Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Shivz, Diner at Maarof @ Jalan Maarof

Shivz, the Diner on Maarof aims to achieve big things on the main Maarof street of Bangsar.

When you meet and talk to the charismatic Shiva, owner of the restaurant, one can feel how focused he is with his latest venture as he passionately shares his concept.

Aiming to provide value for money ambience and food, he is particular that his guests should leave his place, well satisfied with the portions and tastes and a wallet with some money left. When you look at the menu, the humble prices are indeed humble.

With starters at RM8 to RM18 and mains starting from RM10 to RM32; you are staring at a real deal.

Not to mention the classy and simple layout in the restaurant that won't be mistaken for a place where one would normally splurge RM100plus per head.

This far, i am already half convinced that this formula of real value for money will work.

However, how's the taste of the food?

With my rather blunt palate, we sat down waiting to be wooed away by his chef, a someone that his name i cant seem to remember, but is one with loads of experience and awards for creating dishes.

Being served with drinks with chilled glasses, the juices are served with sugar on the side with no ice. The reason? Shiva believes that the last sip determines the overall experience, and he is not going to let it go to waste by allowing his customer to drink ice water in his/her last sip. Another reason? Value for money, no ice means the whole glass is fruit juice and not half glass of ice and half glass of juice.

Fancy something more adventerous? Home made ginger beer and cocktails are available. The ginger beer is strong on ginger and you got to adjust it by adding the provided sugar. The lack of gas means it is a pretty flat beer.

The starters flooded the tables and here goes.

Deep Fried Mushroom; a mixed of oyster and shitake mushrooms. The batter looked like the same batter as the younger days of Chicken Maryland (the ones where we go to hawker stalls for western food). Not to say that this was bad, its fried food, crisp on the outside and still moist on the inside. Double up with a tangy version of a mushroom sauce, its a double whammy for RM10.

The Thai Prawn Salad, de-shelled prawns in a mix green salad. Beware of the tiny sliced chilli padi that they throw in for the extra oomph. A very appetising dish with the tamarind sauce and certainly almost enough for some, as a main (RM 18).

The Brushetta Platter (RM 8), the fillings were (i think), peppers, mushrooms and maybe brinjal. A good carb filler.

Their wild mushroom soup was "earthy" and not overly creamy. The addition of fresh mushrooms hits the home run again. RM10 for a bigger bowl than the above.

The seafood potpourri. Full of flavour and seafood, i am usually a fan of intense soup and this i liked, while some may complain its salty and too full bodied.

Tickled and teased by the starters, we were waiting to be blown away by the mains.

Mumtaz Grill. The history of this dish flies back to the days of the Taj Mahal and is influence comes from the borders of India and Afghanistan. Looking like a normal tandoori chicken, when sliced, it reveals minced meat. After tearing your hair, you will realise its prawns but full of chicken flavour. A genius dish, i must say when served with their home made mint and curry sauce (RM 26)

Their Pesto Pasta is RM12 but when you hear that there is almost 200gms of pasta and 150gms of chicken in there, this is a no joke. Slightly softer than i am used to, i prefer mine either al dente if not slightly harder than al dente. After the first bite, i didn't get a second, for it was polished on the other side of the table.

Grilled Salmon Cilantro (RM22) came in another respective size. The sauce fitted the fish along with the spinach. The meat itself? Again i maybe a bit of an odd ball for i prefer medium/medium rare salmon, but to the public, this would be considered well cooked.

Supreme Chicken Breast (RM18), very moist for a breast. Many places can screw up a meat that can get tough in a matter of seconds under a grill or pan. This was done well and served with nice sticky mash and mushrooms.

Using a similar sauce and sides, the Lamb Shank had a gamey taste to it. Could be much tender, but i had worse. (RM N/A)

The lamb rack, the one dish that people raved about because of the price. At a cost price (just the lamb rack, 200gms) of RM22, it sold for RM28. Common sense says make it more expensive and it is still affordable at RM32. With a tarty sweet sauce, the only improvement is to make it medium or medium rare.

