The New York Steakhouse at the JW Marriott Hotel, Bangkok Thailand
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JW Marriott Hotel, Bangkok

 Steaks are Back in Town

Steak is no longer a bad word. Once many people's favourite food, fears of fat, cholesterol and calories drove scores of admirers away. Today, however, the old crowd is returning. They realize that moderation, not abstinence, is the answer. Steaks are a treat, something to be occasionally savoured while dining in pleasant surroundings

The New York Steakhouse at the JW Marriott Hotel on Sukhumvit Road in Bangkok provides the perfect venue for one of these special meals. Located on the hotel's second floor mezzanine, it is loaded with mooted elegance. Built around a New York theme, there are black and white photographs of the Big Apple on the walls and music from Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald playing softly in the background. The lighting is subdued and the tones of the restaurant are dark and comforting, giving it an atmosphere reminiscent of a private club.

When patrons enter, they are led to their table by a charming hostess or Artur Kluczewski, the restaurant's amiable and omnipresent manager. The chairs are big and comfortable, with wings that encircle the occupant, creating a sense of privacy. The tables are covered with white tablecloths and the place settings are, as you would expect in a steakhouse, substantial. The gleaming kitchen, which is open to view, is filled with purposeful activity.

For many, a Martini is a must before a steak dinner and the New York Steakhouse serves 19 different varieties. There are, of course, other cocktails available, but my partner and I bowed to tradition and started the evening with Classic Martinis. We weren't disappointed. The gin was topnotch and there was just enough vermouth to let you know that it was there.

There were eight appetizers on the menu, but we decided to begin with a salad. New Yorkers, and steak lovers in particular, love green salads and the restaurant serves some of the best in Bangkok. I enjoyed "The Steakhouse Salad" - greens served with a mélange of roast artichokes, Kalamata olives, shaved Pecorino cheese and an herbed vinaigrette dressing. My partner enjoyed watching the creation of her delicious Caesar Salad, as much as eating it.

The restaurant serves only the finest US Government certified grain-fed beef and the highest quality grain-fed Australian beef. Both are chilled, rather than frozen, insuring that they are succulent, juicy and filled with flavour when they arrive at the table.

Five cuts of steak are served at the restaurant: Fillet Mignon, Rib Eye, Striploin, T-bone and Porterhouse. I chose a 480 gram (16 oz.) New York Striploin from the United States at 1,500 baht++ and accompanied it with a baked potato, sour cream, chives and bacon and some green garden peas. My partner decided to go Australian and chose a 240 gram (8 oz.) Fillet Mignon at 750 baht++ and Steamed Baby Carrots. The meat was cooked to perfection and my medium-rare meat was filled with juice and the incomparable flavour that comes only from properly aged choice beef. The Australian beef was equally good, but perhaps a little less juicy. The accompaniments were delicious and the care in their creation and presentation showed that the restaurant considers them just as important as the main courses.

Red wine and steak have an affinity for one another and the New York Steakhouse has an outstanding selection of reds ranging from 1600 baht up to a stratospheric 49,500 baht for a 1986 Chateau Mouton Rothschild. After a great deal of debate we finally decided upon a Columbia Crest Merlot 1995 from the State of Washington at 3200 baht. It was, as anticipated, excellent and a worthy companion to our steaks. There are also numerous reds from Australia and France available, as well as a limited selection from Italy, Spain and South America. There is also an assortment of white wines on offer from a variety of regions. A special feature at the restaurant are the numerous wines offered by the glass, making it possible to enjoy good wines without buying a whole bottle. This is particularly convenient when customers at the same table make main course selections that demand different types of wine.

Although steak is the star of the show, there are numerous other items on the menu. Seafood plays a big role and it is possible to enjoy items like Live Oysters on Ice, Grilled Swordfish or Phuket Lobster that has been baked, grilled or steamed. For those who like both steak and lobster, the "Surf & Turf" combo, consisting of an 8 oz. Fillet Mignon and a Lobster Tail with Herbed Butter is a real winner. The Roast Rack of Lamb is another favourite, as are the Grilled Lamb Chops.

For dessert, we decided to throw caution to the wind and honour the restaurant and the City of New York with slices of New York Cheesecake. It was a rich, but fitting conclusion to a special meal.

We don't eat steak all of the time, but when we do, we want the steak and the surroundings to be first-class. This is definitely the case at the New York Steakhouse and we are already planning to make it the venue for the next time we decide to take the plunge and dine on steak. The restaurant is open only for dinner from 18:00-23:00 each evening. The New York Steakhouse has legions of admirers so reservations are a must.

The New York Steakhouse,
Tel: 02-656-7700


- September Issue, 2002

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