Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Max! Kitchen and Wines @ iHaus, Bukit Bintang

I still remember the first time i stepped into Max! Kitchen and Wines. The rustic old bungalows of Tengkat Tong Shin and being greeted by a humble little restaurant with an open kitchen.

The Wagyu Beef Cheeks was the first dish i tasted and ever since, the taste, texture and flavours would linger at the back of the mind. I suppose the only thing that really stops me from making this a weekly affair is the prices and the well boutique sized menu.

I suppose this is more like your occassional fling.

So when the news spread like wildfire that Max! had moved his restaurant to a more spacious place with no worries for parking, it was a default place to visit. More so when i heard they were extending their lunch menu on Saturday (which turned out to be not true, when i asked).

When i looked at the menu, i realised why i wouldn't really visit this every week. Starters start from RM20+ right up to RM90+ for their foie gras. Mains start from RM40 to RM90+ for their veal. A 3 course meal with a drink would easily work out to RM100+ per pax which suddenly makes their 5 course degustation meal with a glass of prosecco look like a steal for RM120+.

Then again, we had to remind ourselves that this is lunch, do we really want to stuff our stomach all full?

Served with the familiar bread, olive oil and reduced balsamic vinegar.

Now if you haven't read from elsewhere, Max! has moved in or collaborated with iHaus a high end furniture boutique. So essentially it is a furnite showroom doubled up as a restaurant. While waiting for your meal, if you fancy a chair you feel or a painting you see on the wall, everything has a price tag. Although i must say some comfortable sofas were well in the region of 5 figures.
A mushroom salad with a poached egg with a reduced balsamic vinegar dressing (RM28). The well timed poached egg helped to moisten the salad with its runny yolk while providing some protein. Almost substantial for a light eater i suppose. Not me though.

I was running through the 9-10 mains Max had. Somehow the fish didn't appeal to me, i could still remember the rather small servings my mom and sister had when we first visited. Call me unpolished but i like a hearty meal without having to ask for extra bread to fill myself up. So it was, without breaking the bank for the veal and no lamb cutlets in sight, i called out for my first love, the beef cheeks. Now is it me, or did they use to serve more than 3 slices? However the taste was still spot on, well cooked and flavoured. In fact tasted almost oriental despite cooked in wine, a hint of our usual braised mushrooms with chicken feet, maybe due to the thickening of the sauce (probably from the beef). (RM68)

Rounding up with desserts, an almond chocolate brownie with blood orange. The brownie was rather soft and warm (i prefer it with a bite like soft cookies). The blood orange was evident and perhaps overpowered the chocolate. My qualm would be that the cream be replaced with some ice-cream instead. (RM25).

Finish with a cup of Illy Coffee minus the sugar for a complete satisfied meal.

Being the only customers on a Saturday afternoon, service was prompt and lovely. Perhaps i was looking for something more lunch like (i.e. lunch sets, a lighter menu), i didn't absolutely dig this place like before. Perhaps suitable for a nice long dinner which i probably will return for especially for the degustation menu.

Address and contact details:

Lot 32, Jalan Jati,
Off Jalan Bukit Bintang
55100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-21429720

Opens daily from 11am to 11pm

Turn into Jalan Inai (the road opposite Ritz Carlton) and it is right at the end of the street. If you look carefully, there are signboards along the way to the restaurant.

Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5 stars (subject to revising after visiting for dinner). I am pretty sure it deserves 4 stars if it had been dinner, simply because i would rarely spend so much money on lunch but would gladly obliged had it been dinner. Food is good although limited but (i understand changes quite often) and the ambience is good (quiet and exclusive).


Bangsar-bAbE said...

Hahaha...I think I must be very unpolished! I always "sapu habis" the bread basket! =P

Sean said...

i wonder whether any restaurant will be taking over max's former outlet. otherwise there would only be sao nam on that stretch ... if it's even still there!

UnkaLeong said...

Degustation menu...Dinner. Max. Hmmm...On r?

CUMI & CIKI said...

wwwwaaaa.. very nice shots joe!

thule a.k.a leo said...

Sao Nam is still there... lol!

For all the price range that you mentioned for the starters, mains and desserts... the degustation menu sounds like bell from heaven.

jason said...

Nice shot of the last pic. The black background brings out the colour of the cup ;)

New Kid on the Blog said...

this is in my makan list whenever am down in KL.

550ml jar of faith said...

Ouch, tis a bit painful on the wallet! But then again, I like my lunches heavier than dinner so this might work out in my favour! Spend a bundle here, and then dine like a pauper in the evening!

Sugar Bean said...

Hmm... I thought it's better to fill yourself up during lunch time than dinner time? (Though more frequently I have heavy dinner than lunch)

thenomadGourmand said...

hmm.. the Sage sounds like a better choice now.
Or mayb even Hakka Republic?

jessie chen. said...

tng: sage is even more expensive though =(

sugarbean: if u live the new way, yes..but i m still a rather old fart thinking man..

550ml: haha hokkien mee for dinner then?

new kid: well when u nxt dwn in kl?

jason: yeap like the black table i was seated on for that reason..

leo: was really tempted to, but resisted the temptation

c&c: thanks!

unka: can think abt it i suppose?

sean: haha u never knw..its after all quite a nice place over there minus the parking and the parking attendants

bbabe: i had another basket!

fatboybakes said...

gorgeous! drat, i have not lived.l

Life for Beginners said...

@Bangsar-bAbE: Me too, with the breadbasket! Hehe...

@Joe: Aiyo, old place also I belum visit they pulak moved to a new place? Die die also must visit liddat... :)

Tummythoz said...

Such clear pix. The salad looks like it's served on a book. =P

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

tummythoz: haha really?

kenny: yeah la..better take ck ok?

fbb: fret not u shall live once u come.