Brunch at West 14th starts with a 2-minute buggy ride from the entrance of the main building, very much still ‘under construction’, to the restaurant which overlooks the Oceana Beach Club, parts of Palm Jumeirah and the beautiful Dubai shoreline. West 14th is a New York steakhouse and its designers have done a good job in creating that ambiance, with exposed red brick walls, dotted with framed black & white photos of celebs and cityscapes, dividing dark ceiling and floor. Hues of red, the common contrast colour, is also used to pattern the small, checkered tiled mosaics which line other surface walls; themselves a hint to the beachside nature of this steakhouse. What I thought the designers did best was to create the cosiness associated with a New York steakhouse in a space this big, especially one with an entire wall of ceiling to floor windows. Well done to them.
Although only our second visit, we were greeted like returning regulars, with genuine smiles and warm words of welcome; to the extent that, once seated, my wife asked me if I knew someone there. I didn’t. You don’t need to know anyone, they seem to be like this with everyone…amazing. Tauseef, the bubbly waiter assigned to our table, started us off with a tour of their extensive surf & turf brunch buffet. Interestingly, it’s mainly a collection, be it a big one, of salads, starters (hot and cold) and desserts. The mains are later brought to your table. Salads aside (who comes to a steakhouse for salad anyway?), the two notable starters for me were the mussels on the surf side, and the beautifully done roast beef on the turf side. One can easily get carried away (and stuffed) on the starter buffet alone…
Tauseef wheeled over a novel wine and champagne trolley as we came back with fully laden plates from our first round at the buffet. All drinks are at 50% during the brunch; something we simply couldn’t ignore…hmm. The mains were brought, served on what seemed like a large wooden chopping board, a couple of minutes after I raised my eyebrow and nodded “now” to him. What you get is a generous mix of meat and seafood – grilled, fried and sautéed. What stood out most for me was the veal schnitzel and sirloin steak on the turf side, and the sautéed shrimps and plump crayfish on the surf side. You get one of everything per guest but they constantly asked if you want more, an impossibility if you ask me. The only thing I wasn’t impressed with were the chunky cubes of lamb, which seemed over-tenderized.
My wife, daughter and I loved the food at West 14th but it was the service which will take us back. I have been to many good restaurants in Dubai throughout this past year, many with outstanding service and West 14th is up there with the very best of them. It’s certainly best of the steakhouses I’ve visited. And that’s not only because of our amazing waiter, Tauseef. It’s a combination of many things; the warm reception we received on arrival, the restaurant manager taking time to visit our table (twice) to see if we were happy; he even walked us to the door when we were leaving, the chef who came to chat with us to see if everything was to our liking – the list is long. And this is on a super busy Friday, with the pace absolutely packed. Therefore, I have absolutely no reservations in whole-heartedly recommending this lovely restaurant.