Friday brunch at BOA Steakhouse

An à la carte steakhouse menu overlooking the Eastern Mangroves

Friday brunch at  BOA Steakhouse

If the main thing people talk about after leaving a restaurant is the view, it probably means the meal itself wasn’t that good.

Or, it could mean the view is super-spectacular. When it comes to Friday brunch at BOA Steakhouse, it’s a bit of both.

No-one can deny that the restaurant’s location is excellent, with a terrace that’s mere metres away from the waters of the Eastern Mangoves, but as we walk away from the Friday fiesta – full, but not necessarily satisfied – we can’t help think that BOA is resting on the laurels of its setting.

Over the years, the steakhouse has been at the forefront of the cuisine here in the capital, with a slick interior matched by good service and quality cuts of meat. So, it saddens us to find it looking a bit tired, with clumsy staff serving underwhelming food.

We always try to be fair with our reviews, and make sure we don’t focus on things that could be explained by someone having an off day, or the regular chef being on holiday, or an unusually huge group of diners descending on the venue all at once. It’s why we revisit venues time and again, to double- or triple-check how things really are. While nothing is shockingly bad during brunch, the whole experience is average at best.

The packages, especially for the soft drinks option seem a little steep on first inspection, but from the multitude of SMS marketing messages we receive from the venue every week, it seems that there’s always a two-for-one deal going on. There are a couple of mocktails available, along with grape, hops and short drinks. If sparking or bubbly is your thing, you can also upgrade further.

The menu is split into five stages, starting with a seafood tower, followed by cold starters, then hot starters, before a main course and, finally, a dessert platter. You can order the starters as many times as you like.

The seafood arrives in a plume of dry ice. Once it subsides, there’s a couple of plump prawns, some mussels, oysters, a tuna tartare and rock lobster ‘louie’ style. Of these, the oysters shine the brightest.

Next up is a very good Caesar salad, decent plates of burrata and smoked salmon, and a nice beef carpaccio. On the whole, this is the best course.

The hot appetiser course is a little confusing. Mud crab cakes are dense and filling (we’re fans of these, by the way), buffalo chicken wings are a strange, messy detour from the rest of the food, and the goats’ cheese baklava is too heavy on the filo and too light on the cheese.

In theory, getting a full steak main course makes this brunch really good value.

But while the rare grain-fed tenderloin is cooked nicely, without being packed with much flavour, the Black Angus rib-eye isn’t cooked how we asked and comes with the wrong sauce (which includes red grape, and both of us at the table are on the soft package for a reason). While the sauce is swapped quickly, we’re told the steak must be cooked as we’d asked. Forgive us for thinking the waiter, who has dropped countless knives and forks and forgotten drinks might have gotten it wrong.

Sides of cheesy fries, spinach and grilled asparagus are okay, but by this point we’re already tiring of the meal. A platter of mini New York cheesecake, apple crumble and chocolate brownie at least leave things on a sweet note, but overall we’re disappointed.

Still, there are always those views...

An à la carte steakhouse menu overlooking the Eastern Mangroves

If you really want a steak accompanied by a nice view

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