Calling All Carnivores!

An abundantly satisfying meaty experience was thoroughly enjoyed by Lawson Misquitta at The Don Steak House.

Located in Janabiya’s trendy District 1 Mall is one of the most popular steakhouses on the island, a well-known purveyor of high-quality prime cuts – The Don Steak House.

On arrival, my dining partners and I were quickly taken with the restaurant’s charmingly casual and inviting ambience. Despite being quite busy, it didn’t take long before we were cordially greeted by Restaurant Manager Chelsea Salazar, who promptly helped us get seated and then enthusiastically gave us details about the impressive selection of meats on offer.

While seated, I noticed that the wall on the right had stylishly blacked-out silhouettes of bulls that were cleverly backlit in a manner that made them seemingly pop out. But what truly caught my attention was the wall on the left, emblazoned in big bold letters were – MEAT, FIRE. Two simple words, but the only two that truly matter to any steakhouse worth its salt. The Don Steak House has its priorities right, and I confidently knew we were in good hands for the evening.

To start, we tried the Beetroot Carpaccio from the salad menu. Taking inspiration from the original meaty counterpart, here steamed beets are cut into delicate thin slices and dusted with crumbles of feta. The briny, tangy and salty cheese finely complemented the earthy sweetness of the beetroot, while the accompanying balsamic vinegar dressing provided the ideal final touch.

Next up was the first delightful meat preparation of the meal, the Don Beef Chow Chow. Skewers of grilled tenderloin cubes seasoned fabulously and basted with the Don special sauce got us off the mark and put a smile on our faces. Served with a flaming hibachi for us to further grill as per our own choosing, this came in handy and was more useful than just a table gimmick. Then came the Don Wagyu Kebab, seasoned Wagyu mince wrapped in a thin casing of lamb fat and grilled ever so perfectly. I’ve had plenty of kebabs in my time, few this lavish and full of flavour. It was served with a velvety sour cream and garlic dip that we thoroughly savoured.

For the final appetiser, our plates were graced with the Heaven Tenderloin Bites. Thick slices of soft baguette, lightly buttered and toasted to a nice golden brown, were smeared with a cream sauce and finally topped with even thicker slices of delicious Angus tenderloin, which was then covered in herbaceous chimichurri sauce with hints of spice. This one’s a must try, since soon after the final bite I was immediately tempted to order another round!

To complement the food, we called for a round of mocktails; I opted for a lovely Ginger Lime concoction that offered a refreshing and tangy kick.

The mains showed up shortly thereafter, kicking off this course with the Beef Cheek Wagyu. As the name suggests, this speciality cut involves the cheek muscle which is known for being very tough to prepare. But when plied with the right cooking method (in this case, patiently slow-cooked for hours), the tissue breaks down to reveal an exceedingly succulent and melt-in-your-mouth texture that we couldn’t get enough of. It was served with a dip of sweet, smoky and tangy barbecue sauce alongside fresh brioche buns.

We next tried the Wagyu Skewer; thick-cut cubes of striploin were grilled to a stunning sizzle and served along with a side of salad, garlic sauce and flatbreads to form the perfect morsel when rolled-up together.

Then came time for the final stretch comprising some of The Don’s best and most popular offerings. First up was the 220g of luxury cut tenderloin Wagyu (or filet mignon if we’re being all fancy about it). Offering a very minimal amount of fat, this cut has a firm texture with a lustrous red colour and some serious umami flavour. Each bite of our medium rare cut went down a satisfyingly tender treat, with the accompanying peppercorn sauce and mashed potatoes adding that little extra oomph.

This was closely followed by 300g of Ribeye Wagyu, a cut that’s densely marbled and highly rated on the grading scale. Seared and cooked to our preferred temperature of medium-rare, each bite boasted an abundance of succulence and flavour. It was served with a hearty portion of crisp French fries and a side of indulgent mushroom sauce.

Last but definitely not least, came the 1.2kg Wagyu Tomahawk, aptly titled ‘King of all Meats’. Impressively flambéed at our table for a ravishing visual spectacle, the massive serving was truly a magnificent sight to behold. Cooked to perfection, with an exquisitely seared char on the outside and a tender interior oozing with juices and buttery goodness, every bite we took melted in our mouths! On the side, the mushroom sauce, peppercorn sauce and baked potato were great accompaniments.

To finish, we shared a decadent molten chocolate cake paired with a luscious velvety smooth vanilla ice cream that provided an exceedingly gratifying end to a fabulous meal. ✤