8 November 2013

#secretsteak at JW Steakhouse

I have a regret. I don't have many but this is definitely one of them.

I regret not hearing about #secretsteak earlier in its six week run so I could have told my fellow London dwellers about it. 

As you may have noted by now, I love my food and I do often rave about many of the wonderful restaurants I visit. However, my unique experience of this special seven course menu, held in a private room at the JW Steakhouse on Park Lane, was one of the best I've had in a long time. 

In order to book your space, you were required to discover the #secretsteak password. With the help of Google, I managed to get two spaces that became available at rather late notice only due to a cancellation. And lucky for Alex and I that I did!

JW Steakhouse opened in 2010 at the Grosvenor House Hotel and features American USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) certified beef from Creekstone as well as Aberdeen Angus from Macken Brothers of Chiswick. 

We were told to arrive at a disused entrance on Upper Grosvenor Street where we were warmly welcomed by manager Raoul and offered a tasty cocktail sour and popcorn. There were fourteen of us in the group.

Soon we were being escorted through the bustling kitchen (I always enjoy a beak around a kitchen) before entering the private dining room, decked out with American flags and framed celebrity photographs. 

I decided it was a sign that I was going to have a good evening when I spotted this guy on the wall...

An authentic set menu awaited us created by head chef Julian Ward. He popped in and out throughout the meal to talk us through each dish and answer any questions. 

After enjoying some of the softest, flavorsome bread I've had in some time we were presented with our first course: warm pumpkin tart with smoked bone marrow, served alongside crispy dried smoked beef.

Although I could take or leave the slightly bitter smoked beef, the pumpkin tart was fantastic with its deliciously short pastry. I'm a big offal fan and I thought the bone marrow topping was fab.

Next it was a Trio of JW Classics - from left to right, a dainty Maryland crab cake with tartar sauce, an incredible single cooked oyster (I'd never had a cooked oyster!) in tempura batter on a bed of herbs and finally steak tartar made from fresh aged beef served on melba toast with a quail's egg on top.

When we were asked at the booking stage if we had any dietary requirements, I mentioned that Alex wasn't keen on seafood. 

Still, I couldn't help but be surprised to find that they'd made him his very own trio! Breaded lamb, vegetable tempura and the steak tartar.

Chef Julian Ward returned to talk us through the steak cuts for the main course. 

There was the Highland Wagyu fillet, their signature Tomahawk steak with the entire rib left intact (chef explained that the flavour benefits from the marrow within the bone) and a short rib. 

As chef returned to the kitchen, we were talked through the accompanying red wines by the sommelier.

And then it arrived before us, in all its meaty glory.

The Wagyu topped with lump crab, asparagus and bearnaise sauce was outstanding; the meat as soft as butter. The slow-braised short rib was flavoursome and tender as was the Tomahawk which looked amazing with the rib entirely stripped. It was all served medium rare, as chef recommended.

But for me - as always - it was the sides that excited me most. And excite me they did, in their huge portions.

Creamed spinach, the most amazing sweet potato with meringue topping (I have to make this!), crispy hand-cut chips, massive onion rings and moreish lobster mac 'n' cheese.

Here's that meringue sweet potato pie after being demolished by me

Just a quick break from the delicious food to bring a shameless selfie showing you my red Miu Miu jumper and my favourite new necklace, fresh from Topshop. I need to find myself some more of these 'statement' necklaces; they can really make an outfit.

When I returned from the ladies, there waiting for me was the largest palate cleanser I'd ever seen!

A refreshing (and rather strong) Bourbon Granita.

We were also offered a glass of bourbon to go with it, politely declined by Alex and I who were quietly gearing ourselves up for dessert following that mammoth main course.

And then the doughnuts arrived.

Plates and plates of doughnuts.  

There were three different fillings: Key lime, peanut butter and bourbon cream. 

And that wasn't all. They were served along side a creamy vanilla milkshake.

Perfect for dunking!

Goodness me, they were good. What a finale! We were fit to burst!

Well, I say finale. There was still a Kentucky coffee to come (coffee with more bourbon) along with a treat for us each to take home - a cheesecake! And not even a mini cheesecake - these babies were pretty big!

They're billed, albeit by JW Steakhouse themselves, as the best cheesecake this side of the pond.

(Sorry Dad - no, there's none left!)

That incredible meal cost us £75 each which we came away feeling was really good value for money considering the sheer quality of ingredients, drinks and generous portions not to mention the impeccable service we received.

I only wish I'd had the chance to convince you to go too but unfortunately the remaining dates are sold out. However, a lot of these dishes are included on JW Steakhouse's everyday restaurant menu so I'd definitely recommend any steak fan to go along give it a try.

Also, I can't see something as phenomenal as #secretsteak staying away very long! 

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  1. Caroline, this meal looks incredible! Such a great find. I particularly like the look of those doughnuts :)

    I am also a little bit obsessed with statement necklaces right now - they really perk up an outfit!

    Lucy x

  2. I am uncontrollably jealous right now - this look AMAZING! Is that a macaroni cheese I spy?! My weakness haha.
    Got the boyfriend working on getting us a table as we speak!|
    Your pictures are incredible!

    Josie xoxo

    Fashion Mumblr

  3. WOW oh WOW, all that food looks truly incredible :)
    The thought and effort that would have gone into creating each part of each dish is epic.
    Thank you so much for sharing it all
    x x x
    The Lobster & Me

  4. This looks amazeballs!! So jealous, this is my kind of meal. You know it's good when you leave and your outfit is busting at the seams! Loving your outfit btw, totally agree with the necklace comment!

    You look stunning as always :)

    Katie <3




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