Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
The new Sofitel Hotel on Palm Jumeirah.
Silvia Razgova
The new Sofitel Hotel on Palm Jumeirah.

Porterhouse Steaks & Grills in Dubai is for serious carnivores

The meat is excellent, but the sauces and side dishes - and the attentive staff - steal the show.

It’s said that the word “Porterhouse” was first used in the US in the mid-1800s to describe a resting place for weary travellers. The irony wasn’t lost on me when, after a long day’s work and a lengthy journey from Downtown Dubai, I finally arrived at the steak restaurant of the same name in the new Sofitel Hotel on Palm Jumeirah.

I was immediately struck by the attentiveness of the staff, who quickly draped a complimentary pashmina around my shoulders upon noticing I was cold. It got better still; a sommelier appeared at the table with a gargantuan glass of steaming apple drink, sweet with honey, star anise and cinnamon and infused with cardamom, cloves, lemon and spicy ginger.

Its restorative powers were astounding and my companion and I were soon tucking into our starters. My scallops were firm, perfectly caramelised and complemented by the butternut squash purée, although the roasted almonds proved one texture too many. My guest’s oblong crab cake was a triumph, neither too dry nor potato-laden.

Naturally, we both opted for steak. My French Charolais rib-eye was well-seasoned, while my guest’s Australian tenderloin had a perfectly pink centre. The sauces and sides were the stars of the show and though the portions were hardly made for sharing, the silky smooth truffle mash and gratin dauphinoise were to die for. From the excellent selection of sauces, which included Bordelaise, spicy chipotle Roquefort and classic Béarnaise, we plumped for green peppercorn and the nuttily sweet mushroom jus.

For dessert, we tried to keep things simple with berries drizzled with sticky cassonade, topped off with Chantilly cream, and yet I had to order the pecan nut brownie. It could’ ve been ever so slightly more moist, although the rich chocolate ganache sauce compensated.

But be under no illusion: this is a serious steakhouse, not for the meat-shy, faint-hearted or penny-pinching diner. The beef variety is prodigious, with an impressive selection of master Kobe from purebred wagyu on the menu. There’s US prime Chateaubriand, carved, as you would hope, at the table; and for those with hearty appetites, the Porterhouse Irish dry aged for two weighs in at a whopping 1.2kg.

What sets the restaurant apart from so many steakhouses in Dubai is its sophisticated yet unstuffy ambience. From the dark wood partitions, distressed brown leather chairs and strains of jazz, the venue has a masculine but warm feel and attentive staff  who know the menu: we chose sides of pomme purée and al dente asparagus with Parmesan foam because our waitress Charice enthused about them being “her favourites”.

One last recommendation: make sure to wander through the corridor to the left of the entrance; what will greet you is a stunning vertical garden. Boasting hundreds of plants and shrubs, the living façade is the creation of the famous botanist Patrick Blanc. Having seen his original creation in Paris, I dare to say his Dubai installation is even more spectacular.

A meal for two without beverages costs Dh825, excluding 10% service charge and 10% authority fees. For reservations at Porterhouse Steaks & Grills, Sofitel Palm Jumeirah, call 04 4556677. Reviewed meals are paid for by The National and all reviews are conducted incognito

rduane@thenational.ae

twitter Follow us @LifeNationalUAE

And follow us on Facebook for discussions, entertainment, reviews, wellness and news.

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Styled with bleached bobs and pale skin, the models wore clean and sporty separates reminiscent of the chic workwear of The Hunger Games. Courtesy Getty Images

Fashion Forward: Thoughtful tailoring at Asudari

The womenswear label Asudari showcased a collection that featured sharp masculine tailoring, but with feminine silhouettes.

Styled with bleached bobs and pale skin, the models wore clean and sporty separates reminiscent of the chic workwear of The Hunger Games.

Designer Lamia Asudari says she was influenced by Delftware ceramics from the 16th century, as well as the imagery of weaponry and artillery. Indeed, pistols, grenades and guns were emblazoned over jackets and dresses.

 Several of Jo Baaklini's pieces featured fruit prints. Courtesy Getty Images

Fashion Forward: At Starch, watermelon shirts, anyone?

“We need to cultivate our own fashion heroes — our own regional brands,” stressed Fashion Forward’s honcho Bong Guerrero in a press con two weeks ago.

Aptly, the slot for this season’s opening runway show was given to two newbies: Jo Baaklini and Timi Hayek, whose talents were scouted by Starch, a group dedicated to launching emerging Lebanese designers.

Between the two, Mr Baaklini had a stronger showing.

 Jean Louis Sabaji’s collection was very good when the tricks were toned down — like the simple white jumpsuit with a sculptural neckpiece. Stuart C. Wilson / Getty Images

Fashion Forward: Jean Louis Sabaji’s debatable debut

Jean Louis Sabaji’s collection was very good when the tricks were toned down — like the simple white jumpsuit with a sculptural neckpiece, the floral crop top, and the radiant yellow pleated skirt.

But most of the time he went too far. There were bell-bottoms, separates that looked like costumes from The Jetsons, and a yellow dress reminiscent of Bjork’s infamous Oscars swan dress — several disparate elements in one multicoloured, multilayered show.

 Launched in 2009 by childhood friends Arwa Abdelhadi and Basma Abu Ghazaleh, Kage bills itself as a label whose “ultimate goal is to design a collection appealing to all.” Courtesy Getty Images

Fashion Forward: Kage pleases all palates

Did the designers of Kage aim to showcase every type of basic clothing on their latest show?

Because there were skirts, shorts, trousers, off-shoulder tops, short dresses, cocktail dresses, long flowy dresses, spaghetti straps, jackets, hoods — and even pyjamas, which with the incoming summer heat, looked especially appealing.

Launched in 2009 by childhood friends Arwa Abdelhadi and Basma Abu Ghazaleh, Kage bills itself as a label whose “ultimate goal is to design a collection appealing to all”, they said in their statement.

 The standout was a grey hooded cape that created a tension between edge and elegance. Courtesy Getty Images

Fashion Forward: Polish, craft (and fur!) at The Emperor 1688

The best show of Day 1 at Fashion Forward was delivered by the three Golkar brothers behind The Emperor 1688.

The coats and capes were the clear winners: they came in all sorts of interesting colours and sizes — and featured exceptionally tailored proportions. There was a lot of volume, but also stiffness.

And whimsy: two favourites were a green double-breasted suit and a blue overcoat with a red clover pattern and gold buttons.

 Midway through Ezra's show, snow started falling from the ceiling. Ian Gavan / Getty Images for Fashion Forward

Fashion Forward: Ezra stuns in snow-covered show

Turns out the Filipino designer Ezra, known for his dreamy couture, still had a few surprises up his sleeve.

Midway through his show, snow started falling from the ceiling.

It created a starkly beautiful atmosphere for his intricately constructed gowns that seemed to be designed for an Ice Queen transported back to the 1950s.

He showed a collection that had a lot of technical firepower behind it: glittering iridescent fabrics paired with head and neckpieces that were moulded and stiffened to stand out in odd angles.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National