Mandarin Grill at Mandarin Oriental Hotel, KL.
The name Mandarin Grill conjures images of expensive bills & perfect steaks.
‘Why‘, you ask?
Well, that’s the impression that any reader of any of the reviews on Mandarin Grill posted on the net would get.
‘Why‘; again you ask?
Hmm…for one, it could be that I didn’t order their best steak on the menu; the Grade 10 Kobe. And another reason was simply; being the cost-conscious person that I am, I had expected better bang for my buck.
Still, it’s hard not to fall in love (especially if you are a bread-lover like myself) when you are presented with THIS:
A whole tray of warm gourmet breads! I must say, this is the only place that offers me such a terrific assortment of bread so far! Just from personal experience, Favola at Le Meridien serves excellent bread, Cilantro @ Micasa Hotel offers their legendary truffle butter, and Mandarin Grill takes the cake for the sheer amount of choices alone.
I took about 4 types of bread, and spread them generously with the olive butter provided.
Our amuse bouche was fresh tuna with wasabi lime, topped with french bean and yuzu ponzu jelly, and came seating on top of a bed of zangy tomato salsa. Pretty ordinary dish for a place like Mandarin Grill and it didn’t merit any brownie points, though it was generally a pleasant starter.
The Appetiser Platter pleased me though. I’m a sucker for small tasting portions; and having many different types all in one plate. The platter has exactly all that, though most of them were again; pretty ordinary.
Appetiser Platter: Creamy Foie Gras au Torchon, Smoked salmon loin, Black olives, Green pea salad, Port wine jelly, duo of apple (spiced apple), Toasted brioche and Alaskan Crab Cake.
An intriguing item was the paper- thin chilli paper. Spicy and crackly, it paired well with the Alaskan crab cake, which was packed with sweet and juicy crab meat.
The Pumpkin soup tasted funny at first, almost of crab-bisque flavour (I kid you not, both of us felt the same way), but the mousse-like and frothy consistency is commendable. Anyhow, the taste kind of grew on me, and I ended up enjoying it, for after a while; the sweet & fresh pumpkin taste really shone.
My date have had a meal too many of bovine, and hence ordered a COD in a restaurant famed for its grill. For RM105.00, he got an overly seasoned cod that was too salty for him to finish. I laughed at him. Wicked, I know.
At Mandarin Grill, diners gets to choose 2 side dishes (one each from a selection of potatoes & vegetables) and one type of sauce. He chose Steamed Broccolini & Roasted fingerlings with Rosemary. Both were satisfactory enough. The little saucer you see below at the right was his choice of sauce – the homemade ketchup. It was pretty bland.
Naturally, my main is a steak. A whole 250g of it. And I get to decide from a dozen choice of knives on which I want to use to crave my meat. Cool isn’t it?? 😉
My 250g Tenderloin.
My search for a good steak shall continue its course. Tenderloin is a bad choice for someone who loves flavour in her meat; and that means I need a fattier cut. Another thing is, I do not eat beef cooked over medium, and this came almost medium- done.
My sides were the best of the lot, especially so for the creamy carbo-licious Gratin Dauphinois. Lovely & rich, the thin slices of potatoes layered with cream and topped with torched cheese had us relishing it so much that we ended up leaving most of our mains untouched. LOL.
I noted that the sides were served in individual bowls, and that itself was worthy of mention in my books. The main plate was kept hindrance – free for you to concentrate on craving your mains. Separate servings also means there will be no overlapping of food/gravy or sauce.
Apparently Mandarin Grill is famed for its desserts. Hence we asked one of the chefs to recommend their BEST dessert & the prompt reply was “Apple Pie”. So apple pie it shall be to end our meal.
It took a while to come, and it was well worth the wait. I was bowled over by the apple pie here. Divinely flaky puff pastry with thin slivers of apple fanning it around the top, it came baked -ala-minute. Topped with vanilla ice cream, this completed my Mandarin Grill experience.
My date had the lighter Mango Sherbet, since he said he could barely breath after his dinner.
My pineapple and celery juice – RM22. Pricey, I know.
Horn-shaped pepper and salt shaker. I just had to take a picture of this; and then realized that most blogs features them as well. LOL. That says a lot of the “centrepiece” doesn’t it?
The dining area is lovely, with warm lights, but thankfully not entirely dim. Well-spaced apart tables ensures comfort and privacy.
The page of the menu that matters – the MEATs.
Mandarin Grill & MO Bar
Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur City Centre