Review: The Oak Room
A fantastic steakhouse in a stunning setting…
Over the years, we’ve heard some strange things at the dinner table and “Hi, I’m the meat sommelier” is definitely one of them. “Is that a real thing?” we ask, without ever really discovering the answer.
But despite being just a very unusual way of saying ‘butcher’, our meat sommelier really does know a thing or two about what makes a great steak. And so he should, after being trained by two Michelin-starred chef, Tom Aiken, who is the mastermind behind the menus for all three of the hotel’s signature restaurants.
The Oak Room is Abu Dhabi EDITION’s American diner cum British steakhouse, and the balance is perfect. Heavy leather furniture is scattered across the hardwood flooring, while retro photos of iconic sixties superstars adorn the walls under the glow of an oversized metallic dome lamp shade.
Not only is there a meat sommelier but a wine version too, on hand to ease any struggles guests might have with the extensive list. Spread across an A3 broadsheet is the dinner menu, featuring starters, mains, sides, desserts and cocktails all in one.
We choose the mains first and the starters as an afterthought, but they didn’t deserve to be. The seared hand dived scallops (Dhs140) awoke our senses with the most unusual mix of flavours, including curry powder and a mesmerising yellow foam.
We also try the Loch Fyne Salmon (Dhs90) which comes with beetroot three ways. From the impeccable presentation to the seemingly impossible way of making beetroot tastier than salmon, we’re impressed.
Upon the advice of our butcher, we choose one of the speciality steaks. The overall experience is theatrical without being cliché, and we’re made to feel part of the process as we’re asked to choose the weight of our steak knife. Excitedly we oblige, having no clue about the difference it makes to our meal.
The chateaubriand (Dhs560) is a 500-gram piece of pure angus tenderloin, marinated in a special recipe of herbs for at least 24 hours. It comes with creamy truffle mash and crispy shallots and could easily have been enough for two.
The black onyx 300-gram tenderloin (Dhs300) is cut from the same meat as the chateaubriand, so it’s equally as tender and juicy – melting in the mouth after just one bite.
Greedily, we also couldn’t pass on the chance to try the signature mac n cheese (Dhs90). The bubbling pot of crispy coated pasta arrived submerged in a flavourful pool of stretchy cheese. The highlight inside though, had to be the hidden pockets of pulled beef short rib which perfectly complimented the gooey side dish.
Despite our full stomachs protesting, we order a sticky toffee date pudding (Dhs40) to share and the entire plate was soon devoured. A true taste of British comfort food, the warm sticky pud balanced with sweet toffee ice-cream is just what we needed to end a perfect evening on an ultimate high.