Argentinean excellence and high quality steaks in Jumeirah 31 Reviews
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‘What makes one steak restaurant better than another?’ my dining companion pondered as we zoomed towards La Parilla, the Argentinian gem in Jumeirah Beach Hotel’s crown. ‘I mean, what makes a beef slab in one place better than elsewhere?’ Interesting question. Surely the difference came down to steak quality? Or would it have to rely on some extra ingredient in the dining experience, since, essentially – a steak’s a steak? We endeavoured to tear our way through a cow hide or two to find out.
As soon as the flamboyant door host (think Medusa high on vitamins) led us to our ‘very nice, very special table’ by the window, the restaurant’s charisma, charm and comfortable confidence smacked us like a cracking cowboy’s lasso (in a pleasant, rather than painful way). Cow skulls and wagon wheels spun across the walls, the vista sprawled and sparkled below and a large dancefloor stood empty – save for the gingham-clad staff darting back and forth across it.
Less likely to sweep you up in a warm embrace and feed you soybeans than our initial greeter, the rest of the service was warm and efficient nonetheless. Once they’d guided us through the menu, explaining various ingredients and cooking styles, they remained always just a hand flutter away. Wolfing down a wedge from the warm toasty bread, dip and olive selection they dished out ahead of our appetisers, we panicked that our steak-demolishing capabilities might be weakened. Fortunately, the tapas was a more of a more selective ‘fine dining’ affair, with the pretty morsel of parma ham and airy light melon balls a particular highlight.
A fruity glass of Argentinian red wine later and our tenderloin steaks arrived. Though poised at high dawn, we surveyed the challenge. However, a mere forkful later and we were sold, packing the flavoursome protein away like hungry farmboys home from the ranch (minus the spittooning). Lean, stacked and juicier than couture, it more than made up for the ever-so-slightly dry chips that nuzzled against it, while the beans and colourful vegetables added further flavours to the race.
Just as we thought we’d solved our rump riddle – that the steak is indeed the secret to a standout meat joint – a gasping accordion sounded over by the dancefloor. We turned to see three poker-faced Argentinian musicians, all sombrely cloaked in black, strumming their musical heritage to life. In a whirl of red, black and white, a couple tangoed onto the floor, bodies entwined; twirls, kicks and jumps high. Our attention was soon torn between the silkly rich aracaibo chocolate dessert we’d (literally) plumped for and the rumba fireworks shooting off before us.
Dance after drumming solo after sporadic jumping display later, the furor had interrupted our conversation, while uniting the restaurant’s diners as an audience – which, along with the first-class food and service, secured La Parilla as our top steak place in the city. We may still not be able to answer our initial question, but we do know that whatever the secret is, La Parilla has it by the chop-load.
The bill (for two)
1x Large Mineral Water Dhs18
1x Tapas appetiser Dhs105
2x 300g Tenderloin Steak Dhs430
1x Sauteed Vegetable Dhs40
3x Glass of Kaiken Red Wine Dhs138
1x Crunchy Hazlenut Dhs60
Total (excluding service) Dhs791
By Jeremy Lawrence
Time Out Dubai,
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