Restaurant review: JW Steakhouse, Riyadh

A sleek steakhouse that can take its place among the city’s greats…

When the first JW Marriott property in Saudi Arabia opened in November 2022, it promised to bring an exciting array of new restaurants to Riyadh. Among the more hotly anticipated openings at the luxury landmark located on King Fahd Road was upscale eatery, JW Steakhouse.

Those familiar with the JW Marriott brand may have dined at its sleek signature steakhouse at destinations around the world: there are JW Steakhouses in London, Abu Dhabi and Cairo to name a few. And now cosmopolitan carnivores in Riyadh can get a slice – or cut – of the action.

Located on the hotel’s ground floor and accessed via a smart navy paneled walkway, entering the restaurant feels like stepping into a glamourous New York steakhouse. Guest are greeted by a grand bar, arranged around a pretty tree in the centre, which is attached to another signature restaurant, JW Glass Garden.

The aesthetic is dark and grown-up, with a masculine feel thanks to expensive looking woods, crisp tablecloths and warm globe lighting. Tables that line the walls are surrounded by midnight leather seats, while the central restaurant tables are dotted with grand armchairs in shades of olive and maroon. The only disruptor to this otherwise elegant setting is a glass window into the kitchen, which allows diners to see the culinary team at work.

The expansive menu extends beyond steakhouse classics, tempting diners with sensational seafood options and a dedicated ‘butcher’s block’ of premium cuts designed to share.

The meal starts, as all great meals do, with an amuse-bouche. Here, it arrives as a crisp cone of neatly diced beef tartare and a bite of dense fois gras on a thin crisp bread. Both are excellent. From the starters, our favourite is the scallops (SAR96), unusually flavoured with subtle, sweet vanilla, then well balanced with salty duck prosciutto. The Alaskan king crab tartlette (SAR96), gets bonus points for table theatrics, as it’s perfectly built by the team on a trolley right next to our table. The crab meat is fresh, but in terms of flavour, it’s a little lacking.

We opt to share an Australian beef ribeye (SAR384) to share, which is cooked just as we like it on the Josper grill. While portions are advertised for one, this is more than enough for our table of two, especially when paired with a thick and creamy Bernaise, soft roasted broccoli with flaked almonds (SAR54) and crisp truffle fries (SAR54) scattered with parmesan.

There’s a sophisticated air to the restaurant, and despite being open only a few weeks, the team are able to make excellent recommendations, and move around the restaurant in a way that feels like it’s been in operation far longer.

Verdict: JW Steakhouse is a top new choice for meat lovers in Riyadh.

JW Steakhouse, JW Marriott Riyadh, Kind Fahd Road, daily 7pm to 12am. Tel: (966) 55787 7381, marriott.com