Mandarin Grill at Mandarin Oriental Hotel, KL

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.

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While the price did (unfortunately) match the expectations set, the food fell below par.

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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?? πŸ˜‰

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My 250g Tenderloin.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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My pineapple and celery juice – RM22. Pricey, I know.

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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?

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The dining area is lovely, with warm lights, but thankfully not entirely dim. Well-spaced apart tables ensures comfort and privacy.

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The page of the menu that matters – the MEATs.

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Mandarin Grill & MO Bar

Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur City Centre
Tel: 03-21798960