August 1, 2016 / Leave a Comment
Stepping into what might be Dubai’s most majestic hotel lobby, you just know what’s coming has got to be good.
I’m rather happy that one of my all time favourite hotel brands, St. Regis, has finally graced Dubai with it’s presence – it’s about time really! Part of the Al Habtoor City complex that includes the new W and soon to be opened Westin, Starwood’s latest project is really sweeping into Dubai in grand fashion.
My first taste of St. Regis’ signature restaurants is J&G Steakhouse, led by Chef Daniel Ferreira, imported from St. Regis’ sprawling Abu Dhabi property on Saadiyat Island. Resplendent in shades of dark brown, the leather and wood interior is old world masculine through and through – the perfect setting for our night of red meat and red wine.
We are at J&G to try out the Tomahawk Thursday promotion, and it’s a goody. AED850 will take care of dinner for two in style – you’ll get a bottle of wine, 2 appetizers, 2 sides and a dessert to share. Oh, and of course a dino sized Australian Black Onyx/Ranger Valley Tomahawk 1.4 kilo steak.
To start things off we are presented a rather delicious and rather large serving of sweet bread (not to be confused with sweetbreads) shaped like a muffin. I really enjoyed the taste of the bread (I mean who doesn’t enjoy sweet bread with a
lot bit of salt and butter) but with the muffin shape I started to feel like I was actually eating a muffin as the sweetness level wasn’t far off. Great bread and butter but I’d feel less guilty eating it if it was served as small rolls instead of muffin shaped servings. Do it for my conscience, would ya?
Now just a note to keep in mind here – the menu is pre-determined (not available online however) so I’d advise calling/emailing ahead and finding out what the menu will be on your chosen date if you’re not one for surprises. Personally I like to gather this intel before making dinner plans but that’s just me. For our visit, appetisers included a quinoa, avocado and duck speck salad and a lobster ravioli.
I can’t find the quinoa salad on the menu and it did feel like a dish created to fit this promotion rather than a dish that would stand up on a menu by itself. The crispy quinoa was lovely though and the duck speck too, but we did get some chunks of unripe avocado which shouldn’t have made it onto the plate – you can feel the resistance when chopping unripe avocado so it would have been known to whomever made the dish. A pleasant plate on the whole but I feel it was missing an extra component to complete the dish.
Our ravioli was of the squash variety rather than lobster as we to substitute out the original menu option due to dietary requirements. Certainly this dish was rather satisfying and we made sure we scooped up every last drop of the creamy green sauce (I did find the addition of pumpkin seeds a tad too earthy however). The pasta was cooked very well, though having three ravioli on the plate did make it a little tricky to share the portion. I’m getting a little over this whole ‘three’ thing especially when dishes are designed to share.
AUSTRALIAN BLACK ONYX/RANGER VALLEY
1,4 kg Tomahawk for Two
Ceremoniously wheeled to our table on a chopping board trolley, this steak is a whopper. 1.4kg with the bone, 1kg without, to be precise. It might pay to make Thursday ‘legs day’ before heading to J&G to take on this beast, it’s for the seriously protein minded. Plump, juicy and cooked to perfection (medium rare was the request), this was a delicious steak indeed. With a marbling score of 5, we aren’t heading into marble-freak here territory but nonetheless you’d be hard pressed to be unhappy about the quality of this beef.
Pair the quality with the quantity and this mammoth steak gets a big thumbs up.
The sides were a crowd pleaser too (should that be a ‘company’ pleaser given there was only two, not three of us?), today’s selection being snap peas and mac & cheese. Both really well executed and great accompaniments for the gargantuan Tomahawk.
Being that these components were so well done, it was surprising that J&G’s sauces seriously let the side down. Sauces are so key at a steak house – and these ones need a total overhaul. The smoked chili condiment was the only palatable one amongst the bunch and was a reasonable fit with the snap peas, taking my tastebuds on a brief Asian inspired interlude, but the béarnaise was awful, the peppercorn had a strange flavour to it and the black pepper condiment tasted more like something I’d expect to come across at a tiny restaurant somewhere in a back alley in China. Unusually containing fermented black beans (so we were told), this one sent me recoiling when I foolishly added a large dollop to my steak. Aye carumba. No red wine jus on the menu disappointingly, and I had to give the house sauce a miss due to it containing seafood (a little unusual again). Oh how I’d love to give the sauces an overhaul at J&G. So, it was left to the macaroni cheese to provide the ‘sauce’ for the dish, luckily it did a pretty good job of pulling some serious weight rounding out the plate.
The red wine that was included in the package, the Lindeman’s Cawarra Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon, was rather delish and thoroughly enjoyed by all. The staff had no problem decanting it for us too which was great. The wine was poured in minuscule amounts however which meant someone was at our table topping up the glasses much too frequently, it felt like every second word out of my mouth between bites was ‘thank you’.
Dessert was the deliciously decadent Warm Chocolate Cake and paired with a divine coconut milk sorbet, this was like an elevated Bounty bar on a plate. An oozing centre sent the decadence metre sky high and our only complaint here is that we wanted more! The husband was sad to see it disappear and commented that a couple of extra morsels to make this into a dessert sharing platter would have pleased him immensely. Even though we were pretty full, I tend to agree.
The Tomahawk Thursday promotion at St. Regis’ J&G Steakhouse is certainly a winner – with the steak costing 670dhs alone, you’re essentially getting the starters and bottle of wine for free. With how Dubai prices run, that’s a discount that can’t be sniffed at, especially at a new establishment. It’s a great way to sample what J&G has to offer before returning for a freestyle spin around the menu. (Just please work on those sauces before I return, would you guys?)