Live jazz, steak and some flames for good measure. Ailsa Whyatt pays a visit to New York Steakhouse to try their new Tomahawk Tuesdays.
It’s Tuesday night, which means there’s somewhere we have to be. Every week, New York Steakhouse at Marriott Marquis City Center Doha Hotel hosts Tomahawk Tuesdays, which is reason enough to go; but not only this, it is accompanied by a night of live jazz. We’re welcomed by our lovely host Ignacio, who ensures we are settled in plush leather chairs and water glasses are filled before he talks us through the menu options, as live jazz wafts towards us across the restaurant.
He duly recommends a selection of starters (more on this later), and then we discuss meat. At New York Steakhouse, there’s beef for everyone, but as it’s Tomahawk night, it would be churlish not to, wouldn’t it?! As we chat, fresh out of the oven comes an onion and cheese (Emmental, parmesan and Cheddar) brioche, presented in a homely little bread pan and served with a thyme and black pepper butter, flavoured with the merest hint of chilli. It’s doughy, fragrant and just the right balance between sweet and savoury. Our purple seafood salad amuse bouche (stewed calamari and shrimps, red cabbage, mango, tomato and mint leaves in an orange and lemon vinaigrette) on a shrimp cracker – with a touch of truffle mayo and some micro herbs – is swiftly consumed before our starters arrive.
First up is Foie Gras – pan-seared, lightly salted and sitting plumply atop toasted brioche. It melts in the mouth and is complemented by wonderfully tart green apples, which have been diced and cooked in just a little sugar, and then sweetened by pearls of cassis and beetroot reduction dotted around the plate. Warming and decadent, it’s the perfect thing to start us off.
Next comes ceviche and the rather beautiful dish named Green, which turns out to be a fabulous, crunchy salad with al dente vegetables, sliced green apple, avocado, cucumber, arugula and kale, all tossed in a lemon vinaigrette (secret ingredients are lemon peel and orange juice – I am taking this with me for future dressings). The ceviche is a trio of delicate seafood containing shrimp, calamari and tuna sashimi, with a tiger milk sauce that zings with lemon and lime, a gentle chilli heat and delicious creaminess from its fish sauce base. There is decorative sweet potato purée, along with some sweetcorn kernels, both of which give it a deliciously Peruvian feel.
Sitting where we are, we have a perfect view of the chefs in the live kitchen, hard at work, occasionally blow torching ‘things’ and creating ceiling-high fire spectacles. But this is nothing compared to the show we are about to receive at our table. First, a box of knives appears for us to choose our meat-fest weapons. Then, the Tomahawk is wheeled out. If you order one of these or equally a Porterhouse cut, you will be treated to an audience with Chef Ulash (who hails from Türkiye but recently moved from Oman), who has seared our Tomahawk to perfection. He slices it up and then, on a hot plate, flash fries liquid butter with lemon, rosemary sprigs, more liquid butter, the steak and its bone, smoky salt and sea salt and (got it in one) more liquid butter. Flames leap upwards, fragrant smells erupt from the pan and finally, he plates it all up, adding roasted garlic bulbs, roasted cherry tomatoes and a touch of salt to this mouth-watering meat. Ummm, where will the side dishes go!?
We try both the Peppercorn and Roquefort sauces, but Ignacio also insists we try the Chimichurri. It turns out our lovely Argentinian host has had a few steaks before and absolutely knows what he is talking about. The acidity of the Chimichurri is the yang to the fatty (read deeply flavoursome) tenderness of the Tomahawk’s yin. Perfection.
I can usually be persuaded to have surf with my turf, so for a bit of added luxury, I try the Lobster Mac and Cheese. Cheesy goodness clings to the conchiglie pasta as I slide it towards my plate, and the pieces of lobster ensure that we have high-class surf to complement our steak. Hand-cut French fries are also a delicious addition, skin-on with parmesan shavings and truffle mayo. I thoroughly enjoy the creamed spinach, which has been perfectly seasoned and then dusted with lemon zest and parmesan. It is hearty, creamy and lifted by the zest but crucially, just right with steak.
To top it all off, we end with Cheesecake on Fire, a cheesecake stunningly presented as an edible candle. The ‘wax’ is made of white chocolate, which encases fluffy cheesecake and strawberry compote, and the ‘candle wick’ is a single almond flake which is lit in front of us. One of the most inventive desserts I have seen and a joy to behold. For good measure, we also have the Chocolate Fondant, containing chunks of molten banana caramel and chocolatey goodness. The coffee gelato by its side has almost salted caramel notes to it and frankly, I could eat tubs of the stuff if I had not just eaten… well, see above.
Our dessert is gloriously accompanied by live jazz. Vocals, keys and a tenor sax have us swaying to old classics and jazzy takes on modern popular beats. We watch, mesmerised, as the musicians play around, adding touches of their own characters to it. It is such a treat to watch superb live music whilst also enjoying some seriously high-quality food.