One of the perks of running a food blog is having the opportunity to sample foods at restaurants that I typically wouldn’t walk in myself. This is due to the preconception that these restaurants must be really, really expensive, and there wouldn’t be anything I can afford to eat and then still feel it is okay to shit em out 12 hours later.
I know food would usually be of very good quality, but the prices are just not tallied with my income level just yet.
Mandarin Grill at Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpur
Mandarin Grill is one such restaurants, so when I was contacted by the Nicole, the PR exec from Mandarin Oriental KL, it didn’t take me more than half a second to decide that this is one that I am going for sure. Since Sheryl and I both stayed in US and enjoyed good steak, I asked her to tag along with me to this review session.
Located at the space previously occupied by Pacifica at Mandarin Oriental, this restaurant is tastefully decorated. Gone are the funky colors and overly in-your-face deco at Pacifica, the ambiance at Mandarin Grill is a lot more relaxed with elegantly arranged pieces of furniture as well as artworks.
bread, scallop carpaccio, grilled sea bass
Like most fine dining restaurants, bread is served at the beginning. There were half a dozen interesting named breads on offer to go with their five spice and normal butter. They were good, but I only tried a bit to conserve stomach space.
Before even the appetizer is served, we were treated with a tidy plate of scallop carpaccio accompany with diced mango and a bit of “some other shellfish”. It was certainly fresh, and positively yummy.
The grilled sea bass was another one of those samplers in between appetizer and main course. The bread and these two samplers are both on the house, and depending the chef’s mood, you might get something completely different.
pumpkin veloute and french onion soup
The ladies started off with soup. Sheryl had the pumpkin veloute (RM 32) that’s got this very interesting foam like texture that I’ve never tasted before. Nicole ordered the french onion soup (RM 32). To be honest, while the pumpkin veloute had a very interesting texture and tasted alright, I’m not sure if I liked it, a bit too strange for me.
Other soup on the menu were lobster bisque (RM 48) and tomato gazpacho (RM 32)
appetizer sampler – lobster, crab cake, smoked salmon loin
Instead of soup, I chose the Mandarin Grill appetizer sampler (RM 125), perfect choice for someone who can’t decide between the other choices on the menu. The smoked salmon loin was tender to the point that it is almost “tofu” like, crab cake was rich, but the slow cooked lobster tail was my favorite, very sweet and succulent.
The other two interesting looking appetizers on the menu were Angus steak tartar (RM 82) and foie gras au torchon (RM 82).
USDA prime – 80% Angus, grain fed tenderloin
Then came the steak. Since I spent quite a lot of time in the States and sorely missed the steak there, I chose to go with the USDA prime – 80% Angus tenderloin 250g (RM 190).
The tenderloin looked like a big muffin. I sliced it with the super sharp steak knife and admired the color for a minute before sending the meat to my mouth. It was every bit as tasty as it looked, very succulent, with perfect texture and the taste of a good USDA prime that I missed so much. It was really, really good and definitely worth every sen of the RM 190 asking price.
To go with the steak, there are a wide selection of butter, vegetable, potatoes, and sauces. I picked giant asparagus and steamed broccoli.
1824, Australia, grain fed 120 days, strip loin and ribeye
The girls had 1824 Australian grain fed strip loin 250g (RM 106) and ribeye 300g (RM 118). I had a bite of the strip loin and it too, was very good, but I still prefer my tenderloin though.
Other types of steak includes Master Kobe tenderloin and sirloin that goes for over RM 400 a piece, wagyu priced from RM 185 to RM 310, and even the jumbo 1kg T-bone at RM 320. They also offer lamb, veal, duck breast, and scallops.
Hazelnut Crème brûlée, Manjari Chocolate Ganache
I was already over full by the time I finished enjoying the excellent steak, but Nicole insisted that we must try their desserts.
With her recommendations we went for the hazelnut creme brulee and manjari chocolate ganache (all desserts priced at RM 32). It was seriously the best creme brulee I had, caramelized at the top layer and super flavorful underneath, with blueberry compote and yoghurt sorbet to go with it. Very rich and super delicious.
The manjari chocolate ganache is something a chocolate lover should not miss, I particularly like the chocolate sorbet.
Sheryl and KY at Mandarin Grill
To complete the dinner, I had a glass of red wine (they had a huge selection of wine). It was easily one of the best food review sessions I had, the ambiance, the food, and the company were all great.
I also learned that you don’t necessarily have to spend RM 300-500 per person to get a meal at these 5 star restaurants. If you keep it to the steak (which would feed me pretty good anyway) and perhaps share a starter or dessert, a meal for two could still be under RM 300-400.
I think I need to go there again.
map to Mandarin Oriental, KL
Mandarin Oriental Hotel
Kuala Lumpur City Centre
50088 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.155771, 101.711748
Tel: 03-2179 8960