As if the birthday surprise trip to KL wasn’t great enough, Bob made dinner reservations at Mandarin Grill. This contemporary modern restaurant is located at Mandarin Oriental, just a few minutes walk from the famed Petronas Towers.
Our reservation was at 7:00 pm and we were the first diners that they were expecting. We were directed to our table which had a lovely view of the garden. I was glad we weren’t given the booth seats. I believe that nice dinner dates starts with the classic “your date pulls out your seat for you to sit”.
The restaurant exudes class. Bull and deer heads on the wall were made of paper and iron (unlike those dreadful and scary moth-eaten animal heads in some steakhouses). Dainty chandeliers sets the ceiling like faint clustered stars.
Aqua Panna was poured, a glass of 2008 D’Arenburg ‘The Footbolt’, Shiraz from Mclaren Vale, Australia (RM 48) for him and a glass of 2010 Danzante, Pinot Grigio from The Venezie, Italy (RM 48) for me… Looks like this date is off to a good start.
Marbled Hudson Valley Foie Gras, with crispy duck breast, cauliflower puree and amarena cherry jus (RM 75).. It was slightly cooked and served in such a generous portion. If your palate is not accustomed to such a delicacy, it might be overwhelming. Bob and I slathered our piece of duck breast with the liver and ate it altogether with the morel. Then we enjoyed that piece of brioche with the remaining Foie and cherry. Too sinful!
Alaskan King Crab Cake with sea trout tartar, mango-chilli salsa, avocado and cucumber (RM 70).. The crab cake is fresh and the natural flavor of the crabmeat is totally bursting in your mouth, this is what a good crab cake should be! It was soft and moist in the inside but crispy on the outside. Among the 3 accompaniments served together with the cakes, I loved the mango chilli salsa the most. The sea trout tartar was too strong that it masks the flavor of the crab cake while the avocado and the cucumber was, in my opinion didn’t help the flavors to come together at all.
Bob and I would indulge ourselves with freshly shucked oysters once awhile and when we have the opportunity too. Half dozen Tsarskaya oysters (RM 95) were big, the meat is fresh, firm and juicy! Eat with just a squeeze of fresh lemon or perhaps a tiny spoon of Mignonette makes an oyster purist proud! I now do understand why these oysters from Cancale were carefully farmed and rightfully served to the Tsars of Russia. It is very exquisite! How I wish I had a shot of Grey Goose to have with these babies.
I had a food coma attack for the starters alone that I didn’t know how I ever made it through main course. I guess by God and by will I pulled thru to enjoy good food!
Bob conquered this 300 grams, grain-fed and aged for 90 days, 100% pure Australian Black Angus rib eye (RM 145). He had some steak fries to go along with it. The beef was so tender and full on flavor as it was cooked to a perfect medium rare. And by the way, the super neat thing about this is that you will get to choose your steak knife.
As for me, something else caught my fancy. The 12 hours braised pure Angus beef short rib with morel mushroom, kohlrabi and potato puree (RM 135) sounded divine.
And it was! I didn’t really need my knife to cut the beef… It was just so soft! I had my fork full with some of the potatoes and morel and that sinful meat.. Stuffed it in my mouth all in one go. I fell in love.
By the time we got to dessert, both Bob and I were so stuffed that I decided to pass on the decadent desserts they were offering. Truly a shocker I know, but I needed something to lift out the good beef grease in my mouth so we opted for something light and refreshing… Mango and Peach Sorbet (RM 18). You can never go wrong with this.
Well, to officially end our dinner, there was no birthday cake or a birthday song sung. Out came a lovely assortment of petit fours compliments of the Mandarin Grill team. It was more than enough thank and bid adieu to the wonderful 24 years of existence and welcome another year!
I never got to blow my birthday candle as tradition would have it but the tiny treats was well worth it. Here’s to another year of good food, love and bliss! Cheers to being 25!
Mandarin Grill & Bar
Mandarin Oriental Hotel
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
+60 (3) 2380 8888