This LA favourite is celebrating its one year anniversary this month at Eastern Mangroves Promenade, Abu Dhabi and KM went along to savour a showcase of its finest dishes all created and freshly prepared by Executive Head Chef, Marco Lucentini.
Benefitting from the calm serene outlook of the Eastern Mangroves, BOA offers a tranquil setting for romance and foodie indulgence combined. The chic, yet glitzy contemporary interior provides the perfect backdrop for the award-worthy performance that we are about to experience in terms of culinary genius. And we soon learn that it is not only Chef and his team that boast a world-class calibre of expertise, for our welcoming and accommodating waiter, Adin Lemes, demonstrates a remarkable depth of knowledge and training that immediately puts us at ease as we allow ourselves to be guided by his recommendations for the entire meal including grape pairing.
As it is taken for granted that we will be savouring the finest aged cuts of meat that BOA has on offer for our mains, we are steered towards the delectable seafood starters to whet our appetites. The crispy Jumbo Lump Crab Cake with grilled hearts of palm salad and cajun remoulade sounds too good to resist and the intricate description by Adin of the Charred Tuna Tartare with capers, lemon zest, shallots and crostini seals the deal for the first course.
As we eagerly await our food, Chef sends out two beautiful amuse-bouche creations; one of salmon tartare wrapped in paper thin cucumber crowned with sour cream and caviar and the other with fresh burrata cheese atop a juicy cherry tomato with garnish… we are hooked! Our starters are soon to follow boasting artistic presentation bordering on the dramatic as the Tuna Tartare arrives on a bubbling cauldron of dry ice! The crab cake delivers a satisfyingly crunchy texture with meaty soft interior the subtle flavour of which is refreshingly enhanced by the cajun remoulade. The tuna tartare is a melt-in-the-mouth sensation with all the flavours of the tuna being brought out by the zesty lemon, peppery capers and crunchy shallots.
Considering BOA specialises in Dry Aged beef and less than 2% of all beef is good enough to be dry aged and graded as prime, we graciously accept the recommendation of the 28 Day Dry Aged Rib-Eye 280g with Herb Butter Crust to be served alongside the Australian Master Kobe Striploin 225g (9+ marble score) with Blackened Crust on a sharing platter complete with a sample of each of BOA’s 8 sauces – including their Signature sauce, an intriguing combination of spices, Worcestershire sauce and a few other secret ingredients – and a combination of sides: Mashed Potatoes with Smoked Cheddar and Veal Bacon; Crab and Black Truffle Gnocchi; Sautéed Spinach; and Sautéed Seasonal Mushrooms.
Between courses, Executive Head Chef, Marco Lucentini cannot resist the opportunity to send out a taster dish of Goat Cheese Baklava served with Pistachios, black truffles and frisée for us to try. The dish was first created as an experiment by one of BOA’s LA Restaurant Managers and it was deemed such a culinary success that it was adopted as an official BOA appetiser and it is immediately apparent why… it is exquisite! Not usually a fan of sweet pastries, I feared it would be too rich for my taste, but the saltiness of the Goats Cheese works so well with the sticky sweetness of the pastry and the combination of textures with the flaky pastry, soft creamy cheese and crunchy Pistachios is sensational!
As promised, the Dry Aged Rib-Eye boasts a wonderful, rich, intense buttery taste, combined with an incredibly tender texture and the Australian Master Kobe Striploin almost melts like butter in the mouth – both cuts of beef are almost too unique in flavour to be combined with any sauces, but our curiosity gets the better of us and we give each a taste test for fun. The Signature sauce is a favourite as is the Cabernet and an interesting vinaigrette-style Charmoula sauce packed full of finely chopped garlic and spices in an olive oil base. The sides speak for themselves, but both the Mashed Potatoes with Cheddar and Veal Bacon and the Crab and Black Truffle Gnocchi are rich, creamy BOA creations that we won’t forget in a hurry!
As we reflect upon the gourmet feast that we have just devoured, dessert is an almost unthinkable challenge, but Adin soon reels us back in with his mouth-watering descriptions and we decide to go for the Warm Apple Tart Crumble served with green apple sorbet and the Sorbet Trio. The Warm Apple Tart Crumble is packed full of flavour as the sugary crunch of the crumble combines with the soft fruity apple and the apple sorbet is a refreshing accompaniment. The flavoursome mango, lemon and raspberry sorbets offer the perfect palate-cleansing finish to such a rich and indulgent meal.
We say our thank you’s, but it is not ‘goodbye’ for that was hopefully the first of many BOA experiences to come!