Mark Lomas17 May 2018 AT 02:27 PM

REVIEW: STK

The US steakhouse that’s making its mark in the UAE
Mark Lomas17 May 2018 AT 02:27 PM
STK
© Supplied
STK
Steakhouse, American, Dubai
© Supplied
Steakhouse, American, Dubai
© Supplied
Steakhouse, American, Dubai
© Supplied

It may not be big on vowels, but STK is certainly big on steak. Very big. The 1.1kg Tomahawk stands proudest on the menu, a Herculean slab that invites those with a gargantuan appetite (or those with a lot of friends) to dig in. On this occasion, our fear of slipping into a cow-induced coma guided us away from the beefy behemoth and towards a comparatively feeble 300g cut.

STK at Rixos Premium, JBR, is the newest addition to a family of restaurants that began life in New York, fittingly in the city's Meatpacking district. From Miami to Milan and Las Vegas to London, STK has successfully branched out thanks to a winning combination of chic décor and, of course, superior steaks.

Non-bovine options are also available and the tuna tataki is a great starter. Carefully seared and sliced, it is fresh and tangy thanks to the Asian influences of the accompanying seaweed salad, shredded celery, sesame aioli and ginger soy. If you still think beef is best, then the Lil Brgrs are a better choice - smothered with ‘special sauce', the juicy patties are thick and bite-sized... if you have an enormous mouth.

STK Dubai

Unquestionably, the quality and provenance of the beef is at the heart of STK, with the USDA prime grade that appears alongside each menu item worn as a badge of honour. It means a higher calibre cut, with more marbling and an unrivalled texture. There is also a nuttier flavour to STK's cuts as the cows at their Nebraskan farm are corn fed.

Of course the proof of the steak is in the eating, and we're pleased to say that the meat here goes down very well indeed. Our 300g fillet is cooked to absolute perfection, with a consistency of colour and texture that is rare (no pun intended) to find across the many steakhouse options we have in the UAE. While the fillet doesn't always pack the flavour of other cuts, the texture is just dreamy - each bite melts away and our knife runs through the meat with incredible ease. (Admittedly that may be because the knife looks like it belongs in a sheath around Rambo's waist).

The steak comes with STK's signature BBQ sauce, a sticky and sweet offering made with tamarind that sits perfectly with each meaty mouthful. The sides are trusted favourites, delivered with style.

A bowl of mac ‘n' cheese is that ideal combination of hard melted topping and gooey goodness underneath, while the triple-cooked chips with truffle and Parmesan are definitely thrice as nice.

Salmon with a maple and lemon glaze is an excellent alternative main, served with crunchy taro chips, celery root puree and haricot vert (that's green beans to us laymen). However, there's a reason the restaurant is not called Slmn. It's just difficult to get as excited by fish when there's a fillet steak next to it on the table.

Our initial shame at failing to tackle the Tomahawk subsides as we realise there is a little room for dessert. And what's more quintessentially American way to finish a filling meal than by ordering a massive slice of cheesecake. A thick biscuit base and a dense topping - plus a scoop of mango sorbet - makes each spoonful feel like a slow step up Everest. A similar level of satisfaction - with just some pangs of pain - comes with conquering it.

We'll leave it to early 2000s text lingo to sum up our experience. STK = Grt Dnnr.

STK
Where: Rixos Premium Dubai
Price: Approx. AED420 for two
Contact: +971 4 323 0061, website

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