JW's Steakhouse

Does one of Doha's most beloved steak restaurants stand the test of time? Discuss this article

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Does one of Qatar’s most beloved steakhouses stand the test of time?

There’s been a rash of steakhouses opening in the last year. Serving up heaping helpings of fancy sides, intricate sauces and meat that was probably massaged by leprechauns while being fed peeled grapes when it was still a cow. So how does one of Qatar’s older venues stack up? JW’s Steakhouse has been holding court in the Doha Marriott for years, and it’s so well liked that there are little plaques on the ends of the tables, marking the preferred tables of people who eat there multiple times a week.

That’s serious commitment to cow. The interior is basically a room incarnation of your father’s suede jacket: all leather and dim lighting and nice smells. Their chairs are giant armchairs that we’re sort of surprised don’t recline (and the staff know this: they line up behind our seats to help shove our heavy chairs into the table). But that’s where the fru fru ends. There’s no superfluous table decoration, no layers of forks and glasses and what-on-earth-is-this-on-my-plate stuff at JW’s. We feel comfortable, like we don’t necessarily need our company manners.

Which is good because all table graces go out the window the minute the bread arrived. Fresh baked and served in a cute little flower-pot-looking bowl, it’s hot and herby and topped with butter it’s just fantastic. They don’t need amuse bouches that arrive spewing dry ice and wizardry: they’ve given us the smell of fresh bread and for that we salute them. We try really hard not to spoil our dinner (seriously this is tough: that bread is good) until our starters arrive: onion soup for me and Caesar salad for my friend. Now, my friend is what some people call ‘picky’ but which I prefer to think of as ‘discerning’. Or maybe just the sort of person who has to dissect every element of her meal before she eats it. Which makes the table side salad prep sort of perfect: she can direct exactly how her salad is made, and know everything they put in there. It’s a good, old fashioned twist and we wish more people still did it. My onion soup too is definitely harkening back to a simpler time, a simple onion soup topped with cheese and bread: it’s not trying to strangle me with strings of cheese, and nor did they fuss it up with weird modernizations. Julia Child would be pleased by this soup.

And then, onwards to mains. I get the USA rib eye, after the server recommends it as a flavourful steak, my friend gets the filet mignon. Mine is an absolute slab of meat, a hunk of cow glistening up at me daring me to attempt to consume it all. ‘You want the cow? You can’t handle the cow!’. It’s tasty and simple, again not overly seasoned or fussed with. It reminds me of steaks my grandmother used to make. My friend is equally pleased with hers, both nice cooked.

Since the first time I dined at JW’s, I’ve been all about their sides and those don’t let us down either. Each steak comes with a side, so we go for the mashed potatoes and the onion rings, then throw on the sautéed mushrooms and asparagus just because clearly there isn’t enough food on our table yet. Oh JW’s, thank you for resisting the temptation to let a chef go wild with the seasonings. The asparagus is just asparagus, little bit of butter, done. The mashed potatoes haven’t been infused with anything: they’re solid, they’re creamy, they’re tasty and I would like to lick the spoon please. The mushrooms are intensely flavourful, grilled and delicious and I would eat a bowl of them on their own. But the onion rings, oh, what beauty found in the deep fryer. What light through yonder window breaks, it is the east and these onion rings are the sun. They’re thin cut (so you don’t end up with that escaping onion trailing down your chin and a handful of empty deep fried shell), they’re crunchy and salty and more. Just more. Bring them to me now.

Stuffed and groaning, we still proceed to dessert. Why? Because they bring around a tray with dessert examples. This is sort of gross, I’m not going to lie. Some of the desserts have obviously either been around for a while, are covered in shellac, or are in fact made of plastic. Yummy (sarcastic eyebrows of distain). Dessert trolley to tempt me tableside? Yes. Tray of fossilized sweets? No. Unless you’re Miss Havisham that’s not going to appeal, thanks. Anyway, once we make our selections, the actual desserts are thankfully less pretend. I get the cheesecake, my friend the chocolate cake.

Seriously JW’s, thank you for not screwing around. After months of fancy this and fancy that, it’s a relief to be given a simple slab of baked cheesecake topped with cream, and a melt in the mouth chocolate cake that’s just chocolate cake. Oh sure, it comes with chocolate sauce (which you need to immediately pour all over the plate and potentially yourself as it. Is. Awesome), but that’s the end of it. And I do mean slab: these are huge and in fact my friend takes half of hers home! Considering the price for the meal is still significantly lower than what other steakhouses are offering, and the food is equally as scrumptious, we can see why all those people have their names on the tables.

So, if you’re looking for a steak without the elaborate song and dance, this is the place for you. Just be careful not to bite into anything from that dessert tray.

The bill (for two)
1x Water QR16
1x Caeser salad QR50
1x Onion soup QR50
1x USA Mignon 180g QR210
1x USA Ribeye 400g QR225
1x Sauteed mushroom QR30
1x Asparagus QR30
2x Pepsi QR36
1x Chocolate layer cake QR45
1x NY cheesecake QR45
1x Café latte QR27
Total QR764

By Time Out Doha staff
Time Out Doha,

Time Out reviews restaurants anonymously and pays for meals. Of course, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or independence of user reviews.

Details

  • Location: Doha Marriott, Khulaifat, Doha
  • Tel: 4429 8888
  • Travel: Al Mutawakil Street
  • Website | Send mail

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