Just when we announce retirement, Shiva came out with another chef special, a Pakistani version of Briyani. A whiff of it, and you will be dazed. The fresh tomatoes used gives it a red glow and the basmati rice lends extra fragance to what is already a celebrity bunch of spices. The restaurant plans to make this a weekly special, so do look out!

Finish off the meal with a very smooth Cappuccino, coffee beans from Bristot (apparently a close competitor to the more famous Illy beans). A very value coffee for RM 4.50.

Address and contact details:

64, Jalan Maarof,
Bangsar Baru, 59100, KL
Tel: 03-22842500, 012-2051400

Verdict: Given that the objective was value money food, most of the dishes were of reasonable tasting and quality (i mean don't compare to fine dining) with VERY reasonable prices, this place is worth a close 4 stars out of 5 stars.

Thanks alot Shiva for hosting the dinner. An eye opening experience to his concept and ideas.


Sean said...

this place looks pretty promising. just saw the menu on their website and they have beef ribs too! btw, like you, i think salmon tastes better when it's lightly seared.

Bangsar-bAbE said... come you got the seafood potpourri wan?? I didn't get to try... :(

Good to know you enjoyed yourself!

thule a.k.a leo said...

gotta try this :) hopefully this weekend.. lol!!!

CUMI & CIKI said...

eh, the prices are good la .. for what it is..(no need to bleed for salmon and even pasta)

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

Did you feature the entire menu? LOL. Looks delicious...will hv to try it some day.

jasmine said...

yeah, this does sound very promising. and i probably don't have enough briyani and tandoori. heh.

J2Kfm said...

so so cheap for that much food on the plates. Shivz?!! how on earth do you pronounce that?!

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

j2kfm: yes its cheap for the stuff he puts on the plate..shiv with a Z...abit like Ciao with a Z...

jasmine: pretty promising..hope they get a crowd soon..

ll: probably half! haha..

c&c: pretty much no need to bleed la..

leo: let me know how it goes man

bangsar babe: yeap enjoyed myself..aiyah you should have joined me mah haha..

sean: the problem with lightly seared salmon, u must hav really good (close to sashimi std) salmon..if not sure stomache la..

mimid3vils said...

Affordable price eh~~~

vkeong said...

the deep fried mushroom looked more like chicken to me haha. great looking food, the Mumtaz Grill really got my attention

Evan said...

Yeah... the mumtaz grill looks good. We should go again.. a restaurant i can afford. Btw someone asked me the other day whether you ever have the chance to eat at home anymore? Haha.

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

evan: wat nonsense? i always eat at home..hahaha...

vkeong: its the batter...

mimi: yeah its affordable!

Precious Pea said...

Good deal. Seems like a nice place to hang out with friends too. Need to save up and spend less oledi.....shall try this place soon.

thule a.k.a leo said...

how many of you actually went there?? It seems to be awfully a lot of dishes... did the owner purposely prepare it for you so that you can put in your blogs???

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

leo: there were 6 in total..the original plan was that shiva the owner host 3 of us..then my friends sort of popped by..felt bad and we paid half the bill.. yes the owner prepared the dishes for us..

pp: since its quiet..good place to hang out indeed..

Selba said...

yummmm.... look so delicious!!! *slurps*

daphne said...

wow.. lots of seafood as well. THis looks fantastic..and coffee for RM$4.5? That is a great deal.

fatboybakes said...

WOW, right under my nose and never knew. the spread looks awesome. SIX of you? !!!! oink oink!!!!

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

fbb: just opened like 2 wks ago? not that long only mah..shud go try..

daphne: yeah good n cheap coffee..

selba: yes..slurp indeed!

Henry Yeo said...

somemore just a skip and hop always from fbb...

do we get anything if we drop your name while we are there?

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

henry: u can give it a try?

Simon Seow said...

Price is reasonable indeed. Good for the current economic turmoil.

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

simon: yeap..good for the crisis..