For Christmas 2014, we followed a friend’s recommendation and ordered a cooked turkey and trimmings to feed our twelve guests from the newly opened Warwick Hotel, on Sheikh Zayed Road. The service had been impeccable and we were impressed by the quality and size of the food. So, when I received an email from the hotel inviting us to try the new steakhouse with a special promotion, we thought it was going to be worth a go
My contact very happily confirmed our reservation for the Friday after and emailed again to explain the logistics of the offer redemption. For someone who spends the majority of my day in meetings, email communication suits me perfectly. As with the festive booking, my messages were replied to instantly each time.
Even before arriving at the restaurant, our hopes were raised when I texted my friend to apologise for running late. “Don’t worry,” she said, “we’re enjoying the view.” We stepped out on the 44th floor to a friendly welcome and a large bar area that featured spectacular views stretching across the Dubai night sky. The atmosphere was peaceful and intimate and we loved discovering that the restaurant was deceivingly larger than it looked with the overall space split into smaller dining and drinking areas. This meant that sound didn’t travel like it does in some larger dining halls and we could relax and enjoy the rather large table without feeling we were disturbing the other guests.
I liked the simplicity and quirkiness of the menu as didn’t take itself too seriously, starting with desserts to help guests plan their meal. The steak menu was straightforward with the usual selection. Three of us opted for the Organic Argentinian Tenderloin 220g priced at 180AED, while the other two chose the American Black Angus Rib-Eye 350g at 175 AED. Both, we all agreed, offered very good value for money, as were the sides, which were 25AED each.
There was a surprising list of wines, offering a wide selection from around the world and interesting choice of grapes. I was impressed that most were priced below 300AED. While there was a Sommelier to hand, we found we didn’t need him. Our waitress was more than capable on advising us on which wine to order and we went with the Chilean Montgras Carmenere. Overall, the drinks service was excellent and the Sommelier soon arrived to pour the wine into the beautiful tall, bulbus glasses.
Due to the size of our cuts, we had all decided to skip starters. Our steaks arrived within 15-20 mins and were served with a garnish of friend onions and leeks. Unlike most places, the waitress had already described this, so those that had a preference were given the chance to request no garnish. That was very useful for us given that two in our party had onion allergies.
The sauces were served on the side and were very good with blue cheese and black pepper rating the best. The Béarnaise was a little coagulated but tasty and satisfying nonetheless.
I think it is often the sides that let some of the best steakhouses down, Grill 44 seemed to bear reasonably well despite the limited choice. Although the fries were popular (more like wedges) they were well seasoned and were given the thumbs up. Unfortunately, the jacket potato disappointed and was described as soggy with soft, blemished skin. Our waitress was very eager for our feedback, genuinely thanking us for our honesty, she promised to tell the chef immediately.
The desserts were perfect, around the table we tried the key lime pie, chocolate soufflé , thin crust apple pie and the Creme Brûlée. The apple pie was unusually thin but extremely tasty. The Creme Brûlée was also very shallow making it more like a Creme Catalan but highly recommended for just being delicious, and the chocolate soufflé was simply divine. Throughout the dessert the primary topic for discussion was whether Grill 44 was better at steaks or desserts, we thought we did well to skip the starters.
Overall, we were extremely happy with our experience. I loved the (not so sweet) sweet martini as an aperitif as well as the atypical wines. The quality of the food and service were exemplary and there was at least two waiting staff on hand at all times who were discreet but friendly. The couple of inaccuracies that occurred when we received the bill were rectified so immediately and apologetically, that we felt they were genuine mistakes.
Grill 44’s tagline of ‘No Nonsense, Just Great Steak’ is just right. Undeniably, there is a little bit of a hotel restaurant feel, but this is definitely a gem of a eatery that, maybe with the introduction of table cloths and the removal of the HP Sauce on the table, could actually compete with the local big names like Ruth’s Chris and W Steakhouse. We will be coming back.
Grill 44 is located on the 44 floor of the Warwick Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai near the Dusit Thani. For reservations call +971 4 506 9636 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.