BOA Steakhouse in Abu Dhabi’s Eastern Mangroves Promenade gets off to a great start — and with royalty

A waiter whipping up a Caesar salad. Photo by Ann Marie McQueen
A waiter whipping up a Caesar salad. Photo by Ann Marie McQueen

It’s only been open nine days, but BOA can officially claim (and deserves) the title of new Abu Dhabi hot spot.

The California steakhouse has already hosted Prince Andrew (who I witnessed personally dining there Thursday evening) and Richard Branson.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Justin Timberlake and Star Wars: Episode VII director JJ Abrams had stopped in to the Eastern Mangroves Promenade restaurant for a bite by the time the weekend has wrapped.

The place was fully booked Thursday night, hosting a healthy mix of expatriates and Emiratis, small and large parties. The staff are personable, knowledgeable and know the menu inside out: such a sad rarity in capital dining.

The location is amazing, with a view to the mangroves that I don’t think you can find anywhere else in the UAE.

And the food? We could not get over the Caesar salad, made with elaborate, special care table-side and bursting with garlicky goodness (that’s our waiter whipping ours up in the picture). Our waiter also suggested we try the Goat Cheese Baklava and while we were both sceptical, we trusted him and were rewarded with a vaguely sweet new favourite. The steaks were great, although mine was a little more than rare and my companion’s was a little more than blue. I am, however, still dreaming about one of the sides: the Crab and Black Truffle Gnocci. Just get some.

A few words of warning: bring your wallet, this place is not cheap. However, unlike so many fair-to-middling meals I’ve had at around the same price tag, it’s definitely worth writing home about.

Just remember to make a reservation — and be on the lookout for the rich and famous.

Published: May 24, 2014 04:00 AM