Looking forward to dining with Abu Dhabi friends we hadn’t seen in far too long, anticipation was high for our meal at The Grill. The restaurant — like the majority of the venues at the Marriott Al Forsan — is located on the main floor, to the left of the lobby after the entrance. On arrival, I found the layout spacious and was happy to see modern touches in the form of an open kitchen, private dining room, soaring ceilings, and kitschy black and white photography on the walls. We were greeted warmly and shown to a table overlooking the kitchen, which, turns out quite a bit of protein — including one of the largest cuts in the UAE, the 1200g Tomahawk Chop (priced at a competitive AED475). Guests are invited to view the large grill, should they want to see how their meat is doing.
To start, a beautiful, crusty piece of sourdough hits the table, complete with ubtter and other spreads. Can you judge a restaurant by its bread? I do, and this one is already winning. AFter consulting the menu, we’ve already been advised to order the Black Angus Steak Tartare (AED85), and are certainly not let down. While a crack of salt and a bit more texture would’ve taken the dish even further, this coarser protein made for a perfect starter for two. We also ordered Oysters Rockefeller (AED95), which, my husband informs me were quite nice (no, I still can’t quite stomach the texture of oysters, even when they have Bechamel covering them). We were then joined by our friends who ordered the Asparagus Soup (AED42) and Burrata Salad (AED65), respectively. Both dishes had nice enough plating, but in the country, I’ve certainly had better, creamier Burrata.
For mains, we were easily talked into splitting the Prime Fox River 600g tenderloin (really, almost too much for two people), priced at AED465. What I loved best about the beef was the table side presentation, a unique offering in the landscape of steakhouses in the Emirates. Essentially, the chef cooks the protein to a certain temperature and then brings over a small grill to finish the cook. He dresses the steak and leaves the grill at the table. Overall, the interaction with the chef adds a memorable touch to the experience. Across the table, our guests decided that Wagyu was in their future and opt for the Strip Loin Grade 7+ (a very reasonable AED250). As only good friends can do, we decided to divvy up the proteins and sides across the table, so that everyone could try everything. And, in further agreement of our level of friendship, unanimously decide that all meat was to be served at medium rare. Full points should also be given for presentation and portion sizes of the side dishes (each priced conservatively at AED25). We made quick work of everything, before a tempting tray of The Grill Specialty (AED60, a notch too far) was presented. Splitting a piece of pastry each, this is one I would definitely go back for. The dessert wasn’t the slightest bit too heavy, and the right level of sweetness.
Would I go back? While I do love the property, it still feels a bit out of the way to make a special trip to. For friends near Al Bandar, I think it’s easily worth the trip, but from Saadiyat or on island, it feels a bit too far (especially when there are multiple restaurants with similar offers and price points available). Don’t get me wrong, the steak was perfect, and the service was above average, but Butcher & Still is still my top venue in the capital.
Where is your favorite steak place in Abu Dhabi?
A to Za’atar was a guest of The Grill. Opinions are my own, just ask my husband.