Dining: JW Steakhouse

I’ve been meaning to write this post for such a looooong time, and feel awful that I haven’t, as I’ve been keeping it a secret from you lovely lot!  Anyway, I’ve finally written it, and even if you’re not a carnivore, then I urge you to hotfoot it here anyway so you can sample the most incredible cheesecake I have ever tasted…and believe me, I’ve tried A LOT!  I might* have even sneaked a few mouthfuls for breakfast…..

You can find this gem of a restaurant in The Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane.  Being in situ on Park Lane, this place obviously isn’t cheap, but it’s worth every penny in my opinion.

We’ve been here twice for lunch and twice for supper, and never have we been disappointed.  (The only other restaurant I’m this loyal to, when our time in the UK is so precious, is Nobu.) The lunch and dinner menus differ, and whilst neither is extensive, whatever we’ve chosen has always been cooked to perfection.  The lunch menu offers lighter fare:  salads, sandwiches etc.  Whilst the dinner one has more substantial dishes available.  Our most recent visit was for lunch for my father-in-law’s birthday.  When I made the booking, JW Steakhouse asked if it was a special occasion and I said it was a birthday celebration, and didn’t think anything of it.

When we arrived, they had sweetly decorated the table with balloons and birthday confetti on the table.  A small touch that most definitely started our lunch off on the right foot.  The service is impeccable.  Nothing is too much trouble for the staff, who have the knack of making you feel as if you’re the only diners in the restaurant.  The Restaurant Manager came over to welcome us, and Giovanni our waiter for the day, was fabulous!  He was ebullient and chatty, yet managed to strike the balance between being friendly and professional, yet not being over-bearing, intrusive or too familiar.  He should set-up a waiter training school!

The restaurant is a large and spacious room – very like many American steakhouses we’ve visited – with floor to ceiling windows looking out onto a terrace that has views of Park Lane and in the distance, Hyde Park.  One of the Domestic Prince’s bugbears when eating out is the proximity of tables – thankfully, this isn’t an issue in JW Steakhouse.  The tables are close enough to each other to feel busy and bustling, but far enough apart that you don’t feel the next table is part of your conversation.  The perfect balance.

Image credit: JW Steakhouse

For some silly reason that morning we’d had a late breakfast (I know, what were we thinking?!), so in light of this, we didn’t have any starters, plus I was saving space for the cheesecake!

There were so many dishes I fancied as my main that unusually for me, I struggled to choose. I ended up opting for the Steak and Bourbon pie (another pie, I know!) and mash.  It was delicious.  Packed with chunks of tender steak and a rich-gravy with a hint of bourbon.  I’m a bit fussy when it comes to mash, so the mash is probably perfect to normal beings, but for this princess, I felt it needed some more butter, a dollop of cream and a good shake of the salt cellar. The Domestic Prince ordered  some grilled asparagus to go with his 6oz fillet, which was divine.  The Prince’s steak was cooked to perfection and could only be described as “melt in the mouth”.  My mother-in-law went for the Fish and Chips that was probably the best fish and chips I’ve ever tasted (yes, I had to taste everybody else’s!) outside a fish and chip shop.  Quite often restaurant fish and chips leave a lot to be desired; not the case at JW Steakhouse.  My father-in-law chose one of the specials of the day – the Shepherd’s Pie, which again was just delicious.  In keeping with an American-style steak house, the portions are massive.  Come super hungry!

Image credit: JW Steakhouse

When it came time for dessert, we didn’t even look at the menu, as The Domestic Prince and I were insistent that his parents absolutely had to try the cheesecake.  JW bill the cheesecake as “the best this side of the pond” – a bold claim, but one which they actually surpass!  I wouldn’t be lying to say that back in Bangalore, I often lament about this superlative cheesecake.  The crumb (a Graham Cracker one I believe) encases the vanilla bean middle and it’s finished with a sour cream topping that cuts through the sweetness of the middle.  The first time I had this cheesecake, I thought it would be rich and heavy, but it’s not – it’s incredibly light.  And there’s a massive 6 inches of it to enjoy!  Most people probably share this over-sized pudding – not us though.  We have one each and box-up what we don’t finish at the restaurant (there is sometimes!) to takeaway to enjoy back at our apartment.  I can’t tell you about any of the other puddings I’m sorry, as I only ever want the cheesecake…it’s THAT good.  Not even chocolate makes me cheat on this beauty.

Image credit: JW Steakhouse

Whilst choosing what we were going to eat we had a bottle of Champagne, and then The Prince and his Dad had a glass of red wine and I had a glass of Cloudy Bay with our main courses.

