BOA Steakhouse revisited- Eastern Mangroves Promenade, Abu Dhabi
I am greeted at the door by the slick hostess who, like Lana Turner stepping onto the set of one of her films, gracefully leads my guest and me to the bar for a pre-dinner drink. The bar intimate. Warm. I am seated at the bar and I meet Jenya, the bar man - a native of Moldova. Charismatic, humble, flamboyant, knowledgeable. That is Jenya. He mixes me a medium to dry Martini, with a bit of zest as per my request. It is a pleasure watching him and interacting with him. He brings such life to bear on the bar. As I leave for my table, the value of people in F&B is again driven home. He could have served me water, and I would have enjoyed it.
|Jenya preparing a pre-dinner drink|
|A light snack to accompany my martini|
The welcoming and friendly but professional tone set by Jenya continues when I meet my waiter for the night, Adin. He goes through the menu as if he has been doing this for years - there is a relaxed comfort in his whole demeanor. He illustrates the obvious benefit of a knowledgeable waiter. When a waiter, for example, knows his product, he can focus on sincerely engaging the guest. Unfortunately it happens too often where I meet a nice waiter, but he focuses so much on the words of the menu, that the whole experience is cerebral.
|Heirloom tomatoes and burrata|
Our appetizers start with the Heirloom Tomato. The burrata and heirloom tomatoes find themselves in a shallow lake of pesto. I love Chef's spirit in elevating pesto from a mere sprinkling to thisAn absolutely beautiful dish. The burrata cheese is the side attraction here, hence the name of the dish, but anyone trying the burrata will argue against that. But anyone looking at the dish will see why it is all about the tomatoes. They are a sight to behold. Different shapes and a burst of colours with obvious variations. How does one compare them to regular tomatoes? It is like going from Ravel's Bolero to Rimsky-Korsakov' Flight of the Bumblebee - Immediately arresting. Sweet, but not unnaturally or nauseatingly so. Simply wow.
|The delectable Goat cheese baklava|
The service continues to please me, contrasting again with my previous visit to BOA when I wrote "The matter of service that is efficient and incredibly professional but is lacking in soul, is something I am sure will be addressed. I am excited about my next visit in September." Adin recommends one of 13 by- the-glass wines and while he admits he will be attending an upcoming wine course to improve his knowledge, he does fine on the night. To accompany my starters I have a Founder's Estate, Beringer Sauvignon Blanc.
|Simple and understated|
|Glorious and symphonic|
My dish is served, and while BOA has a fine range of sauces, including its signature J-1 sauce, I go with just the beef. The presentation is simple. It is all about the beef of course. I expect to see a rich and generous proportion of fat owing to the high marbling grade - I am not disappointed. My choice of temperature of around 48 degrees works well for me as the thin outer layer is well cooked, but as I cut into it, the gorgeous contrast of colour jumps out at me. Cutting into it is so effortless, and I reflect that were my 8 year old here, she would have been able to cut it for me.
|The signature Truffle cheese fries|
|Mashed potato with garlic and truffles and Grilled asparagus.|
BOA Steakhouse is a must-visit. It offers a blend of a passionate French manager with an eye for excellence, ably supported by Geeva and Antogin - a Chef de Cuisine and a team of chefs able to execute his vision and backed up by outstanding ingredients - and finally, a different ethos among the floor staff as symbolized by Ainura, the hostess, Jenya and Adin. It is this combination that has attracted some of these high profile visitors, and will attract ordinary visitors like me in the future. Trendy, but for the right reasons. A place to be, but for the right reasons. BOA Steakhouse.
Eastern Mangroves Promenade
02 641 1500
Appetisers 50-200 Dhs
Salads 40-80 Dhs
Turf (meat) 125-495 Dhs
Surf (sea) 130-165 Dhs
Desserts 45-60 Dhs