Raising its culinary game to match some of the best restaurants in the country, Marco Pierre White Steakhouse & Grill is levelling the playing field with a sophisticated venue and eclectic menu of classics at Fairmont Bab Al Bahr. FACT takes a seat for dinner…
What is your recipe for a good steakhouse? Is it the quality of the meat, or maybe the variety of the sides – how about atmosphere? Whatever your ingredients may be, Marco Pierre White Steakhouse & Grill (MPW) is bringing its A-game and we are HERE FOR IT! The brainchild of awardwinning celebrity chef, Marco Pierre White, is one of Abu Dhabi’s most elegant dining destinations; dramatic interiors of dark wood meet with the subdued shades of pristine white tablecloths and large cushy seating. Mood lighting gives every table an intimate vibe – whether you’re dining as a couple, with family or a group of friends – there is a sense of exclusivity in the air. The hard-to-miss back lit “flame wall” will be a quick talking pointing. It adds a touch of warmth and softness to the setting.
We are welcomed by a friendly waitress who shows the same enthusiasm to all other guests that walk in through the door at MPW. Our order is taken by Nonny, who is exemplary in her tasks. She is incredibly knowledgeable on the menu, advising us about everything from marbling of the meat to the best dishes for the sort of flavours we like to try. Most of all, she seems wellversed in all things MPW. When we’re hovering over Mr. Lamb’s Shepherd’s Pie on the menu.
Nonny shares a little story about this comfort food classic. It’s Marco’s take on the traditional British dish which was inspired by Mr. Lamb, a kitchen porter, who worked for him at his renowned Box Tree Restaurant, Ilkley. Mr. Lamb was tasked with cooking for the restaurant team every week and he would always serve up Shepherd’s Pie – what a lovely little anecdote to get the evening started?
The menu at MPW is an innovative combination of grill cuisine and muchloved English fare, accompanied by an extensive grape selection, all under the close supervision of the talented Chef de Cuisine. Split into a neat and manageable amount, you’ll find Hors D’oeuvres, Classic Salads, Soups and Potages, Finest Quality Steaks, Sides, Main Boards and Fresh Vegetarian Dishes. Sharing is made possible as portion sizes, we learn, are more than enough to go around at least three to four people. But before we get down to business, let’s talk about the bread.
A warm, fluffy loaf cut into four pieces steals our sense of smell. Moreover, each piece tears away effortlessly and we devour it with the accompanying butter. There has never been a simpler more indulgent pleasure in life than this oh-so-good bread. Careful not to get addicted – leave space for what’s to come.
We begin with a few different dishes; Wheeler’s Crispy Calamari, Mr White’s Fresh Crab, Salad of Goats’ Cheese and Beetroot, and the Heritage Tomato and Burrata Salad. Each dish is presented with a raw yet refined technique – the salads are super fresh with the creamy Burrata stealing the show alongside the juiciest tomatoes. The crab is not only presented as a superior dish, it tastes impeccable. Scoop it up and put it on a piece of the toast melba – here you have an hors d’oeuvre that lives up to our every expectation.
For mains, we choose a 250g Prime US Beef Grilled Centre Cut Tenderloin alongside the 250g Masterkobe 9 Grilled 35-Day Aged Striploin. Both are cooked medium well and retain a mouthwatering juiciness that is often difficult to achieve with meat – here, the chefs did an outstanding job. Our sides consist of the smoothest mashed potatoes we’ve tried in a long time; baked macaroni cheese, triple cooked fries and a green salad with truffle dressing. Once more, presentation is homely – like the dishes served up at a typical Sunday dinner. The macaroni cheese draws all the “mmmhs” and we fall into a few moments of silence as each bite of meat is savoured with gusto.
We know what you’re thinking and the answer is: of course, we had dessert. Out came the delicate blueberry cheesecake and the mighty chocolate fondant. The first was a classic coming together of flavours that works so well together – cheesecake lovers, this is a must-try. The latter was oozing with chocolate greatness and we fought for every last spoonful! By the end of our meal, several cups of green tea and a very strong espresso were seen sitting on our table. Let the food coma ensue!
What made the entire experience more personable was the consistent efforts of every staff member who approached our table; each of them were experts on the menu and also had wonderful personalities to match. This made a world of difference.
MPW is taking it back to basics – stripping down theatrics and dishing up what the chef knows best – authentic, hearty food with quality ingredients. It’s a meal we won’t forget for a long time to come. ✤
GO: VISIT MARCO PIERRE WHITE STEAKHOUSE & GRILL AT FAIRMONT BAB AL BAHR. CALL (0)2 654 3238 FOR RESERVATIONS AND MORE INFORMATION.