Capital Grill Steakhouse again- Dusit Thani, Abu Dhabi

It has been about 10 months  since my last visit to Capital Grill. The warm service and that glorious 72 hour slow braised brisket are just two of the elements from that night that are lodged in memory. As I walk pass the bar, it definitely feels like the weekend. Of three visits, this is the first where I feel the bar sets the tone for the restaurant as I walk in. The Black eyed peas "I got a  feeling" pops into my head. It might just be a good night. 

I am seated and having looked at the menus online in advance, i know what I want. I order a glass of Valdo Prosecco. Structured and energetic bubbles. After all, life makes more sense when there are bubbles around. In keeping with the trend in steakhouses, the menu is a single A3 size. The menu is not extensive, but offers great balance. 
Beef carpaccio with lime jus.
For my starter, I order the Herb crusted beef carpaccio. I marvel at how the busy bar and the atmosphere spills over into the restaurant. This is no doubt what they had in mind when they designed the Capital Bar and Capital Grill in such proximity to each other. On nights like this you can see how well it works. 

My carpaccio is served. Australian beef. A simple dish if ever there was one. The Lime jus that runs across really brings a different dimension to the dish. I like it. A genuine appetiser. In anticipation of my main, I view the wine list. With 18 by the glass wines, there is more than enough choice. The wine list, with the most expensive wine at 590 AED, offers enough variety notwithstanding the fact that it is not as expansive as those at some high end steakhouses, but if one looks at the pricing on their menu, a perfect match. I order a Meerlust Merlot 2009, a wine I have tried often enough to know what a good wine it is. At 345 AED, an absolute must have with your dinner. Dark and fruity with plum notes, this wine works well decanted a half hour so before. 

Chef Riane in his open kitchen
The Chef de Cuisine who also oversees Urban Kitchen, the hotel's all day dining restaurant, is at my table to offer his insights on the beef for the night. What a difference it makes when the chef is available. I find it incredulous that more restaurants are not doing this. On very busy nights this is not always possible, but there are nights when it can be done.  It is about engagement on another level isn't it? It is no longer enough for guests to be engaged by waiting staff. Engagement by the chef takes it to another level. 

The John Stone strip

I am growing in my preference for John Stone Irish beef. I have mentioned before that there is something very natural about cows eating grass, and the Irish climate with its rainfall especially, means grass is lush and green all year round. Happy cows. Secondly, a very good price too. I opt for the dry aged striploin. I must be getting old, but unless it is a tenderloin, I prefer no seasoning whatsoever, and that includes salt. It is served. Medium rare. Cooked to my liking.I am able to hone in on that beefy taste, admittedly it does not have the added flavour that marbling brings in a rib eye, but still beefy and firmer.  With the option of two complimentary sides and a sauce, Capital Grill offers exceptional value for the guest. 

On my last visit I ordered the New York Cheesecake, and having fallen in love with its tighter texture than the usual cheesecake, it is an obvious choice. The caramelised nuts are a real treat too, providing obvious contrast. 

With steakhouses a growing dining concept in Abu Dhabi, prices are quite high. In fact, they are too high for the market. Captal Grill in the mid market offers some of the cuts you will find in more expensive restaurants at an affordable price. The accompanying wine list is equally reasonable, allowing you to match your steak with a bottle of wine that will not break your wallet. A chef who is very much a people's chef who enjoys mingling with guests will ensure that you you choose  a steak closer to your liking, making for a very personalised dining experience. Yes, it was a good, good night. 

The low down

Capital Grill,
Dusit Thani, Abu Dhabi.
02 698 8888

My meal

Beef carpaccio 75AED
John Stone Striploin 235AED
New York Cheese cake 45AED
Prosecco Valdo 55AED by the glass
Meerlust Merlot   345AED

Brandon Stoltenkamp