A classy Friday brunch at BOA Steakhouse - Eastern Mangroves, Abu Dhabi

BOA Steakhouse is a slick restaurant that has consistently been one of the top steakhouses in the city since it launched a little over  3 years ago. It has also produced one of the top brunches in that time, eschewing the buffet concept and opting for a sophisticated table brunch instead. As part of my annual brunch round up in Abu Dhabi, I visited it a couple weeks ago to see if it has maintained its standard despite some personnel changes. 

1. Still a 5 course set menu

Brunch starts off with a seafood platter and liquid nitrogen for a bit of drama. It is a fairly 'minimalist' serving with a couple oysters but in many ways reflects the times we are in now. However, still, with a glass of champagne, it is always a great way to get a brunch going. Those familiar with the BOA brunch will see that the Cold starters are fairly similar to the original brunch, with the exception that the Caesar salad that is no longer done table side. A pity, but I understand the logistics of it. I am pleased, though, to see the Burrata is still on the menu. Finally, if you prefer something from the sea, there is a Smoked salmon dish as part of this course. 

Among the Warm appetisers, the Goat cheese baklava, understandably, is still on the menu. Crispy pastry filled with goats cheese and drizzled with honey is just to die for. I am amazed by the consistency with which this dish is dome. Incidentally, with the exception of the Seafood platter amd main course, repeat orders are allowed. 

2. House vs Premium Drinks

Quite impressive. I know there are brunches that prefer not to have a list of drinks available to guests, in the name of engagement. I prefer a list of drinks. I don't think every guest wants to engage staff and he/she simply wants to point and order. I like the drinks list that is printed at BOA - yes, it is not environmentally friendly, but they tend to use it for a long time anyway. The list clearly shows what the House and Premium beverages are. This avoids unnecessary embarrassment for guests. The difference in drinks is clear - other than the wines which are the same, JW Black label, Hendricks and Grey Goose are offered instead of the entry level options on the house package list. Furthermore, on request, my guest and I have a Mimosa to augment the Pink Bellini experience on the menu. Of course bubbly by GH Mumm, flows freely. 

3. A main course should be exactly that, a main course

A choice of 6 main courses featuring some full sized steaks is the highlight of the food side of the brunch. I have always opted for one of BOA's steaks and while my guest opts for the the Black Angus ribeye,  a generously sized 240g piece of meat, I break new ground and order the Braised beef short ribs, served with  a beautiful lemon infused polenta. The ribs have that clich├ęd 'melt in your mouth' feel to it. Oh, I have tried the brunch several times and had all the steak options, and this is undoubtedly my recommended choice. Again, if you prefer something less meaty, They serve a Herb crusted salmon fillet. By the way, three side dishes are served with the main course - a very good main course indeed that screams 'Added Value. 

The Verdict

The brunch at BOA Steakhouse remains a winner. They have maintained service levels despite my concerns with staff changes and in fact there has been a much needed infusion of new staff. The menu works well in so far as it is reliable, but it is too safe with no great risks taken. I would like to see greater balance between the old and new as I believe there is too much of a reliance on 'classic' BOA dishes. It has been a while since Chef Marco left BOA, so it would be great to see more personality of the present chef in the menu. 

Having said all of this, I still think BOA does a fantastic brunch with a winning concept. It combines elegance, sophistication and that feeling of being at vibrant a brunch with some very good dishes, great drinks options and service to match. 

The Essentials

BOA Steakhouse,
Eastern Mangroves Promenade


+971 2 641 1500

295 AED+ Soft drinks
395 AED+  House Beverages
495 AED+ Premium Beverages

Brandon Stoltenkamp