New Menu at Capital Grill Steakhouse - Dusit Thani Hotel, Abu Dhabi

I have always liked Capital Grill, the steakhouse at Dusit Thani Hotel in Abu Dhabi. On my previous visits, I thought the affordability tag in a stylish setting offers guests a  decent balance bewteen price, aesthetics and of course, steaks! With its recent relaunch that sees the bar more discreetly positioned and a new menu offered, I was first in line to see how it has grown relative to the what I experienced more than a year ago...

I start off at the bar with a glass of Prosecco, taking in the cosiness of this intimate bar. I immediately like the music - somewhere in the Buddha Bar zone. It is indeed a nice change from the standard stuff played at steakhouses these days. 

The menu is fairly straightforward; quite succinct I might say. An entry level steak goes for around 145AED, while a wagyu burger goes for 105AED. You see, I want to see a steakhouse giving a  guest a taste of what it has for 200AED and Capital Grill does exactly that. There is nothing overwhelming about the options. I prefer this because it makes my decision easier. All in all, there 11 cuts. Nice.

An amuse bouche of Goat's cheese, scorched pineapple and beetroot purée really titillate and thankfully I do not wait too long before my starter is served - the Salmon Duo. But before I try it, I cannot resist trying one of my guest's Seared scallops. (apologies for the pic) It is served with green apple which brings a  bit of sourness - an unexpected pleasure. Served with a glass of Columbia Valley Riesling, Cateau Ste Michelle, it is a very nice pairing and indeed price. 

The salmon, by the way, is one of those dishes that I always want to try because of how a chef takes one protein and interprets it in different ways. Served on a stylish black slate, it shows the changes that have come to Capital Grill as it seems to be returning to its more elegant roots when they opened a few years ago. The slow cooked salmon and cured salmon are balanced by beetroot and beetroot jelly. I like the combinations in this dish. Beetroot again - so many memories are evoked for me. 

My guest and I then share a bowl of Roasted pumpkin soup. It is different. The burnt pumpkin taste is inescapable and permeates the dish while pumpkin seeds add texture and chives cream a bit more complexity to the flavour. It has that 'made in your kitchen' feel to it that makes me recommend it. 

There is an elegance to Capital Grill that gives the guest a chance to feel he or she is having a  fine night out that does not have to dent the wallet. A smaller dining area in the back part of the restaurant creates a feeling of greater intimacy. 

I am a sucker for a ceremony, and as a sign that they have really taken it up a notch here, a choice of Laguiole steak knives, a staple at steakhouses but one that you simply must offer to guests, is offered.

Capital Grill has a very sensible wine list, with wines generally well priced. It offers 16 by the glass wines, which for a steakhouse of its size is spot on. But thanks to the good prices, my guest and I have the Meerlust Merlot 2012. While not as full as its older cousin the Meerlust Rubicon, at 200 AED cheaper, this is a beautiful compromise. 

For an added value experience and drama,  a mustard tray is presented. I like this, With a couple of steakhouses already using a mustard trolley idea, the use of a tray allows a bit of creativity and also a personalised experience to come into play. 

As far as staff are concerned, I would like to see them more chilled to create a cool atmosphere that complements the music. Hip, confident and with a  bit of swag. This will ensure that the restaurant is not too quiet and too fine - we all know that fine does not work in Abu Dhabi. Relaxed elegance as I mentioned a while ago,  has become the new fine. 

For dessert, my guest and I order the Chocolate fondant and Chocolate Garden. While the Chocolate fondant does not quite reach my expectations - it should be about the chocolate oozing out sensually, the Chocolate Garden has some touches to it. The carrot, by the way... no, wait and try it. This is a clever play on a  tiramisu but done so differently. 

As I did the first time I tried, I liked my experience at Capital Grill. It is nicely perched between a steakhouse that gives one that feeling of a night out, an evening of high end dining in a 5 star hotel with very good prices. If there is a  desire to order the best on the menu, your needs will also be met, as evidenced by the presence of a Grade 9 Master Kobe, but still very well priced at under 600AED. However, it is the sophisticated budget diner that will feel at ease. Those days of dinner for two costing 1000AED are rare and indeed more celebratory moments. That is where steakhouses like Capital Grill come in. Nights out at a  steakhouse need not be so expensive!

The Capital Grill,

Dusit Thani Hotel,
Abu Dhabi
+971 2 698 8888

Dining on a  budget
3 Kelly Oysters 45AED
Australian striploin 120 days grain fed 145AED
Glass of wine 35AED

Salmon Duo 65AED
Master Kobe Tenderloin grade 9 MB 595AED
2012 Meerlust Merlot 390AED