"Great steaks, super-sized portions, and hefty prices"Review Rating: Reviewed by Leila
On a quest for filling, indulgent food that would warm up a January night I came to JW Steakhouse. The steaks, burgers, crab cakes and other hearty American favourites on the menu suggest this is the ideal restaurant for comfort/post-boozing food, however the easy listening background music and groups of men in suits give away that we’re in plush hotel. The fact that this happens to be the Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane means it is also a very expensive place to fill up on steak.
It’s just as well that everything is super-sized, from the flaky chunks of crab meat in the lovely, buttery Maryland crab cake to the flat disc-shaped onion rings, served in a spiral tower. A large rectangular slab of tasty tuna tartare comes smothered in a guacamole-like dressing with a piece of crispbread on top, and the complimentary bread is so soft and cakey we can’t get enough of it.
Then we come to the steaks. JW offer two types of beef: grass-fed Aberdeen Angus, or corn-fed Kansas Black Angus, the more marbled of the two. The filet Oscar, made with American beef, is lean and juicy, with a smoky flavour on the outside, topped with big flakes of crab meat and crunchy asparagus in a creamy Béarnaise sauce. In short, it’s beautiful. My partner in crime orders the 32oz Tomahawk steak; that’s almost a kilo of Scottish beef served on a bone apt for clubbing someone over the head and dragging them back to your cave. It too has a delicious charcoal flavouring, and somewhat surprisingly not a morsel is left.
We (just about) tuck into thin frites and a curious dish of Bourbon sweet potato mash. The menu states it has a marshmallow crust, but surely not? It is in fact covered in the sweet white fluff, almost meringue-like where parts of it have crisped up. The Bourbon infusion is interesting, but the whole thing is far too saccharine.
Despite being well aware of American eating habits, nothing prepares us for the dessert. Perhaps the £10 price tag should have given it away, but the cheesecake is the size of a cantaloupe melon. The creamy bit is topped with raspberries and surrounded by a wall of biscuit; it ends up in a doggy bag and takes three further sittings to finish. The whoopie pies are less successful, a little like Oreos but spongier and tasting of little other than sugary dough. They are meant to be dunked in the accompanying Bailey’s milkshake, which just makes them sickly.
Bearing in mind the colossal portions, a three course meal for two with wine is around £200. Take a huge appetite, and a large wad of cash.
Leila reviewed JW Steakhouse on Mon 16 Jan 2012