Restaurant Review: Ruth's Chris Steak House

29 Jun 2012

Dubai gets a second helping from Ruth...

Ruth’s Chris Steak House
Address: The Address Dubai Marina
Tel: 04 454 9538

Dubai Marina-dwelling fans of Ruth’s Chris Steak House are thrilled that they no longer have to brave Sheikh Zayed Road to reach the UAE’s first branch of this popular chain, located in The Monarch. The second incarnation is based in the erstwhile venue of the ill-fated Rive Gauche at The Address Dubai Marina, and the space has been revamped with red leather seating and a large lounge serving chic canapés; from a healthy tuna ceviche with ponzu vinegarette to mini beef carpaccio served on a garlic toast point – all for just Dhs13 each.

Despite its glowing reputation, the name has always annoyed us somewhat: we’ve an urge to move the apostrophe around and rename it Ruth Chris’ Steak House, but learning the brand history has helped us overcome our grammar pedantry. Back in 1965 an ambitious risk-taker remortgaged her home in order to buy a restaurant in New Orleans called Chris Steak House (we’re assuming Chris wasn’t good with apostrophes either). The woman was Ruth Fertel, and as the restaurant grew in popularity she decided to take some credit nominally. Having sampled Ruth’s dishes, which are meticulously created with the exact same ingredients the world over, we don’t blame her.

Potato-lovers will be thrilled to note there are eight – yes, eight! – varieties of potato side dishes (all priced at Dhs31), from roast garlic mash and thick-cut steak fries to Yukon Golds au gratin and the peculiar sweet potato casserole. This vanilla-infused orange mash is topped with a layer of lightly caramelised toasted pecan nuts and it’s hard to tell whether it should be served with steak or custard, but we enjoyed the challenge to tradition.

Heartily recommended is any crab creation on the menu – with a policy of serving American-sized portions across the board you can be assured of generous helpings of flavour-packed, fresh lump crab. One way to ensure you sample both the world-renowned steak and the crab is to order your steak with an ‘Oscar style’ complement (Dhs79), which comprises a side of plump and juicy crab cake on a bed of asparagus and béarnaise sauce. Other complements include a blue cheese crust (Dhs25), mushroom sauce (Dhs19) and six fat shrimps (Dhs79) – this is steak how you like it with a flexible menu that can be tailored to all taste buds.

The ‘petite filet’ (Dhs199) was not so small at 8oz and the secret to Ruth’s perfectly cooked USDA Prime corn-fed beef steaks, Executive Chef Paul de Visser tells us, lies not only in the top quality meat but also in the cooking technique. All steaks are removed from the huge American broilers (or grills), which reach the mammoth temperature of 1,000C, one minute before they’re fully cooked. They’re then set to rest for 10 to 15 minutes so that the blood and juices are reabsorbed by the meat making it extremely succulent while removing the risk of blood leaking from the meat onto the patron’s plate. Finally, they’re popped back in the broiler for a minute before being served on plates heated to 260C, ensuring the steaks stay hot throughout the meal. Unless otherwise requested, the steaks are delivered with melting butter cascading over them, creating a divine snap, crackle and pop as it hits the plate.

This mouth-watering sizzle has become synonymous with Ruth’s steaks and while the health-conscious may be tempted to put a hold on the butter, this beautiful sound should not be missed. You can always order a healthy side of broccoli to help balance the scales..