Many may have yet to realize, but there’s a new swanky hotel in town!
The GRAND HYATT KUALA LUMPUR opened its doors end of August 2012 and this elegant and luxurious hotel with 370 guestrooms and 42 suites is already amassing quite a steady booking of its room since then.
It’s rather strategic location made it a favourite of business travelers and tourists who wants to be in the vicinity the Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC). Grand Hyatt Hotel is right next to Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre and within walking distance of the iconic Petronas Twin Towers, Suria KLCC, KLCC Park, Dewan Filharmonik Petronas as well as the Golden Triangle shopping and entertainment district of Bukit Bintang. The Pavilion Shopping Centre is less than a ten minute walk by the covered sky-bridge outside the hotel.
I stepped in recently due to an invited review of its beautiful, sky-scraping restaurant THIRTY8. As I strolled around the ground floor of the hotel, the feeling of grandeur and space was undeniable. The lobby has a majestic, tall staircase with a zen water feature at its foot. Immediately images of beautiful attired guests sweeping down the stairs in their gowns and tuxedoes during a cocktail came to mind.
To access THIRTY8, proceed to Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur’s sky lobby and then switch lift to the 38th floor. Not to worry if this sounds confusing as there are hotel staff at every floor and they are seen ushering guests as they go about their rounds within the hotel building.
Step out from the lift and one is immediately bestowed with panoramic views of KL city, all round. And when I say all round I meant a complete 360 degrees. The entire floor (or even building) is designed in a circular form where it appears as if there aren’t any corners and you are always bought back in a circle as you explore the entire floor.
On one side the KL Tower greets you while on the other end the Petronas Twin Towers soared majestically to the sky, hazy days or otherwise.
As you dine, the lively open kitchen for the Chinese, Japanese, grill and desserts provided diversion as chefs and cooks moved about preparing your meals.
My lunch that day was a 4 course meal with selected items from THIRTY8’s menu of appetisers, desserts, grills, mains and sushi/sashimi.
S a s h i m i p l at t e r – assorted raw fish and shellfish (RM100), which includes the usual suspects of prawns, tuna, squids and scallops.
Impeccable slices of fresh seafood was made even better with freshly grated wasabi, my preferred choice as it packs a better punch!
Sadly this is something only available at selected Japanese restaurants in town.
Arugula tomato salad, tomato olive oil dressing, sea salt, black pepper –RM 25.
In need of fibres but not too fond of salads? This very refreshing salad is a good alternative thanks to the medley of tangy sweetness contributed by the many variations of tomatoes on a plate. The arugula leaves imparted a slight bitterness that gave the dish a slight dimension of taste from just plain tomatoes. The dressing was kept basic allowing the full vibrant flavours of cherry, roma and yellow tomatoes (among others) to shine through.
Steak & Seafood Mixed Grill for two – Black angus sirloin steak, double lamb chops, spring chicken, tiger prawns, scallops, fish filet – RM300. (Note: Mine was missing the double lamb chops and scallops but I got Tasmanian ocean trout, baked oysters and lamb merguez sausages instead.)
It was an impressive platter meant for sharing and trust me, unless you’re a real glutton, 4 to this platter is definitely more manageable!
Other than the steaks which though pink was very much lacking in succulence, the rest of the platter was pleasant enough. I enjoyed the ocean trout which was adeptly prepared and the decadent baked oysters.
The sirloin was sent back to the kitchen and my replacement (as below) was much improved in juiciness but I still thought it could have been a better cut.
THIRTY8 Restaurant offers quite a large selection for grills and seafood and a friend who came before during the opening week did said that his Australian Black Angus rib-eye was impeccable. Sounds like a return visit is in order and hopefully then my order would turn out to be as impeccable as his.
Baked oysters with spinach and cheese – an old favourite of many.
Choice of sauces for your grills are Béarnaise, mushroom cream, green peppercorn OR Chimichurri – parsley, oregano, garlic, chili, lemon, olive oil salsa. My vote goes to the mushroom cream!
Sides: Choose from 12 choices ranging from RM15 – RM25 each. For my lunch, I had wok-fried kailan, conpoy – RM15 and Garlic mash potatoes – RM15.
Frankly, desserts was the highlight of the meal! It could be that I’m partial to desserts; but theatrics aside, THIRTY8 signature cake (RM 25) was rave-worthy!
It came in a dome shrouded in “haze” which added much mystery and certainly worked to evoke the feeling of being intrigued from the guest.
Opened with a flourish, the light fog cleared to reveal a tall chocolate dessert. Hot caramel was poured into the middle of the cylindrical creation, sinking the middle ever so slightly.
Some of the caramel drizzled over to the sides and my hand itched to “cut” it open to see the flowing effect!
Here you go! Alternating layers of chocolate goodness with sticky caramel.
You have your hot and cold sensation in one order as the homemade banana was beautifully made, full of ripe banana goodness and not overly sweet. Thumbs up to the pastry chef!
Another dessert we had was the Vanilla soft serve mango melba – vanilla ice cream, raspberries, almond crunch (RM18), also made in house but I’m afraid the THIRTY8 signature cake totally stole the thunder!
The dessert sealed the meal.
I would definitely be back to sample more of the superb pastries and cakes. THIRTY8, located on the top floor of the hotel consists of a restaurant, a wine bar and a lounge. So far my experience has been confined to only the restaurant so there’s every reason to be back.
Below: Me and the chefs of THIRTY8. Ah, I forgot to grab a shot with the brilliant pastry chef! I shall ambush him the next round.
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