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,