Monday, May 3, 2010

Prime @ Le Meridien Hotel, Kuala Lumpur

When i was a younger naive version of what i am today, i always had the conception that hotel restaurants were there for a reason; to serve outrageously expensive cuisine meant for our rich tourists and not for us normal citizens of Malaysia.

Obviously, i think that conception was probably brewed by some to not spoil us children and let us savour the rare experience of eating at posh restaurants like it was Christmas dinner.

So even when i grew up to finally earning my own money, i have and still am quite skeptical about eating at hotel restaurants.

I still remember being invited to Prime at Le Meridien for a birthday dinner, 2 years ago, carrying only RM150.

Opening up the menu and seeing steaks costs triple digits and wondering what i would have to say when i needed to go to the ATM to pay them back. Praying very hard that the cheapest 8oz steak and skipping desserts would do the trick, the gracious host paid for the meal and that was basically my first and last experience with Prime till last week.

Fortunately even with a wallet with RM150, it turns out i could still have been able to afford a meal here but thankfully Cheryl Lum from Le Meridien play the role of gracious host this time and my RM150 was intact at the end of the meal.

I still remember the plush chairs and it still remain. Once you take your seat, you don't feel like getting up.

The bread and butter is heavenly, so heavenly we asked if it was for sale and we managed to get a loaf on the house. Full of walnuts and yet healthy as it is whole grain, smear it with the Échiré butter, apparently one of the most expensive butter in the world says Chef Antoine. A quick google search and its approximately USD 9 for a block of 250 grams. I don't think i have ever bought a RM35 block of butter (before factoring transport costs), have you? Smooth, creamy and a hint of saltiness, it is the ultimate breakfast item to have.

Starters come in very decent portions and we shared the following:

Apple wood smoked Norwegian salmon (RM45)
Australian crab cakes, chili flakes, garlic sauce and mango salsa (RM55)
Spinach and buffalo mozzarella salad with Grilled figs and Master Kobe, aged balsamic dressing (RM50)

Oh so glorious and if you want, you can personally invite me to plate you your individual appetiser plate.

The crab cakes are their speciality and it does not take a genius to tell you why. These are almost burger patty size and it is packed with crab meat. Imagine the poor fellow peeling crab meat for hours just for 3 minutes, the time you will take to gobble down the gorgeous seafood.

A more classy way of eating your salad is to throw in some master kobe beef, seared to a red middle. Apparently the halal counterparts of their japanese cousins, the same breed is reared in Australia minus the beer. Just as juicy i say and complimented well with the figs, it almost doesnt feel like i am eating a salad.

The smoked salmon is done in house and would go so well with a sandwich.


You must be thinking how can RM150 buy you a meal at Prime, after showing me appetisers that already take up 1/3 of the budget? Well, those are teasers that are not included. However one can be full enough with this Wagyu Skirt Steak with BBQ sauce and sides for only RM108++. Despite it being only 220 grams but felt like 400 grams, the skirt cut is usually a cheap cut and it is crucial that one cuts the meat the right way to make it tender. However, the skirt of a wagyu makes this dish a delight to eat especially with home made bbq sauce basted all over it. While some hardcore may dispute that sauce drowns the natural taste of the delicate beef, i take the dish as it is and enjoyed it immensely. The potato stick and portobello mushrooms ensure that you have carbs and fibre.

Of course if you have more than RM150 to spend, you could always pay RM360 for a 340gram Australian Wagyu Beef (Grade 6 and above). Having tried the top of the range before which would have been abit too much to eat as a steak, this was succulent and its almost like eating cow that has been fed butter. Advisable to share the steak with your special one as it can get quite hard to digest so much rich meat.

The truffle mash potato here is legendary and is a staple for almost all who come here for their steak. Along with onion rings and cream spinach, it makes for a complete meal, oh bliss. (RM12-15 per side dish)

If you fancy something similar to the wagyu skirt steak which is by the way a temporary promotion (until the meat runs out), the short rib is also on the menu, basted with the same sauce and done in the oven for slightly under the hour. Not totally melt in your mouth, this comes with a bite. Although i have a feeling this may be temporary too as it is not on the online dinner menu.

If RM150 is all you have, the wagyu skirt steak would have cost RM 124.20, leaving you RM25.80 for a coffee which should be enough.

Black coffee, not exactly my cup of tea but good enough to perk up my sleepy senses after all that meat.

Complimentary cookies too!

For those who are willing to go beyond their budget abit more, theres the pecan mud pie that was so rich and gorgeous. (RM30)

Or the rich hot chocolate cake, chocolate sauce, stracciatella ice cream. I dont remember trying any ice-cream or it could have been the brownie they ordered because by now i was really late for work. I remember having a bite of a very rich chocolate cake/brownie and one can only imagine how it would have been if i had finished it.

Alternatively, if you are here for lunch, you will be glad to know their lunch set starts from RM60++ - RM85++, and your RM150 won't be empty by the end of the meal.

As for Cheryl, a big hug and kiss for the invite and not to mention the generous two bottles of wine, a very young South African Pinotage 2009 which was fruity and light and a more bodied Spanish 2005 red wine. Thank god, i can hold more than 2 glasses.

Address and contact details:

2 Jalan Stesen Sentral
Kuala Lumpur Sentral
Kuala Lumpur 50470

Phone: 6
03 2263 7434

Verdict: Someone was saying that i can get quite stingy with scores but i can safely put a 4 star, maybe even 4.5 stars out of 5 stars (if money was not a problem) on the dining experience. From the friendly executive Chef Antoine who came out to share his inspiration for his skirt steak; his experience from working in an abatoir and getting the skirt sandwich as their meal to the prompt service and may i add, the comfortable chairs, if you want to impress and (if you have a Starwood card meaning dining for two, is 50% discount), the meal can easily be under RM150 per pax as well.


Sean said...

sigh, yeah, the wagyu skirt steak promo apparently ended april 30. i didn't get to try it, though i had been hoping to. this month's prime promotional steak is a bit too extravagant: 440 grams of master kobe t-bone for RM488++!!!

zewt said...

since this is by invite... hmmm... objectivity is in question... hah!

Tummy Rumble said...

nice review... thanks for sharing :)

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

tummyrumble: welcome..

zewt: haha well if i had a starwood card, definitely no biasness really..of course cant expect to order wagyu la..

sean: it ended!??? must call cheryl!!

Jun said...

that slab of meat looks more than 340g!

Life for Beginners said...

Sighs... been too long since I last dined at Prime. Must head back soon! :)

qwazymonkey said...

Oh wow! a 4.5 star? Cheryl must be really really happy to see that. You must have had one very VERY good meal!

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

qwazymonkey: hahah yes she would be..

lob: yes wat u waiting for?

jun:its rather thin, thats y..

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

I've always enjoyed my meals at Prime. The steaks are to die for. Huge portions too.

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

ll: yeah their steak really is. need to find a starwood card..

thule a.k.a leo said...

Hahaha... true! With Starwood card, the price is slashed by 50%
But even with the card, I still have not gone to Prime.. yet!

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

leo: how can!?? mayb i can take care of the card for u.

J2Kfm said...

RM150 for a set still sounds reasonable, this being one of the best place for steaks in KL.
So I guess this is your personal fav?

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

j2kfm: must caveat, u got to adjust accordingly to what you want but along side the more casual "Dish", i must say i enjoyed Prime for steaks.