The new menu at Blue Grill Steakhouse - Yas Island Rotana, Abu Dhabi

Blue Grill recently introduced its new menu. A new menu at a  steakhouse is always an occasion, and having perused the menu prior to my visit. my daughter and I had pretty much settled on what we would have. As we walk in, it is again hard not to be drawn to the large windows showcasing the open kitchen. The cool blue light makes it somewhat surreal. 

After being seated, though, we are shown the menus nonetheless and we have the pleasure of meeting the hotel's executive chef,  Alan Snyman and then the Blue Grill Speciality chef, Damian Kasperczyk. 

I start off with 6 Cumbreau Oysters, exquisitely served  on a bed of ice. They are well shucked, large and fleshy and despite the option of two vinaigrettes, I stay with the lemon. I have a glass of the Nino Franco Rustico Prosecco, served by the glass. Recommended. 

My daughter orders the Seared King scallops and Chef divides the 6 onto two plates - much to my daughter's delight. I recommend this because it allows you to taste what is quite an intense scallops dish while sharing the cost with your partner or guest. 

On the service front, staff are willing and capable but there is a missing edge that one expects in a steakhouse. Also, a  refresher on certain basics will allow well-intentioned staff to reach that other level. Steakhouses are competitive - the little things make a huge difference. 

For my main course, following Chef Damian's recommendation, I have the Short rib steak, braised for 72 hours. It always amazes me how chefs get this right - it is all about getting the temperature right over 72 hours. My dish does not disappoint. It breaks apart effortlessly under the touch of my fork while it is nicely complemented by smoked mash and pumpkin butter. Finally, shavings of black truffle add that extra wow factor to a dish that is already excellent. Over and above everything though, I like the homeliness of the dish. 

Blue Grill boasts, along with one other steakhouse in the city, the most by the glass options with more than 25 on offer. This comes in very handy when, for my main course, I am indecisive and I ask my waiter to bring me a few that I have shortlisted. That is a great selection in a restaurant that does not use Coravin. Also, it means a glass of wine is very well priced.

My daughter, in the meantime, has the Australian Master Kobe, high in marbling and at 280AED per 200g, that is a very good price for this top of the range cut. You cannot go wrong with this cut, especially if you do in fact like marbled beef. She enjoys it, as do I, when I take a bite. For anyone ordering this, make sure you order it at least medium rare because this way the full flavour of the meat comes out.  

To end our evening, Mitsuki and I share the Apple tartin, memorable because Chef has used chunky apple pieces which on every bite, reveal a lot of texture. This dessert is all about the apple - how it should be. Recommended.

Overall, Blue Grill's new menu has adapted to the challenging times in the city with entry levels steaks introduced at 145AED and with a glass of wine, you are looking at a night out of around 200AED - good value for a steakhouse. Overall, there are 17 cuts to choose from which can be both a  strength and weakness, depending on the guest. I was a bit overwhelmed, but this is why I suggest talking to the chef who will guide you. Good cuts, well-cooked dishes, great wine choices, a non-intimidating restaurant feel and value for money make Blue Grill one for your list. 

The Essentials

Blue Grill,

Yas Rotana,
Abu Dhabi
+971 2 6564000

My meal
Cumbreau Osyers 6 for 80AED
Short rib steak 155AED

Brandon Stoltenkamp
Disclaimer: I had this dining experience courtesy of the hotel.