BOA Steakhouse, a very stylish steakhouse in the city - Eastern Mangroves Promenade, Abu Dhabi

Any visit to BOA Steakhouse has to start at the cosy bar-cum-lounge. It is small and intimate and allows for one to take in the stunning restaurant. This is exactly what I did on my recent visit. 

While they are renown for their signature cocktails, I felt at home with a glass of Taittinger Brut NV while nibbling on some excellent mini bite bar food. In a city where big is better, this little bar and lounge is  a place I could come back to for just a drink. It has that feel to it. About 30 minutes later, my guest and I made our way to our table. 

The booths at BOA are actually quite comfortable - I am often put off by this because I find myself having to stretch or sit on the edge of my seat. No such issues here. It matters of course - three hours is a long time!

We have three starters to share. We start with the the Fine de Claire oysters, which while predictable, are well shucked and with a simple slice of lemon, deliver. 

Victor, our waiter, then brings all the ingredients for a Table side Classic Caesar. I remember this being the best caesar salad I have had at a  steakhouse, having had it three times before. It again does not disappoint. It is remarkably consistently done. The source of that consistency? Slavish adherence to the recipe. There are no extra scoops of dijon or extra turns of the black pepper grinder. Precision. 

Finally, my favourite starter of the night is the Halibut carpaccio. It is just so pretty. Carpaccio of halibut is mixed with small cuts of celery, green leaves and melon. It is sweet and salty at the same time. Just  a lovely way to serve something that is not common on our menus here in Abu Dhabi. 

BOA Steakhouse has a very succinct wine list, easily to read. It makes choosing a  wine less complicated. In addition to 12 by-the-glass wines, BOA uses Coravin technology, allowing you to have a glass of that premium wine you would ordinarily not have because you would have to buy a bottle. BOA is one of a couple steakhouses that offers this. 

Restaurant manager Geeva Nanthan recommends a South African wine for me, one that he describes as 'taking me out of my comfort zone'. I guess I have become predictable in my choices of late, with my preference for certain labels well documented. He knows his wine and this proves a pleasure to be guided like this. Victor decants the wine, a 2009 Kleine Parys Niclas Selection,  a blend of Shiraz and Syrah. Immediately the deep cherry colour grabs my attention, as does the nose. Berries overwhelm - wonderfully so. 

I like the options of main courses. Having been to quite a few steakhouses prior to this, I do think that too many choices simply confuse the guest. All in all, there are 10 cuts on the menu at BOA. For our mains, we have one of BOA's signature cuts, the Black Angus Petite 40 Day dry aged New York Strip and the Australian Master Kobe Striploin with a marbling of 9. In the past, one of the typical comments about BOA was that it was expensive and at times overpriced. But tonight as I study the menu, I can see how they have adjusted prices - a Grade 9 Australian Wagyu at 345AED for 200g has to be up there with the best priced in the city. 

With the dry aged beef, the flavour is really intense and concentrated, while the Wagyu gives me that typical flavour that comes from thigh marbling. Both have beautiful textures, but like oranges and apples, I like both. The wine, meantime, is superb. BOA has done well to add a wine to its list that is not available elsewhere - a little gem. 

I end my evening with the cheesecake which turns out not to reach the heights of the earlier parts of the evening -it is rather dry and lacks the creaminess that even a New York cheese cake would have. 

BOA Steakhouse is indeed a power steakhouse. It has to be the one of a handful of steakhouses where they have nailed the lighting and got it right. This makes for a gorgeous and sexy restaurant experience. The  menu is to the point and allows the guest to spend more time on other aspects rather than deciding on which steak to have. Better pricing means that it is not as expensive as it was in the past, and a Skirt steak at 170AED makes BOA even more accessible. Certainly when it comes to high end cuts, they are also quite well priced here relative to their competitors. BOA Steakhouse - still worthy of the hype!   

The lowdown 

BOA Steakhouse
Eastern Mangroves Promenade
+971 2 641 1500

Starters 40-95 Dhs

Turf (meat) 125-445 Dhs
Surf (sea) 130-299 Dhs
Desserts 45-60 Dhs

Brandon Stoltenkamp