If you’ve been following my entries on our trip to New York, you would know that M and I were floored by the steak we had at Peter Luger Steakhouse and that we have been on the lookout for a similar experience in London.
We tried Hawksmoor a couple of months ago, and ended up deeply disappointed despite the hype and popularity amongst steak-lovers here. Just two months ago, having recovered from our disappointment, we braved another attempt to look for good steak here, and we thought we kinda found it at Sophie’s. It was good, and I would go back to Sophie’s again, but it wasn’t Peter Luger-esque.
Being foodies, it’s always heart-wrenching when we have a bad meal. Seriously. I sulk, and lament at the insane amount of money spent on a blah meal, and go on to curse the owners, chefs, whatever. It is difficult to live life as a student in London, and I just want to, as I always say to M, use my ammo wisely.
Early this month, I gave my final year seminar to bigwigs, and was relieved that it was all over. Couple of months back, I received a mailer announcing the arrival of a steakhouse that serves USDA Prime beef, the very same steak that makes it to the kitchen of Peter Luger Steakhouse. It was pretty much 1+1 for us to make a reservation at JW Steakhouse to celebrate this milestone in my PhD journey, so off we went, famished, greedy and really, really hopeful.
It wasn’t difficult to locate JW Steakhouse, it’s right on Park Lane in Grosvenor House. To our surprise, it was far from bustling and it was already 8pm. I was….apprehensive and wondered if we made the wrong decision. Well, too late for cold feet now, especially since the waitress was eager to show us to our table.
JW Steakhouse is furnished with dark wood, and has plenty of light coming through the windows; it reminded me of an exclusive country club, which was nice. Service was prompt, friendly and helpful. So far so good, except for the barely-filled restaurant….
We went through the menu with the waitress, and my first thought was everything looked good, but expensive. She took us through the specials on the board, and we made our decisions rather quickly with her help.
We started off with some kind of a savoury brioche served in a warm pan. I don’t really like bread (the only carbo I don’t fancy) and usually roll my eyes at them, but this was amazing. The brioche was warm, very buttery, lightly flavoured with herbs and salt and wonderfully soft. I had to stop myself from devouring the entire portion; we had a lot of food coming up.
Then we moved on to a tower of the JW onion rings served with a spicy ketchup. The breadcrumb batter was crisp, and the sweet onions were thickly sliced, very addictive and incredibly filling! If I were to make a comparison, I would still prefer the thinly sliced onions rings at Peter Luger, I have a weakness for shoestring fries and onion rings. M loved and preferred the version at JW Steakhouse.
Lump crab on ice was next on our repertoire. As the name implies, we didn’t have to dig and hunt our way through the crevices of crab to get any meat. It was all done for us and served in a cute glass. Very succulent crab meat, but being Singaporean, I still like my crab hot and spicy. I also thought it was a little expensive to pay £14 for ready-peeled chunks of crab meat, but oh well, at least it was good.
Then we welcomed the star(s) of the day to our table. It was a feast for the eyes. The porterhouse was beautifully charred and so sexy, I wanted to strip it to the bone, all 900 grams of it. Our greedy evil twins even ordered a 6-oz filet, for fear that 900 grams of meat wouldn’t be enough. So between the two of us, we had more than a kilogram of steak…
Both cuts were truly incredible. We went for medium rare, the only way we like our steak, and the meat was succulent and velvety. The flavour and good marbling spoke only of top-notch quality that belonged to USDA Prime beef. We ate it with smashed morsels of caramelised garlic, and they were perfect, with and without.
For our sides, we went on a rampage and ordered cheddar mac ‘n cheese and hand cut Maris Piper chips. Both were really well done, although the mac ‘n cheese could have done with more salt.
It was unfortunate that we failed to finish the feast we came for. We simply ordered too much, even for our hungry and gluttony selves! Most of the dishes were so good that we simply over-ate on every account. We had to force ourselves to finish up the steak and sacrifice the sides. My advice is to go with a bunch of hungry foodies, if you want to have a taste of everything. I was really gutted that I couldn’t go for dessert, there was simply no space. But steak this good only meant one thing…we’re coming back and we’re bringing an army with us!
JW Steakhouse is located at:
86 Park Lane, London W1K 7TL
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