London is packed to the rafters with steakhouses and it can sometimes be a headache to find one that stands out from the rest. JW Steakhouse claim to be “experts in steak” (quite a claim), but we are happy to report our visit was a real triumph and we can truly declare the JW Steakhouse one of our favourite places for steak in the Capital. If you are looking for a high-end steakhouse, with lots of character, on-point staff and a with a true American influence, then we suggest you read on.
So, how do the steaks stack up? JW Steakhouse offers two types of beef in its strong repertoire. Their USDA (United States Department Agriculture) beef comes to you all the way from Creekstone in the USA. But they also offer Butcher’s British Cuts from local family suppliers, Macken Brothers of Chiswick. Macken Brothers provide superior, quality grass fed Aberdeen Angus Beef for a beefy flavour and delicate texture. The choice of meats on offer allows the real steak specialist to indulge and really test their taste buds for transatlantic nuisances.
In addition to an elegant setting and an extensive steak centric menu, the JW Steakhouse (we will call it JWS for short!), has one of the largest bourbon bars in the big smoke. With over 160 rare, pre prohibition, single barrel and small batch Bourbons, there is something for the novice and the connoisseur. A series of innovative tasting flights are also available and their very own Jim Beam Single Barrel (handpicked from the Jim Beam distillery in Clermont, Kentucky), guests can also enjoy a truly unique flavour that can’t be experienced anywhere else in the world. If you are a bourbon fan, you will be hard pushed to find anything this comprehensive in the UK.
We were lucky enough to visit JWS on a sunny spring day and this allowed for oodles of light to fall through the restaurant’s high windows. The scene was set and so were we – it was time to taste the menu. To begin our JWS lunch time experience, we went for two of the JW signature starters. The first of which was the JW Maryland Style Lump Crab Cake (pictured below, £14) with an old bay tartar.
The first thing to note about the crab cake was the succulent sweetness of the crab and also the sumptuous size of the portion. There was just so much crab crammed into this starter it felt truly luxurious and special. We will certainly be ordering this again in the future. Another starter we tried, the Fried Calamari, also came with the tartar and was also a hit.
Perfectly cooked calamari in a thin, crispy batter went well with the saltiness of the tartar. All in all, the starters were a very, very encouraging sign of the food to come.
Embarking on our main, we were encouraged to go for the Porterhouse cut from the JW Steakhouse Cuts board. This board of steak connoisseur’s favourites (pictured below), is where you will find their finest steaks, including the JW signature Tomahawk Rib Eye, an eye-wateringly large offering.
Our waiter seemed very passionate and informed, so we took the recommendation and went for the 1 kilogram Porterhouse. In order to maximise the wow factor, we also went for the blue cheese crust (just £3 extra) and two Grilled Jumbo Shrimp (£8).
Take a look at the fantastic results below:
JWS describes this cut as follows: “this highly prized ‘on the bone’ cut is like getting two steaks in one. A slice of buttery tenderloin on one side of the bone and a juicy, well-marbled top loin on the other, these steaks offer up the best of both worlds.” We have to say the marbling on the one side worked terrifically well with the light, buttery texture of the opposite side and combined for delectable results. The meat, although seemingly a little daunting due to its size on first arrival, melted away in the mouth and oozed wonderful flavour. This may be partly down to the JWS 650C Broiler (which seals the meat for the ultimate taste), and it may also be down to the upmost quality of the cut. Also, the blue cheese crust gave the steak wonderful punch and richness to boot. We would highly recommend the shrimp element, as they were cooked perfectly and seasoned for the perfect porterhouse ensemble. A collection of fine sides finished off the main, with the JWS towering onion rings and velvety creamed spinach being our highlights.
A perfect match for the steak was also introduced to us by our waiter; this was the Catena Malbec (Mendoza, Argentina, 2012, £46 a bottle). Catena Malbec is made from grapes grown in the Catena’s higher altitude vineyards. The higher altitude allows for longer ripening period and in effect finer aromatics to develop within the grapes. This Malbec (plucked from the JWS cellar below), was the perfect choice and worked wonderfully well with the steak and stood up strongly to the blue cheese topping. As you may have picked up, we were very kindly guided through our meal by the wonderful staff at JWS and we were happy to take their recommendations where possible. Extensive knowledge of their product, produce used and a real passion for the food shone through. At JWS, service was charming and helpful, rather than over bearing and over attentive.
For desert, we were once again kindly nudged towards the JW Cheesecake (£14). According to JWS, this cheesecake has gained cult status and some even claim it’s the best cheesecake “this side of the pond”.
With so much buzz about this desert, we were keen to give it a go and we were hoping not to be let down. Fortunately, we were blown away by this authentic, creamy, moreish and downright delicious cheesecake. Usually cheesecakes can be a little dull and drab, but not this one – we can now see what all the fuss is about!
To book your JW Steakhouse experience, visit: http://www.jwsteakhouse.co.uk/
Disclosure: For this blog post we were able to gain access to a sample product or service.
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