Official Launch Party at BU! - The Hub, World Trade Centre Mall, Abu Dhabi

You have probably heard of BU! by now, the pan-Latin restaurant that has made quite a splash since its recent soft opening in the World Tade Centre Mall in Abu Dhabi. In case you missed my recent preview, have a read here: It pretty much sums up the impact that I believe tBU! is going to make. 

So, the launch party, coming a few days after I previewed the menu was exactly that, a party, but were there extra insights gained from this affair?

1. There are no half measures here

There is no doubt in the owners' minds, mall management and the marketing agency that BU! is going to be a success. That kind of confidence is so refreshing at a time when cynicism and caution rules. It is such a boost for Abu Dhabi's dining scene which for so long now has trailed Dubai in terms of cool and chic. 

2. A fuller picture emerges

This was not a launch that was just about flowing drinks and a few canapes - not that the drinks were anything to scoff at. My favourite local house Champagne, Devaux Cuvee D Brut Aged 5 reappeared as a magnum. The sit-down dinner for a number of specially invited guests reveals a lot of the service that can be expected. On the night,  I got to interact with more staff and I was even more impressed. 

It was a night that allowed me to listen to the stories of staff, and I could see what a pleasure it will prove to future guests as they connect with staff. It was also warming to see upper restaurant management marshalling and leading their waiting staff by example. The passion runs deep. 

I also got a better glimpse of the menu and its pricing. I am surprised to see that they undercut their direct competitors in key areas. So, the typical question about a new venue is: Will I need a discount voucher from a magazine? The answer is no. I learned that brunch is, for example,  450AED incl champagne. That is a very good price for a brunch of such quality; quality that will not break the wallet!

The food 

I have now had the pleasure of trying half the menu, and I can only say a loud Hoo hoo!!! Rather than single out dishes, I can only say you will be safe with anything on the menu. Talk to staff and you will be guided to your favourites. Ok, maybe I will mention a couple: The Seabass ceviche, Lobster with habanero sauce and the On the bone striploin! All courses were expertly paired with wine that included  a 2014 Albarino, Torre la Moreira, a 2010 Malbec "Petite Fleur" from Mendoza and an absolute delight, the NV Perle de Muscat from the Rhone Valley. This sample of wine pairing served as an indication of experiences that lie ahead for diners! This is not surprising as the restaurant boasts a very strong sommelier presence. 

It was an evening that was not short on glitz and glamour while food, drinks and music pointed to the future. With a very distinctive character to each part of the venue, I expect guests will find their little space, be that the outside-of-the-UAE terrace vibe, the casual but uber stylish seating options in the dining area and the raw but sophisticated industrial ambiance of the indoor bar area that will become a magnet for those hoping to hit a dance floor. The only question is when are you going to BU! to find yours. 

The Essentials

4th floor,
The Hub at World Trade Centre Mall,
Abu Dhabi
+971 2 666 8066
Brandon Stoltenkamp
Disclaimer: I was invited to the grand launch as part of media.