Wanted to share a few pictures from my dinner last night at St. Maxim, at the Mall of the Emirates. Traditional steakhouse - super stodgy. Stodgy music. Stodgy decor. Stodgy tableware. Stodgy old-school bibs (literally, they make you wear bibs at the start of your meal!) Sto-dgy.
BUT, they part ways from their stodgy brethren by touting one key difference. You get to cook your own meat on the stone. How awesome is that for a steakhouse? You say: Big deal, you get to cook your meat in a Korean BBQ joint. Or even in a fondue place. Or even Chinese hot pot. And I say: True that. But don't forget, this is a traditional white table-clothed steakhouse, where the servers would secretly snicker at you for ordering your meat well-done rather than rare. Because rare, as a French chef once told me, is the only way to enjoy a steak. And worse, as Anthony Bourdain reveals in his awesome book, The Kitchen Confidential, which I'm still reading (and had referenced in another post as well), many chefs will give you the nastiest, most ancient piece of meat they can legally get rid off without killing a customer if you make the faux-pas of asking them for a steak well-done.
Whatever. I'm paying for the meat, so I will have it whichever way I so please. Not to say that I enjoy crusty blackened slabs of overcooked meat - but just that I don't feel the need to conform to what a bunch of elite chefs in their poshy restaurants want to stuff down my throat and cut my wallet out for having done me the favor. I'll eat what I like, so be it.
Anyway, moving off my diatribe, as I mentioned earlier, St. Maxim gives their guests and opportunity to cook premium meat, and even seafood, on the table, on a heated volcanic stone (how cool is that?!), and to whatever stage of doneness that suits their mood that day. And here's my proof, a prime cut of Australian Wagyu beef, one of the most expensive cuts on the menu, but totally worth the palette-pounding juice-exuding beefy explosion I experienced as I dug my jaws into meat that I had cooked, just the way I like it.
My only beef with the steak was that I would have preferred a tinier piece of meat. The juiciest, most flavorful parts were on the perimeter of the steak, and somehow got less so as I ate into the center, maybe because the steak had started drying out with prolonged cooking by the time I got to the middle.
Also worth noting was the halloumi salad: smoky grilled hallomi, with pomegranate seeds and orange wedges to play up the sweet-salty flavors of the Cypriotic cheese. I'd definitely order that one again if we came back.
And for dessert, their molten chocolate fondant that you have to pre-order since it takes a while for them to freshly bake it.
Phone: (04) 341-3415
Mall of the Emirates