Tag / Western
April 28, 2008
Ever since I came back from the States, I’ve been having a tough time finding good steak. The “western food” hawker stalls are usually pretty good with their chicken chop and perhaps fish and chips, but the steaks are about as thick as a notepad and tasted equally disappointing. I’ve also tried some of the restaurants like cafe chinoz at KLCC but the steak was not exactly up to standard, I couldn’t even finish the filet mignon there. I’ve heard that Le Meridien’s Prime Grill serves very good steak, but the price is a bit out of reach. I’ve almost accepted the fate that I shall just forget about having steak, until I went to Gaucho Grill at Chulan Square last week.
excellent interior, chef Kamaruddin and yours truly
Gaucho Grill is one of the very few Argentinian restaurants in Klang Valley. Chef Kamaruddin explained that Argentina is actually the 2nd largest consumer of beef in the world, just after US (with 7.5x more in population). Vegetable is not exactly popular, the south Americans love their meat. Gaucho Grill imports all their meat from herds raised by gauchos (cowboys) of Argentina.
starters: garlic bread, seafood soup, escargot, mixed crunch
The three of us that attended this review session by foodstreet were first served with some really nice garlic bread, Escargot, their Sopa Oceano (seafood soup), and the rather large portion of Mixed Crunch.
The seafood soup has the texture between that of a minestrone soup and pasta sauce, very thick and packed with the sweetness from the scallops, prawns, and mussels that swim in it. It was good. The Mixed Crunch is a dish of finger food that would go very well with beer. Crispy prawn with garlic mayo, mussels, fried mushroom, onion fritter, salmon floret, bruschetta of tomato and feta cheese, and seared scallop with balsamic oil, it was actually pretty hearty for a starter.
main: t-bone steak, salmon and half lobster, beef tenderloin, lamb rack
Next came the four main dishes for the day, we had the La Boca (T-bone Steak), Peublo (Prime Steer Beef Tenderloin), El Codero (Lamb Rack), and El Rey de Mar (Salmon and half Lobster). Two beef, a lamb, and a seafood dish, perfect!
Both the T-bone steak and tenderloin were some of the best beefs I’ve had for a long time. While our dishes were prepared in medium, I personally would like it in medium rare for an even juicier experience. The T-bone is a whopping 450 gram (1 pound) of steak served with rosemary butter. No other sauce is used to distract the natural taste of beef. It was really good.
For the most tender cut served at Gaucho Grill, the good chef prepared the Peublo, a very thick cut of prime steer beef tenderloin that is served with mushroom gravy, zucchini, and fries. The meat was very tender and juicy it brought back my filet mignon (the good one at States, not the lousy version at KLCC) experience.
juicy meat, almond crumble and choc madeleine desserts
As good as the beef dishes were, the El Codero (lamb rack) was equally delicious. Three pieces of very juicy and tender ribs (280gm) served with ratatouille and pesto, I don’t think I’ve had lamb this good before. Even better than the marinate Jaime’s mom made during one of our BBQ sessions.
Other than red meat dishes, we had the El Rey de Mar (roasted salmon and baked half lobster). The salmon was roasted just nice and lobster, well, it was how lobsters taste like, very succulent and never disappoint.
We managed to sample 2 desserts after all these food, the Choc Madeleine is perfect for chocolate lovers with apricot on moist choc, ice cream, and warm choc fudge. The Panna Cotta is similar to creme brulee, but served cold with dark cherry and raspberry stew. The desserts are made in house as well.
Chulan Square is adjacent to Pavilion KL
Steaks are priced at around RM 68-80, desserts are RM 13-16. There’s also a very good deal for set lunches on weekdays between 12-3pm, for RM 26 you get soup, salad, ice lemon tea, and a main dish (rib eyes, burgers, etc).
The food was really good, and I have no doubt I will go there again.
More pictures of this place at my flickr set
Block B, Lot 5 Chulan Square
92 Jalan Raja Chulan,
50250 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.148518, 101.716114
Tel: 03-2145 4268
March 10, 2008
I was invited to an exclusive Guinness St. Patrick’s day Food Creation event at Nikko Hotel last Thursday thanks to Celine. All I knew about this event was that I get to sample a Guinness infused food, I was quite intrigued, as the only type of Guinness infused food I’ve ever had was Guinness pork ribs served by many Chinese tai chau places.
Guinness infused Lamb Shank
For the uninitiated, St. Patrick’s Day is an annual feast day which celebrate the patron saint of Ireland. It is traditionally observed on the 17th of March every year. Since this is a celebration of food and drinks, and Guinness is from Ireland, they came up with this Guinness infused Food Creation contest that runs until the end of the month. There are 9 outlets participating in this contest judged by celebrity Chef Emmanuel Stroobant of Chef in Black. The results will be out on the 25th of March.
chatting up with Chef Halil
This particular food tasting event was held at Bentley’s pub on first floor, a very cozy English pub setting with classy deco that seems so fitting for this occasion. I was greeted by Azira, the communication person at Nikko (who incidentally worked at the same place I am working now), the resident manager Ron Brooks, and of course, the very friendly Chef Halil. Besides all sorts of drinks (alcoholic or otherwise), they serve dishes such as fish and chips, steak, shepherd’s pie and so forth. However, until the 30th of March, the special addition to the menu is the Guinness Braised Lamb Shank on Sauteed Arrow Root Chips with Onion Jam, the very dish that is the competition. Best thing is, I get to eat it!
