I’ve been purposefully trying to broaden my horizons in the past few months and discover new places. With Dubai’s ever growing food scene, there’s always a new spot waiting to be tried.
And while I’m a homebody and enjoy a good home cooked meal, there’s one thing I can never say no to – a steakhouse! I spent 22 years of my life not eating beef and now I spend all my time making up for it! A few
weeks months back (this post has been languishing in my drafts for a while!), I visited West 14th Steakhouse on Palm Jumeirah for a chat, demo and of course lots of steak sampling.
West 14th has a reputation of being one of Dubai’s best steakhouses so I naturally wanted to see what the fuss is about. Located in the Oceana Beach Club, it’ll be a part of the soon-to-open Dukes Dubai hotel. And while the restaurant management has changed, I can see why this is a favorite amongst meat lovers.
I got a chance to sample several cuts of meat of both US and Wagyu beef. From my limited knowledge, I know that Wagyu tends to be the “better” one and as a result it is more expensive. But I was pleasantly surprised to see the chefs at West 14th not exclusively pushing Wagyu, but encouraging you to go with what your palette prefers.
Wagyu is essentially a type of cow breed with its origins from Japan. Wagyu meat now ends up coming from different parts of the world, with Australian Wagyu being the most common in Dubai. Apart from Wagyu, standard US meat is very popular. The main difference in the two types of meat is the marbling of fat, which gives Wagyu a richer, more buttery taste. And while some people think Wagyu is better, US meat is much more consistent. Thus if you’re at a good restaurant – like West 14th – whether it’s Wagyu or American steak – they can both be pretty good. From my sampling experience, I enjoyed some of the US cuts more as sometimes the fat in the Wagyu can get overwhelming.
When it comes to cuts, I’m a bit of a novice and tend to stick to the classic Tenderloin. But after sampling a few different cuts, I left with better understanding.
- Tenderloin – classic, most tender and preferred by women
- Fillet – popular here but isn’t as versatile in terms of cooking and flavors
- Sirloin – personally, this was my least favorite
- T-Bone – a mix of multiple cuts if you want to try multiple cuts at once
- Rib Eye – One I would normally avoid, but this was a new discovery and my personal favorite of the night
While those are primary cuts, secondary cuts can be extremely flavorful (and cost effective). One of my favorite dishes of the evening was a Beef Cheek. This had such a melt-in-your-mouth quality that I’d return to West 14th just for this!
Since I had the chefs attention, I asked a few more questions:
- Grain vs Grass fed. While you’ll hear a lot of positive things about grass-fed meat, grain-fed meat is a lot more consistent. Hence you’re more likely to get the same experience and value for grain-fed.
- What to do with a bloody steak? It’s a misconception that rare = bloody. A bloody steak usually means that post-cooking, the steak hasn’t been let to sit. Ideally, it’s important to give both steps and equal amount of time, i.e. if you cook a steak for 5 minutes, it needs to sit for 5 minutes for the cooking process to complete and the juices to set. And don’t be afraid to send a steak back if you aren’t happy with its condition.
While I’m far from an expert on all things meat related, I walked away from West14th a lot more confident and of course, well-fed. If you’re a meat novice or an expert, West 14th should be one of the destinations you head to. Since this tasting/education session, I’ve been applying my knowledge at other steakhouses, but West 14th still remains one of my top choices in Dubai.
However, West 14th’s location is a bit tricky and it’s easy to miss the exit so pay special attention while following Google Maps. And with a spectacular outdoor setting, this would be an excellent venue for the cooler months. West 14th have also recently announced their new Surf & Turf brunch who like their meat and seafood. Every Friday from 12:30-3:30 pm, get unlimited food and soft drinks for AED 195, plus 50% off on house beverage.