Few dishes rival a steak dinner. A perfectly cooked steak in Abu Dhabi can make anybody’s, not day, but week. But achieving that result requires dedication and patience. Such diligence will produce a beautiful slab of beef that is deliciously indulgent, full of irresistible flavor, and undeniably succulent.
But if you think steak can only be enjoyed with a side of steak frites and a house salad, allow us to prove you wrong. A steak’s versatility means its complex texture and flavor can complement a variety of dining experiences, from a deliciously paired red wine to a laid-back afternoon brunch.
Here in Abu Dhabi, steaks are cooked with your discerning tastes in mind. So here are the best ways to indulge your carnivorous appetite.
1. Make steak the star of a full-course dinner
The right type of dinner course can create an impression that lingers long after the last bite. The gold standard in any elegant restaurant, the multi-course meal (in particular, the three-course meal,) is such an event. Following the tradition set out in 9th century Spain, the three-course meal is served with a soup or alternative entrée, then the main dish, and finished off with a palate-cleansing sweet dessert.
Throughout the Emirates, the three-course meal honors this idea, creating a prix fixe dinner service of entrée-plat-dessert. Even if you opt for a four- or five-course menu, there is something to delight in every bite, as you can discover in Dubai’s foodie paradise or in the expensive and magnificent Abu Dhabi.
TAKEAWAY: When ordering a main course featuring a steak, be sure to order a premium primal cut such as the prime rib eye or Wagyu chuck rib. Such cuts perfectly balance quality and flavor, imbuing each bite with uncomplicated, yet excellent taste. That way you will get the most out of the experience.
2. Pair steak with a fine wine or aged whiskey
The right glass of wine and the perfect cut of steak make a delightful work of art. When dining out in Abu Dhabi, be sure to select a steakhouse or restaurant with a sommelier versed in the characteristics of prime cuts and matching flavors. Nonetheless, you can, of course, go without the assistance of a sommelier. Here are the best red wines to pair with your select choice of meat:
- While Cabernet Sauvignon may be the go-to wine selection for an aromatic steak, those seeking alternative powerful flavors may find it in a Malbec or Shiraz. The former is versatile, richly earthy and food-friendly; ideal with a cut of beef. On the other hand, the high concentration of tannin in Shiraz makes it a characteristically enjoyable palate cleanser for a fatty cut of steak.
- For those in pursuit of a stronger libation when eating meat, no drink better accentuates the complex flavors of steak than a glass of aged scotch, bourbon or rye. When pairing the two, take care to select the right glass of whiskey for the right cut. Whiskey is a great compliment to more fatty steaks, as fat equals flavor. An aged whiskey offers an array of flavors and textures that can only be matched by cuts of dry-aged beef.
3. Order it rare or medium rare
When ordering steak at a restaurant or steakhouse, order it cooked no more than a medium or medium rare. According to chefs behind some of the world’s greatest steakhouses, ordering steak at medium rare ensures that you get the maximum flavor and taste out of the piece of beef. A cooking temperature above this recommended range can lead to a final product that is tough and chewy. This can result in a less than pleasant dining experience.
4. Indulge in steak during a casual afternoon of brunching
The tradition of brunch, the weekend go-to meal often served between 11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m., is something of an unmissable tradition in Abu Dhabi. Indeed, brunch in these parts is a culinary experience, a well-celebrated institution. Extravagant, lavish spreads kick off a delicious start to the weekend.
Most traditional brunches include staples such as continental options or classic breakfast fare. Nonetheless, in Abu Dhabi guests are treated to a plethora of steak-influenced dishes, including rib eye steak fajitas or Wagyu beef tartare. The elevated brunch concept means this decadent feast is a multi-hour affair. It features dizzying spreads complimented by free-flowing beverages to help whittle the hours away. To further enhance this lavish dining experience, guests are often treated to resident DJs spinning tunes. This will surely get you into the spirit of brunching the day away.
A good hearty steak brings back memories of nostalgia, of simpler times, before degustations menus or molecular gastronomy gained popularity. It is an unassuming, no-frills culinary experience that still brings a little extra “je ne sais quoi” to the table.
Prepare your appetite because a night of dining on steak in Abu Dhabi doesn’t disappoint. Expect a night of dining on the best quality meat cooked to utter perfection.