Christian from KL Lifestyle and Celine enjoying their lamb shank
As we were waiting for the lamb shank, chef Halil explained to me how the dish is cooked. First marinated with salt and pepper, the lamb shank is browned with vegetable oil on a flat pan. Then came the celery, carrots and onion, and then garlic cloves, tomato paste, then a whole bottle of Guinness stout. After that there’s the brown sauce and so forth. 1 hour and 15 minutes later, the dish is done. (I actually have the recipe from this friendly chef, but I guess I am in not hurry to try this myself just yet).
The lamb shank was very tasty and very tender, with a very subtle hint of bitterness from the stout but masterfully balanced with the sweetness of onion jam. The use of arrow root (ngaku) and other vegetables compliments the texture and taste of the lamb. It was very gastronomically satisfying, I think it’s a winner! Naturally, I had the lamb with a glass of Guinness Draught.
I just had to have a glass of this!
To try this dish, you have until the end of this month. It is available at RM 30++ at Bentley’s pub, Nikko Hotel (just right next to Citybank at Ampang Park).
GPS: 3.159767, 101.718045
January 24, 2008
A couple weekends ago Suanie, Nicholas, and I arranged a trip down to Seremban to lepak a bit at Era Square, a pretty new commercial area just right to the yet-to-be-opened Terminal 2 interstate bus terminal. We met up with Cheeser the local girl there, and of course, the first agenda after the 45 minutes drive from KL is to get our stomach stuffed.
the awesome prawn, and live oyster from Canada
Due to the power that be, we had an invitation to eat at Kensington, a nicely decorated Western/Fusion restaurant. The owner Grace Chia had prepared a total of 8 dishes for us, she was super friendly and actually sat us through the whole meal to tell us everything about the individual dishes and how they (with her husband the chef) got into this business.
Grace actually lived in UK for quite a number of years and have been involved with satisfying stomachs of the public for over 15 years. Kensington at Era Square is their latest venture.
KY, Grace the owner, and Ringo (Cheeser)
Now lets get to the food, shall we? Since there are so many dishes and Grace had laboriously explained each of them to me, I think I shall just list them one by one here.
Prawn Mango Salad (RM 18.50) – This is one Suanie’s favorite, an American recipe that has the prawn cooked with fresh mango (seafood and fruit, interesting heh?). The slightly sourly sauce is particularly excellent, very buttery and flavorful.
Aromatic Crispy Duck (RMR 18.50) – A quarter duck peeled off from the bone, served with lettuce, cucumber, and plum sauce. I find this to actually taste better than the Schezuan duck I had at Soho, 1 Utama. The fresh vegetable compliments the taste of duck meat and the sauce very well.
prawn mango salad, aromatic crispy duck, live oyster, and baked potato
Live Oyster (RM 6.50) – Flown from Canada, fat and juicy. You can have them cheese baked for an extra buck.
Baked Potato – Somehow I have lost the description for this dish, but if you like potato and cheese, do not miss it!
Filet Steak with Shitake Sauce (RM 31.50) – A generous serving of beef with the shitake mushroom in with cream and a touch of wine. I gotta admit that this dish did not look like a proper steak and I had doubts about it. However, a bite the red meat confirmed what Suan kept telling me “You gotta try this, it’s great omg!”
filet steak, lamb shank, chicken veronique, and mushroom soup
Lamb Shank (RM 18.50) – A huge piece of lamb shank serve prepared with black pepper sauce. The meat is very tender and it definitely tastes better than those you can order from the particular chain restaurant famous for their cakes. A very good value too.
Chicken Veronique (RM 15.30) – Chicken breast cooked with grapes (yes grapes!), cream, and white wine. While chicken breast is chicken breast, the sauce made all the difference, a very interesting taste with actual pieces of grape in it. Though I’m not used to having chicken served this way, I like it.
Mushroom Soup and Garlic Bread – When the mushroom soup came, I was already more than half full and wasn’t exactly overly keen on “just mushroom soup”. Grace proved me wrong, the soup actually have bits of onion, potato, shitake mushroom, and celery in it that made the taste and texture that much better. Goes very well with the garlic bread too!
Suan doesn’t eat oyster, so I had extra. Grace the friendly owner
This is certainly one of the best lunches I’ve ever had. I really really wish Kensington can open a branch just outside next to my house. The price is very affordable, and the food is excellent, combined with a comfortable dining area, there isn’t anything to complain about.
I am sure I will go there again, after all, going to Seremban can actually be faster than heading down town KL sometimes.
Kensington is situated at Era Square, just 5 minutes from Seremban Toll
Kensington Western Restaurant
34, Jalan Era Square 3,
70200 Seremban, N. Sembilan
GPS: 2.726541, 101.931442
Tel: 06-768 7288