The Meat Co
Friday nights at The Meat Co are not a quiet affair. Rocking up at 9pm and just as the weather had taken a turn for the better, the Madinat Jumeirah branch of the superpopular South African steak chain was buzzing, both indoors and out. Oozing New York cool (we’re talking chunky concrete pillars, lots of glass, dark wood and moody lighting), and packed with trendy types of all ages, it fizzed with the kind of noise that’s music to every restaurateur’s ears.
With an awesome table overlooking the waterways, we kicked off our night with a splendid raspberry martini as we checked out the menu, and soaked up the atmos. As an FYI, do yourself a favour and arrive with an appetite. Portion sizes are huge, and after you’ve dug into the freshly baked bread appetiser and a starter, a main course may well defeat you if you’re nothing less than ravenous.
Our starter of three, fat, Parmesancrusted scallops on cauliflower purée and beef carpaccio could have happily fed one more, but with no one else to share our dishes, what could we do but eat it all ourselves? The carpaccio was good – succulent beef slivers served with roasted peppers, shaved Parmesan and topped with sesame lime oil – but it was the giant baked scallops that won us over.
Juicy and a teensy bit spicy, the rich purée they sat on added just enough sweetness to the delicately flavoured fish, which was perfectly complemented by the grassy Sauvignon Blanc we’d ordered. Service here is fast, thanks to the generous number of staff, who are not only friendly and knowledgeable, but talented performers too. As we waited for our mains, we were treated to a traditional African song, with the whole team winding through the restaurant, banging drums and tambourines as they wished a guest a happy birthday.
Before they were finished, however, our mains arrived. Let me rephrase that. Our enough-for-afamished-caveman-sized mains arrived. My 200g prime fillet was cooked to rare perfection and came with a rich mushroom sauce and sides of mash and spinach; while my date’s enormous Wagyu fillet was accompanied by sautéed veg, onion rings and asparagus.
To say we’d overordered was an understatement. Aside from the issue of the food mountain in front of us – our fault entirely, obvs – the steaks were lean, juicy and perfectly cooked, the side dishes a triumph. And despite the fact that one each would have more than sufficed, I wouldn’t actually want to share my amazing mashed potato with anyone else. Sorry, it’s mine, hands off!
With no room (ahem) left for pudding, we shared a fiendishly good peanut butter chocolate pie with a scoop of divine vanilla ice cream – sometimes, it’s the small things that make all the difference, right? And then, we really, really were stuffed to bursting. We’ll be returning to enjoy the special South African Heritage Day menu, which runs from September 21 to 27 (we’ll be having the Biltong, followed by the Oxtail and Colcannon mash, if you were wondering), and we may have just enough time to get hungry for our next visit.
Location Madinat Jumeirah
Timing 12pm-11.30pm, Sat-Wed & 12pm- 12.30am Thu-Fri
Tel 04 368 6040
Tasty trio: Meaty masterpieces
The iconic Legends steakhouse at Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club recently underwent a gigantic makeover, bringing its look – and its menu – bang up to date. While the food continues to impress (as it has done for years) we particularly love the brand new floating VIP table, perfect for private partying with a twist. A great place to wind down after you’ve teed off, steak fans simply must try the Chateaubriand that’s prepared at the table. It’s amaze.
Location Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club
Timing Monday-Saturday, 7pm-12am
Tel 04 295 6000
Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse
This, without a shadow of a doubt, is our favourite place to get a steak in the Marina. The second Ruth’s Chris in the city has the same level of impeccable service and knockout food as the original, but boasts a fabulous outdoor terrace and a much larger lounge area for pre-dinner cocktails. The signature, butter-drenched US steaks are rich, decadent and totally delish, and the Crabmeat-stuffed mushrooms rock our world. Pricey, but well worth it.
Location The Address, Dubai Marina
Timing 6pm-11.30pm daily
Tel 04 454 9538
A little piece of New York right on the Palm, West 14 has made its name as one of the funkiest eateries in the city. With the looks and atmosphere of the coolest of Manhattan hangouts, but with dazzling views of the Arabian Gulf and a laidback beach bar outside, Palm locals flock here to enjoy the top-notch food, live music and friendly service. Never been? Try the Sticky calamari and Bunless wagyu burger. You’ll love both.
Location Oceana Beach Club, The Palm Jumeirah
Timing Noonmidnight, daily
Tel 04 447 7601