe and great it is here. And it’s a very diverse culture.”

Maen and Cummins are the founding partners of Innovative Dining Group, which has several other restaurant brands. They were eager to add a steakhouse to their portfolio but – as their company name suggests – it needed to be original.

Steakhouse reinvented

“The steakhouse we grew up with in the States … is kind of boring and old-school,” says Maen. “We decided to do a steakhouse that we wanted to go to. We decided to innovate the whole steakhouse concept and turn it upside down to come up with the modern steakhouse – which is BOA.”

Rather than pristine white tablecloths, pretentious servers and an air of snobbery, BOA steakhouse will focus on a cool, relaxed atmosphere. “Historically, a fine-dining restaurant with great food also had stuffy service,” says Cummins. “Why? It makes no sense whatsoever. Food’s fun.”

Prime cuts

But it takes more than ambience for a restaurant to make it in the city.

BOA is poised to earn a seat at the table alongside its elite peers in Abu Dhabi’s steakhouse scene. Nearly all of the beef on BOA’s menu is USDA prime (it also offers Wagyu and master Kobe from Australia). Maen and Cummins say it was vital to find the best meat they could import from the United States. They say their chosen source delivers high-quality meat that has been aged to meet BOA’s strict standards. Cummins is confident diners will taste the difference when they bite into one of their steaks. “US beef is predominantly finished on grain and corn, where almost nowhere else in the world do they finish their beef the way that we do in the US. It’s a very distinct flavour,” he says.

Also on the menu

Choose from the 35-day, dry-aged New York strip steak, 28-day dry-aged, bone-in rib-eye, or the bone-in Kansas City filet mignon. But you don’t need to be a steak-lover to get a taste of BOA’s unique flavours. You can get spaghetti with Wagyu meatballs, braised Wagyu short ribs and seven different seafood entrees. For appetisers and sides, there’s goat’s cheese baklava, Boston lobster “Louie”, crab and black truffle gnocchi and truffle cheese fries. BOA is also famous for its classic Caesar salad, which is prepared tableside.

“This is basically a steakhouse where you’re going to get world-class food in a fun, vibrant atmosphere,” says Cummins. “Your server is going to be incredibly knowledgeable but they’re not going to be stuffy about it. You’re going to feel like you’re in a comfortable, relaxed environment when you just happen to be having the best steak you can get in the UAE.”

BOA is at Eastern Mangroves Promenade. The steakhouse is open from Saturday to Tuesday from 12.30pm to 1am, and Wednesday to Friday from 12.30pm to 2am. Call 02 641 1500 or email

Other steakhouses in Abu Dhabi

55&5th, The Grill

Where: St Regis Saadiyat Island Resort

On the Menu: Donald Russell grass-fed dry-aged côte de boeuf

Hours: daily from 6.30pm to midnight

Reservations: 02 498 8888

Blue Grill

Where: Yas Island Rotana

On the Menu: 300-day grain-fed, Australian Black Onyx rib-eye

Hours: Monday to Saturday from 6pm to 11:30pm

Reservations: 02 656 4000

Marco Pierre White Steakhouse & Grill

Where: Fairmont Bab Al Bahr

On the Menu: Blackmore 100% full-blooded Wagyu beef

Hours: daily from 6pm to midnight

Reservations: 02 654 3238

Rhodes 44

Where: St Regis Abu Dhabi

On the Menu: USDA prime 120+ day grain-fed sirloin

Hours: daily from 7pm to 11pm

Reservations: 02 694 4553

Rodeo Grill

Where: Beach Rotana, Abu Dhabi

On the Menu: 600+ day grain-fed Master Kobe tenderloin

Hours: Daily from 12.30pm to 3.30pm; 7.30pm to 11.30pm

Reservations: 02 697 9011

The Forge

Where: Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal

On the Menu: Argentinian tenderloin

Hours: daily from 7pm to 11pm

Reservations: 02 818 8282

The Meat Co

Where: Souk Qarayat Al Beri

On the Menu: Filet of 150-day grain-fed US beef

Hours: Saturday to Wednesday, from noon to 11:45pm; Thursday and Friday, noon to midnight

Reservations: Call 02 558 1713

Published: May 19, 2014 04:00 AM


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