West 14th – how would you like your steak cooked?
Dubai, December 3, 2010; There are few things in life that beat a good, juicy, tender steak, or so FooDiva thinks. So with West 14th, the latest addition to Dubai’s steakhouse repertoire recently opened on Palm Jumeirah, FooDiva’s carnivorous palate and two like-minded friends paid a visit.
Firstly, always check a restaurant’s website before booking, as I discovered a great two for the price of one steak offer – valid every evening and at lunchtime too (as long as you pre-book with the promotional code). Located in Oceana Beach Club and operated by Swiss hotel chain, Movenpick, West 14th, is a tad confusing to find, so unlike me, please take note of their website instructions. It will save you going round the Palm twice…anyhow, important news first, West 14th is indeed licenced, so perhaps catch a cab instead or walk if you’re lucky enough to live on the island.
I had booked an al fresco table without realising that with the french windows removed, indoor is pretty much outdoor, so we opted for a table further inside with comfier high-backed leather chairs, whilst still taking in Oceana’s infinity pool and the Jumeirah skyline. The restaurant is hugely open-planned and flanked on either side by a bar. West 14th, aptly named after Brooklyn’s butcher street, promises a New York prime cut experience. Let’s see.
We started off with two of their signature appetisers; pacific crab cake and beef carpaccio ‘tataki’ style, plus a spinach salad. We were ravenous and glad to see all three arrive pretty promptly, otherwise we would have devoured a second helping of warm, fresh bread. My crab cakes arrived as a mini trio, topped with a relish of creamed corn, red beet and chilli corn; the crab was evidently freshly caked, and the sweet and spiciness of the relish was a refreshing accompaniment. The beef carpaccio according to my Italian friend and chef was not the right cut, but all the same he couldn’t dispute the great taste. It would be hard to go wrong with a spinach salad, and they didn’t – this one was accompanied with grilled halloumi, toasted pecan nuts and raspberries.
Surprise, surprise we all ordered US Black Angus tenderloin, corn fed for 180 days, but you can opt for other US cuts, plus Australian should you wish. And if you’re not a red meat fan, there’s a small selection of fish and poultry dishes, as there are vegetarian options. We chose two portions of city fries, one mashed potato, plus one green asparagus.
West 14th has two lovely touches; you’re able to select your preferred steak knife (I’ve only ever seen this done in Dubai at Al Qasr’s MJ’s), and a mustard trolley also arrives.
It was a long, long wait until our beef arrived, but once there, the steaks were cooked rare as per our order – incredibly good cut and tender but slightly luke warm, to be expected with rare, but no doubt not helped by the fact that I had to take umpteen photos of the dishes before digging in. Gosh my friends must hate dining with me, it’s always such a processs…my hollandaise sauce was so delicious I scooped it all out very swiftly.
The fries were in fact chunky chips but undercooked, whilst the asparagus was perfectly al dente with a dash of bearnaise.
I did say we were hungry, so naturally we were eager to sample the desserts.
The apple crumble caught my eye – I was expecting a traditional baked crumble dish, but instead I was presented with thickly sliced apples topped with warm crumble and accompanied by vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce. You’d never think this presentation would work, but it did, and somehow I convinced myself it was healthier.
The second dessert was a selection of wild berries topped with a lemon sorbet – and just what my guest expected. Our meal for three with a bottle of red and water amounted to AED 976 (remember one steak was thrown in for free).
Overall we were pleased with the quality and presentation of the food, but the service requires a tad more attention. Clearly West 14th benefits from Oceana’s residents, but if you’re after a good steak at a good price point in a relaxed setting, then everyone should visit.