Abu Dhabi is a city awash with ladies nights! Meaning that ladies have the option of free drinks on practically any night of the week in the capital. The marketing strategy relies on a venue full of women with the purpose of attracting men to spend money, but what happens if you flip the concept on its head?
JW Steakhouse at the Marriott Downtown have done just that with the launch of their Tuesday Gent’s Night and while the drinks unfortunately aren’t free, the award-winning steakhouse has implemented a very attractive offer to accommodate a refined night out for the lads – 50% off either your chosen meat cut or a bottle of house grape. It’s as simple as that!
In the eighteen months since we last visited, JW Steakhouse has undergone a period of change with the departure of Chef de Cuisine Stephan Benkendorff and the addition of a new lounge area in front of the restaurant space, where a small bar area has been constructed amidst leather armchairs and cow hide rugs. It’s a pleasing spot for a pre-dinner drink before moving into the familiar dining room. A hybrid of traditional steakhouse expectations and contemporary touches. We’re seated comfortably in a secluded nook, where we are able to observe both the open show kitchen and the traffic chaos at a busy junction on the road below.
Our previous visit to the American steakhouse revolved around a Chef’s Tasting Menu which remain a rarity in Abu Dhabi. On this occasion our dining experience is a little different. Geared more towards simplicity than showmanship and before we even glimpse the menu, we’re whisked to the back of the restaurant and into JW’s new wine tasting room.
Flanked on either side by glass wine cabinets. The tasting room is atmospherically decorated with barrels and corks and we are led through an extensive tasting by the restaurant manager come sommelier. Using the Coravin device (in which a needle is inserted into the bottle to extract the wine without pulling the cork) we were able to try a variety of red wines. An approach that we certainly appreciated in finding a wine that was right for us and believe will pay dividends as a unique USP among the saturated steakhouse market of Abu Dhabi.
With Malbec selected, we retreat back to the table to gorge on the homemade breads (onion and cornbread) accompanied by three varieties of butter — salted, smoked paprika and chilli.
Aware of the generous portion sizes we skip the appetisers altogether and head straight for the meat! A selection of premium cuts sourced from specialized farms around the world. Selecting the USDA Certified Prime Angus Beef 250g Tenderloin (AED 205 before the 50% gents’ discount) and the Westholme Australian Wagyu 350g Ribeye (AED 398 before discount) we’re pleased with our choices. Both cuts are cooked to our desired medium-rare and arrive nicely charred on the outside and wonderfully tender within.
Served upon wooden boards adorned with the heads of silver bulls, both steaks are packed full fo flavour to a point where the accompanying sauces are rendered rather unnecessary (the idea of providing a tasting of five sauces is certainly appreciated though). For sides we would recommend both the Crispy Onion Rings (AED 35) and creamy Lobster Mac N Cheese (AED 48). The Loaded Baked Potato (AED 36) however gets a pass, for it was a touch too dry.
No visit to a JW Steakhouse is complete without the restaurants signature New York Cheesecake, a dish served on all the JW menus worldwide. Here the dish is presented slightly differently with a thick Graham cracker crust and soothing filling complemented by a sweet raspberry coulis that is easily enough for two people to share.
With Steakhouses often regarded as expensive places to dine this new Tuesday promotion for gentleman certainly makes dining at JW Steakhouse an affordable mid-week option. It may be more classical than the likes of new kid on the block The Oak Room or the ever-popular Butcher & Still but JW Steakhouse shouldn’t be overlooked.
Let’s hope more establishments around town roll out promotions for the lads! For why should the girls have all the fun!
Location: Marriott Downtown Hotel, Old Airport Road, Al Wahda, Abu Dhabi
Social: Instagram / Facebook / Twitter
Hours: 6pm – 1am
Phone: +971 2 304 7777
Out & About UAE were guests of JW Steakhouse. All views are our own and photographs are © Out & About UAE.
The Verdict: JW Steakhouse
The launch of the Tuesday gents’ night in conjunction with an already successful chefs tasting menu provides diners with another reason to take this often overlooked steakhouse in the heart of downtown for a spin.