For the past couple of years, driving up and down Sheikh Zayed Road, everyone has commented, either positivity or negatively about the two extremely tall towers that have now become the new JW Marquis Hotel in Business Bay.
Driving up to the hotel one of my dinner guests comments that it feels exactly the same as the first time he had drove through the Marina way back when. A new road, a new area and a new boundary that has been set. Its traffic lights now relatively empty, but rest assured in a span a few short months, the “build it and they will come” mantra of Dubai will take into effect.
Pressing the 68th floor we shoot up into the sky at a leisurely speed. Knowing that JW Steakhouse, an institution in the Dubai steakhouse scene, is also part of the Marriot family, my expectations start to rise with every floor that we pass.
Walking into the restaurant the first thing that strikes you is how bright and lit the steakhouse is. Proudly proclaiming that dark steakhouses are a thing of the past, Prime 68 boasts white lacquered finishing with only a touch of black that plays on its 50s theme.
As a group of 9 dinner guests, we pass the romantic two seat-er booths, which have mirrored ceilings mind you, to the open space next to the glassed kitchen.
Taking our seats, we are handed horizontal menus that open upwards rather than to the side, which I find interesting, but the noteworthy part is that yes its just one beautiful concise page.
Weary about the service based on a review that popped up right after Prime 68′s opening, I was pleasantly surprised to see that there have been some improvements.
Our starters arrive and my spoon splashes into the luxurious lobster bisque I ordered. A warm creamy creation with a kiss of the sea. Recovering from the initial enchantment of the dish, my spoon fishes for pieces of lobster to surface only to be successful twice. Though some lobster bisques do not require you to add lobster meat to them, my dinner guest and I agreed, if you going to add meat, be generous with it.
Looking at the very unassuming crab cake, its full-on ode to the nude color makes me take a bite in passing, only to look back startled and with a smile as if it snapped three times in my face (in the form of a triangle) telling me “I better recognize”. The fresh chunky meat paired with a spicy sauce is one of the best I’ve had.
A taste of the scallops with pomegranate seeds is lovely. My dinner guest did comment he would have preferred the larger sized scallops to the mini ones offered.
The star of the show arrives, the steak, and my usual, perceived by some as boring although perfect to me, cut of fillet is cooked to medium as requested.
As with any circumstance, the start of the show is nothing without his or her supporting actors, the sides, oh glorious sides. Wild mushrooms, steakhouse fries, buttery mash, grilled asparagus, lobster mac and cheese, truffle gratin, onion straw and sweet potato toped with marshmallows.
Dare I say, their sides may rival that of The Exchange Grill’s, my one and only steakhouse true love.
The nominations for the best supporting actors go to, the crispy airy onion straws, the gooey rich lobster mac and cheese and the interesting sweet potato toped with caramelized marshmallows. All winners in my books.
And for desserts cheesecake and bread pudding paired with a delicious dessert wine. After pairing the two, I vow to never have dessert without a dessert wine in hand.
Taking bite of the cheesecake, I experience the first fumble of the night. Grasping for flavor I take another bite followed by another to no avail. Beautifully presented the cheesecake whole-heartedly tries to deliver, but forgetting her lines, calls out ‘Line’ only to and empty back stage.
Taking a sip of my dessert wine to forget the past and start a new, I begin with the bread pudding topped with vanilla ice cream. A combination of pudding, French toast and vanilla, it’s a type of dessert that makes you sit back and say, “Mmm that’s good!”
I am going to put Prime 68 in my Top 5 steakhouses in Dubai. I still haven’t settled on the order but it’s up there. I would request that they dim the lights ever so slightly and select some interesting music just to ring in a dinner mood. At AED 500 per head (including drinks) though an expensive bill, is still competitive based on what is on the market, the quality and taste of food that was delivered.