Domestic Princess tips:

  • If having a starter, I’d choose either the Maryland crab cakes, the tortillas with spinach & artichoke dip or the super-size calamari.
  • In the evening whilst waiting for your first course to arrive, they bring scrumptious hot buttered salt-and-pepper popcorn for you to munch on.
  • If bourbon is your thing, then JW have an impressive collection.
  • Diners with big appetites, should give the mahoosive 32oz “Tomahawk” ribeye steak a whirl.  I’ve heard incredible things about it!
  • If you’re visiting on a nice day /evening – ask for a table outside on the terrace.

*I did!!

If you’re after excellent steaks, a good atmosphere and impeccable service, then I really can’t recommend JW Steakhouse highly enough.

What’s your favourite steak restaurant?

With much love
The Domestic Princess
xoxo

Dining: Bob Bob Ricard, Soho London

Hello Readers!  I’m back from my holibobs, although it wasn’t much of a holiday….it was quite possibly the most full-on trip back to the UK we’ve ever had.  It was non-stop.  In between the many health check-ups, sorting out our UK house, the Domestic Prince working, celebrating the Domestic Prince’s Granny’s 100th birthday, we found a bit of time to catch-up with some of our wonderful friends and to eat in some fabulous restaurants.  So, today’s post is a review of one of the restaurant’s we visited:  Bob Bob Ricard.

Image credit: Paul Winch-Furness

We first went to Bob Bob Ricard not long after it opened back in 2008.  At the time it was being positioned as kind of a cousin to The Wolseley.  It served breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner and you could order anything off the menu at any time.  I was in heaven!  Breakfast and afternoon tea for supper, yes please!  However, on our visit a couple of weeks ago, they’ve stopped serving breakfast and afternoon tea, so you can only go for lunch or dinner.

Image credit: Paul Winch-Furness

Bob Bob Ricard is lavishly furnished; it feels like you’re in an ornate makeover of the Orient Express.  Which is exactly what, world-renowned designer, David Collins, was looking to achieve.  He has managed to create a quirky space that feels like you’ve stepped back in time.   The whole restaurant is kitted out with leather banquette booths, complete with “Press for Champagne” buttons.  The booths aren’t too close to each other and it has a romantic and quite intimate feel.

 

We had a 7.45pm reservation and were told they would need the table back by 10pm.  This turnover time really irks me.  However, we ended up staying long beyond 10pm and not once were we asked to leave.

Service at BBR is attentive, without being over the top and intrusive.  Ahead of this most recent visit, I’d read a few reviews saying that the service was overbearing and that when pressing the infamous Champagne button, nothing happened.  However, when we pressed the button (you didn’t think we wouldn’t?!) our waiter appeared in seconds with the Champagne menu.  And just to be sure it wasn’t a fluke the first time, we tested it out again later in the evening, and like a genie from the lamp, our waiter appeared in moments.

The menu is extensive, offering a choice of thirteen starters, many with a Russian slant.  There are twenty-two main courses to choose from, with a great selection of fish dishes with a choice of twelve side dishes and ten puddings.

To start with, I opted for the prawn cocktail, which came on a bed of crunchy iceberg lettuce and a tangy cocktail sauce.  It was nice, but nothing to write home about.

For my main course, I was torn between the Rosemary Roasted Lamb Medallions and the Chicken Mushroom and Champagne Pie.  Now,  you all know my love of pies, you probably won’t be surprised to learn that I chose the pie.  What clinched it for me was the truffle gravy that was served with the pie.  I’m having a total truffle love affair at the moment.  Which is why I also ordered truffled mash potatoes as one of my sides, together with roasted carrots and parsnips.  The pie was sublime.  It came out with one of the best pastry lids I’ve ever seen; all golden and glossy, with the BBR stamp printed on the top.  It was a huge portion, which I’m sad to say defeated me.  The truffle gravy was delicious, as was the truffled mash.  I was slightly disappointed with the carrots and parsnips, which just weren’t roasted enough for my taste.

When the time came to order pudding, I was too full and in danger of popping, so unfortunately had to skip it.  If I hadn’t been so full, I would have gone for the Warm Chocolate Fondant, which receives rave reviews.

I’ll let my other dining companions post their thoughts on their choices in the comments section below.

Having ordered two bottles of Champagne, we didn’t order any wine.  Which is a shame, as BBR is renowned for their relatively reasonably priced wine list.  In fact, they actually make a point of highlighting the price other high-end restaurants charge for the same bottle of wine.  I have never seen anything like this before, but would wholeheartedly encourage it!   Supposedly, BBR never charge more than a £50 mark-up on any one bottle.  I really hope other restaurants follow BBR’s example.

With delicious food, impeccable service, quirky décor and Champagne at the press of a button…Bob Bob Ricard was an all round hit with us!

Have you been to Bob Bob Ricard?  If so, I’d love to hear your views on it.

With much love
The Domestic Princess
xoxo

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